Jude Verse-by-verse Part 6 (series:Lessons on Jude)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

6 And the angels which kept not their first *estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.


*Estate. The word rendered estate is often translated principality. Here it refers to the rank and dignity which the angels had in heaven. That rank or pre-eminence they did not keep, but fell from it. On the word used here, comp. Ephesians 1:2, 3:10, Colossians 2:10.

The second example of rebellion and apostasy is the angels who sinned. All we know about them for certain is that they did not keep the domain that was assigned to them, they abandoned their own abode, and they are now restrained in everlasting chains under darkness for their final judgment.

It seems from Scripture that there have been at least two apostasies of angels. One was when Lucifer fell and presumably involved a host of other angelic beings in his rebellion. These fallen angels are not bound at the present time. The devil and his demons are actively promoting war against the Lord and His people.

The other apostasy of angels is the one referred to by Jude and also by Peter--"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” (2 Pet. 2:4). There is considerable difference of opinion among Bible students as to what event is referred to here. What I suggest is that you have a personal viewpoint on this subject, and not a rigid assertion of fact. however, I feel obliged to state what I believe about this. I believe that Jude is referring to what is recorded in *Genesis 6:1–7. The sons of God left their proper estate as angelic beings, came down to the earth in human form, and married the daughters of men. This marital union was contrary to God’s order and is an abomination to Him. There may be a suggestion in verse 4 that these unnatural marriages produced offspring of tremendous strength and wickedness. Whether or not this is true, it is clear that God was exceedingly displeased with the wickedness of man at this time and determined to destroy the earth with a flood. There are three objections to this view: (1) The passage in Genesis does not mention angels, but only “sons of God.” (2) Angels are sexless. (3) Angels do not marry.

It is true that angels are not specifically mentioned but it is also true that the term “sons of God” does refer to angels in Semitic languages (see Job 1:6** ; 2:1*** ).

*(Genesis 6:1–7)
“1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”

**(Job 1:6) "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

***(Job 2:1) "Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.

There is no Bible statement that angels are sexless. Angels sometimes appeared on earth in human form, having human parts and appetites (*Gen. 18:2, 22 ; later on **19:1, 3–5 ). The Bible does not say that angels do not marry but only that in heaven they neither marry nor give in marriage. Whatever historical incident may lie behind verse 6 (And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.), the important point is that these angels abandoned the sphere which God had marked out for them and are now in ... chains and in darkness until the time when they will receive their final sentence to perdition. Created holy, they had sinned and become wicked angels, or evil spirits.
*(Gen. 18:2, 22) “2And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and

when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground…22And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.” The angel of the Lord was accompanied in this visit by two others, evidently ordinary angels. All three, at first, were simply called three men (vs. 2). It is clear that one was truly the angel of the Lord (a Christophany); for He is called LORD (Yahweh) in verses 1, 13–14, etc., and He also referred to himself as I when speaking in the capacity of God (vss. 17, 26, etc.).

**(Gen. 19. 1, 3-5) “1And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground…3And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. 4But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.”

The angels which kept not their first estate. Their own principality. It could be that they invaded the assigned sphere of influence of some others, or that for some reason they forfeited their own. We generally refer to this group as “the fallen angels”; but we are not told what they fell from, or what caused their fall. However, it is by and large thought to have been pride; but this is simply conjecture. Some of the later Jews supposed that they relinquished heaven out of love for the daughters of men. One thing is certain; the angels who fell must have been in a state of probation, capable of either standing or falling, as Adam was in paradise. They did not continue faithful, though they knew the law of God; that is, that they should stay within the boundaries He had set; that is why they are given as the second example. A second case denoting that the wicked would be punished--"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;" (2 Peter 2:4). The Lord did all this; he knows how to rescue godly people when they are tested. He also knows how to hold immoral people for punishment on the Day of Judgment. These angels were created in righteousness and holiness. How much more will God judge the race of man, who is born in sin? We must realize the seriousness of disobedience when we walk contrary to the Creator’s direction.

But left their own habitation (in heaven). This seems to imply that they had invaded the territory and responsibility of others, and attempted to seize control of it. They lived in heaven; all bright and glorious, as opposed to the "darkness" to which they now are doomed. Their ambitious plans seem to have had a peculiar connection with this earth, of which Satan before his fall may have been God's vicegerent, whence arises his subsequent connection with it as first the Tempter, then "the prince of this world."

The word rendered habitation occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. Here it means that heaven was their native abode or dwelling-place. They left it by sin; but the expression here would seem possibly to mean that they became dissatisfied with their abode, and voluntarily preferred to change it for another. If they did become dissatisfied, the cause is wholly unknown, and conjecture is useless.

He hath reserved in everlasting chains. That is, in a state of confinement from which they cannot escape. Peter says, "chains of darkness;" (2 Peter 2:4) that is, the darkness encompasses them like chains. Jude says that those chains are "everlasting," Paul says in *Romans 1:20, "his eternal power and Godhead." The word does not occur elsewhere. It is an appropriate word to denote that which is eternal. The sense is, that that deep darkness always endures; there is no intermission; no light; it will exist forever. This passage in itself does not prove that the punishment of the rebel angels will be eternal, but merely that they are kept in a dark prison in which there is no light, and which is to exist forever, with reference to the final trial. The punishment of the rebel angels after the judgment is represented as an everlasting fire, which has been prepared for them and their followers--“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).


*(Romans 1.20) “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

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