Jude 1:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Jude 1:9, NIV: "But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'"

Jude 1:9, ESV: "But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”"

Jude 1:9, KJV: "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."

Jude 1:9, NASB: "But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him an abusive judgment, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'"

Jude 1:9, NLT: "But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, 'The Lord rebuke you!' (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses' body.)"

Jude 1:9, CSB: "Yet when Michael the archangel was disputing with the devil in an argument about Moses's body, he did not dare utter a slanderous condemnation against him but said, "The Lord rebuke you!""

What does Jude 1:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous verse, Jude referred to those who "blaspheme" celestial beings, including angels. Here, he cites the example of Michael the archangel. Michael is presented in Scripture as the chief angel in combating the Devil (Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1; Revelation 12:7–9). In this incident, Michael refused to usurp God's authority, which stands in contrast to the audacity of false teachers to slander authorities and angels.

This story comes from Jewish tradition, as recorded in a non-Scriptural book titled The Assumption of Moses. In the context Jude is using, it doesn't really matter whether this is an actual, historical event, or merely an example being given from a traditional story. Jude's reference does not imply that The Assumption of Moses is infallible, only that this was a story known to his readers. The key point here is that Michael, despite being a powerful being himself, refused to slander the Devil. This proves the arrogance of the apostates Jude is discussing. They are so conceited that they're doing what even an archangel won't!

Moses, Israel's leader during the exodus from Egypt, was buried by the Lord in an unknown place (Deuteronomy 34:1–6). According to the traditional account, Michael and the Devil had engaged in a dispute about the burial of Moses' body, but Michael would not slander the Devil. Instead, he yielded to God's authority by trusting Him to rebuke the Devil. We do not know the details of the dispute, but God may have assigned Michael with the task of guarding Moses' grave, and the Devil may have wanted to steal Moses' body to make it an object of worship.