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Jude 1:7

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha - Notes, 2 Peter 2:6.

And the cities about them - Admah and Zeboim, Genesis 14:2; Deuteronomy 29:23; Hosea 11:8. There may have been other towns, also, that perished at the same time, but these are particularly mentioned. They seem to have partaken of the same general characteristics, as neighboring towns and cities generally do.

In like manner - “In a manner like to these,” ( τὸν ὅμοιον τούτοις τρόπον ton homoion toutois troponThe Greek word “these,” is in the plural number. There has been much diversity in interpreting this clause. Some refer it to the angels, as if it meant that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah committed sin in a way similar to the angels; some suppose that it refers to the wicked teachers about whom Jude was discoursing, meaning that Sodom and Gomorrah committed the same kind of sins which they did; some that the meaning is, that “the cities round about Sodom and Gomorrah” sinned in the same way as those cities; and some that they were punished in the same manner, and were set forth like them as an example. I see no evidence that it refers to the angels, and if it did, it would not prove, as some have supposed, that their sin was of the same kind as that of Sodom, since there might have been a resemblance in some respects, though not in all. I see no reason to believe, as Macknight holds, that it refers to “false teachers,” since that would be to suppose that the inhabitants of Sodom copied their example long “before” the example was set. It seems to me, therefore, that the reference is to the cities round about Sodom; and that the sense is, that they committed iniquity in the same manner as the inhabitants of Sodom did, and were set forth in the same way as an example.

Going after strange flesh - Margin: “other.” The reference seems to be to the unusual sin which, from the name Sodom, has been called “sodomy.” Compare Romans 1:27. The meaning of the phrase “going after” is, that they were greatly addicted to this vice. The word “strange, or other,” refers to that which is contrary to nature. Doddridge, however, explains it, “going after strange and detestable gratifications of their pampered and indulged flesh.”

Are set forth for an example - They furnish a warning against all such conduct, and a demonstration that punishment shall come upon the ungodly. The condemnation of any sinner, or of any class of sinners, always furnishes such a warning. See the notes, 2 Peter 2:6.

Suffering the vengeance of eternal fire - The word rendered “suffering” ( ὑπέχουσαι hupechousai) means, properly, “holding under” - as, for example, the hand; then to hold toward any one, as the ear - to give attention; then it is used as denoting to hold a discourse toward or with any one, or to hold satisfaction to any one, to make atonement; and then as “undergoing, paying, or suffering punishment,” when united, as it is here, with the word δίκην dikēn(punishment, or vengeance). See “Rob. Lex.” Here it expresses the idea of undergoing punishment. The word properly agrees in the construction with “cities,” ( πόλεις poleisreferring to Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them; but the things affirmed relate to the “inhabitants” of those cities. The word “vengeance” means punishment; that is, such vengeance as the Lord takes on the guilty; not vengeance for the gratification of private and personal feeling, but like that which a magistrate appoints for the maintenance of the laws; such as justice demands. The phrase “eternal fire” is one that is often used to denote future punishment - as expressing the severity and intensity of the suffering. See the notes, Matthew 25:41. As here used, it cannot mean that the fires which consumed Sodom and Gomorrah were literally eternal, or were kept always burning, for that was not true. The expression seems to denote, in this connection, two things:

(1)That the destruction of the cities of the plain, with their inhabitants, was as entire and perpetual as if the fires had been always burning - the consumption was absolute and enduring - the sinners were wholly cut off, and the cities forever rendered desolate; and,

(2)that, in its nature and duration, this was a striking emblem of the destruction which will come upon the ungodly. I do not see that the apostle here means to affirm that those particular sinners who dwelt in Sodom would be punished forever, for his expressions do not directly affirm that, and his argument does not demand it; but still the “image” in his mind, in the destruction of those cities, was clearly that of the utter desolation and ruin of which this was the emblem; of the perpetual destruction of the wicked, like that of the cities of the plain. If this had not been the case, there was no reason why he should have used the word “eternal” - meaning here “perpetual” - since, if in his mind there was no image of future punishment, all that the argument would have demanded was the simple statement that they were cut off by fire.

The passage, then, cannot be used to prove that the particular dwellers in Sodom will be punished forever - whatever may be the truth on that point; but that there is a place of eternal punishment, of which that was a striking emblem. The meaning is, that the case was one which furnished a demonstration of the fact that God will punish sin; that this was an example of the punishment which God sometimes inflicts on sinners in this world, and a type of that eternal punishment which will be inflicted in the next.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Outward privileges, profession, and apparent conversion, could not secure those from the vengeance of God, who turned aside in unbelief and disobedience. The destruction of the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness, shows that none ought to presume on their privileges. They had miracles as their daily bread; yet even they perished in unbelief. A great number of the angels were not pleased with the stations God allotted to them; pride was the main and direct cause or occasion of their fall. The fallen angels are kept to the judgment of the great day; and shall fallen men escape it? Surely not. Consider this in due time. The destruction of Sodom is a loud warning to all, to take heed of, and flee from fleshly lusts that war against the soul, 1Pe 2:11. God is the same holy, just, pure Being now, as then. Stand in awe, therefore, and sin not, Ps 4:4. Let us not rest in anything that does not make the soul subject to the obedience of Christ; for nothing but the renewal of our souls to the Divine image by the Holy Spirit, can keep us from being destroyed among the enemies of God. Consider this instance of the angels, and see that no dignity or worth of the creature is of avail. How then should man tremble, who drinketh iniquity like water! Job 15:16.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha - What their sin and punishment were may be seen in Genesis 19, and the notes there. This is the third example to illustrate what is laid down Judges 1:4.

Are set forth for an example - Both of what God will do to such transgressors, and of the position laid down in Judges 1:4, viz., that God has in the most open and positive manner declared that such and such sinners shall meet with the punishment due to their crimes.

Suffering the vengeance of eternal fire - Subjected to such a punishment as an endless fire can inflict. Some apply this to the utter subversion of these cities, so that by the action of that fire which descended from heaven they were totally and eternally destroyed; for as to their being rebuilt, that is impossible, seeing the very ground on which they stood is burned up, and the whole plain is now the immense lake Asphaltites. See the notes on Genesis 19 (note).

The first sense applies to the inhabitants of those wicked cities; the second, to the cities themselves: in either case the word πυρ αιωνιον signifies an eternally destructive fire; it has no end in the punishment of the wicked Sodomites, etc.; it has no end in the destruction of the cities; they were totally burnt up, and never were and never can be rebuilt. In either of these senses the word αιωνιος, eternal, has its grammatical and proper meaning.

Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 162-7

We should beware of treating lightly God's gracious provisions for our salvation. There are Christians who say, “I do not care to be saved unless my companion and children are saved with me.” They feel that heaven would not be heaven to them without the presence of those who are so dear. But have those who cherish this feeling a right conception of their own relation to God, in view of His great goodness and mercy toward them? Have they forgotten that they are bound by the strongest ties of love and honor and loyalty to the service of their Creator and Redeemer? The invitations of mercy are addressed to all; and because our friends reject the Saviour's pleading love, shall we also turn away? The redemption of the soul is precious. Christ has paid an infinite price for our salvation, and no one who appreciates the value of this great sacrifice or the worth of the soul will despise God's offered mercy because others choose to do so. The very fact that others are ignoring His just claims should arouse us to greater diligence, that we may honor God ourselves, and lead all whom we can influence, to accept His love. PP 162.1

“The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.” The bright rays of the morning seemed to speak only prosperity and peace to the cities of the plain. The stir of active life began in the streets; men were going their various ways, intent on the business or the pleasures of the day. The sons-in-law of Lot were making merry at the fears and warnings of the weak-minded old man. Suddenly and unexpectedly as would be a thunder peal from an unclouded sky, the tempest broke. The Lord rained brimstone and fire out of heaven upon the cities and the fruitful plain; its palaces and temples, costly dwellings, gardens and vineyards, and the gay, pleasure-seeking throngs that only the night before had insulted the messengers of heaven—all were consumed. The smoke of the conflagration went up like the smoke of a great furnace. And the fair vale of Siddim became a desolation, a place never to be built up or inhabited—a witness to all generations of the certainty of God's judgments upon transgression. PP 162.2

The flames that consumed the cities of the plain shed their warning light down even to our time. We are taught the fearful and solemn lesson that while God's mercy bears long with the transgressor, there is a limit beyond which men may not go on in sin. When that limit is reached, then the offers of mercy are withdrawn, and the ministration of judgment begins. PP 162.3

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 121

The people who lived before the flood ate animal food, and gratified their lusts until their cup of iniquity was full, and God cleansed the earth of its moral pollution by a flood. Then the third dreadful curse rested upon the earth. The first curse was pronounced upon the posterity of Adam and upon the earth, because of disobedience. The second curse came upon the ground after Cain slew his brother Abel. The third most dreadful curse from God, came upon the earth at the flood. 4aSG 121.1

After the flood the people ate largely of animal food. God saw that the ways of man were corrupt, and that he was disposed to exalt himself proudly against his Creator, and to follow the inclinations of his own heart. And he permitted that long-lived race to eat animal food to shorten their sinful lives. Soon after the flood the race began to rapidly decrease in size, and in length of years. There were a class of very large animals which perished at the flood. God knew that the strength of man would decrease, and these mammoth animals could not be controlled by feeble man. 4aSG 121.2

Sin has prevailed since the fall. While a few have remained faithful to God, the great majority have corrupted their ways before him. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was on account of their great wickedness. They gave loose rein to their intemperate appetites, then to their corrupt passions, until they were so debased, and their sins were so abominable, that their cup of iniquity was full, and they were consumed with fire from heaven. 4aSG 121.3

When the Lord brought his people from Egyptian bondage, he led them through the wilderness to prove them, and try them. He promised to be their God, and to take them to himself as his peculiar treasure. He did not prohibit their eating meat, but withheld it from them in a great measure. He gave them food which he designed that they should have, which was healthy, and of which they could eat freely. He rained their bread from Heaven, and gave them purest water out of the flinty rock. He made a covenant with them, that if they would obey him in all things, he would put no disease upon them. But the Israelites were not satisfied with the food which God gave them. They murmured against Moses and against God, and wished themselves back in Egypt, where they could sit by the flesh pots. God in his anger gave them flesh to gratify their lustful appetite, and great numbers of them died in the act of eating the meat for which they had lusted. While it was yet between their teeth the curse of God came upon them. God here teaches his people that he is displeased with their permitting their appetite to control them. The Israelites at times would prefer slavery, and even death, rather than to be deprived of meat. 4aSG 121.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 457

In this age of boasted enlightenment, the Christian church is confronted with a world lying in midnight darkness, almost wholly given over to idolatry. A well-nigh universal disregard of the law of Jehovah is rapidly making the world like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. As in the days before the Flood, violence is filling the land. Gambling and robbery are coming to be common evils. The use of intoxicating liquors is on the increase. Many who have followed their own unsanctified will seek to end their unprofitable lives by suicide. Iniquity and crime of every order are found in the high places of the earth, and those who assent to these wrongs are seeking to shield the guilty ones from punishment. Not one hundredth part of the corruptions that exist is being made plain to the world. Little of the cruelty that is carried on is known. The wickedness of men has almost reached its limit. TM 457.1

In many ways Satan is revealing that he rules the world. He is influencing the hearts of men and corrupting their minds. Men in high places are giving evidence that their thoughts are evil continually. Many are seeking after riches and scruple not to add to their wealth through fraudulent transactions. The Lord is permitting these men to expose one another in their evil deeds. Some of their iniquitous practices are being laid open before the world, that thinking men who still have a desire in their hearts to be honest and just with their fellowmen may understand why God is beginning to send His judgments on the earth. The Lord will surely punish the world for its iniquity; “the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” ... TM 457.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 126.2

These are the very sins which corrupted Sodom. Their evil practices did not come all at once. First one man and woman stupefied themselves by unholy, polluted habits. Then as inhabitants settled in Sodom, they did as you are doing, educating others in a line that is forbidden of God. And so as the inhabitants continued to multiply, these ministers of sin continued in educating them in their own defiling practices until if any person came into their midst their first thoughts were to educate them in their evil work, until Sodom became renowned for its pollutions. Their sins reached unto heaven, and the Lord would bear with them no longer. He destroyed them and all that was beautiful, that made it as a second Eden, for the earth was defiled under the inhabitants thereof. TSB 126.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 89

[In the five articles in this section there have been gathered together and grouped in convenient order some of the many instructive, cheering, and inspiring testimonies regarding work in the cities. The statements included in this compilation have been found in special testimonies, in articles published in our periodicals, in the reports of sermons at the 1909 General Conference, and in letters to workers in the large cities.] 9T 89.1

“I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8.

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