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#7 - Jude 1:7  (II Peter 2:6)



In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

NIV (New International Version)


Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

KJV (King James Version)


as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, in like manner to these, having given themselves to whoredom, and gone after other flesh, have been set before—an example, of fire age-during, justice suffering.

YLT (Young's Literal Translation)


As Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them in like manner to these committing ultra-prostitution, and coming away after other flesh, are lying before us, a specimen, experiencing the justice of fire eonian.

CLV (Concordant Literal Version)


As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities round about them [= Admah and Zeboyim – cf Deut. 29:23], in like manner (or: turn) to them, being given to fornication and outlandish prostitution, and then going away after different flesh (= unnatural vice; or: = a different expression of alienation that was formed by the existing System), are continuously lying before [us as] – an example (a specimen; an effect of a thing pointed out or presented to sight) – continuing in undergoing an experience of justice (the Way pointed out; fairness and equity; what is right) from fire pertaining to the ages (or: of eonian, or age-lasting, fire; of a fire of undetermined duration whose quality and character are the Age [of the Messiah]).

JMNT (Jonathan Mitchell New Testament)

Some points to consider when reading this passage . . . 



  1. While some translations refer to the eternal fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, we know that this fire could not mean eternally burning fire. We can visit these geographic locations today and there is no fire still burning.

  2. Jude wrote this letter after hearing news about some misguided evil men who had maneuvered their way into the church. They were spreading destructive teachings by perverting the message of grace and by denying Jesus as our only Lord and Savior. 

  3. Some might interpret the eternal aspect of the fire as to the ever present remembrance of the destruction of these cities. God’s fire and destruction will not be forgotten. 

  4. The well known existence of bituminous matter in the bed of the lake Asphaltites, also known as the Dead Sea or The Lake of Fire, now occupies the region of those cities. These considerations are sufficient to justify the language of Jude, without resorting to the idea that he had reference to some future world punishment.

  5. This short letter by Jude, Jesus’ brother, is the prelude to the apocalyptic judgments. It’s central theme is the coming of the Lord in destructive judgment upon the irreverent. It has several parallel passages, mostly in 2 Peter. 

  6. As Jude speaks of the apostles, he is not the apostle of this name (John 14:22), neither was James, his brother, an apostle, for James and John were the two sons of Zebedee. This Jude was prominent among the Jewish believers, the Circumcision. 

  7. The fact that Jude was among the Circumcision, sheds much light on the character of this letter and its harmony with the other Circumcision epistles, and its strong contrast with the later teaching of the Apostle Paul. 

  8. This letter is part of the message to the Circumcision (Galatians 2:7) which was entrusted to Peter and the twelve apostles. It is radically distinct from the good news to the Gentiles which was entrusted to Paul. 

  9. Paul repudiates even the distant physical bond existing between him and the Lord, and bases all on a spiritual relationship in grace. Jude is dealing with the judgment of those who are closely united to Jesus, in the flesh. 

  10. With the destruction approaching, and we know this devastation materialized in 67-70 AD - Jude is warning those among the Circumcision who are not apostates, to be aware. This demolition of  Herod’s Temple and Jerusalem, the apocalypse they never imagined possible, would be even greater than that of Sodom. 

  11. The absence of grace from Jude’s opening salutation is very striking. As it will have its prime fulfillment in an era of divine indignation, nothing higher than mercy is possible. 

  12. The destruction of Sodom and her surrounding cities was evidently visible in the first century and well remembered. In this way, they were experiencing eonian fire. The fire has long ceased but its effects will remain and testify to God’s judgment until the close of this eon, after which Sodom will return to her former estate and even more majestic. (Ezekiel 16:53-56)    APPENDIX “J”  

  13. Jude 1:5 mentions that the Lord destroys those who do not believe. This belief in Strong’s indicates not trusting, disloyal or false-hearted.

  14. Like the fallen angels, in Jewish tradition, the men Jude referred to in his day were also rejecting authority, slandering Jesus, and defiling their bodies in lasciviousness. What was awaiting these disobedient people was judgment in the same age-lasting fire that consumed Sodom and Gomorrah.  

  15. Jude is recalling for them their history book (if they were Jews), or God's story into which they have now been inserted (as former Gentiles; cf Rom. 11:13-26).  That was the Exodus story that began in Ex. 3 (the first phase), but in Num.13:31-14:37 we see phase two, referred to in this verse. 

  16. Jonathan Mitchell relates this note: “But since Judah (Jude) is referencing this story, we should keep in mind that except for the "spies" that brought the bad report about the promised Land, the rest of the people received the care and provision of Yahweh for forty years – for the rest of their lives, until the older folks of that generation had died.  They had been saved out of Egypt, and God kept covenant provision for them.  They continued to be led by the Spirit of God.  But they did not enter into His rest (Hebrews 4:1-6).  This did not mean that they ceased being a part of the people of God, any more than Moses, who also did not enter into the Land.  So we need to draw a complete analogy in regard to the folks spoken of here by Judah.”

  17. And with regards to verse 6, “Because of "transliteration" (instead of "translation") of the Greek angelos and rendering its plural "angels" instead of "agents" or "folks having or bringing a message," and due to non-canonical fanciful stories of "angels," this verse has been turned into mythology in traditional interpretations.” Jonathan goes on to state, “But another interpretation is viable, which reaches back into the canonical story in the book of Genesis.  I suggest that those "agents" were the ones that were given dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:26) and had a "personal dwelling place ([their] own abode or habitation)"  in Eden.  These were Adam and Eve.”

  18. God brought justice to Sodom and Gomorrah just as He did with Egypt in the time of Moses.  It was justice "from fire pertaining to the ages," in other words, pertaining to life here on earth during the ages.  That fire did not continue burning, once the fuel (what it was burning) was burned up. An interesting thing is that Jesus also referenced that story in Matt. 10:15 and makes it clear that Jerusalem is next, however, it will be even more devastating than Sodom.

  19. We see that the physical judgment in Gen. 19:24 was not the "end" for those people, even though it was eonian, or age-lasting, fire – or a figure of the fire that pertains to the judgment that would come in the Age of the Messiah.  We can read of what Paul revealed of this fire to test the work that people have done in building the community (i.e., God's temple) in 1 Corinthians 3:9-17.  There, in vs. 15 we see that, "If anyone's work will be burned down, he will incur a loss (sustain the damage; forfeit [it]), yet he himself will be saved (rescued and delivered; healed and restored to health; returned to his original state and condition), and as in this way – through Fire!"

  20. The Fire is the Divinity (theion) that's found in the Lake of Fire in the Revelation. It's the same Fire that fills the temple, that ignites Gehenna, and that falls on the church at Pentecost. God is eternal. The Fire is eternal. God is the Eternal Fire, BUT the experience of being burned by the Fire is temporal. It is the boundary of temporality and eternity.

  21. William Barclay believed these deceivers were tinged with Gnosticism. Those in this early church movement believed that since God’s grace would cover any sin, a man could sin as he liked. The Greek word Jude used here, aselgeia, described men and women who were openly immoral, people who had lost their sense of decency. If they were Gnostics, they also believed that Jesus wasn’t a real man, just a spirit in the form of a man. They believed that He was only one of many spirit forms. No wonder Jude was alarmed. He wrote this letter to warn his brethren of judgement what would fall upon those who perverted the truth, just like the angels kept in darkness and chains.

  22. Jim Strahan adds this comment, “Because of God’s love for His creation, He warns us of the consequences of our disobedience, like any good parent would do for the sake of their children.  But always within those impending words of certain judgment, there are also promises of hope, mercy, and ultimate reconciliation. As humans, we tend to focus on the negative when we read passages such as this one in Jude. Our tendency is somewhat understandable given the tremendous weight of tradition that pulls us down, limits God’s abilities, and blinds us to His promises. Those traditions tend to view God’s Word like the sword of Damocles hovering over our collective heads and ready to drop at any moment.” 

  23. God is love and His grace is unconditional. Although we should take His warnings seriously, we should also read these passages through the lens of His long-term plan for complete victory and remember that He delights to display His mercy. (Micah 7:18 "He does not retain His anger forever but delights to show mercy.”)


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