Jude 13, Wandering Stars

Wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

//Is this what a lost eternity is like? Eternal loneliness, banished from
God’s presence? Many subscribe to this more humane interpretation of a
lost eternity, rather than eternal torture in the fires of hell. Like
comets (wandering stars, in ancient vernacular) destined to float
aimlessly alone. It seems almost peaceful by comparison, doesn’t it? But
this entirely misses the Jude’s meaning.

Jude liberally quotes and references the book of Enoch, and that is where
this image derives. The KJV reading of “blackness of darkness forever” is
perhaps best rendered “deepest darkness forever,” and it refers not to
aimlessly wandering about the universe (of which Bible writers had no
concept) but of the deepest depths beneath the earth. The “stars” in Enoch
are angels, and Jude is comparing evil men to fallen angels. Confinement
to “deepest darkness” is, along with fire, a form of eternal judgment in
Jewish tradition. Below are some fascinating passages from Enoch that shed
light on this tradition:

Chapter 18: And I saw a deep abyss, with columns of heavenly fire, and
among them I saw columns of fire fall, which were beyond measure alike
towards the height and towards the depth. And beyond that abyss I saw a
place which had no firmament of the heaven above, and no firmly founded
earth beneath it: there was no water upon it, and no birds, but it was a
waste and horrible place. I saw there seven stars like great burning
mountains, and to me, when I inquired regarding them, The angel said:
‘This place is the end of heaven and earth: this has become a prison for
the stars and the host of heaven. And the stars which roll over the fire
are they which have transgressed the commandment of the Lord in the
beginning of their rising, because they did not come forth at their
appointed times. And He was wroth with them, and bound them till the time
when their guilt should be consummated (even) for ten thousand years.’

Chapter 21: These are of the number of the stars of heaven, which have
transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and are bound here till ten
thousand years, the time entailed by their sins, are consummated.’ And
from thence I went to another place, which was still more horrible than
the former, and I saw a horrible thing: a great fire there which burnt and
blazed, and the place was cleft as far as the abyss, being full of great
descending columns of fire: neither its extent or magnitude could I see,
nor could I conjecture. Then I said: ‘How fearful is the place and how
terrible to look upon!’ Then Uriel answered me, one of the holy angels who
was with me, and said unto me: ‘Enoch, why hast thou such fear and
affright?’ And I answered: ‘Because of this fearful place, and because of
the spectacle of the pain.’ And he said unto me: ‘This place is the prison
of the angels, and here they will be imprisoned for ever.’

Chapter 88: And I saw one of those four who had come forth first, and he
seized that first star which had fallen from the heaven, and bound it hand
and foot and cast it into an abyss: now that abyss was narrow and deep,
and horrible and dark. And one of them drew a sword, and gave it to those
elephants and camels and asses: then they began to smite each other, and
the whole earth quaked because of them. And as I was beholding in the
vision, lo, one of those four who had come forth stoned (them) from
heaven, and gathered and took all the great stars whose privy members were
like those of horses, and bound them all hand and foot, and cast them in
an abyss of the earth.

So, be good. I don’t think it’s as peaceful as it first sounds.

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    amen

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