These men are 1 dangerous reefs 2 at your love feasts, 3 feasting without reverence, 4 feeding only themselves. 5 They are 6 waterless 7 clouds, carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit 8 – twice dead, 9 uprooted;
These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.
These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;
When these people join you in fellowship meals celebrating the love of the Lord, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are shameless in the way they care only about themselves. They are like clouds blowing over dry land without giving rain, promising much but producing nothing. They are like trees without fruit at harvesttime. They are not only dead but doubly dead, for they have been pulled out by the roots.
These people are warts on your love feasts as you worship and eat together. They're giving you a black eye--carousing shamelessly, grabbing anything that isn't nailed down. They're--Puffs of smoke pushed by gusts of wind; late autumn trees stripped clean of leaf and fruit, Doubly dead, pulled up by the roots;
These men are unseen rocks at your love-feasts, when they take part in them with you, keepers of sheep who without fear take the food of the sheep; clouds without water rushing before the wind, wasted trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots,
These are blemishes on your love-feasts, while they feast with you without fear, feeding themselves. They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted;
These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;
feasts of charity
when they feast
[they are] without water
whose fruit withereth
plucked up by the roots
|NET © [draft] ITL|
. They are waterless
, carried along
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Grk “these are the men who are.”
2 tn Though σπιλάδες (spilades) is frequently translated “blemishes” or “stains,” such is actually a translation of the Greek word σπίλοι (spiloi). The two words are quite similar, especially in their root or lexical forms (σπιλάς [spila"] and σπίλος [spilos] respectively). Some scholars have suggested that σπιλάδες in this context means the same thing as σπίλοι. But such could be the case only by a stretch of the imagination (see BDAG 938 s.v. σπιλάς for discussion). Others suggest that Jude’s spelling was in error (which also is doubtful). One reason for the tension is that in the parallel passage, 2 Pet 2:13, the term used is indeed σπίλος. And if either Jude used 2 Peter or 2 Peter used Jude, one would expect to see the same word. Jude, however, may have changed the wording for the sake of a subtle wordplay. The word σπιλάς was often used of a mere rock, though it normally was associated with a rock along the shore or one jutting out in the water. Thus, the false teachers would appear as “rocks” – as pillars in the community (cf. Matt 16:18; Gal 2:9), when in reality if a believer got too close to them his faith would get shipwrecked. Some suggest that σπιλάδες here means “hidden rocks.” Though this meaning is attested for the word, it is inappropriate in this context, since these false teachers are anything but hidden. They are dangerous because undiscerning folks get close to them, thinking they are rocks and pillars, when they are really dangerous reefs.
3 tc Several witnesses (A Cvid 1243 1846 al), influenced by the parallel in 2 Pet 2:13, read ἀπάταις (apatai", “deceptions”) for ἀγάπαις (agapai", “love-feasts”) in v. 12. However, ἀγάπαις has much stronger and earlier support and should therefore be considered original.
sn The danger of the false teachers at the love feasts would be especially pernicious, for the love feasts of the early church involved the Lord’s Supper, worship, and instruction.
4 tn Or “fearlessly.” The term in this context, however, is decidedly negative. The implication is that these false teachers ate the Lord’s Supper without regarding the sanctity of the meal. Cf. 1 Cor 11:17-22.
5 tn Grk “shepherding themselves.” The verb ποιμαίνω (poimainw) means “shepherd, nurture [the flock].” But these men, rather than tending to the flock of God, nurture only themselves. They thus fall under the condemnation Paul uttered when writing to the Corinthians: “For when it comes time to eat [the Lord’s Supper,] each one goes ahead with his own meal” (1 Cor 11:21). Above all, the love-feast was intended to be a shared meal in which all ate and all felt welcome.
6 tn “They are” is not in Greek, but resumes the thought begun at the front of v. 12. There is no period before “They are.” English usage requires breaking this into more than one sentence.
7 tn Cf. 2 Pet 2:17. Jude’s emphasis is slightly different (instead of waterless springs, they are waterless clouds).
8 sn The imagery portraying the false teachers as autumn trees without fruit has to do with their lack of productivity. Recall the statement to the same effect by Jesus in Matt 7:16-20, in which false prophets will be known by their fruits. Like waterless clouds full of false hope, these trees do not yield any harvest even though it is expected.
9 tn Grk “having died twice.”
sn Twice dead probably has no relevance to the tree metaphor, but has great applicability to these false teachers. As in Rev 20:6, those who die twice are those who die physically and spiritually. The aphorism is true: “born once, die twice; born twice, die once” (cf. Rev 20:5; John 3, 11).