Jude 1:22
And of some have compassion, making a difference:
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(22, 23) Exhortation to treat these libertines with discrimination, making three classes.

(22) And of some have compassion, making a difference.—The evidence is very strong in favour of a widely different reading: And some indeed convict (Jude 1:15) when they are in doubt (Matthew 21:21; Acts 10:20; Acts 11:12; Romans 4:20; Romans 14:23; James 1:6); or, when they contend with you (Jude 1:9; Acts 11:2); or, when they separate from you. The first seems best, though the second also makes excellent sense, and has Jude 1:9 in its favour. This, then, is the first and least hopeless class—those who are still in doubt, though inclined the wrong way. They may still be remonstrated with, convicted of error, and reclaimed (Matthew 18:15; Titus 1:13; James 5:20). Some would make this first class the worst and most hopeless—those who are to be argued down in disputation, but without much chance of success. Such interpreters make the third class the best: those who can probably be saved by gentle means. The Greek here is so ambiguous that we cannot be certain of the meaning. But the addition of “in fear” and “hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” to the directions respecting the third class, seems to indicate that that class is the worst.

(23) And others save with fear.—“With fear” must certainly be omitted, as no part of the true text. “Save” should perhaps be try to save. It is the present imperative, not the aorist.

Pulling them out of the fire.—Better, snatching them out of the fire. We have here another reminiscence of Zechariah 3:1-3 : we had one in Jude 1:9. (Comp. Amos 4:11.) The fire of the judgment to come is probably not meant; rather the imminent danger (as of one who is asleep in a burning house) in which the fire of their sins keeps them. This is the second class: those who can still be rescued, but by strong measures.

After the words “out of the fire” we must insert another clause omitted from the inferior Greek texts used by our translators: “and on others have compassion in fear.” Wiclif and the Rhemish version, following the Vulgate, have this clause. This is the third and worst class: those on whom profound pity is all that we dare bestow, and that in fear and trembling, lest by contact with them we may be brought within the influence of the deadly contamination that clings to all their surroundings. Abhorrence must be shown to the very externals of pollution. (Comp. 1Corinthians 5:11; 1Timothy 5:22; Titus 3:10-11; 1John 5:16; 2John 1:10-11.)

Jude 1:22-23. And of some — Who are perverted by these seducers, erring only through infirmity, and in lesser points; have compassion — Treat with lenity, and endeavour to reclaim, in a mild and gentle way, by the winning method of persuasion; making a difference — Between them and others that are more guilty and stubborn. And others — Who sin presumptuously and openly; save with fear — Endeavour to rouse their fears, setting before them a future judgment and its awful consequences in all their terrors. And if they continue unmoved, use the censures of the church as the last remedy. Or, as some think, he may mean with a jealous fear for yourselves, lest you should be infected with the disease you endeavour to cure; pulling them out of the fire — Of temptation, sin, and divine wrath, into which they are fallen, or are just ready to fall. As if he had said, And if you desire that your efforts in either of these cases should be successful, you must take great care to preserve your own purity; and while you love the sinners, to retain the utmost abhorrence of their sins, and of every the least degree of approach to them; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh — Lest by the touch of it you yourselves should be polluted. This clause, which is a caution addressed to “those who snatch others out of the fire, implies that in doing them that compassionate office, they are to avoid all familiarity with them, even as they would avoid touching a garment spotted by the flesh of one who had died of the plague, lest they should be infected by their vicious conversation.”

1:17-23 Sensual men separate from Christ, and his church, and join themselves to the devil, the world, and the flesh, by ungodly and sinful practices. That is infinitely worse than to separate from any branch of the visible church on account of opinions, or modes and circumstances of outward government or worship. Sensual men have not the spirit of holiness, which whoever has not, does not belong to Christ. The grace of faith is most holy, as it works by love, purifies the heart, and overcomes the world, by which it is distinguished from a false and dead faith. Our prayers are most likely to prevail, when we pray in the Holy Ghost, under his guidance and influence, according to the rule of his word, with faith, fervency, and earnestness; this is praying in the Holy Ghost. And a believing expectation of eternal life will arm us against the snares of sin: lively faith in this blessed hope will help us to mortify our lusts. We must watch over one another; faithfully, yet prudently reprove each other, and set a good example to all about us. This must be done with compassion, making a difference between the weak and the wilful. Some we must treat with tenderness. Others save with fear; urging the terrors of the Lord. All endeavours must be joined with decided abhorrence of crimes, and care be taken to avoid whatever led to, or was connected with fellowship with them, in works of darkness, keeping far from what is, or appears to be evil.And of some have compassion - This cannot be intended to teach that they were not to have compassion for all people, or to regard the salvation of all with solicitude, but that they were to have special and unusual compassion for a certain class of persons, or were to approach them with feelings appropriate to their condition. The idea is, that the special feeling to be manifest toward a certain class of persons in seeking their salvation was tender affection and kindness. They were to approach them in the gentlest manner, appealing to them by such words as "love" would prompt. Others were to be approached in a different manner, indicated by the phrase, "save with fear." The class here referred to, to whom "pity" (ἐλεάτε eleate) was to be shown, and in whose conversion and salvation tender compassion was to be employed, appear to have been the timid, the gentle, the unwary; those who had not yet fallen into dangerous errors, but who might be exposed to them; those, for there are such, who would be more likely to be influenced by kind words and a gentle manner than by denunciation. The direction then amounts to this, that while we are to seek to save all, we are to adapt ourselves wisely to the character and circumstances of those whom we seek to save. See the notes at 1 Corinthians 9:19-22.

Making a difference - Making a distinction between them, not in regard to your "desires" for their salvation, or your "efforts" to save them, but to the "manner" in which it is done. To be able to do this is one of the highest qualifications to be sought by one who endeavors to save souls, and is indispensable for a good minister of the gospel. The young, the tender, the delicate, the refined, need a different kind of treatment from the rough, the uncultivated, the hardened. This wisdom was shown by the Saviour in all his preaching; it was eminent in the preaching of Paul.

22, 23. None but those who "keep themselves" are likely to "save" others.

have compassion—So one oldest manuscript reads. But two oldest manuscripts, Vulgate, &c., read, "convict"; "reprove to their conviction"; "confute, so as to convince."

making a difference—The oldest manuscripts and versions read the accusative for the nominative, "when separating themselves" [Wahl], referring to Jude 19; or "when contending with you," as the Greek is translated, Jude 9.

And of some have compassion; use them gently, mildly reproving and admonishing them, that thereby ye may gain them.

Making a difference: he makes two sorts of offenders, or misled brethren, who might be restored; and that they might, they should be dealt with in different ways, and suitably to their respective conditions and circumstances; the former, who might be discouraged with roughness, should be handled with more tenderness and compassion.

And of some have compassion,.... That is, of such who have gone astray, being drawn aside; who are simple and ignorant, and out of the way; who sin through infirmity, and the force of temptation; and who are tractable and open to conviction, and whose mistakes are in lesser matters of religion; as also such who are convicted and wounded in their consciences for their sins and mistakes: and to these compassion is to be shown, by praying with them, and for them, with ardency and affection; instructing them in meekness; giving friendly and brotherly reproofs to them; expressing on all occasions a tender concern for their good; doing them all the good that can be done, both for their souls and bodies: and good reason there is why compassion should be shown them, because God is a God of compassion; Christ is a merciful high priest; a contrary spirit is grieving to the Holy Ghost; saints should consider what they themselves were, and what they now are, and that compassion has been shown to them, and they may want it again. The Alexandrian copy, and some others, and the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions, read, "reprove",

Making a difference; between one and another; using some more tenderly, others more severely, as the nature and circumstances of their case appear to be. The Syriac version renders the whole, "when they repent, have compassion on them".

{13} And of some have compassion, making a difference:

(13) Among those who wander and go astray, the godly have to use this choice, that they handle some of them gently, and that others being even in the very flame, they endeavour to save with severe and sharp instruction of the present danger: yet so, that they do in such sort abhor the wicked and dishonest, that they avoid even the least thought of them.

Jude 1:22-23. The exhortations contained in these verses refer to the conduct of believers toward those who are exposed to seduction by the ἀσεβεῖς (Jude 1:4) (de Wette); not toward the false teachers themselves (Reiche), for these are of such a kind (Jude 1:12) that the church should have nothing to do with them. The best attested text is that which codex A affords: καὶ οὓς μὲν ἐλέγχετε διακρινομένους· οὓς δὲ σώζετε ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες, οὓς δὲ ἐλεεῖτε (Lachmann and Tischendorf, ἐλεᾶτε) ἐν φόβῳ; see critical remarks.

οὓς μὲνοὓς δέ instead of τοὺς μὲντοὺς δέ, see Winer, p. 100. According to this reading, three classes of the seduced are distinguished, and toward each a special conduct is prescribed. It is, however, asked whether, as Brückner, Wiesinger, Schott, Reiche, and others assume, there is a gradation from the curable to the incurable (a dubitantibus minusque depravatis ad … insanabiles, quibus opem ferre pro tempore ab ipsorum contumacia prohibemur: Reiche); or conversely from the incurable to the curable. In reference to the first class it is said: οὓς μὲν ἐλέγχετε διακρινομένους] The verb ἐλέγχειν denotes to rebuke some one’s sins by punishing him. The object for which this is done is not indicated in the word itself; it may be to lead the sinner to the acknowledgment of his sins, and thus to repentance, comp. 1 Corinthians 14:24; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:13; or it may also be condemnation, comp. particularly Jude Jude 1:15 (John 16:8; Titus 1:9). The explanation of Oecumenius is incorrect: φανεροῦτε τοῖς πᾶσιν τὴν ἀσέβειαν αὐτῶν. Those who are to be punished are denoted διακρινομένους. Both the translation of the Vulgate: judicatos, and the interpretation of Oecumenius: κακείνους εἰ μὲν ἀποδιΐστανται ὑμῶν ἐλέγχετε, are incorrect. διακρίνεσθαι signifies in the N. T. either to contend, which is here unsuitable, or to doubt, and is opposed to πιστεύειν; comp. Matthew 21:21; Mark 11:23; Romans 4:20; especially Jam 1:6. This last passage shows that, although not equivalent to ἀπιστεῖν, it denotes the condition in which ἀπιστία has the preponderance over πίστις, the latter being a vanishing point.[47] It is evident that Jude does not consider the ΔΙΑΚΡΙΝΌΜΕΝΟΙ as weak believers (Schott), because, with reference to them, he will employ no other method than ἐλέγχειν (not ΠΑΡΑΚΑΛΕῖΝ, or something similar); those seduced are in his view such as (punishment apart) are to be left to themselves.[48] In reference to the second class it is said: οὓς δὲ σώζετε ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες] Their condition is not stated, but it is to be inferred from the conduct to be observed towards them. Toward those belonging to this class a σώζειν is to be employed, but of such a nature as is more precisely stated by ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες. ἐκ πυρός is not from the fire of future judgment (Oecumenius, Fronmüller), but πῦρ is the present destruction, in which they already are (Brückner, Wiesinger, Schott); ἁρπάζειν denotes hasty, almost violent, snatching out, and indicates that those are already in extreme danger of perdition; comp. Amos 4:11; Zechariah 3:2. Distinguished from the διακρινομένοις, the second class are to be considered as those who have not yet lost the faith, but have, through fellowship with the Antinomians, been enticed to their licentious life; these are to be rescued. σώζετε is evidently in contrast to ἐλέγχετε, and denotes them to be such as one may certainly hope to rescue, provided one snatches them with violence, and tears them out of this fellowship. In reference to the third class, Jude prescribes ἐλεεῖν (on the form ἐλεᾶτε, see Winer, p. 32 [E. T. 104]). This verb in the N. T. never means only “to have compassion” (Schott), but always to compassionate one with helpful love, as also ἔλεος is always used only of active compassion; so that with ἐλεεῖτε the exact contrary is said to what Luther finds expressed, when he explains it: “let them go, avoid them, and have nothing to do with them.” By this is denoted rather the helpful and saving benevolence by which the erring are again to be brought back to the right way. As this ἐλεεῖν makes a fellowship necessary with those upon whom it is exercised, Jude defines the same more precisely by ἐν φόβῳ; accordingly, they must not be wanting in foresight, lest they suffer injury themselves,[49] and he adds the participial sentence as an explanation of this ἘΝ ΦΌΒῼ: ΜΙΣΟῦΝΤΕς ΚΑῚ Κ.Τ.Λ.[50] This exhortation shows that Jude considers the third class as those who are indeed already involved, but who, by active compassion, may again be re-established; it is not so bad with them as with those toward whom only ἐλέγχειν is to be employed; but also it is not yet so bad as with those who can only be rescued by hastily snatching them.

[47] When Hofmann says, “that διακρίνεσθαι cannot have this meaning requires no proof,” he makes an entirely groundless assumption.

[48] In the reading of the Rec.: οὓς μὲν ἐλεεῖτε διακρινόμενοι, we are obliged to explain διακρίνεσθαι as = distinguished. Luther: “and make this distinction, that ye compassionate some;” or, more exactly, “compassionate the one, making a distinction,” namely, from others. But διακρινόμενοι must be passive, since not διακρίνεσθαι, but only διακρίνειν, has the meaning to distinguish.

[49] Schott is entirely mistaken when he says that ἐλεεῖν denotes here “a compassion which has, and may have, its definite peculiarity no longer in an impulse to help, hut only in a fear of acting wrongly, and in consequence of receiving injury;” in other words, a compassion which is no compassion.

[50] According to the reading of the Rec. ἐν φόβῳ belongs to σώζετε. Some expositors (Grotius, Stier, and others) incorrectly explain it of the fear of the persons to he rescued; correctly Arnaud: c’est à dire, prenant garde que, tout en cherchant à les convertir, ils ne vous séduisent pas vous-memes. Reiche incorrectly, with the reading A, separates ἐν φόβῳ from ἐλεᾶτε, and joins it with μιτοῦντες, whilst it would attract to it a very superfluous addition.

Hofmann considers the reading of א: καὶ οὕς μὲν ἐλεᾶτε διακρινομένους οὕς δὲ σώζετε ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες, οὓς δὲ ἐλεᾶτε ἐν φόβῳ, as the correct one. In his explanation of this reading he distinguishes not three, but only two classes, assuming that only the first, but not the second οὓς δέ stands opposed to οὓς μέν; and that this latter οὓς δέ is to be considered rather as a resumption of the object mentioned in οὓς μέν. This opinion is, however, erroneous, since, according to it, the third οὕς is understood differently from the first and second οὕς, namely, as a pure relative pronoun; and since, in a highly arbitrary manner, “ἐν φόβῳ is explained as a consequence, united with an imperative ἐλεᾶτε to be taken from οὓς ἐλεᾶτε:” “whom ye compassionate, them compassionate with fear.” Also the explanation of the first member of the sentence: “the readers are to compassionate the one with distinction,” is to be rejected, since it has against it N. T. usage, according to which διακρίνεσθαι is never used as the passive of διακρίνειν in the sense of “to distinguish.”

The addition μισοῦντες καὶ τὸν ἀπὸ τῆς σαρκὸς ἐσπιλωμένον χιτῶνα[51] is correctly explained by Oecumenhis: ΠΡΟΣΛΑΜΒΆΝΕΣΘΕΑὐΤΟῪςΜΕΤᾺ ΦΌΒΟΥ, ΠΕΡΙΣΚΕΠΤΌΜΕΝΟΙ ΜΉΠΩς Ἡ ΠΡΌΣΛΗΨΙς ΤΟΎΤΩΝΛΎΜΗς ὙΜῖΝ ΓΈΝΗΤΑΙ ΑἸΤΊΑ.

, even, gives greater emphasis to the thought. The expression τὸν χιτῶνα is to be understood in a literal, and not in a figurative sense (Bullinger: exuvias veteris Adami, concupiscentias et opera carnis). ΧΙΤῶΝ is the under garment worn next the skin, and which, by means of its direct contact with the flesh unclean by unchastity, etc., is itself soiled (ΣΠΙΛΌΩ only here and in Jam 3:6); comp. Revelation 3:4.

This garment is to the author the symbol of whatever, by means of external contact, shares in the moral destruction of those men. Calvin: vult fideles non tantum cavere a vitiorum contactu, sed ne qua ad eos contagio pertingat, quicquid affine est ac vicinum, fugiendum esse admonet.

[51] Both in the reading of the Rec. and in the reading of C this addition is surprising; one may regard it, with Jachmann, as the adversative reason of σώζετε (though ye hate); or, with de Wette, as the real reason (since ye hate, for which de Wette appeals to 1 Corinthians 5:6!).

Jude 1:22. οὓς μὲν ἐλέγχετε διακρινομένους. On the reading see the Introduction. For the form ὃς μέν instead of ὁ μέν, cf. Matthew 13:8; Matthew 22:5, Luke 23:33, Acts 27:44, Romans 14:5, 1 Corinthians 7:7; 1 Corinthians 11:21, 2 Corinthians 2:16, 2 Timothy 2:20, not used in Hebrews , 1 and 2 Pet., James or John. The doubled ὃς δέ is found in Matthew 21:35, ὃν μὲν ἔδειραν, ὃν δὲ ἀπέκτειναν, ὃ δὲ ἐλιθοβόλησαν. Matthew 25:15, ᾧ μὲν ἔδωκεν πέντε τάλαντα, ᾧ δὲ δύο, ᾧ δὲ ἕν. The use is condemned as a solecism by Thomas Magister and by Lucian, Soloec. 1, but is common in late Greek from the time of Aristotle, cf. Sturz. Dial. Maced. pp. 105 f. On the word ἐλέγχω (here wrongly translated “strafen,” in the sense of excommunication, by Rampf), see Const. Apost. vii. 5, 3, ἐλεγμῷ ἐλέγξεις τὸν ἀδελφόν σου, and Hare’s excellent note [800] in his Mission of the Comforter, where he argues that the conviction wrought by the Spirit is a conviction unto salvation, rather than unto condemnation; and quotes Luecke as saying that “ἐλέγχειν always implies the refutation, the overcoming of an error, a wrong, by the truth and right. When this is brought before our conscience through the ἔλεγχος there arises a feeling of sin, which is always painful: thus every ἔλεγχος is a chastening, a punishment.” Compare Grote’s life-like account of the Socratic Elenchus in his Hist. of Greece.

[800] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

This verse seems to be referred to in Can. Apost. vi. 4, οὐ μισήσεις πάντα ἄνθρωπον, ἀλλʼ οὓς μὲν ἐλέγξεις, οὓς δὲ ἐλεήσεις, περὶ ὧν δὲ προσεύξῃ, οὓς δὲ ἀγαπήσεις ὑπὲρ τὴν ψυχήν σου, which is also found in the Didache ii. 7, with the omission of οὓς δὲ ἐλεήσεις. Cf. John 16:8, ἐκεῖνος ἐλέγξει τὸν κόσμον περὶ ἁμαρτίας καὶ περὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ περὶ κρίσεως, 1 Corinthians 14:24, ἐλεγχεται ὑπὸ πάντων (the effect of the prophets’ teaching on an unbeliever), Titus 1:13, ἔλεγχε αὐτοὺς ἀποτόμως ἵνα ὑγιαίνωσιν ἐν τῇ πίστει. Titus 1:9, τοὺς ἀντιλέγοντας ἐλέγχειν 2 Timothy 4:2 (the charge to Timothy) ἔλεγξον, παρακάλεσον ἐι πάσῃ μακροθυμίᾳ, Revelation 3:19, ὅσους ἐὰν φιλῶ ἐλέγχω καὶ παιδεύω, Ephesians 5:13, τὰ δὲ πάντα ἐλεγχόμενα ὑπὸ τοῦ φωτὸς φανεροῦται. There is a tone of greater severity in the ποιῆσαι κρίσιν καὶ ἐλέγξαι of the 15th verse, but even there we need not suppose that the preacher is hopeless of good being effected. The point is of importance in deciding the mutual relations of the three cases here considered.

διακρινομένους. We should have expected a nominative here to correspond with ἁρπάζοντες and μισοῦντες in the following clauses, and so the text. rec. has διακρινόμενοι, wrongly translated in A.V., as if it were the active διακρίνοντες, “making a difference”. This gives such a good sense that some commentators (e.g. Stier) have been willing to condone the bad Greek. It would have been better to alter the reading at once. Keeping the reading of the best MSS. we may either take the accusative as complementary to ἐλέγχετε (as we find in Plato, Theaet. 171 D, ἐμὲ ἐλέγξας ληροῦντα, Xen. Mem. 1, 7, 2, ἐλεγχθήσεται γελοῖος ὤν, Jelf. § 681), or simply as descriptive of the condition of the persons referred to. There is also a question as to the meaning we should assign to διακρ. Is it to be understood in the same sense as in Jam 1:6; Jam 2:4? In that case we might translate “convict them of their want of faith,” taking the participle as complementary to the verb; or “reprove them because of their doubts”. It seems more probable, however, that the meaning here is “convince them when they dispute with you,” which we may compare with 1 Peter 3:15, ἕτοιμοι ἀεὶ πρὸς ἀπολογίαν παντὶ τῷ αἰτοῦντι ὑμᾶς λόγονἀλλὰ μετὰ πραΰτητος καὶ φόβου (cf. ἐν φόβῳ below). So taken, this first clause would refer to intellectual difficulties to be met by quiet reasoning; the force of διακρινόμενος being the same as that in Jude 1:9, τῷ διαβόλῳ διακρ., and in Socr. E.H. Jude 1:5, ὅ λαὸς εἶχεν ὁμόνοιαν καὶ οὐκέτι πρὸς ἀλλήλους διεκρίνοντο.

22. And of some have compassion, making a difference …] The MSS. present a strange variety of readings. Those of most authority give, Some rebuke (or convict, the same word as that used in John 16:8; Ephesians 5:11) when they debate with you (participle in the accusative case). The Received Text rests on the evidence of later MSS., but it may be questioned whether the participle (in this case in the nominative), which is in the middle voice, can have the meaning of “making a difference,” and even if we adopt that reading it would be better to render the word rebuke, as you debate with them, as with an implied reference to the same word as used in Jude 1:9. Internal evidence, as far as it goes, agrees with the better MSS. There is more point in the contrast between the teachers who need a severe rebuke and those who may be saved with fear than in the two degrees of pity presented by the Received Text.

Jude 1:22. Καὶ, and) He who has already taken measures to secure his own interests, may take measures for the interests of others.

Jude 1:22And of some have compassion, making a difference

This follows the reading, καὶ οὓς μὲν ἐλεεῖτε (ἐλεᾶτε) διακρινόμενοι. The best texts, however, read διακρινομένους, which would require, "On some have mercy who are in doubt. So Rev. Others, again, for ἐλεεῖτε, have mercy, read ἐλέγχετε, reprove, and render διακρινομένους, who are contentious: "Some who are contentious rebuke." The Rev. rendering better suits what follows.

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