New Defender's Study Bible Notes
8 filthy dreamers. The translators called these “ungodly men” (Jude 4) by the pejorative “filthy dreamers,” even though the adjective is not in the original, because they defile the flesh in ways similar to those of the wicked angels and the Sodomites. This fact is indicated by the introductory conjunction “likewise.” This word could also be rendered by “nevertheless.” That is, despite the example which God made of the angels and the Sodomites, these dreamers, who know about God’s grace, persist in turning God’s grace into lasciviousness. Our modern age of sexual promiscuity and “gay pride,” especially as now being defended by supposedly “Christian” theological and pastoral leaders, is certainly the most extensive fulfillment of this prophetic description since Jude was constrained to write it.
8 dignities. “Dignities” is more commonly translated “glory” (Greek doxa). In this context, it tells us that these same filthy dreamers are quite ready to blaspheme all that is high and holy in God’s heavenly dominion.
9 Michael the archangel. This fascinating incident is never mentioned elsewhere in Scripture; in fact, the burial place of Moses is said to be known only to the Lord (Deuteronomy 34:6). However, a pseudepigraphical work called The Assumption of Moses, preserved now only as a fragment, seems to have recorded the story, and Jude may either have obtained it from that source or else have received it by direct revelation. In either case, its inclusion in Jude’s inspired epistle is enough to confirm its actual occurrence. Satan evidently wanted the body of Moses for some purpose involving deception of God’s people, hoping perhaps to lead them to doubt God again or even to lapse back into idolatry, worshipping Moses’ body or some idol spirit professing to be Moses. No one knows, but in any case God would not allow it, and He Himself buried Moses in a secret grave.
9 railing accusation. The reason why Jude introduced this event in his epistle was to stress the dangerous impropriety of speaking evil or speaking disdainfully of exalted angels in God’s hierarchy of creation, let alone of God Himself. Michael is one of God’s archangels, yet Satan (i.e., Lucifer) had once been the highest of all, as the anointed cherub over God’s throne (Ezekiel 28:14). Even though he had fallen from heaven, he was still treated with great respect by Michael when contending with him.
9 The Lord rebuke thee. See Zechariah 3:2 for a very similar response to Satan when disputing about God’s high priest.
10 speak evil of. This phrase is the same as “blaspheme.” While professing religion, they still dare to speak evil of God’s Word and to distort and ridicule His revelations about creation, heaven, hell and all the heavenly hosts.
10 brute beasts. They are like unreasoning animals, both in their assumed origin and in their behavior.
11 way of Cain. Like Cain (Genesis 4:2-5; Hebrews 11:4), they reject the doctrine of redemption through the shed blood of a sinless substitute, the Lamb of God.
11 error of Balaam. Like Balaam (Numbers 22–24; II Peter 2:15-16), they use their religious connections not for the honor of God or the spread of His Word, but for their own personal agendas, whether money, pleasure, or power.
11 gainsaying of Core. Like Korah (Numbers 16:1-3,31-33), they reject God’s authority, as expressed in his day through Moses, and in our day through His inspired Word.