But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
Comment: Acting on their animal instincts these false teachers are acting without taking into account the fact that man, whilst an animal, is more than that. He is made in the image of God and is not to live on bread alone (the animal part of him) but by every word uttered by God (divine revelation). There follow three more Biblical descriptions of God being willing to Judge (in the matters of Cain, Balaam and Korah) before he, Jude, in machine-gun type repetitive fire shoots of a series of graphic adjectival phrase descriptions of these teachers.
- they are hidden rocks, just under the surface, destroying the concept of oneness of the feasts associated with the holy communion.
- they are like shepherds who instead of caring for their sheep kill and eat them.
- they are like clouds promising rain which are swept away before they produce anything.
- they are like fruit trees which produce no worthwhile fruit and deserve to be uprooted.
- their teaching is nothing but the foam rising from an angry sea. It lacks substance but only shame.
- they are like shooting stars which will just fade into nothing.
Prayer: Help me to listen to people but to discern the truth by knowing your Word to us, O God.