"Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties." -- Jude 8 (NASB)

What does "by dreaming" mean in the context of this verse and wider passage?

2 Answers 2


A better translation is provided by BSB, "Yet in the same way, these dreamers defile their bodies, reject authority, and slander glorious beings."

The operative word in Jude 8 is ἐνυπνιαζόμενοι (enupniazomenoi) = "dreamers".

The word refers back to V4, "For certain men have crept in among you unnoticed—ungodly ones who were designated long ago for condemnation. They turn the grace of our God into a license for immorality, and they deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."

Ellicott suggests, ""These dreamers also" means these ungodly men, who are deep in the slumber of sin (see Note on Romans 13:11)".

The Pulpit Commentary has a similar suggestion: "men in their dreamings - an expression pointing to the foul and perverted fancies in the service of which they lived."

  • Thank you for the helpful answer, Dottard! I appreciate the Romans 13:11 reference and your note on the operative usage of the word! Apr 25, 2020 at 2:18
  • @Gremosa - Many thanks for your kind comments. However, please do not credit me with more than I deserve - the reference to Rom 13:11 is from Ellicott's commentary.
    – Dottard
    Apr 25, 2020 at 2:26
  • I appreciate that qualification, although you did pull it from Ellicott's commentary and bring it to my awareness :). Your answers throughout the BH community have been very helpful to me! It looks like we are both new to this SE but you have been really building us up with your answers and I appreciate that! Apr 25, 2020 at 2:38
  • @Gremosa - Many thanks for your generous comments and blessing. God bless you too.
    – Dottard
    Apr 25, 2020 at 3:30

Nevertheless in like manner these dreamers also defile the flesh and despise lordship and revile dignities.

To me and my experience, both objective and subjective, "dreamers" indicates darkness or ignorance of God. And not mere ignorance, since we're fallen, but ignorance that leads to pride or rebellion. I'll leave alone the "defile the flesh" for this answer.

But Michael the archangel, when he contended with the devil and disputed concerning the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a reviling judgment against him but said, The Lord rebuke you. But these revile the things that they do not know...

One would think anybody or anyone should and could curse the devil. And man has the position to, we owe him nothing. But Michael, in the original creation, was subordinate to Lucifer (Isa 14; Ezek 28), and, although Lucifer rebelled, his sentence has yet to be finally executed (Rv 20:10). The same way with David's relationship to Saul before Saul died. He'd dared not touch God's anointed. Likewise with Ham and Noah. Likewise with us and our parents (Eph 6:2) and slaves and masters (1 Tim 6:1).

These dreamers refers to certain men have crept in unnoticed, who of old have been written of beforehand for this judgment, ungodly men, perverting the grace of our God into licentiousness and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ and [t]hese are the hidden reefs in your love feasts, feasting together with you without fear, shepherding themselves and [t]hese are those who make divisions, soulish, having no spirit in the same chapter (book). So they're in the context of the assembly, the church, the church meetings. To me, although such folks could include unbelievers, it sounds like they're probably believers. Believers cannot lose their eternal destiny, the New Jerusalem, but will face the Lord and potentially could lose the Millenium. I won't go into that in this answer.

The Jews answered and said to Him, Have we not spoken well in saying that You are a Samaritan and have a demon? Jesus answered, I do not have a demon, but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me...If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him. Jn 8.

Here's a 'mild' example of 'dreaming': Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Him with her sons, worshipping and asking something of Him. And He said to her, What do you want? She said to Him, Say that these two sons of mine will sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your kingdom. But Jesus answered and said to them, You do not know what you are asking Mt 20.

Who are the lordship and dignities ? Jude's writing's a little 'tough' for me. I'm out of time, so I'll opine that they are of course God Himself, number one, as Authority. But then all His delegated authority in the assembly. Not "formal" or ceremonial authorities, but elders/overseers (presbyter/episkopos), apostles, indeed any and all saints with the Spirit (Rm 12:10, 16; Eph 5:21; 1 Pet 5:5). And also we shouldn't revile our political leaders. Because of their position, regardless of their person (Rm 13).

  • I appreciate your time answering the question, Walter, but I don’t think it really addresses the question. The verses you bring up are not relevant and your answer is not clear. Please refer to Dottard’s answer as one that is clear, provides relevant Biblical references, and answers the question. Apr 25, 2020 at 2:17
  • You're welcome G. When I read Jude 8, the colloquial hermeneutic (translation) that occurs to me is "fantasizers." As in "Dream on." This was your post, so you're the boss! Dott correctly translated "dreamers." Which maybe removed your only impediment to understanding 8. He and I refer to 4 as the first verse about them. He then cites Rm 13 to equate slumber and dreaming and sin. I cite 13 because they despise authority which 13 says to honor. I see reviling today, but never against "glorious beings" (BSB: angels? presidents? Christians?). The wider passage you mentioned...includes all of Jude
    – Walter S
    Apr 25, 2020 at 9:39

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