Where is the Ark? -Part 2

by Dr. William Varner

A Jewish tradition exists that the Ark had been buried under the “Chamber of Wood” in the Temple prior to the Babylonian destruction in 586 BC. We should note, however, that this tradition appeared hundreds of years later than the destruction of the Temple. Furthermore, the rabbi that mentioned this tradition was opposed by other rabbis in the Talmudic discussion on this subject in Yoma 53b. The fact that this discussion took place in approximately 160 A.D. and that such an act of burying was not recorded either in the Bible or in previous apocryphal books makes this tradition questionable. This does not prevent, however, some orthodox rabbis in Jerusalem today from believing that the Ark is still underneath the Temple Mount and will be recovered someday by archaeologists or Jewish religious leaders. It is often overlooked, however, that the subterranean sections of the Temple Mount have been dug up or explored a number of times since 586 B.C. People like Herod the Great (37-4 B.C.), the Moslem conquerors (640 A.D. ff.), the Crusaders (1199 AD ff.), the Turks (1540 AD ff., and the British explorer Charles Warren (1850-70) dug up or explored all the subterranean regions of the Temple Mount and no one claimed to have found the ark. It is often forgotten that Warren was a dedicated Free Mason who was actually searching for the ark! Rabbinic “reports” about a so-called ark-sighting after the ‘67 War are purely apocryphal and have no independent confirmation or photographs. While the remote possibility still exists that it is in a hidden chamber under the mount, only time will tell and skepticism about its presence there is highly advisable.

Modern ark-hunters often defend their efforts by saying that the discovery of the Ark is necessary for the rebuilding of the Temple. They forget, however, an important established fact of history. It was not necessary for the Ark to be present in either Zerubbabel’s Temple or in the later, greatly enlarged Temple of Herod. Josephus records that when Pompey entered the Temple in 63 B.C., he did not find the Ark in the Holy of Holies (Antiquities XIV, IV, 4). Furthermore, it was acknowledged by later rabbis that after the Ark had been taken away by the Babylonians, the only thing that remained in the Holy of Holies was a “foundation stone.” On this stone the high priest sprinkled the blood on the Day of Atonement that he formerly sprinkled on the Ark during the days of the first Temple (Mishna Yoma 5:2-3). The point to be noticed is that although the ark was not present in the Second Temple, its absence did not prevent the Temple from being very active during that time.

Although the discovery of the Ark would be an astounding event, its discovery is not necessary for the rebuilding of the Temple prophesied in Daniel 9:26-27; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; and Revelation 11:1-2.

An amazing prophetic statement by Jeremiah should be carefully noted: “And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, declares the LORD, they shall no more say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again” (Jer. 3:16). Jeremiah is prophesying of the future millennial restoration of Israel. He clearly states the lack of necessity for an Ark during this time of future blessing. Moreover, it is highly significant to note that Ezekiel 40-44 describes the millennial Temple and makes no mention of the Ark, although many other details of its gates, chambers, furniture, and ritual are given.

All of the above information should cause each of us to be very careful in evaluating any stories about the supposed discovery of the Ark of the Covenant. Let us labor to study what God has clearly revealed, and not get caught up with extra-biblical ideas and teachings. We have enough in God’s Word to keep us busy – let’s not get sidetracked by sensational “arkaeology”!

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29).”

-William Varner, http://dribex.tumblr.com/post/26486268969

Where is the Ark?

by William Varner

“Has the Ark of the Covenant Been Discovered?

The end of the Old Testament period brought a different world to the Jewish people than what they had been used to experiencing. Not the least of these changes involved the loss of their independence and the destruction of their Temple. As we begin our consideration of the Messianic promise during the time between the testaments, it is good to pause and attempt to answer a question that I am often asked – the whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant. The problem is that the Bible is silent about what happened to it before or after the destruction of the Temple in 586 B.C. While the issue is not directly related to the subject of the Messiah, it will serve to introduce the next period that will concern us – the Intertestamental age and how the Messianic idea underwent change and even caused some of that change!

The Ark of the Covenant was the central furnishing both in the Tabernacle and also later in the Temple of Solomon. It was a chest made of acacia wood covered by gold, 3 ¾ feet in length and 2 ¼ feet wide and high. Within were the two tables of the Law. It was from above this Ark, between the cherubim attached to the mercy seat resting upon the Ark, that Yahweh communed with Israel (cf. Ex. 25:22).

In the 1980’s, reports surfaced that an American group had discovered the Ark of the Covenant on Mount Nebo in Jordan. Although no reliable pictures of the Ark were released and no qualified archaeologists ever confirmed the discovery, the rumor spread quickly and caused many to wonder and ask questions. There are are also reports that rabbis have “seen” the ark under the Temple Mount. The attitude of any sensible person ought to be that until solid evidence of the Ark’s discovery is revealed and confirmed by competent authorities, a skeptical opinion must be held. The reason for this is evident when some basic historical and biblical facts about the Ark are understood.


The Bible simply does not reveal what happened to the Ark when the Solomonic Temple was destroyed in 586 B.C. Although it may have been carried off to Babylon as a trophy of war, there is no mention of its being among the confiscated Temple items in 2 Kings 25. The explanation offered in the movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, is that it was carried off by the Egyptian Pharaoh Shishak when he plundered the “treasures” of the Temple in 925 B.C. (1 Ki. 14:25-26). It is not clear at all, however, that the Ark was among those “treasures.” As a matter of fact, the Bible teaches that the ark was still in Jerusalem during the time of Josiah, three hundred years after the attack by Shishak (2 Chron. 35:3). So we know that it did not disappear into Egypt at that time. This is particularly important in light of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church claim to have the ark in an underground temple in Northern Ethiopia. The Biblical statement cited above contradicts any idea that the ark was away to Africa in the tenth century B.C. as the Ethiopians claim. Further complicating this claim is the fact that no outsider has ever seen this ark in Ethiopia. How then can such a claim ever possibly be substantiated?


An apocryphal book written during the century prior to Jesus’ birth records an interesting idea about the fate of the Ark. 2 Maccabees 2:4-7 reads: “It was also in the writing that the prophet [Jeremiah], in obedience to a revelation, gave orders that the tent and the ark should accompany him, and that he went up and beheld God’s inheritance. And Jeremiah came and found a cave-dwelling, and he took the tent and the ark and the incense altar into it, and he blocked up the door. And some of those who followed him came up to mark the road, and they could not find it. But when Jeremiah found it out, he blamed them and said, “The place shall be unknown until God gathers the congregation of his people together and shows his mercy.”

It is this reference that some ark-hunters used in their “discovery” of the Ark on Mount Nebo in Jordan. The following should be kept in mind, however, concerning this passage. While scholars acknowledge that 1 Maccabees is a very reliable source of historical information, 2 Maccabees is marred by many legendary and miraculous tales recorded nowhere else. For example, it is in 2 Maccabees 12:43-46 where the offering of prayers and sacrifices for the dead is mentioned, a practice which is nowhere mentioned in the canonical Scriptures. It is highly doubtful, therefore, that Jeremiah did what the above account declares he did. There is no such reference to Jeremiah’s action in either Kings, Chronicles or in his very autobiographical prophetic book that goes by his name. Again we must ask, “Why did not the Scriptures record this very important deed if it really happened?”

Furthermore, if we are going to consider information from non-scriptural sources, why not accept the following simple statement in an apocryphal work from the first century? In 4 Esdras 10:22, the Jewish author bemoans the idea that, among other tragedies befalling his people, “the ark of our covenant has been plundered.”

Continued Tomorrow”

-William Varner, http://dribex.tumblr.com/post/26414238504

Poem on the Death of the Child of a Godly Man

There was a blameless man who was so godly he would pray
For the sins of all his children at the dawning of the day”
“Perhaps these ones I love have cursed the ever-blessed God;
So I slay this lamb and beg that You withhold Your gracious rod.”
Still, God saw fit to bruise him in His dark, mysterious grace,
But behind a frowning providence He hid a smiling face.
For the Lord is not so simple as to strike without an aim;
The brightly burning furnace is a purifying flame.
There was a tested man who lost his all and then some more.
He buried his face into his hands and bowed upon the floor.
The he cried, “Shall we receive so much that’s good from God above,
But reject His hard calamity that strikes with equal love?”
There was a weeping man who said that God was to be blessed
Both in poverty and riches, both in safety and distress.
So the Lord received His praises both in honor and in shame,
For this broken man found strength to say: “Lord, blessed be Your name.”
There is a throbbing man who is so very dear to me.
And just like the shattered Job of Uz, he’s picking up debris.
His life is now bereft of one that he had so adored.
Still, I hear him say with quivering voice, “Oh blessed be the Lord.”
The Lord is always giving, yet He sometimes takes away.
But the Sun still shines as brightly in the night as in the day.
Dr. Varner, please keep saying, as you feel the piercing sword:
“Oh, blessed be our sovereign God. Oh, blessed be the Lord.”

-David Gunderson, poem on the death of Dr. William Varner’s daughter Lynda Joy in 2005 at the age of  26. David Gunderson wrote this in response to hearing Dr. Varner mention at her funeral Job’s statement: “The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”


Mythology of the Mean Innkeeper

“The Christmas portions of the gospels are at once the most beloved and the most mythologized texts in the New Testament. Like works of art that have been lacquered with coat after coat of varnish, the details of the original stories are sometimes hard to see clearly. In the last few posts I suggested that a close reading of Matthew’s account (chapter two) reveals that the star may be something entirely different than a comet or supernova or planetary conjunction, as is so often taught.

Today we turn to Luke’s account, famous for spawning a zillion nativity scenes with kids clothed in bathrobes and towels around their heads. The most obvious misreading of this text lies in the portrayal of an unmentioned innkeeper who heartlessly turns away the poor couple and forces them to find a stable.

Where did they stay in Bethlehem? Luke tells us that after the birth, Mary put the baby in a “manger,” or feeding trough, because there was “no room for them in the καταλυμα – kataluma” (Luke 2:7). While this term was translated as “inn” by the KJV, Luke elsewhere uses it to mean a “guest room” (Luke 22:11, the site of the Last Supper). When Luke does wants to speak about an inn, he the Greek word πανδοχειον – pandocheion (Luke 10:34, in the parable of the Good Samaritan).

Thus, Luke says nothing about Joseph and Mary being denied access to an inn and Mary having to bear the child in a barn. Historically, it is far more likely that Mary and Joseph had their child in the humble back portion of the ancestral home where the most valued animals were fed and housed, because the guest room in the family home was already occupied. In any case, Bethlehem was such a small village that it is not even clear it would have had a wayside inn. Admittedly, Jesus’ beginnings were humble, but we don’t need to mythologize them into a story about a pregnant Mom being cast out by a heartless innkeeper.

You probably know that by conflating the two separate accounts of Matthew and Luke, Nativity sets for years have included the Magi with the shepherds in that stable scene. It is obvious that Matthew states that they came to a house, not to a stable (Matt. 2:11).

I am not trying to be α cynical ‘‘Grinch,” and yes, our own Nativity set does contain the Magi! I am just asking us all to base our beliefs on the actual text of Scripture and not on centuries of religious paintings and a translation that could be improved!”

-Dr. William Varner, Complements of: http://dribex.tumblr.com/post/14163767418/mythology-of-the-mean-innkeeper

Matthew and the Young Messiah

“The following sections are five slides from a power point presentation that I give at Christmas. I focus on the way that Matthew develops the four sections of his Nativity account. Maybe it will stimulate your thinking.

I. The Four Sections of Matthew’s Nativity

These four “pericopes” are each anchored by the fulfillment of an OT statement:

Matt. 1:18-25 (Joseph) Isaiah
Matt. 2:1-12 (Magi to Bethlehem) Micah
Matt. 2:13-18 (family to Egypt) Hosea & Jeremiah
Matt. 2:19-23 (to Nazareth) the prophets

II. The Repeated Pattern in Each Section

1. A Temporal Introduction “when” “after”
2. The word “behold” (ἰδού)
Matt 1:202:1,92:132:19
3. Appearance of an angel (φαίνω)
Matt 1:202:792:132:19
4. A Command
Matt 1:202:82:132:20
5. Instruction in a “dream” (κατ’ ὄναρ)
Matt 1:202:122:132:19
6. An OT Passage “Fulfilled” (ἵνα πληρωθῆ)
Matt 1:22-232:5-62:1517-182:23 (2:5 was a direct fulfillment)

III. Was the Star an Angel? Matt 2:1-12

Parallel with the other angelic “appearances” (Matt 2:7,9)

Stars are often symbolic of angels elsewhere in Scripture
(Job 38:7Isa. 14:12Rev. 1:209:1,212:4)

Many church fathers held this view: (Chrysostom, Theophylact, Thomas Aquinas).

Parallels better with Luke 2:8-14

IV. In and Out of Egypt Matthew 2:13-18 

Two “Fulfillments”

“Out of Egypt I called my son” Matt 2:15 / Hosea 11:1 (a typical fulfillment)
“Rachel weeping for her children” Matt 2:18 / Jeremiah 31:15 (an analogical fulfillment)

V. From Egypt to Nazareth Matthew 2:19-23 

One Fulfillment, Many Prophecies Matt 2:23 (a summary fulfillment)

“Nazareth” (Netzerat in Hebrew)
Netzer = “Branch” (Isaiah 11:153:2Jer 23:5)

Check out John 1:43-51 (“can anything good come from Nazareth?”)

Conclusion. The word “fulfill” means more than it does in a prediction/fulfillment paradigm. It bears the idea of “bring to its full meaning.” See this use in James 2:23….

[see also:] “A Discourse Analysis of Matthew’s Nativity Narrative,” Tyndale Bulletin, 58.2, 2007)”

-Dr. William Varner, Complements of: http://dribex.tumblr.com/post/13918499179/matthew-and-the-young-messiah

The Mythology of the Magi (3) That “Star”

“With the OT background for the Magi that we examined yesterday, what help can also be found in the OT for the correct interpretation of the star? The supernatural character of this brightness is implied by being described as “his star” (Mt. 2:2). I suggest that this unique shining was the glory of God described so often in the OT as the visible manifestation of God’s presence (e.g., Ex.16:1024:16-1733:2240:34). Or it may have been a glorious angel!

The incarnation of the Son was a manifestation of God’s glory (“the glory of the Lord shone around them” Lk. 2:9; “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory” Jn. 1:14). When we recognize this, it is easy to see how the choice of the word “star” was so appropriate to describe just such a supernatural and visible token seen only by a select number (the shepherds and the Magi). No wonder that “when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (Mt. 2:10).

A variation of this view is that the star was an angel, a view advocated in the patristic comments on this passage, and a view I develop in an academic article on this passage in the Tyndale Bulletin. Stars are often symbolic of angels elsewhere in Scripture (Job 38:7Isa. 14:12Rev. 1:209:1,212:4). That an angel also served to guide in the OT can be seen in the following passages that use language quite similar to Matthew’s (Exo. 14:1923:202332:34). There was, therefore, a wonderful point of contact with the Lukan Nativity because glorious angelic guidance was for both shepherds and the Magi (Luke 2:9-14).

This glory was the glory which the aged Simeon recognized as he held that baby in his arms (Lk. 2:32). This was that glory that shone through the earthly tabernacle of Jesus’ body on the mountain of transfiguration (2 Pet. 1:17John 1:14), and it is that glory with which He shall come in great power (Mt. 25:31). Jewish people refer to the glory of God as the Shekinah – a later Hebrew word whose root idea is the concept of “dwelling.” The supernatural Shekinah inspired the Magi and directed their steps to the young Messiah.

As we have seen from a close reading of Matthew 2, there is indeed a “mythology of the Magi” that embodies questionable ideas about these men. There is also, however, some marvelous theology for us to see in their visit to Jerusalem and Bethlehem so long ago. We just need to look at the passage through the lens of the Hebrew Scriptures to see their real significance.

Download the free ebook, “The First Christmas,” from the Biblical Archaeological Society website. Read the chapter on the star by Dale Allison.

(The previous posts were freely adapted from my book, The Messiah: Revealed, Rejected, Received, which is available from AuthorHouse or on Amazon.com.)”

-Dr. William Varner, Complements of: http://dribex.tumblr.com/post/14061797845/the-mythology-of-the-magi-3-that-star

Mythology of the Magi (2)

“Yesterday we looked at a few myths surrounding the visit of the Magi to the child Jesus in Bethlehem. We questioned the ideas about the sources of their knowledge of the star and the “King of the Jews” as lying in astronomical phenomena or in astrological “signs.” What is an alternative explanation for their knowledge?

It is possible that the oracles of Balaam served as the source for their expectation of a Jewish king. Of the four oracles delivered by that fascinating man from beyond the Euphrates River (Num. 22:5), the last is most expressive: “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel…” (Num. 24:17). It is possible that the Magi from Persia had preserved the words of their “ancestor” Balaam and remembered his ancient prophecy when a “Star” did appear out of Jacob.

An even stronger source for the Magi’s scriptural knowledge comes from the Book of Daniel. In its Greek translation, one of the words translated “wise men” is the same as the Greek word used in Matthew 2 – magoi – ( 2:2,10,). These Magi in ancient Babylon served as a religious caste in the state religion. One of their functions was to interpret dreams — a role in which they failed miserably in Dan. 2:1-13. Note Dan. 2:13, “So the decree went out, and the wise men (Magi) were about to be killed; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.” Therefore, Daniel and his three friends were associated with the Magi due to their God-given ability (Dan. 1:20-21). When Daniel accurately interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan. 2:17-45), he was rewarded with an even higher position among them: “Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men (Magi) of Babylon” (Dan. 2:48).

Consider also the amazing prophecy of the “seventy weeks” in Dan. 9:24-27. Verse 26 states that “Messiah (shall) be cut off” after a total period of 69 “sevens” (483 years). Therefore, Daniel’s book provides a timetable for the coming of the Messiah. This timetable from their leader must have been kept through the years by the Magi even after Babylon was conquered by the Persians.

There must have been a growing expectancy among the Magi as the years passed by. These Magi must have been watchful since the prophecy was originally given through one of “their own” many years before. Remember that a large Jewish community continued to exist in Babylon and Persia down through the centuries. They would have cherished Daniel’s prophecies and kept alive their hope.

Some have also suggested that one of the functions of the Magi was in the role ofking-makers. It was they who went through the ritual of crowning new kings in Babylon and Persia. This would also shed light on their desire to encounter the “King of the Jews” and to “worship him” (Mt. 2:2).

Now, what exactly was that “star” that led them? Come back tomorrow!”

-Dr. William Varner, Complements of: http://dribex.tumblr.com/post/14011189562/mythology-of-the-magi-2

The Mythology of the Magi

“The visit of the magi to the Child-Messiah, recorded in Matthew 2:1-12, is one of the most familiar biblical scenes to most Christians. The perception of this event has been unfortunately marred by a large number of popular misconceptions. Some of these derive from the popular song, “We Three Kings of Orient Are.” Consider the following list of erroneous assumptions about the wise men:

1. They were three in number.

2. They were kings.

3. They were from the Orient (i.e, the Far East).

4. They were named Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.

5. One of them was a black man.

6. They visited the baby Jesus in a stable.

7. They followed an astrological or astronomical phenomenon to Bethlehem.

All of these ideas compose what might be called the mythology of the magi. Some of the misconceptions can be corrected by simply reading Matthew 2:1-12. Others can be dispelled by a logical reading of the text giving attention to its Jewish background.

The idea that there were three kings named Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar dates from medieval times, as well as the idea that one of them was black. No number of magi is mentioned by Matthew, but the fact that they presented three different types of gifts (“gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” in 2:11) probably gave rise to the traditional number.

Also, they are not called kings, but magi — a special caste of religious men in Persia which we will examine later. Matthew 2:1-2 says that they were from “the east.” In modern times we might think of lands like the Far East, but that is not the way the term was used in biblical language. The “east” was a region beyond the Euphrates River. This would be the area of ancient Persia — today, the countries of Iran and eastern Iraq. This would also argue against the idea that one of them was black, although this is remotely possible if one of them came from as far as India. Their names, of course, are purely traditional.

Far more prevalent is the idea, perpetuated by millions of nativity scenes, that the magi were present with their camels along with the shepherds at the manger of the baby Jesus. This idea conflates Matthew with Luke’s account, particularly Luke 2:15-20, and is refuted by statements in Matthew 2:1-16. First, we read in Matthew 2:1, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem.” Furthermore, Matthew 2:11 states, “And going into the house (not a stable or cave), they saw the child … (paidion in Greek, not brephos, the word for ‘infant’ in Lk. 2:1216).” Jesus could have been as much as two years old, since Herod ordered all the boys from two and under to be killed (Mt. 2:716). Whatever age Jesus was at this time, He was definitely not a baby in a manger. He was a young child living with his parents in Bethlehem before their flight into Egypt (Mt. 2:13-15).

Most think that the magi were astrologers who had discerned through their stargazing that the sign of a Jewish king had appeared and that he had been born somewhere in Israel. While the magi may have engaged in some form of astrology, it is difficult to comprehend how God would communicate His will through a means He had so strongly condemned (Deut. 18:9-14Isa. 47:12-14). If we allow for such a method of divine communication, how can we condemn the utilization of astrology for fortune telling today? Others suggest that the magi had observed some unique astronomical phenomenon — a comet, a supernova, or a planetary conjunction. The astronomer Kepler observed in 1603 A.D. an unusual conjunction of planets and found that in 6 B.C. there had been an unusual conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars. Therefore, Kepler placed the nativity of Jesus at that time. Although this explanation has satisfied many, it does not explain the fact that the magi referred to “his star” (Mat. 2:2). Furthermore, it is difficult to comprehend how such an astronomical phenomenon could have moved to Bethlehem and how it “went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was” (Mat. 2:9). If a comet had performed that feat, there would have been no house or town remaining from the heat!

Having evaluated some myths surrounding these interesting visitors, what can be concluded about their identity and their knowledge about the promised Jewish king? Furthermore, what was the nature of that wondrous “star” which prompted their long journey? There is no necessity to look beyond the sacred Hebrew Scriptures for a correct understanding of Matthew 2:1-11.

The next few days we will look at those Scriptures for some answers to these questions. Stay tuned!”

-Dr. William Varner, complements of: http://dribex.tumblr.com/post/13965409728/the-mythology-of-the-magi

Was the Angelic Sin of Jude 6 Sexual in Nature?

“And He has kept, with eternal chains in darkness for the judgment of the great day, the angels who did not keep their own position but deserted their proper dwelling. The second illustration is the fall of the rebellious angels, who erred from their calling by abandoning their assigned domain. Because of their rebellion, they were judged forever to be confined in gloomy darkness.

the angels who did not keep to their own position Many interpreters, both ancient and modern, believe that Gen. 6:1-8 provides the original Biblical account for these events in Jude. This interpretation is reflected also in the book of Enoch, which contains an elaborate description of the disobedient angels. Other interpreters object to the angelic interpretation of the Genesis passage, and identify the angels in this verse as those who participated in the pre-fall angelic rebellion led by Lucifer (Isa 14).The way Jude referred to the angels gives us reason to believe that this truth was well accepted by his readers and thus needed no further explanation. In the light of that, it is interesting that the uniform ancient Jewish and Christian interpretation was that Jude referred these fallen angels to the “sons of God” in Genesis 6.

but deserted their proper dwelling The angels’ proper dwelling place was in heaven except when dispatched to earth on divine business. The similar sin referred to in the next verse was the inordinate sexual activity in Sodom and Gomorrah. Sin led them to want to settle on earth (Gen. 6:1-4) and take wives from mankind in an inordinate sexual move. The parallel reference in 2 Peter 2:4-10 also implies that the angelic rebellion was sexual in nature. If this was what happened, it obviously means that the fallen angels inhabited human bodies.

he has kept in eternal bonds under deep gloom for the judgment of the great day For more on this deep gloom and the eternal bonds see 2 Pet. 2:4. The rebellious angels Jude refers to are now in bondage and await God’s judgment. These are different from the other fallen angels who are Satan’s agents and are at work in the world today, namely, the demons.

But what is the point? The apostates in Jude’s day had also abandoned a position of great privilege, namely, the opportunity to serve and glorify God. God will also judge them severely because of this spiritual departure. Perhaps the apostates in view here were never saved in the first place, but were wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt. 7:15).”

Lexham English Bible

Complements of: Dr. William Varner