6

Jude 6

"And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgement of the great day-". ESV My emphasis [eternal/aidiois].

Jude 7

"just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire". [eternal/aioniou].

Jude uses "aidiois" and "aioniou" in close proximity to each other, perhaps suggesting that they have for him different meanings or connotations. What contrasts might there be between them?

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  • My own understanding is that aidios would denote a state (an eternal state) whereas aion denotes a duration : the reason Robert Young translates it 'age-during'. But I wait for more informed comment/answer. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 9 at 17:23
  • Excellent question. +1.
    – Dottard
    Jun 9 at 22:00

3 Answers 3

1

ἀΐδιος (aidios) = eternal (BDAG)

This is a rare word in the NT occurring only in:

  • Rom 1:20 - For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse.
  • Jude 6 - And the angels not having kept their own domain, but having abandoned the own dwelling, He keeps in eternal chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day; [Very similar to 2 Peter 2:4 where a finite time is implied]

Note the subtle difference in meaning here: In the case of God's eternal power, we understand that to be truly eternal; without beginning and without end.

However, in the case of the eternal chains that bind the fallen angels, we are told that these chains last "unto the judgement of the great day". That is, the chains are unbreakable (by the fallen angels) until judgement day [see 2 Peter 2:4]. This is further explained in the following verse:

  • Jude 7 - In like manner, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, who indulged in sexual immorality and pursued strange flesh, are on display as an example of those who sustain the punishment of eternal fire.

That is, the eternal fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was unquenchable until the punishment and destruction was complete (the fire is now gone out many years ago).

Note the parallelism between Jude 6 and Jude 7

And the angels who did not stay within their own domain but abandoned their proper dwelling—these He has kept in eternal chains under darkness, bound for judgment on that great day.

In like manner, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, who indulged in sexual immorality and pursued strange flesh, are on display as an example of those who sustain the punishment of eternal fire.

This can be summarized in a table as follows:

Reference Jude 6 Jude 7
Who ? Fallen Angels Sodom and Gomorrah
Sin ? Abandoned their proper dwelling Sexual immorality
What ? Kept in eternal Chains Punishment of eternal fire
Why ? Judgement day for sin Judgement day for sin
When ? will last a finite time until judgement last a finite time until judgement complete

αἰώνιος (aiónios) = eternal.

BDAG lists several meanings for this word as follows:

  1. pertaining to a long period of time, long ago, eg, Rom 16:25, 2 Tim 1:9, Tit 1:2
  2. pertaining to a period of time without beginning or end, eternal, eg, Rom 16:26, Heb 9:14
  3. Pertaining to a period of unending duration, without end, eg, God's eternal reign, Matt 19:6, 29, 25:46, etc.

However, BDAG also lists several instances where this period is clearly finite such as:

  • Philm 15 - For perhaps this is why he was separated from you for a while, so that you might have him back for good
  • Jude 7 - In like manner, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, who indulged in sexual immorality and pursued strange flesh, are on display as an example of those who sustain the punishment of eternal fire. [Which is no longer burning]
  • the usual epithet for princely/imperial power
  • Rom 16:25 - Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages

Therefore, the two words, ἀΐδιος and αἰώνιος, have similar meanings.

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  • +1. Re: Jude 7. "hypechousai" is present active. If those that once occupied Sodom & G' are presently submitting to/suffering eternal fire then the fire might be unending?
    – C. Stroud
    Jun 10 at 14:01
  • @C.Stroud - Do you mean that the "cities" (poleis) are suffering eternal fire?
    – Dottard
    Jun 10 at 21:54
  • I meant that "Sodom and G'" might mean the people who lived in them. As in "London voted green" not the buildings but the people.
    – C. Stroud
    Jun 11 at 10:44
  • Sodom and G' ..who indulged. The cities didn't indulge but the people in them. Genesis 19:24 Fire fell on the cities but if the people went to eternal fire because they "indulged" then we have two sorts of fire.
    – C. Stroud
    Jun 11 at 10:59
  • @C.Stroud - are you suggesting that the fire that fell from heaven was not the fire that fell from heaven as recorded in Gen 19? Are you therefore suggesting that hell is full if fire from heaven? That is unique!
    – Dottard
    Jun 11 at 11:27
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Αιδιος only here and Rom 1:20 for God's power. So, the power of God with respect to creation, and his everlasting chains. It is a synonym, the distinction is hard to point out. Perhaps it pertains to divine entities only.

See LSJ from stepbible:

Meaning eternal (referring to God’s power, chains of punishment) always existing, eternal, Rom. 1:20; Jude 6

LSJ dictionary
ἀΐδιος [ᾱῐδ], ον, also η, ον, [Refs 5th c.AD+], (ἀεί):— everlasting, eternal, [Refs 8th c.BC+]; οἴκησις, of a tomb, [Refs 5th c.BC+]; ἡ ἀ. οὐσία eternity, [Refs 5th c.BC+]; ἀ. στρατηγία, ἀρχή, βασιλεία, perpetual.., [Refs 4th c.BC+]; τὰ ἀ., opposed to τὰ γενητά and φθαρτά, [Refs]; ἐς ἀΐδιον for ever, [Refs 5th c.BC+]; ad infinitum, [Refs 4th c.BC+]: comparative -ώτερος[Refs 4th c.BC+] —ἀ. is distinct from αἰώνιος as everlasting from timeless, [Refs 6th c.AD+]; but distinct from ἀείζωος as eternal (without beginning or end) from everliving, [Refs]. adverb -ίως[LXX+2nd c.AD+]

1

The word eternal chains makes no sense because eternal has no beginning and no ending.

There are a couple other translations that use the word unseen and imperceptible that makes more sense when translating aidiois.

Translations from Aramaic

Aramaic Bible in plain English and those angles who kept not their Principality, but abandoned their own way of life, he has kept to the great Day of Judgment in unseen chains under darkness,

https://biblehub.com › aramaic-plain-english › jude › 1.htm

Jude 1 Peshitta Holy Bible Translated 6 and those angels who kept not their principality, but abandoned their own way of life, he has kept to the great day of judgment in unseen chains under darkness

Besides, messengers who kept not their own sovereignty, But leave their own habitation, He has kept in imperceptible bonds under gloom for the judgment of the great day. Concordant Literal

In other words these messengers are imprisoned awaiting their judgment on the great day.

We know angels don't die so it is invisible to us to see how they are being held, unlike Sodom and Gomorrah, we can actually see the results. We are told they are not getting away with what they did. They also are not allowed to do anything else at this time either.

These bonds are definitely not eternal. It is compared to the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them.

"The fire is out but the destruction is still apparent. And this way the cities are experiencing the justice of the eonian fire. The fire has long ceased but its effects will remain and testify to God's judgment until the close of this eon, after which Sodom shall return to her former estate. Ezekiel 16:53-56 Concordant commentary"

Looking at these verses below shows that the judgment against Sodom and Gomorrah is for a certain amount of time. It is not eternal. This would also imply that the judgment of the messengers will be for a certain time as well. αἰωνίου (aiōniou

experiencing the justice of eonian fire. Jude 7 Concordant

an example, of fire age-during, justice suffering. Jude 7 YLT

αἰωνίου (aiōniou) —

Cognate: 166 aiṓnios (an adjective, derived from 165 /aiṓn ("an age, having a particular character and quality") – properly, "age-like" ("like-an-age"), i.e. an "age-characteristic" (the quality describing a particular age);

Here is the example what that will look like as given in the following verse.

53But I will restore Sodom and her daughters from captivity,d as well as Samaria and her daughters. And I will restore you along with them. 54So you will bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all you did to comfort them. 55And your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will return to their former state. You and your daughters will also return to your former state. Ezekiel 16:53-55

He has kept in imperceptible bonds under gloom for the judgment of a great day. As Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them in like manner to these, committing ultra-prostitution and coming away after other flesh, are lying before us as a specimen, experiencing the justice of eonian fire. Jude 6,7 Concordant literal

I would imagine that the bonds that the messengers are chained in speak loudly to the celestial realm since that's where they left their domain.

OP'S question is,

"Jude uses "aidiois" and "aioniou" in close proximity to each other, perhaps suggesting that they have for him different meanings or connotations.

What contrasts might there be between them?"

This whole chapter has to do with severe judgements. One judgment we still see the results on the the earth. The judgment for the angels are invisible to us and we cannot for see what they look like. Rest assured God wants us to know that they are being held in prison awaiting their judgment.

The contrast are the different judgments, even though the angels and men did the same thing basically on earth. Both have different realms were their justice will be served out.

The thing they both have in common is that their judgments will be for a certain amount of time or for an age.

1
  • +1 Ezekiel reference was helpful.
    – C. Stroud
    Jun 11 at 11:09

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