I. THE PROPHET. "And to these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied."
1. He was a preeminently holy man, who was translated to heaven without dying.
2. His descent is here mentioned,
(1) partly to indicate the antiquity of his prophecy, as going back to the first days of man on earth;
(2) partly to distinguish him from Enoch the son of Cain;
(3) partly also to show the zeal of Enoch against wickedness in those early times. He was the seventh from Adam, reckoning by generations.
II. HIS PROPHECY. It is the coming of Christ to judgment. "Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones." We have here the historic tense of prophecy.
1. The Lord comes from heaven. "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven" to judge the world.
2. It will be in the end of the world, in a day utterly unknown to man or angel.
3. He will be accompanied by ten thousands of his saints, who will sit with him as assessors (1 Corinthians 6:3). "The saints shall appear with him in glory." They are called his saints, because they are so by redemption and by service.
4. This second advent is to execute judgment and convict the ungodly.
(1) The last judgment is to be regarded as a matter of the greatest certainty.
(2) It is foolish to expect an escape from judgment through secrecy.
(3) Words will be judged as well as deeds. "All the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Sinners reproach, mock, and condemn the just. The piety of the just does not exempt them from severe aspersions. Christ regards the words spoken against his disciples as spoken against himself.
(4) The judgment will take account of the manner or motive of transgression. "Works of ungodliness which they have ungodly wrought."
(a) The wicked devise mischief (Proverbs 6:14).
(b) They delight and take pleasure in it (Proverbs 10:30).
(c) They persist in transgression in the teeth of all warnings.
(d) Their sin does not spring from mere infirmity like the sin of the righteous.
(5) The true interest as well as the highest wisdom of the sinner is to make a friend of the Lord against the day of judgment. - T.C.
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh.
The first thing to be considered is, where or whence St. Jude obtained this prediction of Enoch — whether from immediate revelation, or from tradition, or from some book then extant in the Church. There is indeed an apocryphal book, "The Book of Enoch," which appears to have been often used by the early Fathers, and to have acquired a great celebrity in the first days of Christianity. For centuries this book was supposed to have been lost, and our only knowledge of it was derived from quotations in other writings. An Ethiopic version was at length discovered in Ethiopia, and brought to England by the well-known traveller, Bruce. In this book there are passages which answer very nearly to the prophecy recorded by St. Jude. It has therefore been a common supposition that the apostle derived from this book the prediction which he ascribes to the patriarch. But the likelihood is that the Book of Enoch was written after the Epistle of St. Jude, so that Jude could not have drawn the prophecy from the book; but, rather, the writer of the book inserted in it the prophecy that he might give to his forgery the appearance of truth. We may believe, therefore, that in all probability Jude was informed of the prediction by immediate revelation. But whatever the source whence the apostle derived it, we may be certain that the prophecy was actually delivered by Enoch. The prophecy may indeed have had a primary reference to the Flood; but it is evident, from the application of the prediction by St. Jude, that Enoch pointed at events, of which the Deluge and its accompaniments were but feeble types. We are expressly informed that Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years; so that whatever pre-eminence in piety was denoted by "walking with God," it is evident that Enoch possessed it from early days, and retained it to the last. He is thus an instance alike of youthful conversion and uniform consistency. Neither was he content, whilst having his conversation in heaven, to allow the wickedness of others to pass unrebuked. Here it is that his prophetic character comes in, and when you couple his preaching with his own translation, you may perceive that, by and through him, was information given to an antediluvian world on points which many have supposed left in impenetrable obscurity. These points are those of a future life, and a retributive economy, which shall decide men's portions in another state of being. Thus was Enoch to the antediluvian world what Elijah was to those who lived beneath the law — a mighty demonstration of another state of being. Who had a right to question that the soul perished not with the body — nay, that even the body was not to lie for ever in the dust, when a patriarch had departed from the world, yielding not to death, and asking not a sepulchre? Already must Christ have virtually accomplished the prophecy, though it had not yet been delivered — "Oh! death, I will be thy plague; oh, grave, I will be thy destruction." Already must He have "opened the kingdom of heaven to believers," though He had not yet suffered their penalty, nor paid the price of their admission. It seems as though the whole scheme of redemption had been disclosed to mankind; yea, presented as already accomplished in what befel Enoch. The original curse was on body and soul; but when body and soul went up to glory there was given the most convincing demonstration that the curse would be counteracted, or, rather, that it was already removed. And now, if I would know how the gospel was preached to man, in its fulness, before the Flood, and would assure myself that those who perished in the Deluge, perished not without sufficient notice of redemption, and sufficient motive to the practice of piety, I turn my gaze on the ascending patriarch, and I feel that, as he stood upon the cloud and mounted heavenward, he proclaimed to the whole human family the reward of obedience in the restoration to immortality. And I need nothing further to convince me that, in the earliest days, as well as in later, men were instructed to expect eternal life through conformity to the known will of God.
Christ's second coming is to judgment. When we frustrate the end of His coming as a Redeemer, we make way for the end of His coming as a Judge.
2. When Christ cometh to judgment, one great part of His work will be to convince sinners, and that openly, publicly.
3. Again observe, when Christ hath convinced, He will condemn, and when He hath condemned, He will execute.
4. From that "of all their ungodly deeds," etc., observe that the process of the last day chiefly lieth against the ungodly. Ungodliness doth chiefly provoke; for the chiefest part of the law provideth for our duty to God. The dignity of every command is known by the order of it. Now, in the first place, godliness is required, and then righteousness, or a care of moral duties.
5. Once more observe, these ungodly men are the rather judged because they commit sin with an ungodly mind; for so it is in the text, "ungodly deeds ungodly committed." A child of God may fall into wickedness, but he doth not commit it wickedly, with a full consent; men are not condemned for infirmities, but iniquities. A godly man doth not so much act sin as he suffereth by it. He doth not pour out his whole heart this way; there are constant dislikes in the soul, which are a restraint to him.
6. From the next clause, "and their hard speeches," observe, not only the deeds of ungodly men, but their speeches are brought into judgment. Words do not perish with the breath with which they are uttered; no, they remain upon record, and we are to give an account of them at the last day (Matthew 12:36; James 2:12).
7. Once more from thence observe, that of all speeches men's "hard speeches" shall be produced at the day of judgment. Now, what are these hard speeches? I answer — Either such as have anger in them (Proverbs 4:24); or such as have pride in them, or contempt of others, as when we lessen their abilities, insult over their miseries (Psalm 69:26); or triumph over their failings. Again, such as have bitterness and malice in them, as calumnies and reproaches (Psalm 64:3, 4).
8. The next note is, that of all hard speeches those are the worst which do most directly reflect upon the honour and glory of Christ; for so it is in the text, "hard speeches spoken against Him." Now, hard speeches against Christ are either blasphemies against either of His natures, or murmurings against His providence: "Your words have been stout against Me" (Malachi 3:13). When we tax Providence, as if the Lord were blind, careless, unjust, or injurious in His dealings. So also when we speak against His ways, calling zeal fury, strictness a foolish preciseness, and godliness puritanism. O Christians! these hard speeches will cost dear, here or hereafter.
TopicsAdam, Amidst, Attended, Behold, Belonged, Enoch, Execute, Generation, Holy, Judgement, Myriads, Ones, Prophesied, Prophesy, Prophet, Saintly, Saints, Saying, Seventh, Ten, Tens, Thousands
Outline1. He exhorts them to be constant in the profession of the faith.4. false teachers crept in to seduce them, for whose evil doctrine a horrible punishment is prepared;20. whereas the godly may persevere, grow in grace, and keep the faith.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesJude 1:14
1655 hundreds and thousands
8706 apostasy, warnings
6021 sin, nature of
9105 last things
9130 future, the
1025 God, anger of
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