Their First Estate and Habitation Mean?

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Hi B____,

Thank you for your question. You ask:

To understand Jdg 1:6, you need to read 2Pe 2. Here are both with the surrounding verses:

Jdg 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jdg 1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Jdg 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation he hath reserved in everlasting [ aionian] chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

The subject Jude is dealing with is “people… that believed not”, it is not spirits which are angels that rebelled against God’s rule, as many teach. Peter makes the same argument in slightly different words:

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
2Pe 2:3 And through covetousness shall they [ false prophets] with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
2Pe 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world
of the ungodly;
2Pe 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
2Pe 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

The sins of “the old world” are the same as the “false prophets” who are likened to “the angels that sinned”. The “false prophets” of 2Pe 2:1 equate with “the angels that sinned” of verse 4. Notice how the word ‘angel is used in these verses:

Num 20:14 And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us:
Num 20:15 How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers:
Num 20:16 And when we cried unto the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border:

Both the word “messengers” in verse 14, and the word “angel” in verse 16, are the one Hebrew word ‘malak’, meaning ‘a messenger’, Verse 14 is referring to human messengers, and verse 16 refers to a spirit messenger. The Greek equivalent is the Greek word ‘angelos’ which is found in the two verses we are considering, and it too, can mean either spirit of human messengers. In the case of the verses in 2Pe 2:4, and Jude1:6, it is definitely referring to men who “as Sodom and Gomorrah… went after strange flesh”. “The word ‘angels’ means ‘messenger’, and God’s ‘messengers’ to that “old world” were the descendants of Seth, who God gave Adam and Eve instead of “righteous Abel”, and to be His ambassadors, His messengers or ‘angels’ on this earth in that day.

Gen 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

That is why Seth was so named. Here is what the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia tells us about the name ‘Seth’.

“In Gen 4:25 the derivation of the name is given. Eve “called his name Seth: For, said she, God hath appointed (sha th) me another seed instead of Abel.”

So ‘Shath’, Seth, was “appointed… another seed instead of Abel”. It is his seed, as opposed to Cain’s seed, which is traced to Noah of whom we are told:

Gen 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

The previous eight verses inform us:

Gen 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Gen 6:2 That the sons of God [ Seth’s descendants, “the angels that sinned, [ and] kept not their first estate” 2Pe 2:4 and Jdg 1:6] saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. [ Angels “neither marry nor are given in marriage”, Mat 22:30]
Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Gen 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Gen 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

So while evil spirits are indeed awaiting judgment, that is not the subject of 2Pe 2:4 and Jdg 1:6. The subject is “the world that then was” and that world was made up of “all in Adam”, who is the father of all who are in “vessels of clay”, also known as bodies of ‘sinful flesh’.

Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

So that it is only “the first man Adam [ and] the last Adam”, who have no physical father. I hope all these verses make clear that “kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation” refers to God’s chosen people, before the flood, leaving their position as God’s habitation’, to corrupt their generations, by seeing “the daughters of men that they were fair; and [ taking] them wives of all which they chose”.

Exo 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

It was the children of Seth who were called “the sons of God” before the flood, just as Israel was called God son after the flood (Hos 11:1).

Hos 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

It was “the wickedness of [ men who had] kept not their first estate [ as God’s typical, ‘chosen people’, and had left their habitation” as His habitation, which caused God to cast them down to ‘tartaroo’ and reserve them to the day of judgment of ungodly men”.

Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Gen 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Now let’s look at 2 Peter one more time, and notice what it was that brought down God’s wrath upon mankind:

Jdg 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Jdg 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Whatever it was that these “angels” did, it was the same “as Sodom and Gormorrah, [ not ‘as spirits’], going after strange flesh”, and that is what is “set for an example [ for us] suffering the vengeance of aionian fire”.

Your brother in the Christ,


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