Jude 9

Read Introduction to Jude

Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”



Jude dips back into the Old Testament once again to illustrate the principle of respect for authority. Although apostates disrespected all forms of authority (v. 8), yet Jude shows that Michael respected the authority even of Satan.

Michael the archangel,

God sent Michael the archangel (Da 10:13, 21; 12:1) to bury Moses' body but the devil disputed with him over the body. The Bible never uses the plural "archangels" but only the singular "archangel." There was only one archangel, one chief angel. In the New Testament, we find the word archangel only here and in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. The Bible arranges angels in systematic orders.

in contending with the devil,

Lucifer was the highest-ranking creation God made, but he turned devil. There is no story in the Old Testament where Michael fought with the devil over the body of Moses. There is a story in the pseudepigraphal book Assumption of Moses. The citation of this book caused some to question the inspiration of the book of Jude.

when he disputed about the body of Moses,

 Israel buried Moses' body in the valley of Moab.

dared not bring against him a reviling accusation,

Michael did not bring a "reviling accusation" against the devil. This stands in stark contrast to apostate pride. Michael respected the authority of Satan. Satan means slanderer, accuser. This is his role in the book of Revelation (Re 12:9,10).

but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Michael appealed to God's authority rather than his own authority in dealing with the devil. All authority ultimately resides in God. The phrase "The Lord rebuke you" is a quote from Zechariah 3:2, where the Lord speaks these words to Satan's accusation against Joshua the priest (Ze 3:1-10). Michael did not have the authority in himself to challenge Satan. He remembered the high estate of Lucifer’s original creation.

PRINCIPLE: In contending with supernatural forces, we need to defer to God's authority to deal with them.

APPLICATION: Christians often try to fight spiritual battles in their own strength. There is a time when we need to put our spiritual struggle in the hands of the Lord. If the mighty Michael the archangel had to do this, so should we.

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Re 12:7-9


28 Responses to “Jude 9”

  • Dear Pastor,
    “And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab.”It seems God buried the body of Moses and the location of his tomb was kept as secret.Deut34:6.

  • Chrispen Gwatipedza

    Dear Pastor

    Exodus 17 v 6. Metaphoricaly Jesus Christ is the Rock. So Moses was redeemed by Christ Psalms 18:2 hence nobody knows where his grave is.

  • It is true that no one knows where the body of Moses resides except that he was buried in the Valley of Moab.

  • Dr. Grant,
    Why do you say that Michael is the only archangel, when Daniel 10:13 says that he is "one of the chief princes", implying that there are others like him? Thanks!

  • Jakob, Although non-biblical Jewish literature refers to more than one archangel the Bible only refers to one. Arch means chief or first. Thus, Michael was the chief or first angel in rank. 

    You are right in that he is named as "one" of the chief princes and that may imply that there are more than one. However, that would be an inference. 

    In 1 Th 4:16 archangel is singular, evidently only Michael will sound the trumpet at the rapture. 

  • Dr. Grant,
    Thanks for answering my question! Also, I have heard that the name Michael means "who is like God?", meaning that no one is like God. I have also heard it stated that it means "one who is like God." Which is correct?

  • Jakob, Note these references:

    Strong’s Greek #3413 3413. Μιχα?λ Micha?l; masc. proper noun transliterated from the Hebr. M?kh??l (4317), "who is like God?" Michael. In the NT used principally as the prince among the angels, the archangel (Jude 1:9) described in Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1 as standing in a special relationship to the Jewish nation, and in Rev. 12:7–9 as leading the hosts of the angels.



    ???????? [Miyka?el /me·kaw·ale/] n pr m. From 4310 and (the prefix derivative from) 3588 and 410; GK 4776; 13 occurrences; AV translates as "Michael" 13 times. 1 one of, the chief, or the first archangel who is described as the one who stands in time of conflict for the children of Israel. 2 an Asherite, father of Sethur, one of the 12 spies of Israel. 3 one of the Gadites who settled in the land of Bashan. 4 another Gadite, ancestor of Abihail. 5 a Gershonite Levite, ancestor of Asaph. 6 one of the 5 sons of Izrahiah of the tribe of Issachar. 7 a Benjamite of the sons of Beriah. 8 one of the captains from Manasseh who joined David at Ziklag. 9 father or ancestor of Omri, chief of the tribe of Issachar in the reign of David. 10 one of the sons of Jehoshaphat who were murdered by their elder brother, Jehoram. 11 father or ancestor of Zebadiah, of the sons of Shephatiah. Additional Information: Michael = "who is like God".

    Michael. Name meaning "Who is like God?" used of 10 men in Scripture and also of one who is described as an "archangel."

    In summary, it appears that the transliteration "who is like God" is the correct meaning and I found no justification for the other meaning,. 


  • Dr. Grant,
    Just a quick question: I have heard that Michael was quoting from Zechariah 3:2 when he said this. However, in Zec. 3:2, it is the angel of the LORD (a.k.a. the LORD) saying this. Why did the LORD say "the LORD rebuke you", since He is the LORD? Thanks!

  • Jakob, 


    The Lord spoke to the accuser citing His own authority as Yahweh who had chosen Jerusalem.  This is one indication where Joshua represents Israel since God linked Joshua with Jerusalem.  Joshua was secure from Satan's accusations because of the Lord's sovereign choice of Jerusalem (cf. 12:2; Rom. 8:33). It is possible that the Lord may be distinct from the angel of the Lord, but they seem to be synonymous in this case. The Lord rebuked Satan twice, the repetition adding force to the initial rebuke (cf. Jude 9).

  • Dr. Grant,
    I am still a little confused as to why the LORD needed to cite His own authority over Satan. Thanks for the help!

  • Jakob, this is indeed a different way of speaking but its meaning is ‘I, who am the Lord, rebuke you’, and it assures the reader that the Satan’s accusations are completely set aside. In other words, it is a semantic way of emphasis. 

  • And in no way is Michael calling himself the Lord, right?

  • Jakob, to bring Michael into the picture is to import something not extant in the passage. That is, it is important in interpretation to not interpolate meanings into the text. We need to exegesis (to raise out of the text), not eisegesis (to read into the text). 

  • Dr. Grant,
    I just want to thank you for all that you do. You have put up with a lot of my questions that probably seem obvious to you, so thank you very much for helping me with my questions. I really do appreciate your time, effort, and thought you put in to this Bible commentary. God bless you. 

  • Thank you Jakob, there are times when I travel overseas and within North America where I cannot communicate for weeks. Also, if my role in ministry gets intense, I cannot reply to blogs with regularity at that time. Just to give you a heads-up. 

  • Dr. Grant,
    Did Moses' body stay in the grave, or was it resurrected? Some Christians hold the view that he was raised, in order that he appear with Elijah in the Transfiguration, but other Christians say that it was his glorified spiritual body. If it were a spiritual body, he would be able to die, if he is to be one of the two witnesses in Revelation 11. However, I don't think there is any reference to his being raised anywhere in Scripture. I do not know which one to take, so I need advice on this. I appreciate the help!

  • Jakob, Deuteronomy 34:6

  • Dr. Grant,
    If God, buried Moses, and Moses is still buried there, then what was Michael doing there? Another commentary suggests that God sent angels to bury Moses, and my Bible version (ESV) says that a credible translation of the verse could read "he [Moses] was buried there", instead of "He [God] buried him [Moses] there". What's your take on this? Thanks!

  • Dr. Grant,
    I would like to apologize for neglecting to re- read your exposition before asking my question. I am sorry; please forgive me. So, Deuteronomy 34:6 means that God had Moses buried via His angels, Michael in particular? Would you hold that the "he was buried" interpretation is the better one? As always, I appreciate your time and effort! Thank you sincerely.

  • Jakob, if there is no extant information in the Bible about something it is dangerous to assume that it is true even though some commentary might make that assumption. All that this verse says is that there was a dispute over the body of Moses; it does not say anything about the disposal of the body. 

  • Dr.Grant,
    Nice web site.All your answers are very deep and wonderful.
    Iam from India, a medical doctor and director of SOS MISSION INTERNATIONAL, a christian ministry engaged in spreading gospel among the tribals.I would like to associate with your ministry in reaching the lost souls in In dia.
    Like to hear from you.Please visit us at http://www.sosmission.webs.com
    Our email is healingjesussos@yahoo.com
    In His service,

  • Thanks for the read,  It is nice to see brothers not fighting and being nice to each other seeing how we are all Kings and Priests and Yeshua made us all sons of YHWH. Blessings.

  • In regard to Jakob's question in Zech 3:1-2, why the LORD says to Satan the LORD rebukes you?
    to my understanding to the Word of God that, in that scene the Lord Jesus was present as the advocate to Joshua as the LORD who cited the authority of GOD the Father against Satan. See also Zech 2:6,( Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD.
    9 For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts [HATH SENT ME]. we can clearly see in this passage that the LORD(JEHOVAH) is speaking to Israel in judgement, then interestingly we see in verse nine the last part how the same GOD says ( and you shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me, this clearly shows the Father and the Son.
    Also in Genesis 19:23-24; when God was about to judge Sodom and Gomorrah and saved Lot, in verse 24 says ( Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; we can clearly see 2 LORDS here, the LORD Jesus(GOD the Son) who executed the judgement by raining brimstone and fire from the LORD(God the Father) out of heaven.
    The wonderful Word of God is filled with verses similar to that but for the shortage of time i could not mentione more. May God bless all 

  • Dr. Richison:  why is it assumed that "the body of Moses" is the physical corpse of Moses?  When Paul writes of the "body of Christ", it isn't assumed that he speaks of the physical corpse of Jesus, but in fact the corporate body of believers in Christ, one body yet many members. It seems to me, and others, because of the context here in Jude and with other supporting texts and contexts elsewhere, that this "body of Moses" is the body in opposition to the "body of Christ", that is, the unbelieving Jewish body which persecuted and mocked the believing Jewish body.  This is made clear and plain by Paul in Galatians 4:22-31 where "Ishmael" (the unbelieving Jews, "born after the flesh") persecuted and mocked "Isaac" (the believing Jews,"born after the Spirit").  Also, in 1 Thes. 2:14-16, Paul pointedly declares that it was the unbelieving Jews who were the persecutors who pleased not God and were contrary to all men.  The book of Acts shows this to be the case.  John wrote in Rev. 2:9 that those persecutors were blasphemous and that they were not Jews at all because a true Jew was one of the heart and not the flesh (Rom. 2:28-29), which point was made by Jesus in his converstion with Nicodemus in Jn. 3:1-10.  John said in Rev. 2:9 that those self-proclaimed Jews were of the "synogogue of Satan".  The Lord Jesus Himself told them that they were of  "their father the devil" (Jn. 8:44), the context being that the unbeliving Jews claimed to be the children of Abraham (see Jn. 8:31-47), while the Lord declared otherwise.  If one were to read and compare 2 Pet. 2:10-17 with Jude 8-13, there would be no reason at all to believe and teach that the "body of Moses" was the physical corpse, unless of course, one's eschatology demands it.

  • Craig, It is dangersous to use a figurative/spiritualized interpretation method when there is clear reasons in the context for using a normal hermeneutic. In interpretation a normal heremeneutic is always the preferred method. Quoting Scripture from other passages is tertiary to the primacy of the immediate context. 

  • You say, "it is dangerous to use a figurative/spiritualized interpretation method…"  That's what the Pharisees upbraided Jesus about.  Why is it "dangerous"?  Unless the "danger" is in revealing the literal, physical approach to be the Pharisaical method.  The Lord Jesus used this method many times over when interpretiung the (O.T.) scriptures when confronted by the scribes and Pharisees whose preferred method of interpretation was the literal, physical.  The apostle Paul followed suit and paid for it by many altercations.  Case in point:  the Pharisees expected a literal, physical kingdom, but the Son of David told them it would be otherwise.  Paul, likewise, concurred.  I see no reason in the context of Jude's writing to assume that the "body of Moses" to be a rotting corpse, and Mt. 17 and Rev. 11 cannot be used to support that assumption.  Also, what is "a normal hermeneutic"?  one that is widely used by man or one that is/was used by the Holy Spirit?  You wrote, "In interpretation a normal hermeneutic is always the preferred method."  Why? and preferred by whom?  You wrote, "tertiary".  Isn't the Bible understood by comparing scripture with scripture?  If I wanted to understand what Jesus meant in Mt. 24:15, wouldn't it be the true and proper step to read and compare Lk. 21:20 to get the interpretation for the phrase "abomination of desolation" (instead of running to Daniel and concoct a meaning)?!  The two passages with their respective "immediate" contexts are certainly the same and the phrase is clearly interpreted by Luke.  One last question, which you haven't answered:  why is it assumed that "the body of Moses" is the physical corpse of Moses?  May the Lord bless the truth in your work.

  • Craig,

    I would suggest that you read a book of hermeneutics. Jesus never upbraided anyone for a normal interpretation of Scripture (normal including figures of speech, euphemisms, etc.). Also, Jesus never spiritualized Scripture. You are in error on these points. Jesus did not rebuke the Pharisees because they expected a kingdom, He rebuked them for expecting the wrong kind of kingdom—a material kingdom and a kingdom that would have a king who would give them material benefits.

    Also, Paul never violated a normal/literal interpretation of Scripture. He used Scripture at times for illustration which he used for another purpose other than interpreting the Scripture per se.

    The essential problem with your interpretation of Jude is that it requires some statement that indicates that Moses’ body was something other than literal. You say that I did not answer your question. The onus of proof is on the person who makes the assertion, not the person who denies the assertion. Your interpretation is a possibility but the question is how you prove your assertion. It is not on others to establish that proof.

    I have no problem with comparing Scripture with Scripture. That is valid, in fact, it is biblical. In the case you mention, those Scriptures are comparing parallel passage with parallel passage.

    Read my exposition of Mt 24:25 http://versebyversecommentary.com/matthew/matthew-2415/

  • Enjoyed reaing the Q&A's in this discussion…..However, I have always thought that the him in, "durst not bring against him a railing accusation" was Moses, and it was Satan who was the one bringing the accusation, since he is, "the accuser of our brethren" according to Rev. 12:10…..

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