But, beloved ,.... Or "my beloved", as the Syriac and Arabic versions read; or "our brethren", as the Ethiopic version; the apostle addresses the saints in this manner, to distinguish them from the false teachers, and to show that he had a different opinion of them from them; and that be would have them beware of them, and not be surprised at them, since it was no other than what was foretold; and also to engage their attention and regard to the following exhortation:

remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ ; these words mean not the doctrines of the apostles in general, but particularly the prophecies delivered out by them, as by the Apostles Paul and Peter, concerning the false teachers that should arise; and these being spoken of before, and by apostles, even by the apostles, of our Lord Jesus Christ, were worthy of regard, and deserved to be remembered; a remembrance of which is a preservative from error, and a relief in the worst of times, whether of persecution, or heresy. This does not suppose that Jude was not an apostle, only that there were other apostles besides him; and that these, some of them at least, had prophesied of these men, and that he had lived to see their predictions verified; nor does he exclude himself from being one of them; yea, the Ethiopic version reads, "which we the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ have formerly declared unto you"; see 2 Peter 3:2 .