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Teks -- Revelation 2:1-29 (NET)

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To the Church in Ephesus
2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus, write the following: “This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who has a firm grasp on the seven stars in his right hand– the one who walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2:2 ‘I know your works as well as your labor and steadfast endurance, and that you cannot cannot tolerate evil. You have even put to the test those who refer to themselves as apostles (but are not), and have discovered that they are false. 2:3 I am also aware that you have persisted steadfastly, endured much for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary. 2:4 But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love! 2:5 Therefore, remember from what high state you have fallen and repent! Do the deeds you did at the first; if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place– that is, if you do not repent. 2:6 But you do have this going for you: You hate what the Nicolaitans practice– practices I also hate. 2:7 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will permit him to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God.’
To the Church in Smyrna
2:8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write the following: “This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who is the first and the last, the one who was dead, but came to life: 2:9 ‘I know the distress you are suffering and your poverty (but you are rich). I also know the slander against you by those who call themselves Jews and really are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 2:10 Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. The devil is about to have some of you thrown into prison so you may be tested, and you will experience suffering for ten days. Remain faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown that is life itself. 2:11 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will in no way be harmed by the second death.’
To the Church in Pergamum
2:12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write the following: “This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who has the sharp double-edged sword: 2:13 ‘I know where you live– where Satan’s throne is. Yet you continue to cling to my name and you have not denied your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was killed in your city where Satan lives. 2:14 But I have a few things against you: You have some people there who follow the teaching of Balaam, who instructed Balak to put a stumbling block before the people of Israel so they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. 2:15 In the same way, there are also some among you who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 2:16 Therefore, repent! If not, I will come against you quickly and make war against those people with the sword of my mouth. 2:17 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give him some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on that stone will be written a new name that no one can understand except the one who receives it.’
To the Church in Thyatira
2:18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write the following: “This is the solemn pronouncement of the Son of God, the one who has eyes like a fiery flame and whose feet are like polished bronze: 2:19 ‘I know your deeds: your love, faith, service, and steadfast endurance. In fact, your more recent deeds are greater than your earlier ones. 2:20 But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and by her teaching deceives my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 2:21 I have given her time to repent, but she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality. 2:22 Look! I am throwing her onto a bed of violent illness, and those who commit adultery with her into terrible suffering, unless they repent of her deeds. 2:23 Furthermore, I will strike her followers with a deadly disease, and then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts. I will repay each one of you what your deeds deserve. 2:24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, all who do not hold to this teaching (who have not learned the so-called “deep secrets of Satan”), to you I say: I do not put any additional burden on you. 2:25 However, hold on to what you have until I come. 2:26 And to the one who conquers and who continues in my deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations2:27 he will rule them with an iron rod and like clay jars he will break them to pieces, 2:28 just as I have received the right to rule from my Father– and I will give him the morning star. 2:29 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
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Nama Orang, Nama Tempat, Topik/Tema Kamus

Nama Orang dan Nama Tempat:
 · Antipas a man who became the first martyr of Asia.
 · Balaam the son of Beor,son of Beor of Pethor on the Euphrates River
 · Balak a son of Zippor,son of Zippor, King of Moab, who hired Balaam against Israel
 · Ephesus a town in western Asia Minor at the mouth of the Cayster River
 · Israel a citizen of Israel.,a member of the nation of Israel
 · Israelite a citizen of Israel.,a member of the nation of Israel
 · Jews the people descended from Israel
 · Jezebel the wife of King Ahab of Israel,wife of Ahab and mother of Jehoram, kings of Israel; daughter of Ethbaal, the king of the Sidonians
 · Nicolaitans the followers of a sect that taught immorality and idolatry
 · Paradise a beautiful garden where those who have departed this life live happily forever, safe from evil
 · paradise a beautiful garden where those who have departed this life live happily forever, safe from evil
 · Pergamum a wealthy ancient town in the disrict of Mysia in northwest Asia Minor. It is now modern Bergama.
 · Satan a person, male (evil angelic),an angel that has rebelled against God
 · Smyrna a city Located on the west coast of Asia Minor, it is now called Izmir.
 · Thyatira a town in Asia Minor 30 km southeast of Pergamum


Topik/Tema Kamus: Jesus, The Christ | REVELATION OF JOHN | Thyatira | Church | PHILIPPI | Nicolaitans | Minister | Lukewarmness | Persecution | Smyrna | Backsliders | Decision | Perseverance | PERGAMOS | Righteous | Ephesus | TIMOTHY | GNOSTICISM | Reward | War | selebihnya
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Maclaren , MHCC , Matthew Henry , Barclay , Constable , College

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Evidence

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Tafsiran/Catatan -- Catatan Kata/Frasa (per frasa)

Robertson: Rev 2:1 - In Ephesus In Ephesus ( en Ephesōi ). Near the sea on the river Cayster, the foremost city of Asia Minor, the temple-keeper of Artemis and her wonderful templ...

In Ephesus ( en Ephesōi ).

Near the sea on the river Cayster, the foremost city of Asia Minor, the temple-keeper of Artemis and her wonderful temple (Act 19:35), the home of the magic arts (Ephesian letters, Act 19:19) and of the mystery-cults, place of Paul’ s three years’ stay (Act 19:1-10; 20:17-38), where Aquila and Priscilla and Apollos laboured (Act 18:24-28), where Timothy wrought (1 Tim. and 2 Tim.), where the Apostle John preached in his old age. Surely it was a place of great privilege, of great preaching. It was about sixty miles from Patmos and the messenger would reach Ephesus first. It is a free city, a seat of proconsular government (Act 19:38), the end of the great road from the Euphrates. The port was a place of shifting sands, due to the silting up of the mouth of the Cayster. Ramsay ( Letters to the Seven Churches , p. 210) calls it "the City of Change."

Robertson: Rev 2:1 - These things These things ( tade ). This demonstrative seven times here, once with the message to each church (Rev 2:1, Rev 2:8, Rev 2:12, Rev 2:18; Rev 2:1, Rev ...

These things ( tade ).

This demonstrative seven times here, once with the message to each church (Rev 2:1, Rev 2:8, Rev 2:12, Rev 2:18; Rev 2:1, Rev 2:7, Rev 2:14), only once elsewhere in N.T. (Act 21:11).

Robertson: Rev 2:1 - He that holdeth He that holdeth ( ho kratōn ). Present active articular participle of krateō , a stronger word than echōn in Rev 1:16, to which it refers.

He that holdeth ( ho kratōn ).

Present active articular participle of krateō , a stronger word than echōn in Rev 1:16, to which it refers.

Robertson: Rev 2:1 - He that walketh He that walketh ( ho peripatōn ). Present active articular participle of peripateō , an allusion to Rev 1:13. These two epithets are drawn from t...

He that walketh ( ho peripatōn ).

Present active articular participle of peripateō , an allusion to Rev 1:13. These two epithets are drawn from the picture of Christ in Rev 1:13-18, and appropriately to conditions in Ephesus describe Christ’ s power over the churches as he moves among them.

Robertson: Rev 2:2 - I know I know ( oida ). Rather than ginōskō and so "emphasizes better the absolute clearness of mental vision which photographs all the facts of life ...

I know ( oida ).

Rather than ginōskō and so "emphasizes better the absolute clearness of mental vision which photographs all the facts of life as they pass"(Swete). So also in Rev 2:9, Rev 2:13, Rev 2:19; Rev 3:1, Rev 3:8, Rev 3:15. For the distinction see Joh 21:17, "where the universal knowledge passes into the field of special observation."

Robertson: Rev 2:2 - Works Works ( erga ). The whole life and conduct as in Joh 6:29.

Works ( erga ).

The whole life and conduct as in Joh 6:29.

Robertson: Rev 2:2 - And thy toil and patience And thy toil and patience ( kai ton kopon kai tēn hupomonēn sou ). "Both thy toil and patience,"in explanation of erga , and see 1Th 1:3, where a...

And thy toil and patience ( kai ton kopon kai tēn hupomonēn sou ).

"Both thy toil and patience,"in explanation of erga , and see 1Th 1:3, where all three words (ergon , kopos , hupomonē ) occur together as here. See Rev 14:13 for sharp distinction between erga (activities) and kopoi (toils, with weariness). Endurance (hupomonē ) in hard toil (kopos ).

Robertson: Rev 2:2 - And that And that ( kai hoti ). Further explanation of kopos (hard toil).

And that ( kai hoti ).

Further explanation of kopos (hard toil).

Robertson: Rev 2:2 - Not able Not able ( ou dunēi ). This Koiné form for the Attic dunasai (second person singular indicative middle) occurs also in Mar 9:22; Luk 16:2.

Not able ( ou dunēi ).

This Koiné form for the Attic dunasai (second person singular indicative middle) occurs also in Mar 9:22; Luk 16:2.

Robertson: Rev 2:2 - Bear Bear ( bastasai ). First aorist active infinitive of bastazō , for which verb see Joh 10:31; Joh 12:6; Gal 6:2. These evil men were indeed a heavy ...

Bear ( bastasai ).

First aorist active infinitive of bastazō , for which verb see Joh 10:31; Joh 12:6; Gal 6:2. These evil men were indeed a heavy burden.

Robertson: Rev 2:2 - And didst try And didst try ( kai epeirasas ). First aorist active indicative of peirazō , to test, a reference to a recent crisis when these Nicolaitans (Rev 2:...

And didst try ( kai epeirasas ).

First aorist active indicative of peirazō , to test, a reference to a recent crisis when these Nicolaitans (Rev 2:6) were condemned. The present tenses (dunēi , echeis ) indicate the continuance of this attitude. Cf. 1Jo 4:1.

Robertson: Rev 2:2 - Which call themselves apostles Which call themselves apostles ( tous legontas heautous apostolous ). Perhaps itinerant missionaries of these Nicolaitans who posed as equal to or ev...

Which call themselves apostles ( tous legontas heautous apostolous ).

Perhaps itinerant missionaries of these Nicolaitans who posed as equal to or even superior to the original apostles, like the Judaizers so described by Paul (2Co 11:5, 2Co 11:13; 2Co 12:11). Paul had foretold such false teachers (Gnostics), grievous wolves, in Act 20:29; in sheep’ s clothing, Jesus had said (Mat 7:15).

Robertson: Rev 2:2 - And they are not And they are not ( kai ouk eisin ). A parenthesis in Johannine style (Joh 2:9; Joh 3:9; 1Jo 3:1) for kai ouk ontas to correspond to legontas .

And they are not ( kai ouk eisin ).

A parenthesis in Johannine style (Joh 2:9; Joh 3:9; 1Jo 3:1) for kai ouk ontas to correspond to legontas .

Robertson: Rev 2:2 - And didst find And didst find ( kai heures ). Second aorist active indicative of heuriskō . Dropping back to the regular structure parallel with epeirasas .

And didst find ( kai heures ).

Second aorist active indicative of heuriskō . Dropping back to the regular structure parallel with epeirasas .

Robertson: Rev 2:2 - False False ( pseudeis ). Predicate accusative plural of pseudēs , self-deceived deceivers as in Rev 21:8.

False ( pseudeis ).

Predicate accusative plural of pseudēs , self-deceived deceivers as in Rev 21:8.

Robertson: Rev 2:3 - Thou hast Thou hast ( echeis ). Continued possession of patience.

Thou hast ( echeis ).

Continued possession of patience.

Robertson: Rev 2:3 - Didst bear Didst bear ( ebastasas ). First aorist indicative of bastazō , repeated reference to the crisis in Rev 2:2.

Didst bear ( ebastasas ).

First aorist indicative of bastazō , repeated reference to the crisis in Rev 2:2.

Robertson: Rev 2:3 - And hast not grown weary And hast not grown weary ( kai ou kekopiakes ). Perfect active indicative of kopiaō , old verb, to grow weary (Mat 6:28), play on the word kopos , ...

And hast not grown weary ( kai ou kekopiakes ).

Perfect active indicative of kopiaō , old verb, to grow weary (Mat 6:28), play on the word kopos , late form in ̇es , for the regular ̇as (lelukas ). like aphēkes (Rev 2:4) and peptōkes (Rev 2:5). "Tired in loyalty, not of it. The Ephesian church can bear anything except the presence of impostors in her membership"(Moffatt).

Robertson: Rev 2:4 - This against thee, that This against thee, that ( kata sou hoti ). For the phrase "have against"see Mat 5:23. The hoti clause is the object of echō .

This against thee, that ( kata sou hoti ).

For the phrase "have against"see Mat 5:23. The hoti clause is the object of echō .

Robertson: Rev 2:4 - Thou didst leave Thou didst leave ( aphēkes ). First aorist active (kappa aorist, but with ̇es instead of ̇as ) of aphiēmi , a definite and sad departure.

Thou didst leave ( aphēkes ).

First aorist active (kappa aorist, but with ̇es instead of ̇as ) of aphiēmi , a definite and sad departure.

Robertson: Rev 2:4 - Thy first love Thy first love ( tēn agapēn sou tēn prōtēn ). "Thy love the first."This early love, proof of the new life in Christ (1Jo 3:13.), had cooled...

Thy first love ( tēn agapēn sou tēn prōtēn ).

"Thy love the first."This early love, proof of the new life in Christ (1Jo 3:13.), had cooled off in spite of their doctrinal purity. They had remained orthodox, but had become unloving partly because of the controversies with the Nicolaitans.

Robertson: Rev 2:5 - Remember Remember ( mnēmoneue ). Present active imperative of mnēmoneuō , "continue mindful"(from mnēmōn ).

Remember ( mnēmoneue ).

Present active imperative of mnēmoneuō , "continue mindful"(from mnēmōn ).

Robertson: Rev 2:5 - Thou art fallen Thou art fallen ( peptōkes ). Perfect active indicative of piptō , state of completion. Down in the valley, look up to the cliff where pure love ...

Thou art fallen ( peptōkes ).

Perfect active indicative of piptō , state of completion. Down in the valley, look up to the cliff where pure love is and whence thou hast fallen down.

Robertson: Rev 2:5 - And repent And repent ( kai metanoēson ). First aorist active imperative of metanoeō , urgent appeal for instant change of attitude and conduct before it is...

And repent ( kai metanoēson ).

First aorist active imperative of metanoeō , urgent appeal for instant change of attitude and conduct before it is too late.

Robertson: Rev 2:5 - And do And do ( kai poiēson ). First aorist active imperative of poieō , "Do at once."

And do ( kai poiēson ).

First aorist active imperative of poieō , "Do at once."

Robertson: Rev 2:5 - The first works The first works ( ta prōta erga ). Including the first love (Act 19:20; Act 20:37; Eph 1:3.) which has now grown cold (Mat 24:12).

The first works ( ta prōta erga ).

Including the first love (Act 19:20; Act 20:37; Eph 1:3.) which has now grown cold (Mat 24:12).

Robertson: Rev 2:5 - Or else Or else ( ei de mē ). Elliptical condition, the verb not expressed (metanoeis ), a common idiom, seen again in Rev 2:16, the condition expressed i...

Or else ( ei de mē ).

Elliptical condition, the verb not expressed (metanoeis ), a common idiom, seen again in Rev 2:16, the condition expressed in full by ean mē in this verse and Rev 2:22.

Robertson: Rev 2:5 - I come I come ( erchomai ). Futuristic present middle (Joh 14:2.).

I come ( erchomai ).

Futuristic present middle (Joh 14:2.).

Robertson: Rev 2:5 - To thee To thee ( soi ). Dative, as in Rev 2:16 also.

To thee ( soi ).

Dative, as in Rev 2:16 also.

Robertson: Rev 2:5 - Will move Will move ( kinēsō ). Future active of kineō . In Ignatius’ Epistle to Ephesus it appears that the church heeded this warning.

Will move ( kinēsō ).

Future active of kineō . In Ignatius’ Epistle to Ephesus it appears that the church heeded this warning.

Robertson: Rev 2:5 - Except thou repent Except thou repent ( ean mē metanoēsēis ). Condition of third class with ean mē instead of ei mē above, with the first aorist active su...

Except thou repent ( ean mē metanoēsēis ).

Condition of third class with ean mē instead of ei mē above, with the first aorist active subjunctive of metanoeō .

Robertson: Rev 2:6 - That thou hatest That thou hatest ( hoti miseis ). Accusative object clause in apposition with touto (this). Trench tells of the words used in ancient Greek for hat...

That thou hatest ( hoti miseis ).

Accusative object clause in apposition with touto (this). Trench tells of the words used in ancient Greek for hatred of evil (misoponēria ) and misoponēros (hater of evil), neither of which occurs in the N.T., but which accurately describe the angel of the church in Ephesus.

Robertson: Rev 2:6 - Of the Nicolaitans Of the Nicolaitans ( tōn Nikolaitōn ). Mentioned again in Rev 2:15 and really meant in Rev 2:2. Irenaeus and Hippolytus take this sect to be foll...

Of the Nicolaitans ( tōn Nikolaitōn ).

Mentioned again in Rev 2:15 and really meant in Rev 2:2. Irenaeus and Hippolytus take this sect to be followers of Nicolaus of Antioch, one of the seven deacons (Act 6:5), a Jewish proselyte, who is said to have apostatized. There was such a sect in the second century (Tertullian), but whether descended from Nicolaus of Antioch is not certain, though possible (Lightfoot). It is even possible that the Balaamites of Rev 2:14 were a variety of this same sect (Rev 2:15).

Robertson: Rev 2:6 - Which I also hate Which I also hate ( ha kagō misō ). Christ himself hates the teachings and deeds of the Nicolaitans (ha , not hous , deeds, not people), but the ...

Which I also hate ( ha kagō misō ).

Christ himself hates the teachings and deeds of the Nicolaitans (ha , not hous , deeds, not people), but the church in Pergamum tolerated them.

Robertson: Rev 2:7 - He that hath an ear He that hath an ear ( ho echōn ous ). An individualizing note calling on each of the hearers (Rev 1:3) to listen (Rev 2:7, Rev 2:11, Rev 2:17, Rev ...

He that hath an ear ( ho echōn ous ).

An individualizing note calling on each of the hearers (Rev 1:3) to listen (Rev 2:7, Rev 2:11, Rev 2:17, Rev 2:28; Rev 3:3, Rev 3:6, Rev 3:13, Rev 3:22) and a reminiscence of the words of Jesus in the Synoptics (Mat 11:15; Mat 13:9, Mat 13:43; Mar 4:9, Mar 4:23; Luk 8:8; Luk 14:35), but not in John’ s Gospel.

Robertson: Rev 2:7 - The spirit The spirit ( to pneuma ). The Holy Spirit as in Rev 14:13; Rev 22:17. Both Christ and the Holy Spirit deliver this message. "The Spirit of Christ in ...

The spirit ( to pneuma ).

The Holy Spirit as in Rev 14:13; Rev 22:17. Both Christ and the Holy Spirit deliver this message. "The Spirit of Christ in the prophet is the interpreter of Christ’ s voice"(Swete).

Robertson: Rev 2:7 - To him that overcometh To him that overcometh ( tōi nikōnti ). Dative of the present (continuous victory) active articular participle of nikaō , a common Johannine ve...

To him that overcometh ( tōi nikōnti ).

Dative of the present (continuous victory) active articular participle of nikaō , a common Johannine verb (Joh 16:33; 1Jo 2:13; 1Jo 4:4; 1Jo 5:4.; Rev 2:7, Rev 2:11, Rev 2:17, Rev 2:26; Rev 3:5, Rev 3:12, Rev 3:21; Rev 5:5; Rev 12:11; Rev 15:2; Rev 17:14; Rev 21:7). Faith is dominant in Paul, victory in John, faith is victory (1Jo 5:4). So in each promise to these churches.

Robertson: Rev 2:7 - I will give I will give ( dōsō ). Future active of didōmi as in Rev 2:10, Rev 2:17, Rev 2:23, Rev 2:26, Rev 2:28; Rev 3:8, Rev 3:21; Rev 6:4; Rev 11:3; R...

I will give ( dōsō ).

Future active of didōmi as in Rev 2:10, Rev 2:17, Rev 2:23, Rev 2:26, Rev 2:28; Rev 3:8, Rev 3:21; Rev 6:4; Rev 11:3; Rev 21:6.

Robertson: Rev 2:7 - To eat To eat ( phagein ). Second aorist active infinitive of esthiō .

To eat ( phagein ).

Second aorist active infinitive of esthiō .

Robertson: Rev 2:7 - Of the tree of life Of the tree of life ( ek tou xulou tēs zōēs ). Note ek with the ablative with phagein , like our "eat of"(from or part of). From Gen 2:9; Gen...

Of the tree of life ( ek tou xulou tēs zōēs ).

Note ek with the ablative with phagein , like our "eat of"(from or part of). From Gen 2:9; Gen 3:22. Again in Rev 22:2, Rev 22:14 as here for immortality. This tree is now in the Garden of God. For the water of life see Rev 21:6; Rev 22:17 (Cf. Joh 4:10, Joh 4:13.).

Robertson: Rev 2:7 - Which Which ( ho ). The xulon (tree).

Which ( ho ).

The xulon (tree).

Robertson: Rev 2:7 - In the Paradise of God In the Paradise of God ( en tōi paradeisōi tou theou ). Persian word, for which see Luk 23:43; 2Co 12:4. The abode of God and the home of the red...

In the Paradise of God ( en tōi paradeisōi tou theou ).

Persian word, for which see Luk 23:43; 2Co 12:4. The abode of God and the home of the redeemed with Christ, not a mere intermediate state. It was originally a garden of delight and finally heaven itself (Trench), as here.

Robertson: Rev 2:8 - In Smyrna In Smyrna ( en Smurnēi ). North of Ephesus, on a gulf of the Aegean, one of the great cities of Asia (province), a seat of emperor-worship with tem...

In Smyrna ( en Smurnēi ).

North of Ephesus, on a gulf of the Aegean, one of the great cities of Asia (province), a seat of emperor-worship with temple to Tiberius, with many Jews hostile to Christianity who later join in the martyrdom of Polycarp, poor church (rich in grace) which receives only praise from Christ, scene of the recent massacre of Greeks by the Turks. Ramsay ( op. cit. , p. 251) terms Smyrna "the City of Life."Christianity has held on here better than in any city of Asia.

Robertson: Rev 2:8 - The first and the last The first and the last ( ho prōtos kai ho eschatos ). Repeating the language of Rev 1:17.

The first and the last ( ho prōtos kai ho eschatos ).

Repeating the language of Rev 1:17.

Robertson: Rev 2:8 - Which was dead Which was dead ( hos egeneto nekros ). Rather, "who became dead"(second aorist middle indicative of ginomai ) as in Rev 1:18.

Which was dead ( hos egeneto nekros ).

Rather, "who became dead"(second aorist middle indicative of ginomai ) as in Rev 1:18.

Robertson: Rev 2:8 - And lived again And lived again ( kai ezēsen ). First aorist (ingressive, came to life) active of zaō (ho zōn in Rev 1:18). Emphasis on the resurrection of...

And lived again ( kai ezēsen ).

First aorist (ingressive, came to life) active of zaō (ho zōn in Rev 1:18). Emphasis on the resurrection of Christ.

Robertson: Rev 2:9 - Thy tribulation and thy poverty Thy tribulation and thy poverty ( sou tēn thlipsin kai ptōcheian ). Separate articles of same gender, emphasizing each item. The tribulation was ...

Thy tribulation and thy poverty ( sou tēn thlipsin kai ptōcheian ).

Separate articles of same gender, emphasizing each item. The tribulation was probably persecution, which helped to intensify the poverty of the Christians (Jam 2:5; 1Co 1:26; 2Co 6:10; 2Co 8:2). In contrast with the wealthy church in Laodicea (Rev 3:17).

Robertson: Rev 2:9 - But thou art rich But thou art rich ( alla plousios ei ). Parenthesis to show the spiritual riches of this church in contrast with the spiritual poverty in Laodicea (R...

But thou art rich ( alla plousios ei ).

Parenthesis to show the spiritual riches of this church in contrast with the spiritual poverty in Laodicea (Rev 3:17), this a rich poor church, that a poor rich church. Rich in grace toward God (Luk 12:21) and in good deeds (1Ti 6:18). Perhaps Jews and pagans had pillaged their property (Heb 10:34), poor as they already were.

Robertson: Rev 2:9 - Blasphemy Blasphemy ( blasphēmian ). Reviling believers in Christ. See Mar 7:22. The precise charge by these Jews is not indicated, but see Act 13:45.

Blasphemy ( blasphēmian ).

Reviling believers in Christ. See Mar 7:22. The precise charge by these Jews is not indicated, but see Act 13:45.

Robertson: Rev 2:9 - Of them which say Of them which say ( ek tōn legontōn ). "From those saying"(ek with the ablative plural of the present active articular participle of legō ).

Of them which say ( ek tōn legontōn ).

"From those saying"(ek with the ablative plural of the present active articular participle of legō ).

Robertson: Rev 2:9 - They are Jews They are Jews ( Ioudaious einai heautous ). This is the accusative of general reference and the infinitive in indirect discourse after legō (Act ...

They are Jews ( Ioudaious einai heautous ).

This is the accusative of general reference and the infinitive in indirect discourse after legō (Act 5:36; Act 8:9) even though legontōn is here ablative (cf. Rev 3:9), common idiom. These are actual Jews and only Jews, not Christians.

Robertson: Rev 2:9 - And they are not And they are not ( kai ouk eisin ). Another parenthesis like that in Rev 2:2. These are Jews in name only, not spiritual Jews (Gal 6:15., Rom 2:28).

And they are not ( kai ouk eisin ).

Another parenthesis like that in Rev 2:2. These are Jews in name only, not spiritual Jews (Gal 6:15., Rom 2:28).

Robertson: Rev 2:9 - A synagogue of Satan A synagogue of Satan ( sunagōgē tou Satanā ). In Rev 3:9 again and note Rev 2:13, Rev 2:24, serving the devil (Joh 8:44) instead of the Lord (N...

A synagogue of Satan ( sunagōgē tou Satanā ).

In Rev 3:9 again and note Rev 2:13, Rev 2:24, serving the devil (Joh 8:44) instead of the Lord (Num 16:3; Num 20:4).

Robertson: Rev 2:10 - Fear not Fear not ( mē phobou ). As in Rev 1:17. Worse things are about to come than poverty and blasphemy, perhaps prison and death, for the devil "is abou...

Fear not ( mē phobou ).

As in Rev 1:17. Worse things are about to come than poverty and blasphemy, perhaps prison and death, for the devil "is about to cast"(mellei ballein ), "is going to cast."

Robertson: Rev 2:10 - Some of you Some of you ( ex humōn ). Without tinas (some) before ex humōn , a common idiom as in Rev 3:9; Rev 11:19; Luk 11:49.

Some of you ( ex humōn ).

Without tinas (some) before ex humōn , a common idiom as in Rev 3:9; Rev 11:19; Luk 11:49.

Robertson: Rev 2:10 - That ye may be tried That ye may be tried ( hina peirasthēte ). Purpose clause with hina and the first aorist passive subjunctive of peirazō . John himself is in ex...

That ye may be tried ( hina peirasthēte ).

Purpose clause with hina and the first aorist passive subjunctive of peirazō . John himself is in exile. Peter and John had often been in prison together. James the brother of John, Paul, and Peter had all suffered martyrdom. In Rev 3:10 a general persecution is outlined by peirasmos .

Robertson: Rev 2:10 - Ye shall have Ye shall have ( hexete ). Future active, but some MSS. read echēte (present active subjunctive with hina, "that ye may have").

Ye shall have ( hexete ).

Future active, but some MSS. read echēte (present active subjunctive with hina, "that ye may have").

Robertson: Rev 2:10 - Tribulation ten days Tribulation ten days ( thlipsin hēmerōn deka ). "Tribulation of ten days"(or "within ten days"). It is unwise to seek a literal meaning for ten d...

Tribulation ten days ( thlipsin hēmerōn deka ).

"Tribulation of ten days"(or "within ten days"). It is unwise to seek a literal meaning for ten days. Even ten days of suffering might seem an eternity while they lasted.

Robertson: Rev 2:10 - Be thou faithful Be thou faithful ( ginou pistos ). "Keep on becoming faithful"(present middle imperative of ginomai ), "keep on proving faithful unto death"(Heb 12:...

Be thou faithful ( ginou pistos ).

"Keep on becoming faithful"(present middle imperative of ginomai ), "keep on proving faithful unto death"(Heb 12:4) as the martyrs have done (Jesus most of all).

Robertson: Rev 2:10 - The crown of life The crown of life ( ton stephanon tēs zōēs ). See this very image in Jam 1:12, a familiar metaphor in the games at Smyrna and elsewhere in whic...

The crown of life ( ton stephanon tēs zōēs ).

See this very image in Jam 1:12, a familiar metaphor in the games at Smyrna and elsewhere in which the prize was a garland. See also Rev 3:11. The crown consists in life (Rev 2:7). See Paul’ s use of stephanos in 1Co 9:25; 2Ti 4:8.

Robertson: Rev 2:11 - Shall not be hurt Shall not be hurt ( ou mē adikēthēi ). Strong double negative with first aorist passive subjunctive of adikeō , old verb, to act unjustly (fr...

Shall not be hurt ( ou mē adikēthēi ).

Strong double negative with first aorist passive subjunctive of adikeō , old verb, to act unjustly (from adikos ), here to do harm or wrong to one, old usage as in Rev 6:6; Rev 7:2.; Rev 9:4, Rev 9:10; Rev 11:5.

Robertson: Rev 2:11 - Of the second death Of the second death ( ek tou thanatou tou deuterou ). Ek here used for the agent or instrument as often (Rev 3:18; Rev 9:2; Rev 18:1). See Rev 20:6...

Of the second death ( ek tou thanatou tou deuterou ).

Ek here used for the agent or instrument as often (Rev 3:18; Rev 9:2; Rev 18:1). See Rev 20:6, Rev 20:14; Rev 21:8 where "the second death"is explained as "the lake of fire."The idea is present in Dan 12:3; Joh 5:29 and is current in Jewish circles as in the Jerusalem Targum on Deu 33:6 and in Philo. It is not annihilation. The Christians put to death in the persecution will at least escape this second death (eternal punishment).

Robertson: Rev 2:12 - In Pergamum In Pergamum ( en Pergamōi ). In a north-easterly direction from Smyrna in the Caicus Valley, some fifty-five miles away, in Mysia, on a lofty hill,...

In Pergamum ( en Pergamōi ).

In a north-easterly direction from Smyrna in the Caicus Valley, some fifty-five miles away, in Mysia, on a lofty hill, a great political and religious centre. Ramsay ( Op. cit. , p. 281) calls it "the royal city, the city of authority."Eumenes II (b.c. 197-159) extended it and embellished it with many great buildings, including a library with 200,000 volumes, second only to Alexandria. The Kingdom of Pergamum became a Roman province b.c. 130. Pliny termed it the most illustrious city of Asia. Parchment (charta Pergamena ) derived its name from Pergamum. It was a rival of Ephesus in the temples to Zeus, Athena, Dionysos, in the great grove Nicephorium (the glory of the city). Next to this was the grove and temple of Asklepios, the god of healing, called the god of Pergamum, with a university for medical study. Pergamum was the first city in Asia (a.d. 29) with a temple for the worship of Augustus (Octavius Caesar). Hence in the Apocalypse Pergamum is a very centre of emperor-worship "where Satan dwells"(Rev 2:13). Here also the Nicolaitans flourished (Rev 2:15) as in Ephesus (Rev 2:6) and in Thyatira (Rev 2:20.). Like Ephesus this city is called temple-sweeper (neōkoros ) for the gods.

Robertson: Rev 2:12 - The sharp two-edged sword The sharp two-edged sword ( tēn romphaian tēn distomon tēn oxeian ). This item repeated from Rev 1:16 in the same order of words with the artic...

The sharp two-edged sword ( tēn romphaian tēn distomon tēn oxeian ).

This item repeated from Rev 1:16 in the same order of words with the article three times (the sword the two-mouthed the sharp) singling out each point.

Robertson: Rev 2:13 - Where Where ( pou - hopou ). Pou is interrogative adverb used here in an indirect question as in Joh 1:39. Hopou is relative adverb referring to pou ....

Where ( pou - hopou ).

Pou is interrogative adverb used here in an indirect question as in Joh 1:39. Hopou is relative adverb referring to pou . Satan’ s throne (ho thronos tou Satanā ). Satan not simply resided in Pergamum, but his "throne"or seat of power of king or judge (Mat 19:28; Luk 1:32, Luk 1:52). The symbol of Asklepios was the serpent as it is of Satan (Rev 12:9; Rev 20:2). There was, besides, a great throne altar to Zeus cut on the Acropolis rock, symbol of "rampant paganism"(Swete) and the new Caesar-worship with the recent martyrdom of Antipas made Pergamum indeed a very throne of Satan.

Robertson: Rev 2:13 - Holdest fast my name Holdest fast my name ( krateis to onoma sou ). Present active indicative of krateō , "dost keep on holding,"as in Rev 2:25, Rev 3:11. This church r...

Holdest fast my name ( krateis to onoma sou ).

Present active indicative of krateō , "dost keep on holding,"as in Rev 2:25, Rev 3:11. This church refused to say Kurios Kaisar ( Martyrd. Polyc. 8f.) and continued to say Kurios Iēsous (1Co 12:3). They stood true against the emperor-worship.

Robertson: Rev 2:13 - Didst not deny Didst not deny ( ouk ērnēsō ). First aorist middle second person singular of arneomai . Reference to a specific incident not known to us.

Didst not deny ( ouk ērnēsō ).

First aorist middle second person singular of arneomai . Reference to a specific incident not known to us.

Robertson: Rev 2:13 - My faith My faith ( tēn pistin mou ). Objective genitive, "thy faith in me."

My faith ( tēn pistin mou ).

Objective genitive, "thy faith in me."

Robertson: Rev 2:13 - Of Antipas Of Antipas ( Antipas ). Indeclinable in this form. It is possible that Antipa (genitive) was really written, though unimportant as the nominative f...

Of Antipas ( Antipas ).

Indeclinable in this form. It is possible that Antipa (genitive) was really written, though unimportant as the nominative follows in apposition. Nothing is really known of this early martyr in Pergamum before the writing of the Apocalypse. One legend is that he was burnt to death in a brazen bull. Other martyrs followed him at Pergamum (Agathonice, Attalus, Carpus, Polybus).

Robertson: Rev 2:13 - My witness My witness ( ho martus mou ). Nominative in apposition with a genitive as in Rev 1:5 (with ablative), common solecism in the Apocalypse. "Witness"as ...

My witness ( ho martus mou ).

Nominative in apposition with a genitive as in Rev 1:5 (with ablative), common solecism in the Apocalypse. "Witness"as Jesus had said they should be (Act 1:8) and Stephen was (Act 22:20) and others were (Rev 17:6). The word later (by third century) took on the modern meaning of martyr.

Robertson: Rev 2:13 - My faithful one My faithful one ( ho pistos mou ). Nominative also, with mou also. Jesus gives Antipas his own title (Swete) as in Rev 1:5; Rev 3:14. Faithful unto...

My faithful one ( ho pistos mou ).

Nominative also, with mou also. Jesus gives Antipas his own title (Swete) as in Rev 1:5; Rev 3:14. Faithful unto death.

Robertson: Rev 2:13 - Was killed Was killed ( apektanthē ). First aorist passive indicative of apokteinō , this passive form common in the Apocalypse (Rev 2:13; Rev 6:11; Rev 9:5...

Was killed ( apektanthē ).

First aorist passive indicative of apokteinō , this passive form common in the Apocalypse (Rev 2:13; Rev 6:11; Rev 9:5, Rev 9:15, Rev 9:18, Rev 9:20; Rev 11:13;Rev 13:10; Rev 19:21).

Robertson: Rev 2:13 - Among you Among you ( par humin ). By your side. Proof of the throne of Satan, "where Satan dwells"(hopou ho Satanās katoikei ), repeated for emphasis.

Among you ( par humin ).

By your side. Proof of the throne of Satan, "where Satan dwells"(hopou ho Satanās katoikei ), repeated for emphasis.

Robertson: Rev 2:14 - There There ( ekei ). That is par' humin (among you). A party in the church that resisted emperor-worship, to the death in the case of Antipas, yet were ...

There ( ekei ).

That is par' humin (among you). A party in the church that resisted emperor-worship, to the death in the case of Antipas, yet were caught in the insidious wiles of the Nicolaitans which the church in Ephesus withstood.

Robertson: Rev 2:14 - Some that hold Some that hold ( kratountas ). "Men holding"(present active participle of krateō ).

Some that hold ( kratountas ).

"Men holding"(present active participle of krateō ).

Robertson: Rev 2:14 - The teaching of Balaam The teaching of Balaam ( tēn didachēn Balaam ). Indeclinable substantive Balaam (Num 25:1-9; Num 31:15.). The point of likeness of these heretics...

The teaching of Balaam ( tēn didachēn Balaam ).

Indeclinable substantive Balaam (Num 25:1-9; Num 31:15.). The point of likeness of these heretics with Balaam is here explained.

Robertson: Rev 2:14 - Taught Balak Taught Balak ( edidasken tōi Balak ). Imperfect indicative of didaskō , Balaam’ s habit, "as the prototype of all corrupt teachers"(Charles)...

Taught Balak ( edidasken tōi Balak ).

Imperfect indicative of didaskō , Balaam’ s habit, "as the prototype of all corrupt teachers"(Charles). These early Gnostics practised licentiousness as a principle since they were not under law, but under grace (Rom 6:15). The use of the dative with didaskō is a colloquialism rather than a Hebraism. Two accusatives often occur with didaskō .

Robertson: Rev 2:14 - To cast a stumbling-block To cast a stumbling-block ( balein skandalon ). Second aorist active infinitive (accusative case after edidasken ) of ballō , regular use with ska...

To cast a stumbling-block ( balein skandalon ).

Second aorist active infinitive (accusative case after edidasken ) of ballō , regular use with skandalon (trap) like tithēmi skandalon in Rom 14:13. Balaam, as Josephus and Philo also say, showed Balak how to set a trap for the Israelites by beguiling them into the double sin of idolatry and fornication, which often went together (and do so still).

Robertson: Rev 2:14 - To eat things sacrificed to idols To eat things sacrificed to idols ( phagein eidōlothuta ). Second aorist active infinitive of esthiō and the verbal adjective (from eidōlon ...

To eat things sacrificed to idols ( phagein eidōlothuta ).

Second aorist active infinitive of esthiō and the verbal adjective (from eidōlon and thuō ), quoted here from Num 25:1., but in inverse order, repeated in other order in Rev 2:20. See Act 15:29; Act 21:25; 1Co 8:1. for the controversy over the temptation to Gentile Christians to do what in itself was harmless, but which led to evil if it led to participation in the pagan feasts. Perhaps both ideas are involved here. Balaam taught Balak how to lead the Israelites into sin in both ways.

Robertson: Rev 2:15 - So thou also So thou also ( houtōs kai su ). Thou and the church at Pergamum as Israel had the wiles of Balaam.

So thou also ( houtōs kai su ).

Thou and the church at Pergamum as Israel had the wiles of Balaam.

Robertson: Rev 2:15 - The teaching of the Nicolaitans likewise The teaching of the Nicolaitans likewise ( tēn didachēn tōn Nikolaitōn homoiōs ). See note on Rev 2:6 for the Nicolaitans. The use of homoi...

The teaching of the Nicolaitans likewise ( tēn didachēn tōn Nikolaitōn homoiōs ).

See note on Rev 2:6 for the Nicolaitans. The use of homoiōs (likewise) here shows that they followed Balaam in not obeying the decision of the Conference at Jerusalem (Act 15:20, Act 15:29) about idolatry and fornication, with the result that they encouraged a return to pagan laxity of morals (Swete). Some wrongly hold that these Nicolaitans were Pauline Christians in the face of Col 3:5-8; Eph 5:3-6.

Robertson: Rev 2:16 - Repent therefore Repent therefore ( metanoēson oun ). First aorist (tense of urgency) active imperative of metanoeō with the inferential particle oun (as a re...

Repent therefore ( metanoēson oun ).

First aorist (tense of urgency) active imperative of metanoeō with the inferential particle oun (as a result of their sin).

Robertson: Rev 2:16 - I come I come ( erchomai ). Futuristic present middle indicative, "I am coming"(imminent), as in Rev 2:5 with tachu as in Rev 3:11; Rev 11:14; Rev 22:7, R...

I come ( erchomai ).

Futuristic present middle indicative, "I am coming"(imminent), as in Rev 2:5 with tachu as in Rev 3:11; Rev 11:14; Rev 22:7, Rev 22:12, Rev 22:20. As with en tachei (Rev 1:1), we do not know how soon "quickly"is meant to be understood. But it is a real threat.

Robertson: Rev 2:16 - Against them Against them ( met' autōn ). This proposition with polemeō rather than kata (against) is common in the lxx, but in the N.T. only in Rev 2:16;...

Against them ( met' autōn ).

This proposition with polemeō rather than kata (against) is common in the lxx, but in the N.T. only in Rev 2:16; Rev 12:7; Rev 13:4; Rev 17:14 and the verb itself nowhere else in N.T. except Jam 4:2. "An eternal roll of thunder from the throne"(Renan). "The glorified Christ is in this book a Warrior, who fights with the sharp sword of the word"(Swete).

Robertson: Rev 2:16 - With With ( en ). Instrumental use of en . For the language see Rev 1:16; Rev 2:12; Rev 19:15.

With ( en ).

Instrumental use of en . For the language see Rev 1:16; Rev 2:12; Rev 19:15.

Robertson: Rev 2:17 - Of the hidden manna Of the hidden manna ( tou manna tou kekrummenou ). "Of the manna the hidden"(perfect passive articular participle of kruptō ). The partitive genit...

Of the hidden manna ( tou manna tou kekrummenou ).

"Of the manna the hidden"(perfect passive articular participle of kruptō ). The partitive genitive, the only N.T. example with didōmi , though Q reads to (accusative) here. For examples of the ablative with apo and ek see Robertson, Grammar , p. 519. See Joh 6:31, Joh 6:49 for the indeclinable word manna . The golden pot of manna was "laid up before God in the ark"(Exo 16:23). It was believed that Jeremiah hid the ark, before the destruction of Jerusalem, where it would not be discovered till Israel was restored (2 Macc. 2:5ff.). Christ is the true bread from heaven (Joh 6:31-33, Joh 6:48-51) and that may be the idea here. Those faithful to Christ will have transcendent fellowship with him. Swete takes it to be "the life-sustaining power of the Sacred Humanity now hid with Christ in God."

Robertson: Rev 2:17 - A white stone A white stone ( psēphon leukēn ). This old word for pebble (from psaō , to rub) was used in courts of justice, black pebbles for condemning, wh...

A white stone ( psēphon leukēn ).

This old word for pebble (from psaō , to rub) was used in courts of justice, black pebbles for condemning, white pebbles for acquitting. The only other use of the word in the N.T. is in Act 26:10, where Paul speaks of "depositing his pebble"(katēnegka psēphon ) or casting his vote. The white stone with one’ s name on it was used to admit one to entertainments and also as an amulet or charm.

Robertson: Rev 2:17 - A new name written A new name written ( onoma kainon gegrammenon ). Perfect passive predicate participle of graphō . Not the man’ s own name, but that of Christ ...

A new name written ( onoma kainon gegrammenon ).

Perfect passive predicate participle of graphō . Not the man’ s own name, but that of Christ (Heitmuller, Im Namen Jesu , p. 128-265). See Rev 3:12 for the name of God so written on one. The man himself may be the psēphos on which the new name is written. "The true Christian has a charmed life"(Moffatt).

Robertson: Rev 2:17 - But he that receiveth it But he that receiveth it ( ei mē ho lambanōn ). "Except the one receiving it."See Mat 11:27 for like intimate and secret knowledge between the Fa...

But he that receiveth it ( ei mē ho lambanōn ).

"Except the one receiving it."See Mat 11:27 for like intimate and secret knowledge between the Father and the Son and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal the Father. See also Rev 19:12.

Robertson: Rev 2:18 - In Thyatira In Thyatira ( en Thuateirois ). Some forty miles south-east of Pergamum, a Lydian city on the edge of Mysia, under Rome since b.c. 190, a centre of t...

In Thyatira ( en Thuateirois ).

Some forty miles south-east of Pergamum, a Lydian city on the edge of Mysia, under Rome since b.c. 190, a centre of trade, especially for the royal purple, home of Lydia of Philippi (Act 16:14.), shown by inscriptions to be full of trade guilds, Apollo the chief deity with no emperor-worship, centre of activity by the Nicolaitans with their idolatry and licentiousness under a "prophetess"who defied the church there. Ramsay calls it "Weakness Made Strong"( op. cit. , p. 316).

Robertson: Rev 2:18 - The Son of God The Son of God ( ho huios tou theou ). Here Jesus is represented as calling himself by this title as in Joh 11:4 and as he affirms on oath in Mat 26:...

The Son of God ( ho huios tou theou ).

Here Jesus is represented as calling himself by this title as in Joh 11:4 and as he affirms on oath in Mat 26:63. "The Word of God"occurs in Rev 19:13.

Robertson: Rev 2:18 - His eyes like a flame of fire His eyes like a flame of fire ( tous ophthalmous autou hōs phloga puros ). As in Rev 1:14.

His eyes like a flame of fire ( tous ophthalmous autou hōs phloga puros ).

As in Rev 1:14.

Robertson: Rev 2:18 - His feet like burnished brass His feet like burnished brass ( hoi podes autou homoioi chalkolibanōi ). As in Rev 1:15.

His feet like burnished brass ( hoi podes autou homoioi chalkolibanōi ).

As in Rev 1:15.

Robertson: Rev 2:19 - Thy works Thy works ( sou ta erga ). As in Rev 2:2 and explained (explanatory use of kai = namely) by what follows. Four items are given, with separate femin...

Thy works ( sou ta erga ).

As in Rev 2:2 and explained (explanatory use of kai = namely) by what follows. Four items are given, with separate feminine article for each (tēn agapēn , tēn pistin , tēn diakonian , tēn hupomonēn ), a longer list of graces than in Rev 2:2 for Ephesus. More praise is given in the case of Ephesus and Thyatira when blame follows than in the case of Smyrna and Philadelphia when no fault is found. Love comes first in this list in true Johannine fashion. Faith (pistin ) here may be "faithfulness,"and ministry (diakonian ) is ministration to needs of others (Act 11:29; 1Co 16:15).

Robertson: Rev 2:19 - And that And that ( kai ). Only kai (and) in the Greek, but doubtless hoti (that) is understood.

And that ( kai ).

Only kai (and) in the Greek, but doubtless hoti (that) is understood.

Robertson: Rev 2:19 - Than the first Than the first ( tōn prōtōn ). Ablative after the comparative pleiona (more).

Than the first ( tōn prōtōn ).

Ablative after the comparative pleiona (more).

Robertson: Rev 2:20 - Thou sufferest Thou sufferest ( apheis ). Late vernacular present active indicative second person singular as if from a form apheō instead of the usual aphiēm...

Thou sufferest ( apheis ).

Late vernacular present active indicative second person singular as if from a form apheō instead of the usual aphiēmi forms.

Robertson: Rev 2:20 - The woman Jezebel The woman Jezebel ( tēn gunaika Iezabel ). Symbolical name for some prominent woman in the church in Thyatira, like the infamous wife of Ahab who w...

The woman Jezebel ( tēn gunaika Iezabel ).

Symbolical name for some prominent woman in the church in Thyatira, like the infamous wife of Ahab who was guilty of whoredom and witchcraft (1Ki 16:31; 2Ki 9:22) and who sought to drive out the worship of God from Israel. Some MSS. here (A Q 40 min.s) have sou (thy wife, thy woman Ramsay makes it), but surely Aleph C P rightly reject sou . Otherwise she is the pastor’ s wife!

Robertson: Rev 2:20 - Which calleth herself a prophetess Which calleth herself a prophetess ( hē legousa heautēn prophētin ). Nominative articular participle of legō in apposition with the accusat...

Which calleth herself a prophetess ( hē legousa heautēn prophētin ).

Nominative articular participle of legō in apposition with the accusative gunaika like ho martus in apposition with Antipas in Rev 2:13. Prophētis is an old word, feminine form for prophētēs , in N.T. only here and Luk 2:36 (Anna), two extremes surely. See Act 21:9 for the daughters of Philip who prophesied.

Robertson: Rev 2:20 - And she teacheth and seduceth And she teacheth and seduceth ( kai didaskei kai planāi ). A resolution of the participles (didaskousa kai planōsa ) into finite verbs (present ...

And she teacheth and seduceth ( kai didaskei kai planāi ).

A resolution of the participles (didaskousa kai planōsa ) into finite verbs (present active indicatives) as in Rev 1:5. This woman was not a real prophetess, but a false one with loud claims and loose living. One is puzzled to know how such a woman had so much shrewdness and sex-appeal as to lead astray the servants of God in that church. The church tolerated the Nicolaitans and this leader whose primary object was sexual immorality (Charles) and became too much involved with her to handle the heresy.

Robertson: Rev 2:21 - I gave her time I gave her time ( edōka autēi chronon ). First aorist active indicative of didōmi , allusion to a definite visit or message of warning to this ...

I gave her time ( edōka autēi chronon ).

First aorist active indicative of didōmi , allusion to a definite visit or message of warning to this woman.

Robertson: Rev 2:21 - That she should repent That she should repent ( hina metanoēsēi ). Sub-final use of hina with first aorist active subjunctive of metanoeō .

That she should repent ( hina metanoēsēi ).

Sub-final use of hina with first aorist active subjunctive of metanoeō .

Robertson: Rev 2:21 - And she willeth not And she willeth not ( kai ou thelei ). "And she is not willing."Blunt and final like Mat 23:37.

And she willeth not ( kai ou thelei ).

"And she is not willing."Blunt and final like Mat 23:37.

Robertson: Rev 2:21 - To repent of To repent of ( metanoēsai ek ). First aorist (ingressive) active infinitive with ek , "to make a change out of,"the usual construction with metanoe...

To repent of ( metanoēsai ek ).

First aorist (ingressive) active infinitive with ek , "to make a change out of,"the usual construction with metanoeō in this book (Rev 2:22; Rev 9:20.; Rev 16:11), with apo in Act 8:22. Porneia (fornication) here, but moicheuō (to commit adultery) in Rev 2:22.

Robertson: Rev 2:22 - I do cast I do cast ( ballō ). Futuristic present active indicative rather than the future balō , since judgment is imminent.

I do cast ( ballō ).

Futuristic present active indicative rather than the future balō , since judgment is imminent.

Robertson: Rev 2:22 - Into a bed Into a bed ( eis klinēn ). "A bed of sickness in contrast with the bed of adultery"(Beckwith).

Into a bed ( eis klinēn ).

"A bed of sickness in contrast with the bed of adultery"(Beckwith).

Robertson: Rev 2:22 - Them that commit adultery with her Them that commit adultery with her ( tous moicheuontas met' autēs ). Present active articular participle accusative plural of moicheuō . The actu...

Them that commit adultery with her ( tous moicheuontas met' autēs ).

Present active articular participle accusative plural of moicheuō . The actual paramours of the woman Jezebel, guilty of both porneia (fornication, Rev 2:21) and moicheia (adultery), works of Jezebel of old and of this Jezebel. There may be also an allusion to the spiritual adultery (2Co 11:2) towards God and Christ as of old (Jer 3:8; Jer 5:7; Eze 16:22).

Robertson: Rev 2:22 - Except they repent Except they repent ( ean mē metanoēsousin ). Condition of first class with ean mē and the future active indicative of metanoeō , put in thi...

Except they repent ( ean mē metanoēsousin ).

Condition of first class with ean mē and the future active indicative of metanoeō , put in this vivid form rather than the aorist subjunctive (̇ōsin ) third-class condition.

Robertson: Rev 2:22 - Of her works Of her works ( ek tōn ergōn autēs ). Autēs (her) correct rather than autōn (their). Jezebel was chiefly responsible.

Of her works ( ek tōn ergōn autēs ).

Autēs (her) correct rather than autōn (their). Jezebel was chiefly responsible.

Robertson: Rev 2:23 - I will kill with death I will kill with death ( apoktenō en thanatōi ). Future (volitive) active of apokteinō with the tautological (cognate) en thanatōi (in th...

I will kill with death ( apoktenō en thanatōi ).

Future (volitive) active of apokteinō with the tautological (cognate) en thanatōi (in the sense of pestilence) as in Eze 33:27.

Robertson: Rev 2:23 - Her children Her children ( ta tekna autēs ). Either her actual children, like the fate of Ahab’ s sons (2Ki 10:7) or "her spiritual progeny"(Swete) who ha...

Her children ( ta tekna autēs ).

Either her actual children, like the fate of Ahab’ s sons (2Ki 10:7) or "her spiritual progeny"(Swete) who have completely accepted her Nicolaitan practices.

Robertson: Rev 2:23 - Shall know Shall know ( gnōsontai ). Future (ingressive punctiliar) middle of ginōskō , "shall come to know.""The doom of the offenders was to be known as...

Shall know ( gnōsontai ).

Future (ingressive punctiliar) middle of ginōskō , "shall come to know.""The doom of the offenders was to be known as widely as the scandal had been"(Charles).

Robertson: Rev 2:23 - Searcheth Searcheth ( eraunōn ). Present active articular participle of eraunaō , to follow up, to track out, late form for ereunaō , from Jer 17:10.

Searcheth ( eraunōn ).

Present active articular participle of eraunaō , to follow up, to track out, late form for ereunaō , from Jer 17:10.

Robertson: Rev 2:23 - Reins Reins ( nephrous ). Old word for kidneys, here only in N.T., quoted also with kardias from Jer 17:10. See Rev 22:17 for the reward of punishment.

Reins ( nephrous ).

Old word for kidneys, here only in N.T., quoted also with kardias from Jer 17:10. See Rev 22:17 for the reward of punishment.

Robertson: Rev 2:24 - To you the rest To you the rest ( humin tois loipois ). Dative case. Those who hold out against Jezebel, not necessarily a minority (Rev 9:20; Rev 19:21; 1Th 4:13).

To you the rest ( humin tois loipois ).

Dative case. Those who hold out against Jezebel, not necessarily a minority (Rev 9:20; Rev 19:21; 1Th 4:13).

Robertson: Rev 2:24 - As many as As many as ( hosoi ). Inclusive of all "the rest."

As many as ( hosoi ).

Inclusive of all "the rest."

Robertson: Rev 2:24 - This teaching This teaching ( tēn didachēn tautēn ). That of Jezebel.

This teaching ( tēn didachēn tautēn ).

That of Jezebel.

Robertson: Rev 2:24 - Which Which ( hoitines ). "Which very ones,"generic of the class, explanatory definition as in Rev 1:7.

Which ( hoitines ).

"Which very ones,"generic of the class, explanatory definition as in Rev 1:7.

Robertson: Rev 2:24 - Know not Know not ( ouk egnōsan ). Second aorist (ingressive) active of ginōskō , "did not come to know by experience."

Know not ( ouk egnōsan ).

Second aorist (ingressive) active of ginōskō , "did not come to know by experience."

Robertson: Rev 2:24 - The deep things of Satan The deep things of Satan ( ta bathea tou Satanā ). The Ophites (worshippers of the serpent) and other later Gnostics (Cainites, Carpocratians, Naas...

The deep things of Satan ( ta bathea tou Satanā ).

The Ophites (worshippers of the serpent) and other later Gnostics (Cainites, Carpocratians, Naassenes) boasted of their knowledge of "the deep things,"some claiming this very language about Satan (the serpent) as Paul did of God (1Co 2:10). It is not clear whether the words here quoted are a boast of the Nicolaitans or a reproach on the other Christians for not knowing the depths of sin. Some even claimed that they could indulge in immorality without sinning (1Jo 1:10; 1Jo 3:10). Perhaps both ideas are involved.

Robertson: Rev 2:24 - As they say As they say ( hōs legousin ). Probably referring to the heretics who ridicule the piety of the other Christians.

As they say ( hōs legousin ).

Probably referring to the heretics who ridicule the piety of the other Christians.

Robertson: Rev 2:24 - None other burden None other burden ( ou - allo baros ). Baros refers to weight (Mat 20:12), phortion , from pherō , to bear, refers to load (Gal 6:5), ogkos to...

None other burden ( ou - allo baros ).

Baros refers to weight (Mat 20:12), phortion , from pherō , to bear, refers to load (Gal 6:5), ogkos to bulk (Heb 12:1). Apparently a reference to the decision of the Jerusalem Conference (Act 15:28) where the very word baros is used and mention is made about the two items in Rev 2:20 (fornication and idolatry) without mentioning the others about things strangled, etc. See the Pharisaic narrowness in Mat 23:4.

Robertson: Rev 2:25 - Howbeit Howbeit ( plēn ). Common after ouk allo as a preposition with the ablative (Mar 12:32), but here a conjunction as in Phi 1:18.

Howbeit ( plēn ).

Common after ouk allo as a preposition with the ablative (Mar 12:32), but here a conjunction as in Phi 1:18.

Robertson: Rev 2:25 - Hold fast Hold fast ( kratēsate ). First aorist active imperative of krateō , either ingressive (get a grip on) or constative (hold on as a single decisive...

Hold fast ( kratēsate ).

First aorist active imperative of krateō , either ingressive (get a grip on) or constative (hold on as a single decisive effort). See present imperative kratei in Rev 3:11 (keep on holding).

Robertson: Rev 2:25 - Till I come Till I come ( achri hou an hēxō ). Indefinite temporal clause with achri hou (until which time) with modal an and either the future active in...

Till I come ( achri hou an hēxō ).

Indefinite temporal clause with achri hou (until which time) with modal an and either the future active indicative or the first aorist active subjunctive of hēkō (usual idiom with achri in Revelation as in Rev 7:3; Rev 15:8; Rev 20:3, Rev 20:5).

Robertson: Rev 2:26 - He that overcometh and he that keepeth He that overcometh and he that keepeth ( ho nikōn kai ho tērōn ). Present active articular participles of nikaō and tēreō in the nomi...

He that overcometh and he that keepeth ( ho nikōn kai ho tērōn ).

Present active articular participles of nikaō and tēreō in the nominative absolute ( nominativus pendens ) as in Rev 3:12, Rev 3:21, resumed by the dative autōi (to him), as in Rev 2:7, Rev 2:17.

Robertson: Rev 2:26 - Unto the end Unto the end ( achri telous ). That is, achri hou an hēxo above.

Unto the end ( achri telous ).

That is, achri hou an hēxo above.

Robertson: Rev 2:26 - Authority over the nations Authority over the nations ( exousian epi tōn ethnōn ). From Psa 2:8. The followers of the Messiah will share in his victory over his enemies (Re...

Authority over the nations ( exousian epi tōn ethnōn ).

From Psa 2:8. The followers of the Messiah will share in his victory over his enemies (Rev 1:6; Rev 12:5; Rev 19:15).

Robertson: Rev 2:27 - He shall rule He shall rule ( poimanei ). Future active of poimainō , to shepherd (from poimēn , shepherd), also from Psa 2:8. See again Rev 7:17; Rev 12:5; Re...

He shall rule ( poimanei ).

Future active of poimainō , to shepherd (from poimēn , shepherd), also from Psa 2:8. See again Rev 7:17; Rev 12:5; Rev 19:15.

Robertson: Rev 2:27 - With a rod of iron With a rod of iron ( en rabdōi sidērāi ). Continuing the quotation. Instrumental use of en . Rabdos (feminine) is the royal sceptre and indic...

With a rod of iron ( en rabdōi sidērāi ).

Continuing the quotation. Instrumental use of en . Rabdos (feminine) is the royal sceptre and indicates rigorous rule.

Robertson: Rev 2:27 - The vessels of the potter The vessels of the potter ( ta skeuē ta keramika ). Old adjective, belonging to a potter (kerameus , keramos ), here only in N.T.

The vessels of the potter ( ta skeuē ta keramika ).

Old adjective, belonging to a potter (kerameus , keramos ), here only in N.T.

Robertson: Rev 2:27 - Are broken to shivers Are broken to shivers ( suntribetai ). Present passive indicative of suntribō , old verb, to rub together, to break in pieces (Mar 14:3).

Are broken to shivers ( suntribetai ).

Present passive indicative of suntribō , old verb, to rub together, to break in pieces (Mar 14:3).

Robertson: Rev 2:28 - As I also have received As I also have received ( hōs kagō eilēpha ). Perfect active indicative of lambanō . Christ still possesses the power from the Father (Act 2:...

As I also have received ( hōs kagō eilēpha ).

Perfect active indicative of lambanō . Christ still possesses the power from the Father (Act 2:33; Psa 2:7).

Robertson: Rev 2:28 - The morning star The morning star ( ton astera ton prōinon ). "The star the morning one."In Rev 22:16 Christ is the bright morning star. The victor will have Christ...

The morning star ( ton astera ton prōinon ).

"The star the morning one."In Rev 22:16 Christ is the bright morning star. The victor will have Christ himself.

Vincent: Rev 2:1 - Ephesus Ephesus Ephesus was built near the sea, in the valley of the Cayster, under the shadows of Coressus and Prion. In the time of Paul it was the met...

Ephesus

Ephesus was built near the sea, in the valley of the Cayster, under the shadows of Coressus and Prion. In the time of Paul it was the metropolis of the province of Asia. It was styled by Pliny the Light of Asia . Its harbor, though partly filled up, was crowded with vessels, and it lay at the junction of roads which gave it access to the whole interior continent. Its markets were the " Vanity Fair" of Asia. Herodotus says: " The Ionians of Asia have built their cities in a region where the air and climate are the most beautiful in the whole world; for no other region is equally blessed with Ionia. For in other countries, either the climate is over-cold and damp, or else the heat and drought are sorely oppressive" (i., 142).

In Paul's time it was the residence of the Roman proconsul; and the degenerate inhabitants descended to every species of flattery in order to maintain the favor of Rome. The civilization of the city was mingled Greek and Oriental. It was the head-quarters of the magical art, and various superstitions were represented by different priestly bodies. The great temple of Diana, the Oriental, not the Greek divinity, was ranked among the seven wonders of the world, and Ephesus called herself its sacristan (see on Act 19:27). To it attached the right of asylum. Legend related that when the temple was finished, Mithridates stood on its summit and declared that the right of asylum should extend in a circle round it, as far as he could shoot an arrow; and the arrow miraculously flew a furlong. This fact encouraged moral contagion. The temple is thus described by Canon Farrar: " It had been built with ungrudging magnificence out of contributions furnished by all Asia - the very women contributing to it their jewels, as the Jewish women had done of old for the Tabernacle of the Wilderness. To avoid the danger of earthquakes, its foundations were built at vast cost on artificial foundations of skin and charcoal laid over the marsh. It gleamed far off with a star-like radiance. Its peristyle consisted of one hundred and twenty pillars of the Ionic order, hewn out of Parian marble. Its doors of carved cypress wood were surmounted by transoms so vast and solid that the aid of miracles was invoked to account for their elevation. The staircase, which led to the roof, was said to have been cut out of a single vine of Cyprus. Some of the pillars were carved with designs of exquisite beauty. Within were the masterpieces of Praxiteles and Phidias and Scopas and Polycletus. Paintings by the greatest of Greek artists, of which one - the likeness of Alexander the Great by Apelles - had been bought for a sum equal in value to £5,000 of modern money, adorned the inner walls. The roof of the temple itself was of cedar-wood, supported by columns of jasper on bases of Parian marble. On these pillars hung gifts of priceless value, the votive offerings of grateful superstition. At the end of it stood the great altar adorned by the bas-relief of Praxiteles, behind which fell the vast folds of a purple curtain. Behind this curtain was the dark and awful shrine in which stood the most sacred idol of classic heathendom; and again, behind the shrine, was the room which, inviolable under divine protection, was regarded as the wealthiest and securest bank in the ancient world " (" Life and Work of St. Paul," ii., 12).

Next to Rome, Ephesus was the principal seat of Paul's labors. He devoted three years to that city. The commonly received tradition represents John as closing his apostolic career there. Nothing in early Church history is better attested than his residence and work in Ephesus, the center of the circle of churches established by Paul in Ionia and Phrygia.

Vincent: Rev 2:1 - Who walketh Who walketh ( ὁ περιπατῶν ) More than standeth . The word expresses Christ's activity on behalf of His Church.

Who walketh ( ὁ περιπατῶν )

More than standeth . The word expresses Christ's activity on behalf of His Church.

Vincent: Rev 2:2 - Thy works Thy works ( τὰ ἔργα σοῦ ) See on Joh 4:47.

Thy works ( τὰ ἔργα σοῦ )

See on Joh 4:47.

Vincent: Rev 2:2 - Labor Labor ( κόπον ) Originally suffering , weariness ; hence exhausting labor. The kindred verb κοπιάω is often used of apostolic...

Labor ( κόπον )

Originally suffering , weariness ; hence exhausting labor. The kindred verb κοπιάω is often used of apostolic and ministerial labor (Rom 16:12; 1Co 15:10; Gal 4:11).

Vincent: Rev 2:2 - Patience Patience ( ὑπομονήν ) See on 2Pe 1:6; see on Jam 5:1. Compare Paul's exhortation to Timothy in Ephesus, 2Ti 2:25, 2Ti 2:26.

Patience ( ὑπομονήν )

See on 2Pe 1:6; see on Jam 5:1. Compare Paul's exhortation to Timothy in Ephesus, 2Ti 2:25, 2Ti 2:26.

Vincent: Rev 2:2 - Bear Bear ( βαστάσαι ) See on Joh 10:31; see on Joh 12:6. Compare Gal 6:2, where the word is used of Christians bearing each others' burde...

Bear ( βαστάσαι )

See on Joh 10:31; see on Joh 12:6. Compare Gal 6:2, where the word is used of Christians bearing each others' burdens.

Vincent: Rev 2:2 - Them which are evil Them which are evil ( κακοὺς ) Trench observes that " it is not a little remarkable that the grace or virtue here ascribed to the angel o...

Them which are evil ( κακοὺς )

Trench observes that " it is not a little remarkable that the grace or virtue here ascribed to the angel of the Ephesian Church (compare Rev 2:6) should have a name in classical Greek: μισοπονηρία hatred of evil ; the person of whom the grace is predicated being μισοπόνηρος hater of evil ; while neither of these words, nor yet any equivalent to them occurs in the New Testament. It is the stranger, as this hatred of evil, purely as evil, however little thought of or admired now, is eminently a Christian grace."

Vincent: Rev 2:2 - Hast tried Hast tried ( ἐπειράσω ) Rev., didst try . See on tried , 1Pe 1:7; and compare 1Jo 4:1; 1Co 12:10.

Hast tried ( ἐπειράσω )

Rev., didst try . See on tried , 1Pe 1:7; and compare 1Jo 4:1; 1Co 12:10.

Vincent: Rev 2:3 - -- The best texts omit οὐ κέκμηκας hast not grown weary , and read καὶ οὐ κεκοπίακες hast not grown wea...

The best texts omit οὐ κέκμηκας hast not grown weary , and read καὶ οὐ κεκοπίακες hast not grown weary . The transcribers supposed the verb κοπιάω to mean only to labor ; whereas it includes the sense of weariness from labor.

Vincent: Rev 2:4 - Somewhat Somewhat Not in the text, and unnecessary. The following clause is the object of I have . " I have against thee that thou hast left," etc. " ...

Somewhat

Not in the text, and unnecessary. The following clause is the object of I have . " I have against thee that thou hast left," etc. " It is indeed a somewhat which the Lord has against the Ephesian Church; it threatens to grow to be an everything ; for see the verse following" (Trench). For the phrase have against , see Mat 5:23; Mar 11:25; Col 3:13.

Vincent: Rev 2:4 - Hast left Hast left ( ἀφῆκας ) Rev., more correctly, rendering the aorist, didst leave . The verb originally means to send , away or d...

Hast left ( ἀφῆκας )

Rev., more correctly, rendering the aorist, didst leave . The verb originally means to send , away or dismiss . See on Joh 4:3.

Vincent: Rev 2:4 - First love First love Compare Jer 2:2. The first enthusiastic devotion of the Church to her Lord, under the figure of conjugal love.

First love

Compare Jer 2:2. The first enthusiastic devotion of the Church to her Lord, under the figure of conjugal love.

Vincent: Rev 2:5 - Thou art fallen Thou art fallen ( ἐκπέπτωκας ) Lit., hast fallen out .

Thou art fallen ( ἐκπέπτωκας )

Lit., hast fallen out .

Vincent: Rev 2:5 - Repent Repent ( μετανόησον ) See on Mat 3:2; see on Mat 21:29.

Repent ( μετανόησον )

See on Mat 3:2; see on Mat 21:29.

Vincent: Rev 2:5 - I will come I will come ( ἔρχομαι ) Rev., correctly, I come .

I will come ( ἔρχομαι )

Rev., correctly, I come .

Vincent: Rev 2:5 - Quickly Quickly Omit.

Quickly

Omit.

Vincent: Rev 2:5 - Will remove thy candlestick Will remove thy candlestick " Its candlestick has been for centuries removed out of his place; the squalid Mohammedan village which is nearest to...

Will remove thy candlestick

" Its candlestick has been for centuries removed out of his place; the squalid Mohammedan village which is nearest to its site does not count one Christian in its insignificant population; its temple is a mass of shapeless ruins; its harbor is a reedy pool; the bittern booms amid its pestilent and stagnant marshes; and malaria and oblivion reign supreme over the place where the wealth of ancient civilization gathered around the scenes of its grossest superstitions and its most degraded sins" (Farrar, " Life and Work of Paul," ii., 43, 44).

John employs the verb κινέω remove (Rev., move ) only in Revelation, and only once besides the present instance, in Rev 6:14, where, as here, it signifies moving in judgment .

Vincent: Rev 2:6 - The Nicolaitans The Nicolaitans From νικᾶν to conquer , and λαός the people . There are two principal explanations of the term. The first and ...

The Nicolaitans

From νικᾶν to conquer , and λαός the people . There are two principal explanations of the term. The first and better one historical. A sect springing, according to credible tradition, from Nicholas a proselyte of Antioch, one of the seven deacons of Jerusalem (Act 6:5), who apostatized from the truth, and became the founder of an Antinomian Gnostic sect. They appear to have been characterized by sensuality, seducing Christians to participate in the idolatrous feasts of pagans, and to unchastity. Hence they are denoted by the names of Balaam and Jezebel, two leading agents of moral contamination under the Old Testament dispensation. Balaam enticed the Israelites, through the daughters of Moab and Midian, to idolatry and fornication (Numbers 25; Num 31:16). Jezebel murdered the Lord's prophets, and set up idolatry in Israel. The Nicolaitans taught that, in order to master sensuality, one must know the whole range of it by experience; and that he should therefore abandon himself without reserve to the lusts of the body, since they concerned only the body and did not touch the spirit. These heretics were hated and expelled by the Church of Ephesus (Rev 2:6), but were tolerated by the Church of Pergamum (Rev 2:15). The other view regards the name as symbolic, and Nicholas as the Greek rendering of Balaam, whose name signifies destroyer or corrupter of the people . This view is adopted by Trench (" Seven Churches" ), who says: " The Nicolaitans are the Balaamites; no sect bearing the one name or the other; but those who, in the new dispensation, repeated the sin of Balaam in the old, and sought to overcome or destroy the people of God by the same temptations whereby Balaam had sought to overcome them before." The names, however, are by no means parallel: Conqueror of the people not being the same as corrupter of the people . Besides, in Rev 2:14, the Balaamites are evidently distinguished from the Nicolaitans.

Alford remarks: " There is no sort of reason for interpreting the name otherwise than historically. It occurs in a passage indicating simple matters of historical fact, just as the name Antipas does in Rev 2:13."

Vincent: Rev 2:7 - He that hath an ear, etc He that hath an ear, etc. Compare Mat 11:15; Mar 4:9. The phrase is not found in John's Gospel. It is used always of radical truths, great princi...

He that hath an ear, etc.

Compare Mat 11:15; Mar 4:9. The phrase is not found in John's Gospel. It is used always of radical truths, great principles and promises.

Vincent: Rev 2:7 - To him that overcometh To him that overcometh ( τῷ νικῶντι ) A formula common to all these Epistles. The verb is used absolutely without any object expre...

To him that overcometh ( τῷ νικῶντι )

A formula common to all these Epistles. The verb is used absolutely without any object expressed. It is characteristic of John, occurring once in the Gospel, six times in the First Epistle, sixteen times in Revelation, and elsewhere only Luk 11:22; Rom 3:4; Rom 12:21.

Vincent: Rev 2:7 - Will I give Will I give This phrase has a place in every one of these Epistles. The verb is John's habitual word for the privileges and functions of the Son,...

Will I give

This phrase has a place in every one of these Epistles. The verb is John's habitual word for the privileges and functions of the Son, whether as bestowed upon Him by the Father, or dispensed by Him to His followers. See Joh 3:35; Joh 5:22, Joh 5:27, Joh 5:36; Joh 6:65; Joh 13:3; Joh 17:6. Compare Rev 2:23; Rev 3:8; Rev 6:4; Rev 11:3.

Vincent: Rev 2:7 - Of the tree Of the tree ( ἐκ ξύλου ) The preposition ἐκ out of occurs one hundred and twenty-seven times in Revelation, and its proper sig...

Of the tree ( ἐκ ξύλου )

The preposition ἐκ out of occurs one hundred and twenty-seven times in Revelation, and its proper signification is almost universally out of ; but this rendering in many of the passages would be so strange and unidiomatic, that the New Testament Revisers have felt themselves able to adopt it only forty-one times out of all that number, and employ of , from , by , with , on , at , because of , by reason of , from among . See, for instance, Rev 2:7, Rev 2:21, Rev 2:22; Rev 6:4, Rev 6:10; Rev 8:11; Rev 9:18; Rev 14:13; Rev 15:2; Rev 16:21. Compare Joh 3:31; Joh 4:13, Joh 6:13, Joh 6:39, Joh 6:51; Joh 8:23, Joh 8:44; Joh 9:6; Joh 11:1; Joh 12:3, Joh 12:27, Joh 12:32; Joh 17:5.

Tree , lit., wood . See on Luk 23:31; see on 1Pe 2:24. Dean Plumptre notes the fact that, prominent as this symbol had been in the primeval history, it had remained unnoticed in the teaching where we should most have looked for its presence - in that of the Psalmist and Prophets of the Old Testament. Only in the Proverbs of Solomon had it been used, in a sense half allegorical and half mystical (Pro 3:18; Pro 13:12; Pro 11:30; Pro 15:4). The revival of the symbol in Revelation is in accordance with the theme of the restitution of all things. " The tree which disappeared with the disappearance of the earthly Paradise, reappears with the reappearance of the heavenly." To eat of the tree of life expresses participation in the life eternal. The figure of the tree of life appears in all mythologies from India to Scandinavia. The Rabbins and Mohammedans called the vine the probation tree . The Zend Avesta has its tree of life called the Death-Destroyer . It grows by the waters of life, and the drinking of its sap confers immortality. The Hindu tree of life is pictured as growing out of a great seed in the midst of an expanse of water. It has three branches, each crowned with a sun, denoting the three powers of creation, preservation, and renovation after destruction. In another representation Budha sits in meditation under a tree with three branches, each branch having three stems. One of the Babylonian cylinders discovered by Layard, represents three priestesses gathering the fruit of what seems to be a palm-tree with three branches on each side. Athor, the Venus of the Egyptians, appears half-concealed in the branches of the sacred peach-tree, giving to the departed soul the fruit, and the drink of heaven from a vial from which the streams of life descend upon the spirit, a figure at the foot of the tree, like a hawk, with a human head and with hands outstretched.

In the Norse mythology a prominent figure is Igdrasil, the Ash-tree of Existence ; its roots in the kingdom of Eels or Death, its trunk reaching to heaven, and its boughs spread over the whole universe. At its foot, in the kingdom of Death, sit three Nornas or Fates, the Past, the Present, and the Future, watering its roots from the sacred well. Compare Rev 22:2, Rev 22:14, Rev 22:19. Virgil, addressing Dante at the completion of the ascent of the Purgatorial Mount, says:

" That apple sweet, which through so many branches

The care of mortals goeth in pursuit of,

Today shall put in peace thy hungerings."

" Purgatorio ," xxvii ., 115-117 .

Vincent: Rev 2:7 - Paradise Paradise See on Luk 23:43. Omit in the midst of . Παράδεισος Paradise " passes through a series of meanings, each one higher...

Paradise

See on Luk 23:43. Omit in the midst of . Παράδεισος Paradise " passes through a series of meanings, each one higher than the last. From any garden of delight, which is its first meaning, it comes to be predominantly applied to the garden of Eden, then to the resting-place of separate souls in joy and felicity, and lastly to the very heaven itself; and we see eminently in it, what we see indeed in so many words, how revealed religion assumes them into her service, and makes them vehicles of far higher truth than any which they knew at first, transforming and transfiguring them, as in this case, from glory to glory" (Trench).

Vincent: Rev 2:8 - Smyrna Smyrna Lying a little north of Ephesus, on a gulf of the same name. The original city was destroyed about b.c. 627, and was deserted and in ruins...

Smyrna

Lying a little north of Ephesus, on a gulf of the same name. The original city was destroyed about b.c. 627, and was deserted and in ruins for four hundred years. Alexander the Great contemplated its restoration, and his design was carried out after his death. The new city was built a short distance south of the ancient one, and became the finest in Asia Minor, being known as the glory of Asia . It was one of the cities which claimed the honor of being Homer's birthplace. A splendid temple was erected by the Smyrnaeans to his memory, and a cave in the neighborhood of the city was shown where he was said to have composed his poems. Smyrna's fine harbor made it a commercial center; but it was also distinguished for its schools of rhetoric and philosophy. Polycarp was the first bishop of its church, which suffered much from persecution, and he was said to have suffered martyrdom in the stadium of the city, a.d. 166. It is argued with some plausibility that Polycarp was bishop of Smyrna at the time of the composition of Revelation, and was the person addressed here. This question, however, is bound up with that of the date of composition (see Trench, " Epistles to the Seven Churches" ). The city was a seat of the worship of Cybele the Mother of the gods, and of Dionysus or Bacchus.

Vincent: Rev 2:8 - Was dead Was dead ( ἐγένετο νεκρὸς ) Lit., became dead .

Was dead ( ἐγένετο νεκρὸς )

Lit., became dead .

Vincent: Rev 2:8 - Is alive Is alive ( ἔζησεν ) Lit., lived . Rev., properly, lived again ; the word being used of restoration to life. See, for a similar usag...

Is alive ( ἔζησεν )

Lit., lived . Rev., properly, lived again ; the word being used of restoration to life. See, for a similar usage, Mat 9:18; Joh 5:25.

Vincent: Rev 2:9 - Thy works and Thy works and Omit.

Thy works and

Omit.

Vincent: Rev 2:9 - Tribulation Tribulation ( θλῖψιν ) See on Mat 13:21. Referring to the persecutions of Jewish and heathen oppressors. See on Smyrna , Rev 2:8.

Tribulation ( θλῖψιν )

See on Mat 13:21. Referring to the persecutions of Jewish and heathen oppressors. See on Smyrna , Rev 2:8.

Vincent: Rev 2:9 - Poverty Poverty ( πτωχείαν ) Because, like all the other early Christian churches, the majority of its members were of the poorer classes, and ...

Poverty ( πτωχείαν )

Because, like all the other early Christian churches, the majority of its members were of the poorer classes, and also, perhaps, with reference to their robbery by persecutors. See on poor , Mat 5:3.

Vincent: Rev 2:9 - Rich Rich In faith and grace. Compare Jam 2:6, Jam 2:7; 1Ti 6:17, 1Ti 6:18; Luk 12:21; Mat 19:21.

Rich

In faith and grace. Compare Jam 2:6, Jam 2:7; 1Ti 6:17, 1Ti 6:18; Luk 12:21; Mat 19:21.

Vincent: Rev 2:9 - Blasphemy Blasphemy ( βλασφημίαν ) See on Mar 7:22. Not primarily direct blasphemy against God, but reviling at believers.

Blasphemy ( βλασφημίαν )

See on Mar 7:22. Not primarily direct blasphemy against God, but reviling at believers.

Vincent: Rev 2:9 - Jews Jews Literally. Not Christians, as in Phi 3:3; Rom 2:28, Rom 2:29. Actually Jews by birth, but not spiritually. The title is not given them by th...

Jews

Literally. Not Christians, as in Phi 3:3; Rom 2:28, Rom 2:29. Actually Jews by birth, but not spiritually. The title is not given them by the Spirit, nor by the seer, but by themselves; and none would use that title except such as were Jews by birth and by religion. The enmity of the Jews against Christians is a familiar fact to all readers of the book of Acts; and it is a matter of history that their malignity was especially displayed toward the Church of Smyrna. In the circular letter addressed by the Church of Smyrna to the churches in the Christian world, it is related that Jews joined with heathen in clamoring that Polycarp should be cast to the lions or burned alive, and were foremost ὡς ἔθος αὐτοῖς ( as was their wont ) in bringing logs for the pile, and in the endeavor to prevent the remains of the martyr from being delivered to his Christian associates for burial.

Vincent: Rev 2:9 - Synagogue of Satan Synagogue of Satan For synagogue , see on assembly , Jam 2:2, the only passage in which the word is used for a Christian assembly. This fact go...

Synagogue of Satan

For synagogue , see on assembly , Jam 2:2, the only passage in which the word is used for a Christian assembly. This fact goes to support the literal explanation of the term Jews . For Satan , see on Luk 10:18. For John's use of the expression the Jews , see on Joh 1:19. The use of the word here in an honorable sense, so different from John's custom, has been urged against his authorship of Revelation. But John here only quotes the word, and, further, employs it without the article.

Vincent: Rev 2:10 - Fear not Fear not ( υηδὲν φοβοῦ ) Lit., fear nothing . For the verb, see on Luk 1:50.

Fear not ( υηδὲν φοβοῦ )

Lit., fear nothing . For the verb, see on Luk 1:50.

Vincent: Rev 2:10 - Behold Behold ( ἰδοὺ δὴ ) The particle δὴ for certain , which is not rendered, gives a quality of assurance to the prediction.

Behold ( ἰδοὺ δὴ )

The particle δὴ for certain , which is not rendered, gives a quality of assurance to the prediction.

Vincent: Rev 2:10 - The Devil The Devil ( διάβολος ) See on Mat 4:1. The persecution of the Christians is thus traced to the direct agency of Satan, and not to the o...

The Devil ( διάβολος )

See on Mat 4:1. The persecution of the Christians is thus traced to the direct agency of Satan, and not to the offended passions or prejudices of men. Trench observes: " There is nothing more remarkable in the records which have come down to us of the early persecutions, than the sense which the confessors and martyrs and those who afterwards narrate their sufferings and their triumphs entertain and utter, that these great fights of affliction through which they were called to pass, were the immediate work of the Devil."

Vincent: Rev 2:10 - Shall cast Shall cast ( μέλλει βαλεῖν ) Rev., rightly, is about to cast .

Shall cast ( μέλλει βαλεῖν )

Rev., rightly, is about to cast .

Vincent: Rev 2:10 - Prison Prison ( φυλακὴν ) See on Act 5:21.

Prison ( φυλακὴν )

See on Act 5:21.

Vincent: Rev 2:10 - May be tried May be tried ( πειρασθήτε ) Tempted. See on 1Pe 1:7.

May be tried ( πειρασθήτε )

Tempted. See on 1Pe 1:7.

Vincent: Rev 2:10 - Tribulation ten days Tribulation ten days ( θλῖψιν ἡμερῶν δέκα ) Lit., a tribulation of ten days .

Tribulation ten days ( θλῖψιν ἡμερῶν δέκα )

Lit., a tribulation of ten days .

Vincent: Rev 2:10 - Be thou Be thou ( γίνον ) The exact force of the word cannot be given by a corresponding word in English. Lit., " become thou ." There is to b...

Be thou ( γίνον )

The exact force of the word cannot be given by a corresponding word in English. Lit., " become thou ." There is to be a succession of trials demanding an increase in the power and a variety in the direction of faith. With reference to these trials, faithfulness is to be not only existent but becoming , developing with new strength and into new applications.

Vincent: Rev 2:10 - Unto death Unto death ( ἄχρι θανάτου ) Not faithful until the time of death, but faithful up to a measure which will endure death for...

Unto death ( ἄχρι θανάτου )

Not faithful until the time of death, but faithful up to a measure which will endure death for Christ's sake. " It is an intensive , not an extensive term."

Vincent: Rev 2:10 - A crown A crown ( τὸν στέφανον ) Rev., rightly, " the crown." See on 1Pe 5:4; see on Jam 1:12. Crown is used with a variety of words:...

A crown ( τὸν στέφανον )

Rev., rightly, " the crown." See on 1Pe 5:4; see on Jam 1:12. Crown is used with a variety of words: crown of righteousness (2Ti 4:8); glory (1Pe 5:4); beauty Isa 62:3, Sept., A.V., glory ); pride (Isa 28:1); rejoicing (1Th 2:19).

Vincent: Rev 2:10 - Of life Of life ( τῆς ζωῆς ) The full phrase is the crown of the life: i.e., the crown which consists in life eternal. The image is ...

Of life ( τῆς ζωῆς )

The full phrase is the crown of the life: i.e., the crown which consists in life eternal. The image is not taken from the Greek games, although Smyrna contained a temple of Olympian Jupiter, and Olympian games were celebrated there. It is the diadem of royalty rather than the garland of victory, though more commonly used in the latter sense. It is not likely that John would use an image from the games, since there was the most violent prejudice against them on the part of Jewish Christians; a prejudice which, on occasions of their celebration, provoked the special ferocity of the pagans against what they regarded as the unpatriotic and unsocial character of Christ's disciples. It was at the demand of the people assembled in the stadium that Polycarp was given up to death. Moreover, it is doubtful whether any symbol in Revelation is taken from heathenism. The imagery is Jewish.

Vincent: Rev 2:11 - Be hurt Be hurt ( ἀδικηθῇ ) Strictly, wronged .

Be hurt ( ἀδικηθῇ )

Strictly, wronged .

Vincent: Rev 2:11 - Second death Second death An expression peculiar to the Revelation. See Rev 20:6, Rev 20:14; Rev 21:8. In those two passages it is defined as the lake of...

Second death

An expression peculiar to the Revelation. See Rev 20:6, Rev 20:14; Rev 21:8. In those two passages it is defined as the lake of fire . The death awaiting the wicked after judgment.

Vincent: Rev 2:12 - Pergamos Pergamos The proper form of the name is Pergamum . It was situated in Teuthrania in Mysia, in a district watered by three rivers, by one of whic...

Pergamos

The proper form of the name is Pergamum . It was situated in Teuthrania in Mysia, in a district watered by three rivers, by one of which it communicated with the sea. The original city was built on a lofty hill, which afterward became the citadel as houses sprang up around its base. The local legends attached a sacred character to the place, which, together with its natural strength, made it a place of deposit for royal treasure. The city was mainly indebted to Eumenes II. (b.c. 197-159) for its embellishment and extension. In addition to walks and public buildings, he founded the library, which contained two-hundred-thousand volumes, and was second only to that of Alexandria. The kingdom of Pergamum became a Roman province b.c. 130; but the city continued to flourish, so that Pliny styled it by far the most illustrious of Asia . All the main roads of Western Asia converged there. Pergamum was celebrated for the manufacture of ointments, pottery, tapestries, and parchment, which derives its name ( charta Pergamena ) from the city. It contained a celebrated and much-frequented temple of Aesculapius, who was worshipped in the form of a living serpent fed in the temple. Hence Aesculapius was called the God of Pergamum, and on the coins struck by the town he often appears with a rod encircled by a serpent. The great glory of the city was the Nicephorium, a grove of great beauty containing an assemblage of temples. The city has been described as a sort of union of a pagan cathedral-city, a university-town, and a royal residence, embellished during a succession of years by kings who all had a passion for expenditure and ample means of gratifying it. The streams which embraced the town irrigated the groves of Nicephorium and of Aesculapius, in which flourished the licentious rites of pagan antiquity. The sacred character of the city appears in coins and inscriptions which described the Pergamenes by the title claimed by the worshippers of Diana at Ephesus, νεωκόροι temple-sweepers or sacristans .

Vincent: Rev 2:12 - The sharp sword with two edges The sharp sword with two edges See on Rev 1:16.

The sharp sword with two edges

See on Rev 1:16.

Vincent: Rev 2:13 - Dwellest Dwellest ( κατοικεῖς ) See on Luk 11:26; see on Act 2:5.

Dwellest ( κατοικεῖς )

See on Luk 11:26; see on Act 2:5.

Vincent: Rev 2:13 - Seat Seat ( θρόνος ) Rev., rightly, throne , which is a transcript of the Greek word. Better than seat , because it is intended to represent...

Seat ( θρόνος )

Rev., rightly, throne , which is a transcript of the Greek word. Better than seat , because it is intended to represent Satan as exercising dominion there. The word is used in the New Testament of a kingly throne (Luk 1:32, Luk 1:52; Act 2:30): of the judicial tribunal or bench (Mat 19:28; Luk 22:30): of the seats of the elders (Rev 4:4; Rev 11:16). Also, by metonymy, of one who exercises authority , so, in the plural, of angels (Col 1:16), thrones belonging to the highest grade of angelic beings whose place is in the immediate presence of God.

Vincent: Rev 2:13 - Holdest fast Holdest fast ( κρατεῖς ) See on Mat 7:3; see on Act 3:11.

Holdest fast ( κρατεῖς )

See on Mat 7:3; see on Act 3:11.

Vincent: Rev 2:13 - My name My name See on 1Jo 1:7.

My name

See on 1Jo 1:7.

Vincent: Rev 2:13 - My faith My faith See on Act 6:7.

My faith

See on Act 6:7.

Vincent: Rev 2:13 - Antipas Antipas There is no other record of this martyr.

Antipas

There is no other record of this martyr.

Vincent: Rev 2:14 - Doctrine Doctrine ( διδαχὴν ) Rev., better, teaching .

Doctrine ( διδαχὴν )

Rev., better, teaching .

Vincent: Rev 2:14 - Balaam Balaam See Num 25:1-9; Num 31:15, Num 31:16. Compare 2Pe 2:15; Jud 1:11.

Balaam

See Num 25:1-9; Num 31:15, Num 31:16. Compare 2Pe 2:15; Jud 1:11.

Vincent: Rev 2:14 - A stumbling-block A stumbling-block ( σκάνδαλον ) See on offend , Mat 5:29, and see on offense , Mat 16:23.

A stumbling-block ( σκάνδαλον )

See on offend , Mat 5:29, and see on offense , Mat 16:23.

Vincent: Rev 2:14 - Before Before ( ἐνώπιον ) Lit., in the sight of . See on Luk 24:11.

Before ( ἐνώπιον )

Lit., in the sight of . See on Luk 24:11.

Vincent: Rev 2:14 - Things sacrificed to idols Things sacrificed to idols ( εἰδωλόθυτα ) In the A.V. the word is rendered in four different ways: meats offered to idols (...

Things sacrificed to idols ( εἰδωλόθυτα )

In the A.V. the word is rendered in four different ways: meats offered to idols (Act 15:29): things offered to idols (Act 21:25): things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols (1Co 8:4); and as here Rev., uniformly, things sacrificed to idols .

The eating of idol meats, which was no temptation to the Jewish Christian, was quite otherwise to the Gentile. The act of sacrifice, among all ancient nations, was a social no less than a religious act. Commonly only a part of the victim was consumed as an offering, and the rest became the portion of the priests, was given to the poor, or was sold again in the markets. Hence sacrifice and feast were identified. The word originally used for killing in sacrifice (θύειν ) obtained the general sense of killing (Act 10:13). Among the Greeks this identification was carried to the highest pitch. Thucydides enumerates sacrifices among popular entertainments. " We have not forgotten," he says, " to provide for our weary spirits many relaxations from toil. We have regular games and sacrifices throughout the year" (ii., 38). So Aristotle: " And some fellowships seem to be for the sake of pleasure; those of the followers of Love, and those of club-diners; for these are for the sake of sacrifice and social intercourse" (" Ethics," viii., 9, 5). Suetonius relates of Claudius, the Roman Emperor, that, on one occasion, while in the Forum of Augustus, smelling the odor of the banquet which was being prepared for the priests in the neighboring temple of Mars, he left the tribunal and placed himself at the table with the priests (" Claudius," 33). Also how Vitellius would snatch from the altar-fire the entrails of victims and the corn, and consume them (" Vitellius," 13). Thus, for the Gentile, " refusal to partake of the idol-meats involved absence from public and private festivity, a withdrawal, in great part, from the social life of his time." The subject is discussed by Paul in Romans 14:2-21, and 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1. The council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) forbade the eating of meat offered to idols, not as esteeming it forbidden by the Mosaic law, but as becoming a possible occasion of sin to weak Christians. In his letter to the Corinthians, among whom the Jewish and more scrupulous party was the weaker, Paul, in arguing with the stronger and more independent party, never alludes to the decree of the Jerusalem council, but discusses the matter from the stand-point of the rights of conscience. While he admits the possibility of a blameless participation in a banquet, even in the idol-temple, he dissuades from it on the ground of its dangerous consequences to weak consciences, and as involving a formal recognition of the false worship which they had renounced at their baptism. " In the Epistle to the Romans we see the excess to which the scruples of the weaker brethren were carried, even to the pitch of abstaining altogether from animal food; as, ill the Nicolaitans of the Apocalyptic churches, we see the excess of the indifferentist party, who plunged without restraint into all the pollutions, moral as well as ceremonial, with which the heathen rites were accompanied" (Stanley, " On Corinthians" ). " It may be noted as accounting for the stronger and more vehement language of the Apocalypse, considered even as a simply Human book, that the conditions of the case had altered. Christians and heathen were no longer dwelling together, as at Corinth, with comparatively slight interruption to their social intercourse, but were divided by a sharp line of demarcation. The eating of things sacrificed to idols was more and more a crucial test, involving a cowardly shrinking from the open confession of a Christian's faith. Disciples who sat at meat in the idol's temple were making merry with those whose hands were red with the blood of their fellow-worshippers, and whose lips had uttered blaspheming scoffs against the Holy Name" (Plumptre).

In times of persecution, tasting the wine of the libations or eating meat offered to idols, was understood to signify recantation of Christianity.

Vincent: Rev 2:15 - So So Even as Balak had Balaam for a false teacher, so hast thou the Nicolaitan teachers.

So

Even as Balak had Balaam for a false teacher, so hast thou the Nicolaitan teachers.

Vincent: Rev 2:15 - Nicolaitans Nicolaitans See on Rev 2:6.

Nicolaitans

See on Rev 2:6.

Vincent: Rev 2:15 - Which thing I hate Which thing I hate Omit.

Which thing I hate

Omit.

Vincent: Rev 2:16 - I will make war I will make war ( πολεμήσω ) The words war and make war occur oftener in Revelation than in any other book of the New Testament. ...

I will make war ( πολεμήσω )

The words war and make war occur oftener in Revelation than in any other book of the New Testament. " An eternal roll of thunder from the throne" (Renan).

Vincent: Rev 2:17 - To eat To eat Omit.

To eat

Omit.

Vincent: Rev 2:17 - Of the hidden manna Of the hidden manna ( τοῦ μάννα τοῦ κεκρυμμένου ) The allusion may be partly to the pot of manna which was laid up ...

Of the hidden manna ( τοῦ μάννα τοῦ κεκρυμμένου )

The allusion may be partly to the pot of manna which was laid up in the ark in the sanctuary. See Exo 16:32-34; compare Heb 9:4. That the imagery of the ark was familiar to John appears from Rev 11:19. This allusion however is indirect, for the manna laid up in the ark was not for food, but was a memorial of food once enjoyed. Two ideas seem to be combined in the figure:

1. Christ as the bread from heaven, the nourishment of the life of believers, the true manna, of which those who eat shall never die (Joh 6:31-43, Joh 6:48-51); hidden, in that He is withdrawn from sight, and the Christian's life is hid with Him in God (Col 3:3). 2. The satisfaction of the believer's desire when Christ shall be revealed. The hidden manna shall not remain for ever hidden. We shall see Christ as He is, and be like Him (1Jo 3:2). Christ gives the manna in giving Himself " The seeing of Christ as He is, and, through this beatific vision, being made like to Him, is identical with the eating of the hidden manna, which shall, as it were, be then brought forth from the sanctuary, the holy of holies of God's immediate presence where it was withdrawn from sight so long, that all may partake of it; the glory of Christ, now shrouded and concealed, being then revealed to His people" (Trench).

This is one of numerous illustrations of the dependence of Revelation upon Old Testament history and prophecy. " To such an extent is this the case," says Professor Milligan, " that it may be doubted whether it contains a single figure not drawn from the Old Testament, or a single complete sentence not more or less built up of materials brought from the same source." See, for instance, Balaam (Rev 2:14); Jezebel (Rev 2:20); Michael (Rev 12:7, compare Dan 10:13; Dan 12:1); Abaddon (Rev 9:11); Jerusalem, Mt. Zion, Babylon, the Euphrates, Sodom, Egypt (Rev 21:2; Rev 14:1; Rev 16:19; Rev 9:14; Rev 11:8); Gog and Magog (Rev 20:8, compare Ezekiel 38, 39). Similarly, the tree of life, the sceptre of iron, the potter's vessels, the morning-star (Rev 2:7, Rev 2:17, Rev 2:27, Rev 2:28). Heaven is described under the figure of the tabernacle in the wilderness (Rev 11:1, Rev 11:19; Rev 6:9; Rev 8:3; Rev 11:19; Rev 4:6). The song of the redeemed is the song of Moses (Rev 15:3). The plagues of Egypt appear in the blood, fire, thunder, darkness and locusts (Rev 8:1-13). " The great earthquake of chapter 6 is taken from Haggai; the sun becoming black as sackcloth of hair and the moon becoming blood (Rev 8:1-13) from Joel: the stars of heaven falling, the fig-tree casting her untimely figs, the heavens departing as a scroll (Rev 8:1-13) from Isaiah: the scorpions of chapter 9 from Ezekiel: the gathering of the vine of the earth (chapter 14) from Joel, and the treading of the wine-press in the same chapter from Isaiah." So too the details of a single vision are gathered out of different prophets or different parts of the same prophet. For instance, the vision of the glorified Redeemer (Rev 1:12-20). The golden candlesticks are from Exodus and Zechariah; the garment down to the foot from Exodus and Daniel; the golden girdle and the hairs like wool from Isaiah and Daniel; the feet like burnished brass, and the voice like the sound of many waters, from Ezekiel; the two-edged sword from Isaiah and Psalms; the countenance like the sun from Exodus; the falling of the seer as dead from Exodus, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel; the laying of Jesus' right hand on the seer from Daniel.

" Not indeed that the writer binds himself to the Old Testament in a slavish spirit. He rather uses it with great freedom and independence, extending, intensifying, or transfiguring its descriptions at his pleasure. Yet the main source of his emblems cannot be mistaken. The sacred books of his people had been more than familiar to him. They had penetrated his whole being. They had lived within him as a germinating seed, capable of shooting up not only in the old forms, but in new forms of life and beauty. In the whole extent of sacred and religious literature there is to be found nowhere else such a perfect fusion of the revelation given to Israel with the mind of one who would either express Israel's ideas, or give utterance, by means of the symbols supplied by Israel's history, to the present and most elevated thoughts of the Christian faith " (this note is condensed from Professor Milligan's " Baird Lectures on the Revelation of St. John" ).

Vincent: Rev 2:17 - A white stone A white stone ( ψῆφον λευκὴν ) See on counteth , Luk 14:28; and see on white , Luk 9:29. The foundation of the figure is not to ...

A white stone ( ψῆφον λευκὴν )

See on counteth , Luk 14:28; and see on white , Luk 9:29. The foundation of the figure is not to be sought in Gentile but in Jewish customs. " White is everywhere the color and livery of heaven" (Trench). See Rev 1:14; Rev 3:5; Rev 7:9; Rev 14:14; Rev 19:8, Rev 19:11, Rev 19:14; Rev 20:11. It is the bright, glistering white. Compare Mat 28:3; Luk 24:4; Joh 20:12; Rev 20:11; Dan 7:9.

It is impossible to fix the meaning of the symbol with any certainty. The following are some of the principal views: The Urim and Thummim concealed within the High-Priest's breastplate of judgment. This is advocated by Trench, who supposes that the Urim was a peculiarly rare stone, possibly the diamond, and engraven with the ineffable name of God. The new name he regards as the new name of God or of Christ (Rev 3:12); some revelation of the glory of God which can be communicated to His people only in the higher state of being, and which they only can understand who have actually received.

Professor Milligan supposes an allusion to the plate of gold worn on the High-Priest's forehead, and inscribed with the words " Holiness to the Lord," but, somewhat strangely, runs the figure into the stone or pebble used in voting, and regards the white stone as carrying the idea of the believer's acquittal at the hands of God.

Dean Plumptre sees in the stone the signet by which, in virtue of its form or of the characters inscribed on it, he who possessed it could claim from the friend who gave it, at any distance of time, a frank and hearty welcome; and adds to this an allusion to the custom of presenting such a token, with the guest's name upon it, of admission to the feast given to those who were invited to partake within the temple precincts - a feast which consisted wholly or in part of sacrificial meats.

Others, regarding the connection of the stone with the manna, refer to the use of the lot cast among the priests in order to determine which one should offer the sacrifice.

Others, to the writing of a candidate's name at an election by ballot upon a stone or bean.

In short, the commentators are utterly divided, and the true interpretation remains a matter of conjecture.

Vincent: Rev 2:17 - A new name A new name Some explain the new name of God or of Christ (compare Rev 3:12); others, of the recipient's own name. " A new name however, a revelat...

A new name

Some explain the new name of God or of Christ (compare Rev 3:12); others, of the recipient's own name. " A new name however, a revelation of his everlasting title as a son of God to glory in Christ, but consisting of and revealed in those personal marks and signs of God's peculiar adoption of himself, which he and none other is acquainted with" (Alford). Bengel says: " Wouldst thou know what kind of a new name thou wilt obtain? Overcome. Before that thou wilt ask in vain, and after that thou wilt soon read it inscribed on the white stone."

Vincent: Rev 2:18 - Thyatira Thyatira Situated on the confines of Mysia and Ionia. According to Pliny it was known in earlier times as Pelopia and Euhippia. Its prosperity re...

Thyatira

Situated on the confines of Mysia and Ionia. According to Pliny it was known in earlier times as Pelopia and Euhippia. Its prosperity received a new impulse under the Roman Emperor Vespasian. The city contained a number of corporate guilds, as potters, tanners, weavers, robe-makers, and dyers. It was from Thyatira that Lydia the purple-seller of Philippi came, Paul's first European convert. The numerous streams of the adjacent country were full of leeches. The principal deity of the city was Apollo, worshipped as the Sun-God under the surname Tyrimnas. A shrine outside the walls was dedicated to Sambatha, a sibyl. The place was never of paramount political importance.

Vincent: Rev 2:18 - Son of God Son of God Compare Son of man , Rev 1:13; Psa 2:7; Rev 19:13.

Son of God

Compare Son of man , Rev 1:13; Psa 2:7; Rev 19:13.

Vincent: Rev 2:18 - Who hath His eyes, etc Who hath His eyes, etc. See on Rev 1:14, Rev 1:15.

Who hath His eyes, etc.

See on Rev 1:14, Rev 1:15.

Vincent: Rev 2:18 - Thy works, and the last, etc Thy works, and the last, etc. Omit and , and read, as Rev., and that thy last works are more than the first .

Thy works, and the last, etc.

Omit and , and read, as Rev., and that thy last works are more than the first .

Vincent: Rev 2:20 - A few things A few things Omit.

A few things

Omit.

Vincent: Rev 2:20 - Thou sufferest Thou sufferest ( ἐᾶς ) Used absolutely. Toleratest .

Thou sufferest ( ἐᾶς )

Used absolutely. Toleratest .

Vincent: Rev 2:20 - That woman That woman Rev., the woman . Some translate thy wife .

That woman

Rev., the woman . Some translate thy wife .

Vincent: Rev 2:20 - Jezebel Jezebel Used symbolically, but with reference to the notorious historic Jezebel. She was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Sidon (1Ki 16:31), form...

Jezebel

Used symbolically, but with reference to the notorious historic Jezebel. She was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Sidon (1Ki 16:31), formerly a priest of Astarte, and who had made his way to the throne by the murder of his predecessor Pheles. Ahab's marriage with her was the first instance of a marriage with a heathen princess of a king of the northern kingdom of Israel. This alliance was a turning-point in the moral history of the kingdom. From the times of David and Solomon many treaties had been concluded between Phoenicia and Israel; but it was at the same time the special business of the kingdom of the ten tribes to restore the ancient rigidness of the nationality of Israel. Jezebel looked down with perverse pride upon a people whose religion she neither understood nor respected. Though the ten tribes had yielded to idolatry in the worship of the calves, the true God was still worshipped and the law of Moses acknowledged. From the time of Ahab's marriage the apostasy of Israel became more decided and deadly. She was " a woman in whom, with the reckless and licentious habits of an Oriental queen, were united the fiercest and sternest qualities inherent in the old Semitic race. Her husband, in whom generous and gentle feelings were not wanting, was yet of a weak and yielding character which soon made him a tool in her hands.... The wild license of her life and the magical fascination of her arts or her character became a proverb in the nation. Round her and from her, in different degrees of nearness, is evolved the awful drama of the most eventful crisis of this portion of the Israelite history" (Stanley, " Jewish Church" ). She sought to exterminate the prophets of Jehovah (1Ki 18:13), and inaugurated the worship of Baal the Sun-God on a magnificent scale. Two sanctuaries were established, one for each of the great Phoenician deities, at each of the two new capitals of the kingdom, Samaria and Jezreel. The sanctuary of Astarte or Ashtaroth (the Phoenician Venus) at Jezreel was under Jezebel's special sanction, and there is reason to suppose that she ministered as a priestess in that licentious worship. Four hundred priests or prophets were attached to this sanctuary and were supported at her table. The sanctuary to Baal at Samaria was large enough to contain all the worshippers of the northern kingdom. Its staff consisted of four hundred and fifty priests, and the interior contained representations of the Sun-God on small pillars, while a large statue of the same deity was set up in front. At these sanctuaries Ahab in person offered sacrifices.

Expositors are divided as to the symbolic import of the name in this passage, some referring it to a single person - " some single wicked woman in the Church of Thyatira inheriting this name of infamy in the Church of God," giving herself out as a prophetess, and seducing the servants of Christ to commit fornication and to eat things offered to idols. Others interpret the name as designating an influential heretical party in the Church: but, as Alford remarks, " the real solution must lie hidden until all that is hidden shall be known." It is clear, at any rate, that Thyatira, like the Church of old, had sinned by her alliance with a corrupt faith and practice.

Vincent: Rev 2:20 - To teach and to seduce To teach and to seduce ( διδάσκειν καὶ πλανᾶσθαι ) The best texts read καὶ διδάσκει and she teache...

To teach and to seduce ( διδάσκειν καὶ πλανᾶσθαι )

The best texts read καὶ διδάσκει and she teacheth and seduceth . So Rev. For seduceth see on err , Mar 12:24, and see on deceiver and error , Mat 27:63, Mat 27:64. The word πλανᾶν to seduce is found oftener in Revelation than elsewhere in the New Testament. It never means mere error as such, but fundamental departure from the truth .

Vincent: Rev 2:20 - To commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols To commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols Both sins of the historical Jezebel. See 2Ki 9:22, 2Ki 9:30; Jer 4:30; Nah 3:4.

To commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols

Both sins of the historical Jezebel. See 2Ki 9:22, 2Ki 9:30; Jer 4:30; Nah 3:4.

Vincent: Rev 2:21 - Space Space ( χρόνον ) Lit., time , as Rev.

Space ( χρόνον )

Lit., time , as Rev.

Vincent: Rev 2:21 - Repent Repent ( μετανοήσῃ ) See on Mat 3:2; see on Mat 21:29.

Repent ( μετανοήσῃ )

See on Mat 3:2; see on Mat 21:29.

Vincent: Rev 2:21 - Of her fornication Of her fornication ( ἐκ ) Lit., out of ; i.e., so as to come out of and escape from her sin. See on Rev 2:7.

Of her fornication ( ἐκ )

Lit., out of ; i.e., so as to come out of and escape from her sin. See on Rev 2:7.

Vincent: Rev 2:22 - Into a bed Into a bed Of anguish. The scene of the sin is also the scene of the punishment.

Into a bed

Of anguish. The scene of the sin is also the scene of the punishment.

Vincent: Rev 2:22 - Commit adultery Commit adultery ( μοιχεύοντας ) A wider term than πορνεῦσαι to commit fornication . Compare the metaphorical meaning...

Commit adultery ( μοιχεύοντας )

A wider term than πορνεῦσαι to commit fornication . Compare the metaphorical meaning expressing the rebellion and idolatry of Israel (Jer 3:8; Jer 5:7; Eze 16:32).

Vincent: Rev 2:22 - With her With her ( μετ ' αὐτῆς ) Not with her as the conjux adulteri , but who share with her in her adulteries .

With her ( μετ ' αὐτῆς )

Not with her as the conjux adulteri , but who share with her in her adulteries .

Vincent: Rev 2:22 - Of their deeds Of their deeds ( ἐκ τῶν ἔργων αὐτῶν ) Read αὐτῆς her (deeds). Repent out of (ἐκ ) as in Rev 2:21.

Of their deeds ( ἐκ τῶν ἔργων αὐτῶν )

Read αὐτῆς her (deeds). Repent out of (ἐκ ) as in Rev 2:21.

Vincent: Rev 2:23 - Children Children ( τέκνα ) Emphatic. Distinguished from the participators of Rev 2:22, as her proper adherents, " who are begotten of her and ...

Children ( τέκνα )

Emphatic. Distinguished from the participators of Rev 2:22, as her proper adherents, " who are begotten of her and go to constitute her." Others, however, deny any distinction (Milligan), and others (as Trench) explain as the less forward and prominent members of the wicked company, deceived where the others were the deceivers.

Vincent: Rev 2:23 - With death With death ( ἐν θανάτῳ ) To kill with death is a very strong expression. Compare Lev 20:10, Sept., θανάτῳ θαν...

With death ( ἐν θανάτῳ )

To kill with death is a very strong expression. Compare Lev 20:10, Sept., θανάτῳ θανατούσθωσαν shall be put to death (A. V. and Rev.). Lit., let them be put to death with death . The reference can hardly be to the slaughter of Ahab's seventy sons (2Ki 10:6, 2Ki 10:7) who were not Jezebel's children.

Vincent: Rev 2:23 - All the churches All the churches Not merely the seven churches, but the churches throughout the world.

All the churches

Not merely the seven churches, but the churches throughout the world.

Vincent: Rev 2:23 - Shall know Shall know ( γνώσονται ) See on Joh 2:24.

Shall know ( γνώσονται )

See on Joh 2:24.

Vincent: Rev 2:23 - Searcheth Searcheth ( ἐρευνῶν ) See Joh 5:39; Joh 7:52; Rom 8:27. Compare Jer 11:20; Jer 17:10; Jer 20:12; 1Pe 1:11. Denoting a careful search...

Searcheth ( ἐρευνῶν )

See Joh 5:39; Joh 7:52; Rom 8:27. Compare Jer 11:20; Jer 17:10; Jer 20:12; 1Pe 1:11. Denoting a careful search, a following up or tracking . See Gen 31:35; 1Ki 20:6; Pro 20:27; 1Co 2:10.

Vincent: Rev 2:23 - Reins Reins ( νεφροὺς ) Only here in the New Testament. Strictly, kidneys . Used of the thoughts , feelings , and purposes of the soul. A...

Reins ( νεφροὺς )

Only here in the New Testament. Strictly, kidneys . Used of the thoughts , feelings , and purposes of the soul. A similar use of the physical for the spiritual organ is σπλάγχνα bowels for heart . See pitiful , 1Pe 3:8.

Vincent: Rev 2:24 - And unto the rest And unto the rest Omit and , and render, as Rev., to you I say , to the rest , etc.

And unto the rest

Omit and , and render, as Rev., to you I say , to the rest , etc.

Vincent: Rev 2:24 - And which And which ( καὶ οἵτινες ) Omit καὶ and . The compound relative, which , classifies; which are of those who know...

And which ( καὶ οἵτινες )

Omit καὶ and . The compound relative, which , classifies; which are of those who know not , etc.

Vincent: Rev 2:24 - The depths of Satan The depths of Satan ( τὰ βάθη τοῦ Σατανᾶ ) The reference is, most probably, to the Gnostic sect of the Ophites (ὄφι...

The depths of Satan ( τὰ βάθη τοῦ Σατανᾶ )

The reference is, most probably, to the Gnostic sect of the Ophites (ὄφις a serpent ), or, in Hebrew, Naasenes ( naash a serpent ), serpent-worshippers, a sect the origin of which is unknown, but which existed as late as the sixth century; since, in 530, Justinian passed laws against it. " The veneration of the serpent was but the logical development of a theory, the germ of which is common to many of the Gnostic sects. Proceeding on the assumption that the creator of the world is to be regarded as an evil power, a thing in hostility to the supreme God, it follows as a natural consequence that the fall of man through disobedience to the command of his maker must be regarded, not as a transgression against the will of the supreme God, but as an emancipation from the authority of an evil being. The serpent, therefore, who tempted mankind to sin, is no longer their destroyer but their benefactor. He is the symbol of intellect, by whose means the first human pair were raised to the knowledge of the existence of higher beings than their creator. This conception, consistently carried out, would have resulted in a direct inversion of the whole teaching of scripture; in calling evil good and good evil; in converting Satan into God and God into Satan. The majority of the Ophite sects, however, seem to have shrunk from this portentous blasphemy. While acknowledging the fall of man as, in some manner, a deliverance from evil and an exaltation of human nature, they hesitated to carry out their principle by investing the evil spirit with the attributes of deity. A kind of compromise was made between scripture and philosophy. The serpent was, notwithstanding his service to mankind, represented as a being of evil nature and au enemy to man, though his work was overruled to man's good, and he himself was, beyond his intention, the instrument of a higher wisdom. Rut in one sect at least of the Ophites, the more logical and thoroughly blasphemous consequences of the first principles were exhibited openly and unblushingly" (Mansel, " Gnostic Heresies" ). The characteristic boast of the Gnostics was their knowledge of the depths of divine things. In this they were probably perverting and caricaturing the words of Paul (Rom 11:33; 1Co 2:10).

Vincent: Rev 2:24 - As they speak As they speak Rev., as they say . The questions are, 1st. What is the phrase alluded to? Is it the familiar formula of these heretics, " the...

As they speak

Rev., as they say . The questions are, 1st. What is the phrase alluded to? Is it the familiar formula of these heretics, " the depths," or " the depths of God," the depths of Satan being added by the Lord himself in ironical contrast with the depths of divine knowledge, - or is it the depths of Satan ? 2nd. Does as they say refer to Christians , describing the depths of the Gnostics as depths of Satan , or does it refer to the heretics themselves, calling their own mysteries depths of Satan?

The majority of commentators regard as they say as referring to the heretics, and as applying only to the word depths; of Satan being added by the Lord in indignation. Alford says that no such formula as depths of Satan , or any resembling it, is found as used by the ancient Gnostic heretics.

Vincent: Rev 2:24 - Other burden Other burden ( ἄλλο βάτος ) The words for burden in the New Testament are ὄγκος (only in Heb 12:1), βάρος (Mat...

Other burden ( ἄλλο βάτος )

The words for burden in the New Testament are ὄγκος (only in Heb 12:1), βάρος (Mat 20:12; Gal 6:2), and φορτίον (Mat 11:30; Mat 23:4; Gal 6:5). ὄγκος refers to bulk , βάρος to weight , φορτίον to a burden so far as it is born (φέρω ). Thus in Heb 12:1, " lay aside every weight (ὄγκος )," the figure being that of runners in the race-course, and the word appropriate as denoting the bulky robes and the accoutrements of the ordinary dress which might impede the freedom of the limbs. In Mat 20:12, " the burden (βάρος ) and heat of the day," the idea is that of heavy toil pressing like a weight. So Gal 6:2, " Bear ye one another's burdens ." But in Gal 6:5, the emphasis is on the act of bearing ; and therefore φορτίον is used: " Every man shall bear his own burden;" i.e., every man shall carry that which it is appointed him to bear. The reference in that passage is probably to the prohibition enjoined by the apostolic council of Jerusalem, which concerned the very things which are rebuked here - fornication and abstinence from idol-meats. In the narrative of that council the phrase occurs " to lay upon you no greater burden " (Act 15:28). The meaning accordingly will be, " I put upon you no other burden than abstinence from and protest against these abominations."

Vincent: Rev 2:25 - Hold fast Hold fast ( κρατήσατε ) See on Mar 7:3; see on Act 3:11.

Hold fast ( κρατήσατε )

See on Mar 7:3; see on Act 3:11.

Vincent: Rev 2:25 - Till I come Till I come ( ἄχρις οὗ ἂν ἥξω ) The conditional particle ἂν marks the time of His coming as uncertain.

Till I come ( ἄχρις οὗ ἂν ἥξω )

The conditional particle ἂν marks the time of His coming as uncertain.

Vincent: Rev 2:26 - Keepeth my works Keepeth my works ( τηρῶν τὰ ἔργα μου ) The phrase occurs only here in the New Testament. The works are those which Christ...

Keepeth my works ( τηρῶν τὰ ἔργα μου )

The phrase occurs only here in the New Testament. The works are those which Christ commands , which He does , and which are the fruits of His Spsrit . See on Joh 4:47.

Vincent: Rev 2:26 - Power Power ( ἐξουσίαν ) See on Joh 1:12. Rev., better, authority .

Power ( ἐξουσίαν )

See on Joh 1:12. Rev., better, authority .

Vincent: Rev 2:26 - Nations Nations ( ἐθνῶν ) See on Mat 25:32, and see on Gentiles , Luk 2:32. Properly, here, the Gentiles, as opposed to the true Israel of God.

Nations ( ἐθνῶν )

See on Mat 25:32, and see on Gentiles , Luk 2:32. Properly, here, the Gentiles, as opposed to the true Israel of God.

Vincent: Rev 2:27 - Shall rule Shall rule ( ποιμανεῖ ) Lit., shall shepherd . A comparison with Rev 7:17, brings out the terrible irony in this word. Compare Psa 2...

Shall rule ( ποιμανεῖ )

Lit., shall shepherd . A comparison with Rev 7:17, brings out the terrible irony in this word. Compare Psa 2:9, Sept., where the same word is used. A.V., break . See on rule , Mat 2:6; see on feed , Act 20:28; see on 1Pe 5:2; see on Jud 1:12.

Vincent: Rev 2:27 - Rod Rod ( ῥάβδῳ ) Commonly rendered staff , once sceptre , Heb 1:8. This is its meaning here.

Rod ( ῥάβδῳ )

Commonly rendered staff , once sceptre , Heb 1:8. This is its meaning here.

Vincent: Rev 2:27 - Vessels Vessels ( σκεύη ) See on goods , Mat 12:29; see on vessel , 1Pe 3:7.

Vessels ( σκεύη )

See on goods , Mat 12:29; see on vessel , 1Pe 3:7.

Vincent: Rev 2:27 - Of the potter Of the potter ( κεραμικὰ ) From κέραμος potter's clay .

Of the potter ( κεραμικὰ )

From κέραμος potter's clay .

Vincent: Rev 2:27 - Shall they be broken to shivers Shall they be broken to shivers The A.V. follows the reading συντριβήσεται , the future tense of the verb. The correct reading is ...

Shall they be broken to shivers

The A.V. follows the reading συντριβήσεται , the future tense of the verb. The correct reading is συντρίβεται , the present tense. Render therefore, as Rev., " as the vessels of the potter are broken ." See on Mar 5:4, and see on bruising , Luk 9:39. The σύν together gives the picture of the fragments collapsing into a heap.

Vincent: Rev 2:28 - The morning-star The morning-star ( τὸν ἀστέρα τὸν πρωΐ́νόν ) The star , that of the morning . One of John's characteris...

The morning-star ( τὸν ἀστέρα τὸν πρωΐ́νόν )

The star , that of the morning . One of John's characteristic constructions. See on 1Jo 4:9. The reference is, most probably, to Christ himself. See Rev 22:16. He will give Himself. This interpretation falls in with the promise of power over the nations in Rev 2:26. The star was the ancient emblem of sovereignty. See Num 24:17; Mat 2:2. " It was the symbol of sovereignty on its brighter and benignant side, and was therefore the fitting and necessary complement of the dread attributes that had gone before. The king came not only to judge and punish, but also to illumine and cheer" (Plumptre). Compare 2Pe 1:19.

Wesley: Rev 2:1 - Write So Christ dictated to him every word.

So Christ dictated to him every word.

Wesley: Rev 2:1 - These things saith he who holdeth the seven stars in his right hand Such is his mighty power! Such his favour to them and care over them, that they may indeed shine as stars, both by purity of doctrine and holiness of ...

Such is his mighty power! Such his favour to them and care over them, that they may indeed shine as stars, both by purity of doctrine and holiness of life! Who walketh - According to his promise, "I am with you always, even to the end of the world." In the midst of the golden candlesticks - Beholding all their works and thoughts, and ready to "remove the candlestick out of its place," if any, being warned, will not repent. Perhaps here is likewise an allusion to the office of the priests in dressing the lamps, which was to keep them always burning before the Lord.

Wesley: Rev 2:2 - I know Jesus knows all the good and all the evil, which his servants and his enemies suffer and do. Weighty word, "I know," how dreadful will it one day soun...

Jesus knows all the good and all the evil, which his servants and his enemies suffer and do. Weighty word, "I know," how dreadful will it one day sound to the wicked, how sweet to the righteous! The churches and their angels must have been astonished, to find their several states so exactly described, even in the absence of the apostle, and could not but acknowledge the all - seeing eye of Christ and of his Spirit. With regard to us, to every one of us also he saith, "I know thy works." Happy is he that conceives less good of himself, than Christ knows concerning him.

Wesley: Rev 2:2 - And thy labour After the general, three particulars are named, and then more largely described in an inverted order, Thy labour Thy patience: Thou canst not bear ev...

After the general, three particulars are named, and then more largely described in an inverted order, Thy labour Thy patience: Thou canst not bear evil men: Thou hast patience: Thou hast tried those who say they are apostles and are not, and hast found them liars. Thou hast borne for my name's sake and hast not fainted.

Wesley: Rev 2:2 - And thy patience Notwithstanding which thou canst not bear that incorrigibly wicked men should remain in the flock of Christ. And thou hast tried those who say they ar...

Notwithstanding which thou canst not bear that incorrigibly wicked men should remain in the flock of Christ. And thou hast tried those who say they are apostles, and are not - For the Lord hath not sent them.

Wesley: Rev 2:4 - But I have against thee, that thou hast left thy first love That love for which all that church was so eminent when St. Paul wrote his epistle to them. He need not have left this. He might have retained it enti...

That love for which all that church was so eminent when St. Paul wrote his epistle to them. He need not have left this. He might have retained it entire to the end. And he did retain it in part, or there could not have remained so much of what was commendable in him. But he had not kept, as he might have done, the first tender love in its vigour and warmth. Reader, hast thou?

Wesley: Rev 2:5 - -- It is not possible for any to recover the first love, but by taking these three steps, 1. Remember: 2. Repent: 3. Do the first works.

It is not possible for any to recover the first love, but by taking these three steps, 1. Remember: 2. Repent: 3. Do the first works.

Wesley: Rev 2:5 - Remember from whence thou art fallen From what degree of faith, love, holiness, though perhaps insensibly.

From what degree of faith, love, holiness, though perhaps insensibly.

Wesley: Rev 2:5 - And repent Which in the very lowest sense implies a deep and lively conviction of thy fall. Of the seven angels, two, at Ephesus and at Pergamos, were in a mixed...

Which in the very lowest sense implies a deep and lively conviction of thy fall. Of the seven angels, two, at Ephesus and at Pergamos, were in a mixed state; two, at Sardis and at Laodicea, were greatly corrupted: all these are exhorted to repent; as are the followers of Jezebel at Thyatira: two, at Smyrna and Philadelphia, were in a flourishing state, and are therefore only exhorted to steadfastness.

There can be no state, either of any pastor, church, or single person, which has not here suitable instructions. All, whether ministers or hearers, together with their secret or open enemies, in all places and all ages, may draw hence necessary self - knowledge, reproof, commendation, warning, or confirmation. Whether any be as dead as the angel at Sardis, or as much alive as the angel at Philadelphia, this book is sent to him, and the Lord Jesus hath something to say to him therein. For the seven churches with their angels represent the whole Christian church, dispersed throughout the whole world, as it subsists, not, as some have imagined, in one age after another, but in every age. This is a point of deep importance, and always necessary to be remembered: that these seven churches are, as it were, a sample of the whole church of Christ, as it was then, as it is now, and as it will be in all ages.

Wesley: Rev 2:5 - Do the first works Outwardly and inwardly, or thou canst never regain the first love.

Outwardly and inwardly, or thou canst never regain the first love.

Wesley: Rev 2:5 - But if not By this word is the warning sharpened to those five churches which are called to repent; for if Ephesus was threatened, how much more shall Sardis and...

By this word is the warning sharpened to those five churches which are called to repent; for if Ephesus was threatened, how much more shall Sardis and Laodicea be afraid! And according as they obey the call or not, there is a promise or a threatening, Rev 2:5, Rev 2:16, Rev 2:22; Rev 3:3, Rev 3:20. But even in the threatening the promise is implied, in case of true repentance. I come to thee, and will remove thy candlestick out of its place - I will remove, unless thou repent, the flock now under thy care to another place, where they shall be better taken care of. But from the flourishing state of the church of Ephesus after this, there is reason to believe he did repent.

Wesley: Rev 2:6 - But thou hast this Divine grace seeks whatever may help him that is fallen to recover his standing.

Divine grace seeks whatever may help him that is fallen to recover his standing.

Wesley: Rev 2:6 - That thou hatest the works of the Nicolaitans Probably so called from Nicolas, one of the seven deacons, Act 6:5. Their doctrines and lives were equally corrupt. They allowed the most abominable l...

Probably so called from Nicolas, one of the seven deacons, Act 6:5. Their doctrines and lives were equally corrupt. They allowed the most abominable lewdness and adulteries, as well as sacrificing to idols; all which they placed among things indifferent, and pleaded for as branches of Christian liberty.

Wesley: Rev 2:7 - He that hath an ear, let him hear Every man, whoever can hear at all, ought carefully to hear this.

Every man, whoever can hear at all, ought carefully to hear this.

Wesley: Rev 2:7 - What the Spirit saith In these great and precious promises.

In these great and precious promises.

Wesley: Rev 2:7 - To the churches And in them to every one that overcometh; that goeth on from faith and by faith to full victory over the world, and the flesh, and the devil. In these...

And in them to every one that overcometh; that goeth on from faith and by faith to full victory over the world, and the flesh, and the devil. In these seven letters twelve promises are contained, which are an extract of all the promises of God. Some of them are not expressly mentioned again in this book, as "the hidden manna," the inscription of "the name of the new Jerusalem," the "sitting upon the throne." Some resemble what is afterwards mentioned, as "the hidden name," Rev 19:12; "the ruling the nations," Rev 19:15; "the morning star," Rev 22:16. And some are expressly mentioned, as "the tree of life," Rev 22:2; freedom from "the second death," Rev 20:6; the name in "the book of life," Rev 20:12; Rev 21:27; the remaining "in the temple of God," Rev 7:15; the inscription of "the name of God and of the Lamb," Rev 14:1; Rev 22:4. In these promises sometimes the enjoyment of the highest goods, sometimes deliverance from the greatest evils, is mentioned. And each implies the other, so that where either part is expressed, the whole is to be understood. That part is expressed which has most resemblance to the virtues or works of him that was spoken to in the letter preceding.

Wesley: Rev 2:7 - To eat of the tree of life The first thing promised in these letters is the last and highest in the accomplishment, Rev 22:2, Rev 22:14, Rev 22:19. The tree of life and the wate...

The first thing promised in these letters is the last and highest in the accomplishment, Rev 22:2, Rev 22:14, Rev 22:19. The tree of life and the water of life go together, Rev 22:1-2; both implying the living with God eternally.

Wesley: Rev 2:7 - In the paradise of my God The word paradise means a garden of pleasure. In the earthly paradise there was one tree of life: there are no other trees in the paradise of God.

The word paradise means a garden of pleasure. In the earthly paradise there was one tree of life: there are no other trees in the paradise of God.

Wesley: Rev 2:8 - These things saith the first and the last, who was dead and is alive How directly does this description tend to confirm him against the fear of death! Rev 2:10-11. Even with the comfort wherewith St. John himself was co...

How directly does this description tend to confirm him against the fear of death! Rev 2:10-11. Even with the comfort wherewith St. John himself was comforted, Rev 1:17-18, shall the angel of this church be comforted.

Wesley: Rev 2:9 - I know thy affliction and poverty A poor prerogative in the eyes of the world! The angel at Philadelphia likewise had in their sight but "a little strength." And yet these two were the...

A poor prerogative in the eyes of the world! The angel at Philadelphia likewise had in their sight but "a little strength." And yet these two were the most honourable of all in the eyes of the Lord.

Wesley: Rev 2:9 - But thou art rich In faith and love, of more value than all the kingdoms of the earth.

In faith and love, of more value than all the kingdoms of the earth.

Wesley: Rev 2:9 - Who say they are Jews God's own people.

God's own people.

Wesley: Rev 2:9 - And are not They are not Jews inwardly, not circumcised in heart.

They are not Jews inwardly, not circumcised in heart.

Wesley: Rev 2:9 - But a synagogue of Satan Who, like them, was a liar and a murderer from the beginning.

Who, like them, was a liar and a murderer from the beginning.

Wesley: Rev 2:10 - -- The first and last words of this verse are particularly directed to the minister; whence we may gather, that his suffering and the affliction of the c...

The first and last words of this verse are particularly directed to the minister; whence we may gather, that his suffering and the affliction of the church were at the same time, and of the same continuance.

Wesley: Rev 2:10 - Fear none of those things which thou art about to suffer Probably by means of the false Jews.

Probably by means of the false Jews.

Wesley: Rev 2:10 - Behold This intimates the nearness of the affliction. Perhaps the ten days began on the very day that the Revelation was read at Smyrna, or at least very soo...

This intimates the nearness of the affliction. Perhaps the ten days began on the very day that the Revelation was read at Smyrna, or at least very soon after.

Wesley: Rev 2:10 - The devil Who sets all persecutors to work; and these more particularly.

Who sets all persecutors to work; and these more particularly.

Wesley: Rev 2:10 - Is about to cast some of you Christians at Smyrna; where, in the first ages, the blood of many martyrs was shed. Into prison, that ye may be tried - To your unspeakable advantage,...

Christians at Smyrna; where, in the first ages, the blood of many martyrs was shed. Into prison, that ye may be tried - To your unspeakable advantage, 1Pe 4:12, 1Pe 4:14.

Wesley: Rev 2:10 - And ye shall have affliction Either in your own persons, or by sympathizing with your brethren.

Either in your own persons, or by sympathizing with your brethren.

Wesley: Rev 2:10 - Ten days (Literally taken) in the end of Domitian's persecution, which was stopped by the edict of the emperor Nerva.

(Literally taken) in the end of Domitian's persecution, which was stopped by the edict of the emperor Nerva.

Wesley: Rev 2:10 - Be thou faithful Our Lord does not say, "till I come," as in the other letters, but unto death - Signifying that the angel of this church should quickly after seal his...

Our Lord does not say, "till I come," as in the other letters, but unto death - Signifying that the angel of this church should quickly after seal his testimony with his blood; fifty years before the martyrdom of Polycarp, for whom some have mistaken him.

Wesley: Rev 2:10 - And I will give thee the crown of life The peculiar reward of them who are faithful unto death.

The peculiar reward of them who are faithful unto death.

Wesley: Rev 2:11 - The second death The lake of fire, the portion of the fearful, who do not overcome, Rev 21:8.

The lake of fire, the portion of the fearful, who do not overcome, Rev 21:8.

Wesley: Rev 2:12 - The sword With which I will cut off the impenitent, Rev 2:16.

With which I will cut off the impenitent, Rev 2:16.

Wesley: Rev 2:13 - Where the throne of Satan is Pergamos was above measure given to idolatry: so Satan had his throne and full residence there.

Pergamos was above measure given to idolatry: so Satan had his throne and full residence there.

Wesley: Rev 2:13 - Thou holdest fast my name Openly and resolutely confessing me before men.

Openly and resolutely confessing me before men.

Wesley: Rev 2:13 - Even in the days wherein Antipas Martyred under Domitian.

Martyred under Domitian.

Wesley: Rev 2:13 - Was my faithful witness Happy is he to whom Jesus, the faithful and true witness, giveth such a testimony!

Happy is he to whom Jesus, the faithful and true witness, giveth such a testimony!

Wesley: Rev 2:14 - But thou hast there Whom thou oughtest to have immediately cast out from the flock.

Whom thou oughtest to have immediately cast out from the flock.

Wesley: Rev 2:14 - Them that hold the doctrine of Balaam Doctrine nearly resembling his.

Doctrine nearly resembling his.

Wesley: Rev 2:14 - Who taught Balak And the rest of the Moabites.

And the rest of the Moabites.

Wesley: Rev 2:14 - To cast a stumblingblock before the sons of Israel They are generally termed, the children, but here, the sons, of Israel, in opposition to the daughters of Moab, by whom Balaam enticed them to fornica...

They are generally termed, the children, but here, the sons, of Israel, in opposition to the daughters of Moab, by whom Balaam enticed them to fornication and idolatry.

Wesley: Rev 2:14 - To eat things sacrificed to idols Which, in so idolatrous a city as Pergamos, was in the highest degree hurtful to Christianity.

Which, in so idolatrous a city as Pergamos, was in the highest degree hurtful to Christianity.

Wesley: Rev 2:14 - And to commit fornication Which was constantly joined with the idol - worship of the heathens.

Which was constantly joined with the idol - worship of the heathens.

Wesley: Rev 2:15 - In like manner thou also As well as the angel at Ephesus.

As well as the angel at Ephesus.

Wesley: Rev 2:15 - Hast them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans And thou sufferest them to remain in the flock.

And thou sufferest them to remain in the flock.

Wesley: Rev 2:16 - If not, I come to thee who wilt not wholly escape when I punish them.

who wilt not wholly escape when I punish them.

Wesley: Rev 2:16 - And will fight with them Not with the Nicolaitans, who are mentioned only by the by, but the followers of Balaam.

Not with the Nicolaitans, who are mentioned only by the by, but the followers of Balaam.

Wesley: Rev 2:16 - With the sword of my mouth With my just and fierce displeasure. Balaam himself was first withstood by the angel of the Lord with "his sword drawn," Num 22:23, and afterwards "sl...

With my just and fierce displeasure. Balaam himself was first withstood by the angel of the Lord with "his sword drawn," Num 22:23, and afterwards "slain with the sword," Num 31:8.

Wesley: Rev 2:17 - To him that overcometh And eateth not of those sacrifices.

And eateth not of those sacrifices.

Wesley: Rev 2:17 - Will I give of the hidden manna Described, John vi. The new name answers to this: it is now "hid with Christ in God." The Jewish manna was kept in the ancient ark of the covenant. Th...

Described, John vi. The new name answers to this: it is now "hid with Christ in God." The Jewish manna was kept in the ancient ark of the covenant. The heavenly ark of the covenant appears under the trumpet of the seventh angel, Rev 11:19, where also the hidden manna is mentioned again. It seems properly to mean, the full, glorious, everlasting fruition of God.

Wesley: Rev 2:17 - And I will give him a white stone The ancients, on many occasions, gave their votes in judgment by small stones; by black, they condemned; by white ones they acquitted. Sometimes also ...

The ancients, on many occasions, gave their votes in judgment by small stones; by black, they condemned; by white ones they acquitted. Sometimes also they wrote on small smooth stones. Here may be an allusion to both.

Wesley: Rev 2:17 - And a new name So Jacob, after his victory, gained the new name of Israel. Wouldest thou know what thy new name will be? The way to this is plain, - overcome. Till t...

So Jacob, after his victory, gained the new name of Israel. Wouldest thou know what thy new name will be? The way to this is plain, - overcome. Till then all thy inquiries are vain. Thou wilt then read it on the white stone.

Wesley: Rev 2:18 - And to the angel of the church at Thyatira Where the faithful were but a little flock.

Where the faithful were but a little flock.

Wesley: Rev 2:18 - These things saith the Son of God See how great he is, who appeared "like a son of man!" Rev 1:13.

See how great he is, who appeared "like a son of man!" Rev 1:13.

Wesley: Rev 2:18 - Who hath eyes as a flame of fire "Searching the reins and the heart," Rev 2:23.

"Searching the reins and the heart," Rev 2:23.

Wesley: Rev 2:18 - And feet like fine brass Denoting his immense strength. Job comprises both these, his wisdom to discern whatever is amiss, and his power to avenge it, in one sentence, Job 42:...

Denoting his immense strength. Job comprises both these, his wisdom to discern whatever is amiss, and his power to avenge it, in one sentence, Job 42:2, "No thought is hidden from him, and he can do all things."

Wesley: Rev 2:19 - I know thy love How different a character is this from that of the angel of the church at Ephesus! The latter could not bear the wicked, and hated the works of the Ni...

How different a character is this from that of the angel of the church at Ephesus! The latter could not bear the wicked, and hated the works of the Nicolaitans; but had left his first love and first works. The former retained his first love, and had more and more works, but did bear the wicked, did not withstand them with becoming vehemence. Mixed characters both; yet the latter, not the former, is reproved for his fall, and commanded to repent. And faith, and thy service, and patience - Love is shown, exercised, and improved by serving God and our neighbour; so is faith by patience and good works.

Wesley: Rev 2:20 - But thou sufferest that woman Jezebel who ought not to teach at all, 1Ti 2:12.

who ought not to teach at all, 1Ti 2:12.

Wesley: Rev 2:20 - To teach and seduce my servants At Pergamos were many followers of Balaam; at Thyatira, one grand deceiver. Many of the ancients have delivered, that this was the wife of the pastor ...

At Pergamos were many followers of Balaam; at Thyatira, one grand deceiver. Many of the ancients have delivered, that this was the wife of the pastor himself. Jezebel of old led the people of God to open idolatry. This Jezebel, fitly called by her name, from the resemblance between their works, led them to partake in the idolatry of the heathens. This she seems to have done by first enticing them to fornication, just as Balaam did: whereas at Pergamos they were first enticed to idolatry, and afterwards to fornication.

Wesley: Rev 2:21 - And I gave her time to repent So great is the power of Christ! But she will not repent - So, though repentance is the gift of God, man may refuse it; God will not compel.

So great is the power of Christ! But she will not repent - So, though repentance is the gift of God, man may refuse it; God will not compel.

Wesley: Rev 2:22 - I will cast her into a bed into great affliction - and them that commit either carnal or spiritual adultery with her, unless they repent - She had her time before.

into great affliction - and them that commit either carnal or spiritual adultery with her, unless they repent - She had her time before.

Wesley: Rev 2:22 - Of her works Those to which she had enticed their and which she had committed with them. It is observable, the angel of the church at Thyatira was only blamed for ...

Those to which she had enticed their and which she had committed with them.

It is observable, the angel of the church at Thyatira was only blamed for suffering her. This fault ceased when God took vengeance on her. Therefore he is not expressly exhorted to repent, though it is implied.

Wesley: Rev 2:23 - And I will kill her children Those which she hath borne in adultery, and them whom she hath seduced.

Those which she hath borne in adultery, and them whom she hath seduced.

Wesley: Rev 2:23 - With death This expression denotes death by the plague, or by some manifest stroke of God's hand. Probably the remarkable vengeance taken on her children was the...

This expression denotes death by the plague, or by some manifest stroke of God's hand. Probably the remarkable vengeance taken on her children was the token of the certainty of all the rest.

Wesley: Rev 2:23 - And all the churches To which thou now writest.

To which thou now writest.

Wesley: Rev 2:23 - Shall know that I search the reins The desires.

The desires.

Wesley: Rev 2:23 - And hearts Thoughts.

Thoughts.

Wesley: Rev 2:24 - But I say to you who do not hold this doctrine Of Jezebel.

Of Jezebel.

Wesley: Rev 2:24 - Who have not known the depths of Satan O happy ignorance! As they speak - That were continually boasting of the deep things which they taught. Our Lord owns they were deep, even deep as hel...

O happy ignorance! As they speak - That were continually boasting of the deep things which they taught. Our Lord owns they were deep, even deep as hell: for they were the very depths of Satan.

Wesley: Rev 2:24 - Were these the same of which Martin Luther speaks? It is well if there are not some of his countrymen now in England who know them too well! I will lay upon you no other burden Than that you have already suffered from Jezebel and her adherents.

Than that you have already suffered from Jezebel and her adherents.

Wesley: Rev 2:25 - What ye Both the angel and the church have.

Both the angel and the church have.

Wesley: Rev 2:26 - By works Those which I have commanded.

Those which I have commanded.

Wesley: Rev 2:26 - To him will I give power over the nations That is, I will give him to share with me in that glorious victory which the Father hath promised me over all the nations who as yet resist me, Psa 2:...

That is, I will give him to share with me in that glorious victory which the Father hath promised me over all the nations who as yet resist me, Psa 2:8-9.

Wesley: Rev 2:27 - And he shall rule them That is, shall share with me when I do this.

That is, shall share with me when I do this.

Wesley: Rev 2:27 - With a rod of iron With irresistible power, employed on those only who will not otherwise submit; who will hereby be dashed in pieces - Totally conquered.

With irresistible power, employed on those only who will not otherwise submit; who will hereby be dashed in pieces - Totally conquered.

Wesley: Rev 2:28 - I will give him the morning star Thou, O Jesus, art the morning star! O give thyself to me! Then will I desire no sun, only thee, who art the sun also. He whom this star enlightens ha...

Thou, O Jesus, art the morning star! O give thyself to me! Then will I desire no sun, only thee, who art the sun also. He whom this star enlightens has always morning and no evening. The duties and promises here answer each other; the valiant conqueror has power over the stubborn nations. And he that, after having conquered his enemies, keeps the works of Christ to the end, shall have the morning star, - an unspeakable brightness and peaceable dominion in him.

JFB: Rev 2:1 - Ephesus Famed for the temple of Diana, one of the seven wonders of the world. For three years Paul labored there. He subsequently ordained Timothy superintend...

Famed for the temple of Diana, one of the seven wonders of the world. For three years Paul labored there. He subsequently ordained Timothy superintending overseer or bishop there: probably his charge was but of a temporary nature. John, towards the close of his life, took it as the center from which he superintended the province.

JFB: Rev 2:1 - holdeth Greek, "holdeth fast," as in Rev 2:25; Rev 3:11; compare Joh 10:28-29. The title of Christ here as "holding fast the seven stars (from Rev 1:16 : only...

Greek, "holdeth fast," as in Rev 2:25; Rev 3:11; compare Joh 10:28-29. The title of Christ here as "holding fast the seven stars (from Rev 1:16 : only that, for having is substituted holding fast in His grasp), and walking in the midst of the seven candlesticks," accords with the beginning of His address to the seven churches representing the universal Church. Walking expresses His unwearied activity in the Church, guarding her from internal and external evils, as the high priest moved to and fro in the sanctuary.

JFB: Rev 2:2 - I know thy works Expressing His omniscience. Not merely "thy professions, desires, good resolutions" (Rev 14:13, end).

Expressing His omniscience. Not merely "thy professions, desires, good resolutions" (Rev 14:13, end).

JFB: Rev 2:2 - thy labour Two oldest manuscripts omit "thy"; one supports it. The Greek means "labor unto weariness."

Two oldest manuscripts omit "thy"; one supports it. The Greek means "labor unto weariness."

JFB: Rev 2:2 - patience Persevering endurance.

Persevering endurance.

JFB: Rev 2:2 - bear Evil men are a burden which the Ephesian Church regarded as intolerable. We are to "bear (the same Greek, Gal 6:2) one another's burdens" in the case ...

Evil men are a burden which the Ephesian Church regarded as intolerable. We are to "bear (the same Greek, Gal 6:2) one another's burdens" in the case of weak brethren; but not to bear false brethren.

JFB: Rev 2:2 - tried By experiment; not the Greek for "test," as 1Jo 4:1. The apostolical churches had the miraculous gift of discerning spirits. Compare Act 20:28-30, whe...

By experiment; not the Greek for "test," as 1Jo 4:1. The apostolical churches had the miraculous gift of discerning spirits. Compare Act 20:28-30, wherein Paul presciently warned the Ephesian elders of the coming false teachers, as also in writing to Timothy at Ephesus. TERTULLIAN [On Baptism, 17], and JEROME [On Illustrious Men, in Lucca 7], record of John, that when a writing, professing to be a canonical history of the acts of Paul, had been composed by a presbyter of Ephesus, John convicted the author and condemned the work. So on one occasion he would not remain under the same roof with Cerinthus the heretic.

JFB: Rev 2:2 - say they are apostles Probably Judaizers. IGNATIUS [Epistle to the Ephesians, 6], says subsequently, "Onesimus praises exceedingly your good discipline that no heresy dwell...

Probably Judaizers. IGNATIUS [Epistle to the Ephesians, 6], says subsequently, "Onesimus praises exceedingly your good discipline that no heresy dwells among you"; and [Epistle to the Ephesians, 9], "Ye did not permit those having evil doctrine to sow their seed among you, but closed your ears."

JFB: Rev 2:3 - borne . . . patience The oldest manuscripts transpose these words. Then translate as Greek, "persevering endurance . . . borne." "Thou hast borne" My reproach, but "thou c...

The oldest manuscripts transpose these words. Then translate as Greek, "persevering endurance . . . borne." "Thou hast borne" My reproach, but "thou canst not bear the evil" (Rev 2:2). A beautiful antithesis.

JFB: Rev 2:3 - and . . . hast laboured, and hast not fainted The two oldest manuscripts and oldest versions read, "and . . . hast not labored," omitting "and hast fainted." The difficulty which transcribers by E...

The two oldest manuscripts and oldest versions read, "and . . . hast not labored," omitting "and hast fainted." The difficulty which transcribers by English Version reading tried to obviate, was the seeming contradiction, "I know thy labor . . . and thou hast not labored." But what is meant is, "Thou hast not been wearied out with labor."

JFB: Rev 2:4 - somewhat . . . because Translate, "I have against thee (this) that," &c. It is not a mere somewhat"; it is everything. How characteristic of our gracious Lord, that He puts ...

Translate, "I have against thee (this) that," &c. It is not a mere somewhat"; it is everything. How characteristic of our gracious Lord, that He puts foremost all He can find to approve, and only after this notes the shortcomings!

JFB: Rev 2:4 - left thy first love To Christ. Compare 1Ti 5:12, "cast off their first faith." See the Ephesians' first love, Eph 1:15. This epistle was written under Domitian, when thir...

To Christ. Compare 1Ti 5:12, "cast off their first faith." See the Ephesians' first love, Eph 1:15. This epistle was written under Domitian, when thirty years had elapsed since Paul had written his Epistle to them. Their warmth of love had given place to a lifeless orthodoxy. Compare Paul's view of faith so called without love, 1Co 13:2.

JFB: Rev 2:5 - whence From what a height.

From what a height.

JFB: Rev 2:5 - do the first works The works which flowed from thy first love. Not merely "feel thy first feelings," but do works flowing from the same principle as formerly, "faith whi...

The works which flowed from thy first love. Not merely "feel thy first feelings," but do works flowing from the same principle as formerly, "faith which worketh by love."

JFB: Rev 2:5 - I will come Greek, "I am coming" in special judgment on thee.

Greek, "I am coming" in special judgment on thee.

JFB: Rev 2:5 - quickly Omitted in two oldest manuscripts, Vulgate and Coptic versions: supported by one oldest manuscript.

Omitted in two oldest manuscripts, Vulgate and Coptic versions: supported by one oldest manuscript.

JFB: Rev 2:5 - remove thy candlestick out of his place I will take away the Church from Ephesus and remove it elsewhere. "It is removal of the candlestick, not extinction of the candle, which is threatened...

I will take away the Church from Ephesus and remove it elsewhere. "It is removal of the candlestick, not extinction of the candle, which is threatened here; judgment for some, but that very judgment the occasion of mercy for others. So it has been. The seat of the Church has been changed, but the Church itself survives. What the East has lost, the West has gained. One who lately visited Ephesus found only three Christians there, and these so ignorant as scarcely to have heard the names of St. Paul or St. John" [TRENCH].

JFB: Rev 2:6 - But How graciously, after necessary censure, He returns to praise for our consolation, and as an example to us, that we would show, when we reprove, we ha...

How graciously, after necessary censure, He returns to praise for our consolation, and as an example to us, that we would show, when we reprove, we have more pleasure in praising than in fault-finding.

JFB: Rev 2:6 - hatest the deeds We should hate men's evil deeds, not hate the men themselves.

We should hate men's evil deeds, not hate the men themselves.

JFB: Rev 2:6 - Nicolaitanes IRENÆUS [Against Heresies, 1.26.3] and TERTULLIAN [Prescription against Heretics, 46] make these followers of Nicolas, one of the seven (honorably me...

IRENÆUS [Against Heresies, 1.26.3] and TERTULLIAN [Prescription against Heretics, 46] make these followers of Nicolas, one of the seven (honorably mentioned, Act 6:3, Act 6:5). They (CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA [Miscellanies, 2.20 3.4] and EPIPHANIUS [Heresies, 25]) evidently confound the latter Gnostic Nicolaitanes, or followers of one Nicolaos, with those of Revelation. MICHAELIS' view is probable: Nicolaos (conqueror of the people) is the Greek version of Balaam, from Hebrew "Belang Am," "Destroyer of the people." Revelation abounds in such duplicate Hebrew and Greek names: as Apollyon, Abaddon: Devil, Satan: Yea (Greek, "Nai"), Amen. The name, like other names, Egypt, Babylon, Sodom, is symbolic. Compare Rev 2:14-15, which shows the true sense of Nicolaitanes; they are not a sect, but professing Christians who, like Balaam of old. tried to introduce into the Church a false freedom, that is, licentiousness; this was a reaction in the opposite direction from Judaism, the first danger to the Church combated in the council of Jerusalem, and by Paul in the Epistle to Galatians. These symbolical Nicolaitanes, or followers of Balaam, abused Paul's doctrine of the grace of God into a plea for lasciviousness (2Pe 2:15-16, 2Pe 2:19; Jud 1:4, Jud 1:11 who both describe the same sort of seducers as followers of Balaam). The difficulty that they should appropriate a name branded with infamy in Scripture is met by TRENCH: The Antinomian Gnostics were so opposed to John as a Judaizing apostle that they would assume as a name of chiefest honor one which John branded with dishonor.

JFB: Rev 2:7 - He that hath an ear This clause precedes the promise in the first three addresses, succeeds it in the last four. Thus the promises are enclosed on both sides with the pre...

This clause precedes the promise in the first three addresses, succeeds it in the last four. Thus the promises are enclosed on both sides with the precept urging the deepest attention as to the most momentous truths. Every man "hath an ear" naturally, but he alone will be able to hear spiritually to whom God has given "the hearing ear"; whose "ear God hath wakened" and "opened." Compare "Faith, the ears of the soul" [CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA].

JFB: Rev 2:7 - the Spirit saith What Christ saith, the Spirit saith; so one are the Second and Third Persons.

What Christ saith, the Spirit saith; so one are the Second and Third Persons.

JFB: Rev 2:7 - unto the churches Not merely to the particular, but to the universal Church.

Not merely to the particular, but to the universal Church.

JFB: Rev 2:7 - overcometh In John's Gospel (Joh 16:33) and First Epistle (1Jo 2:13-14; 1Jo 5:4-5) an object follows, namely, "the world," "the wicked one." Here, where the fina...

In John's Gospel (Joh 16:33) and First Epistle (1Jo 2:13-14; 1Jo 5:4-5) an object follows, namely, "the world," "the wicked one." Here, where the final issue is spoken of, the conqueror is named absolutely. Paul uses a similar image (1Co 9:24-25; 2Ti 2:5; but not the same as John's phrase, except Rom 12:21).

JFB: Rev 2:7 - will I give As the Judge. The tree of life in Paradise, lost by the fall, is restored by the Redeemer. Allusions to it occur in Pro 3:18; Pro 11:30; Pro 13:12; Pr...

As the Judge. The tree of life in Paradise, lost by the fall, is restored by the Redeemer. Allusions to it occur in Pro 3:18; Pro 11:30; Pro 13:12; Pro 15:4, and prophetically, Rev 22:2, Rev 22:14; Eze 47:12; compare Joh 6:51. It is interesting to note how closely these introductory addresses are linked to the body of Revelation. Thus, the tree of life here, with Rev 22:1; deliverance from the second death (Rev 2:11), with Rev 20:14; Rev 21:8; the new name (Rev 2:17), with Rev 14:1; power over the nations, with Rev 20:4; the morning star (Rev 2:28), with Rev 22:16; the white raiment (Rev 3:5), with Rev 4:4; Rev 16:15; the name in the book of life (Rev 3:5), with Rev 13:8; Rev 20:15; the new Jerusalem and its citizenship (Rev 3:12), with Rev 21:10.

JFB: Rev 2:7 - give . . . tree of life The thing promised corresponds to the kind of faithfulness manifested. They who refrain from Nicolaitane indulgences (Rev 2:6) and idol-meats (Rev 2:1...

The thing promised corresponds to the kind of faithfulness manifested. They who refrain from Nicolaitane indulgences (Rev 2:6) and idol-meats (Rev 2:14-15), shall eat of meat infinitely superior, namely, the fruit of the tree of life, and the hidden manna (Rev 2:17).

JFB: Rev 2:7 - in the midst of the paradise The oldest manuscripts omit "the midst of." In Gen 2:9 these words are appropriate, for there were other trees in the garden, but not in the midst of ...

The oldest manuscripts omit "the midst of." In Gen 2:9 these words are appropriate, for there were other trees in the garden, but not in the midst of it. Here the tree of life is simply in the paradise, for no other tree is mentioned in it; in Rev 22:2 the tree of life is "in the midst of the street of Jerusalem"; from this the clause was inserted here. Paradise (a Persian, or else Semitic word), originally used of any garden of delight; then specially of Eden; then the temporary abode of separate souls in bliss; then "the Paradise of God," the third heaven, the immediate presence of God.

JFB: Rev 2:7 - of God (Eze 28:13). One oldest manuscript, with Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic, and CYPRIAN, read, "MY God," as in Rev 3:12. So Christ calls God, "My God and y...

(Eze 28:13). One oldest manuscript, with Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic, and CYPRIAN, read, "MY God," as in Rev 3:12. So Christ calls God, "My God and your God" (Joh 20:17; compare Eph 1:17). God is our God, in virtue of being peculiarly Christ's God. The main bliss of Paradise is that it is the Paradise of God; God Himself dwelling there (Rev 21:3).

JFB: Rev 2:8 - Smyrna In Ionia, a little to the north of Ephesus. POLYCARP, martyred in A.D. 168, eighty-six years after his conversion, was bishop, and probably "the angel...

In Ionia, a little to the north of Ephesus. POLYCARP, martyred in A.D. 168, eighty-six years after his conversion, was bishop, and probably "the angel of the Church in Smyrna" meant here. The allusions to persecutions and faithfulness unto death accord with this view. IGNATIUS [The Martyrdom of Ignatius 3], on his way to martyrdom in Rome, wrote to POLYCARP, then (A.D. 108) bishop of Smyrna; if his bishopric commenced ten or twelve years earlier, the dates will harmonize. TERTULLIAN [The Prescription against Heretics, 32], and IRENÆUS, who had talked with POLYCARP in youth, tell us POLYCARP was consecrated bishop of Smyrna by St. John.

JFB: Rev 2:8 - the first . . . the last . . . was dead . . . is alive The attributes of Christ most calculated to comfort the Church of Smyrna under its persecutions; resumed from Rev 1:17-18. As death was to Him but the...

The attributes of Christ most calculated to comfort the Church of Smyrna under its persecutions; resumed from Rev 1:17-18. As death was to Him but the gate to life eternal, so it is to be to them (Rev 2:10-11).

JFB: Rev 2:9 - thy works, and Omitted in two oldest manuscripts, Vulgate, and Coptic. Supported by one oldest manuscript.

Omitted in two oldest manuscripts, Vulgate, and Coptic. Supported by one oldest manuscript.

JFB: Rev 2:9 - tribulation Owing to persecution.

Owing to persecution.

JFB: Rev 2:9 - poverty Owing to "the spoiling of their goods."

Owing to "the spoiling of their goods."

JFB: Rev 2:9 - but thou art rich In grace. Contrast Laodicea, rich in the world's eyes and her own, poor before God. "There are both poor rich-men, and rich poor-men in God's sight" [...

In grace. Contrast Laodicea, rich in the world's eyes and her own, poor before God. "There are both poor rich-men, and rich poor-men in God's sight" [TRENCH].

JFB: Rev 2:9 - blasphemy of them Blasphemous calumny of thee on the part of (or arising from) them.

Blasphemous calumny of thee on the part of (or arising from) them.

JFB: Rev 2:9 - say they are Jews, and are not Jews by national descent, but not spiritually of "the true circumcision." The Jews blaspheme Christ as "the hanged one." As elsewhere, so at Smyrna th...

Jews by national descent, but not spiritually of "the true circumcision." The Jews blaspheme Christ as "the hanged one." As elsewhere, so at Smyrna they bitterly opposed Christianity; and at POLYCARP'S martyrdom they joined the heathens in clamoring for his being cast to the lions; and when there was an obstacle to this, for his being burnt alive; and with their own hands they carried logs for the pile.

JFB: Rev 2:9 - synagogue of Satan Only once is the term "synagogue" in the New Testament used of the Christian assembly, and that by the apostle who longest maintained the union of the...

Only once is the term "synagogue" in the New Testament used of the Christian assembly, and that by the apostle who longest maintained the union of the Church and Jewish Synagogue. As the Jews more and more opposed Christianity, and it more and more rooted itself in the Gentile world, the term "synagogue" was left altogether to the former, and Christians appropriated exclusively the honorable term "Church"; contrast an earlier time when the Jewish theocracy is called "the Church in the wilderness." Compare Num 16:3; Num 20:4, "congregation of the Lord." Even in Jam 2:2 it is "your (not the Lord's) assembly." The Jews, who might have been "the Church of God," had now, by their opposition and unbelief, become the synagogue of Satan. So "the throne of Satan" (Rev 2:13) represents the heathens' opposition to Christianity; "the depths of Satan" (Rev 2:24), the opposition of heretics.

JFB: Rev 2:10 - Fear none, &c. The oldest manuscripts read, "Fear not those things," &c. "The Captain of our salvation never keeps back what those who faithfully witness for Him may...

The oldest manuscripts read, "Fear not those things," &c. "The Captain of our salvation never keeps back what those who faithfully witness for Him may have to bear for His name's sake; never entices recruits by the promise they shall find all things easy and pleasant there" [TRENCH].

JFB: Rev 2:10 - devil "the accuser." He acted, through Jewish accusers against Christ and His people. The conflict of the latter was not with mere flesh and blood, but with...

"the accuser." He acted, through Jewish accusers against Christ and His people. The conflict of the latter was not with mere flesh and blood, but with the rulers of the darkness of this world.

JFB: Rev 2:10 - tried With temptation by "the devil." The same event is often both a temptation from the devil, and a trial from God--God sifting and winnowing the man to s...

With temptation by "the devil." The same event is often both a temptation from the devil, and a trial from God--God sifting and winnowing the man to separate his chaff from his wheat, the devil sifting him in the hope that nothing but chaff will be found in him [TRENCH].

JFB: Rev 2:10 - ten days Not the ten persecutions from Nero to Diocletian. LYRA explains ten years on the year-day principle. The shortness of the duration of the persecution ...

Not the ten persecutions from Nero to Diocletian. LYRA explains ten years on the year-day principle. The shortness of the duration of the persecution is evidently made the ground of consolation. The time of trial shall be short, the duration of your joy shall be for ever. Compare the use of "ten days" for a short time, Gen 24:55; Num 11:19. Ten is the number of the world powers hostile to the Church; compare the ten horns of the beast, Rev 13:1.

JFB: Rev 2:10 - unto death So as even to endure death for My sake.

So as even to endure death for My sake.

JFB: Rev 2:10 - crown of life Jam 1:12; 2Ti 4:8, "crown of righteousness"; 1Pe 5:4, "crown of glory." The crown is the garland, the mark of a conqueror, or of one rejoicing, or at...

Jam 1:12; 2Ti 4:8, "crown of righteousness"; 1Pe 5:4, "crown of glory." The crown is the garland, the mark of a conqueror, or of one rejoicing, or at a feast; but diadem is the mark of a KING.

JFB: Rev 2:11 - shall not be hurt Greek, "shall not by any means (or possibly) be hurt."

Greek, "shall not by any means (or possibly) be hurt."

JFB: Rev 2:11 - the second death "the lake of fire." "The death in life of the lost, as contrasted with the life in death of the saved" [TRENCH]. The phrase "the second death" is pecu...

"the lake of fire." "The death in life of the lost, as contrasted with the life in death of the saved" [TRENCH]. The phrase "the second death" is peculiar to the Apocalypse. What matter about the first death, which sooner or later must pass over us, if we escape the second death? "It seems that they who die that death shall be hurt by it; whereas, if it were annihilation, and so a conclusion of their torments, it would be no way hurtful, but highly beneficial to them. But the living torments are the second death" [BISHOP PEARSON]. "The life of the damned is death" [AUGUSTINE]. Smyrna (meaning myrrh) yielded its sweet perfume in being bruised even to death. Myrrh was used in embalming dead bodies (Joh 19:39); was an ingredient in the holy anointing oil (Exo 30:23); a perfume of the heavenly Bridegroom (Psa 45:8), and of the bride (Son 3:6). "Affliction, like it, is bitter for the time being, but salutary; preserving the elect from corruption, and seasoning them for immortality, and gives scope for the exercise of the fragrantly breathing Christian virtues" [VITRINGA]. POLYCARP'S noble words to his heathen judges who wished him to recant, are well known: "Fourscore and six years have I served the Lord, and He never wronged me, how then can I blaspheme my King and Saviour?" Smyrna's faithfulness is rewarded by its candlestick not having been removed out of its place (Rev 2:5); Christianity has never wholly left it; whence the Turks call it, "Infidel Smyrna."

JFB: Rev 2:12 - -- TRENCH prefers writing Pergamus, or rather, Pergamum, on the river Caicus. It was capital of Attalus the Second's kingdom, which was bequeathed by him...

TRENCH prefers writing Pergamus, or rather, Pergamum, on the river Caicus. It was capital of Attalus the Second's kingdom, which was bequeathed by him to the Romans, 133 B.C. Famous for its library, founded by Eumenes (197-159), and destroyed by Caliph Omar. Parchment, that is, Pergamena charta, was here discovered for book purposes. Also famous for the magnificent temple of Æsculapius, the healing god [TACITUS, Annals, 3.63].

JFB: Rev 2:12 - he which hath the sharp sword with two edges Appropriate to His address having a twofold bearing, a searching power so as to convict and convert some (Rev 2:13, Rev 2:17), and to convict and cond...

Appropriate to His address having a twofold bearing, a searching power so as to convict and convert some (Rev 2:13, Rev 2:17), and to convict and condemn to punishment others (Rev 2:14-16, especially Rev 2:16; compare also see on Rev 1:16).

JFB: Rev 2:13 - I know thy works Two oldest manuscripts omit this clause; one oldest manuscript retains it.

Two oldest manuscripts omit this clause; one oldest manuscript retains it.

JFB: Rev 2:13 - Satan's seat Rather as the Greek is translated all through Revelation, "throne." Satan, in impious mimicry of God's heavenly throne, sets up his earthly throne (Re...

Rather as the Greek is translated all through Revelation, "throne." Satan, in impious mimicry of God's heavenly throne, sets up his earthly throne (Rev 4:2). Æsculapius was worshipped there under the serpent form; and Satan, the old serpent, as the instigator (compare Rev 2:10) of fanatical devotees of Æsculapius, and, through them, of the supreme magistracy at Pergamos, persecuted one of the Lord's people (Antipas) even to death. Thus, this address is an anticipatory preface to Rev. 12:1-17; Note: "throne . . . the dragon, Satan . . . war with her seed," Rev 12:5, Rev 12:9, Rev 12:17.

JFB: Rev 2:13 - even in those days Two oldest manuscripts omit "even"; two retain it.

Two oldest manuscripts omit "even"; two retain it.

JFB: Rev 2:13 - wherein Two oldest manuscripts omit this (then translate, "in the days of Antipas, My faithful witness," or "martyr"); two retain it. Two oldest manuscripts r...

Two oldest manuscripts omit this (then translate, "in the days of Antipas, My faithful witness," or "martyr"); two retain it. Two oldest manuscripts read, "My witness, MY faithful one"; two read as English Version. Antipas is another form for Antipater. SIMEON METAPHRASTES has a palpably legendary story, unknown to the early Fathers, that Antipas, in Domitian's reign, was shut up in a red-hot brazen bull, and ended his life in thanksgivings and prayers. HENGSTENBERG makes the name, like other apocalyptic names, symbolical, meaning one standing out "against all" for Christ's sake.

JFB: Rev 2:14 - few In comparison of the many tokens of thy faithfulness.

In comparison of the many tokens of thy faithfulness.

JFB: Rev 2:14 - hold the doctrine of Balaam "the teaching of Balaam," namely, that which he "taught Balak." Compare "the counsel of Balaam," Num 31:16. "Balak" is dative in the Greek, whence BEN...

"the teaching of Balaam," namely, that which he "taught Balak." Compare "the counsel of Balaam," Num 31:16. "Balak" is dative in the Greek, whence BENGEL translates, "taught (the Moabites) for (that is, to please) Balak." But though in Numbers it is not expressly said he taught Balak, yet there is nothing said inconsistent with his having done so; and JOSEPHUS [Antiquities,4. 6. 6], says he did so. The dative case is a Hebraism for the accusative case.

JFB: Rev 2:14 - children Greek, "sons of Israel."

Greek, "sons of Israel."

JFB: Rev 2:14 - stumbling-block Literally, that part of a trap on which the bait was laid, and which, when touched, caused the trap to close on its prey; then any entanglement to the...

Literally, that part of a trap on which the bait was laid, and which, when touched, caused the trap to close on its prey; then any entanglement to the foot [TRENCH].

JFB: Rev 2:14 - eat things sacrificed unto idols The act common to the Israelites of old, and the Nicolaitanes in John's day; he does not add what was peculiar to the Israelites, namely, that they sa...

The act common to the Israelites of old, and the Nicolaitanes in John's day; he does not add what was peculiar to the Israelites, namely, that they sacrificed to idols. The temptation to eat idol-meats was a peculiarly strong one to the Gentile converts. For not to do so involved almost a withdrawal from partaking of any social meal with the heathen around. For idol-meats, after a part had been offered in sacrifice, were nearly sure to be on the heathen entertainer's table; so much so, that the Greek "to kill" (thuein) meant originally "to sacrifice." Hence arose the decree of the council of Jerusalem forbidding to eat such meats; subsequently some at Corinth ate unscrupulously and knowingly of such meats, on the ground that the idol is nothing; others needlessly tortured themselves with scruples, lest unknowingly they should eat of them when they got meat from the market or in a heathen friend's house. Paul handles the question in 1Co 8:1-13; 1Co 10:25-33.

JFB: Rev 2:14 - fornication Often connected with idolatry.

Often connected with idolatry.

JFB: Rev 2:15 - thou Emphatic: "So THOU also hast," As Balak and the Moabites of old had Balaam and his followers literally, so hast thou also them that hold the same Bala...

Emphatic: "So THOU also hast," As Balak and the Moabites of old had Balaam and his followers literally, so hast thou also them that hold the same Balaamite or Nicolaitane doctrine spiritually or symbolically. Literal eating of idol-meats and fornication in Pergamos were accompanied by spiritual idolatry and fornication. So TRENCH explains. But I prefer taking it, "THOU also," as well as Ephesus ("in like manner" as Ephesus; see below the oldest reading), hast . . . Nicolaitanes, with this important difference, Ephesus, as a Church, hates them and casts them out, but thou "hast them," namely, in the Church.

JFB: Rev 2:15 - doctrine Teaching (see on Rev 2:6): namely, to tempt God's people to idolatry.

Teaching (see on Rev 2:6): namely, to tempt God's people to idolatry.

JFB: Rev 2:15 - which thing I hate It is sin not to hate what God hates. The Ephesian Church (Rev 2:6) had this point of superiority to Pergamos. But the three oldest manuscripts, and V...

It is sin not to hate what God hates. The Ephesian Church (Rev 2:6) had this point of superiority to Pergamos. But the three oldest manuscripts, and Vulgate and Syriac, read instead of "which I hate," "IN LIKE MANNER."

JFB: Rev 2:16 - -- The three oldest manuscripts read, "Repent, therefore." Not only the Nicolaitanes, but the whole Church of Pergamos is called on to repent of not havi...

The three oldest manuscripts read, "Repent, therefore." Not only the Nicolaitanes, but the whole Church of Pergamos is called on to repent of not having hated the Nicolaitane teaching and practice. Contrast Paul, Act 20:26.

JFB: Rev 2:16 - I will come I am coming.

I am coming.

JFB: Rev 2:16 - fight against them Greek, "war with them"; with the Nicolaitanes primarily; but including also chastisement of the whole Church at Pergamos: compare "unto THEE."

Greek, "war with them"; with the Nicolaitanes primarily; but including also chastisement of the whole Church at Pergamos: compare "unto THEE."

JFB: Rev 2:16 - with the sword of my mouth Resumed from Rev 1:16, but with an allusion to the drawn sword with which the angel of the Lord confronted Balaam on his way to curse Israel: an earne...

Resumed from Rev 1:16, but with an allusion to the drawn sword with which the angel of the Lord confronted Balaam on his way to curse Israel: an earnest of the sword by which he and the seduced Israelites fell at last. The spiritual Balaamites of John's day are to be smitten with the Lord's spiritual sword, the word or "rod of His mouth."

JFB: Rev 2:17 - to eat Omitted in the three oldest manuscripts.

Omitted in the three oldest manuscripts.

JFB: Rev 2:17 - the hidden manna The heavenly food of Israel, in contrast to the idol-meats (Rev 2:14). A pot of manna was laid up in the holy place "before the testimony." The allusi...

The heavenly food of Israel, in contrast to the idol-meats (Rev 2:14). A pot of manna was laid up in the holy place "before the testimony." The allusion is here to this: probably also to the Lord's discourse (Joh 6:31-35). Translate, "the manna which is hidden." As the manna hidden in the sanctuary was by divine power preserved from corruption, so Christ in His incorruptible body has passed into the heavens, and is hidden there until the time of His appearing. Christ Himself is the manna "hidden" from the world, but revealed to the believer, so that he has already a foretaste of His preciousness. Compare as to Christ's own hidden food on earth, Joh 4:32, Joh 4:34, and Job 23:12. The full manifestation shall be at His coming. Believers are now hidden, even as their meat is hidden. As the manna in the sanctuary, unlike the other manna, was incorruptible, so the spiritual feast offered to all who reject the world's dainties for Christ is everlasting: an incorruptible body and life for ever in Christ at the resurrection.

JFB: Rev 2:17 - white stone . . . new name . . . no man knoweth saving he TRENCH'S explanation seems best. White is the color and livery of heaven. "New" implies something altogether renewed and heavenly. The white stone is ...

TRENCH'S explanation seems best. White is the color and livery of heaven. "New" implies something altogether renewed and heavenly. The white stone is a glistening diamond, the Urim borne by the high priest within the choschen or breastplate of judgment, with the twelve tribes' names on the twelve precious stones, next the heart. The word Urim means "light," answering to the color white. None but the high priest knew the name written upon it, probably the incommunicable name of God, "Jehovah." The high priest consulted it in some divinely appointed way to get direction from God when needful. The "new name" is Christ's (compare Rev 3:12, "I will write upon him My new name"): some new revelation of Himself which shall hereafter be imparted to His people, and which they alone are capable of receiving. The connection with the "hidden manna" will thus be clear, as none save the high priest had access to the "manna hidden" in the sanctuary. Believers, as spiritual priests unto God, shall enjoy the heavenly antitypes to the hidden manna and the Urim stone. What they had peculiarly to contend against at Pergamos was the temptation to idol-meats, and fornication, put in their way by Balaamites. As Phinehas was rewarded with "an everlasting priesthood" for his zeal against these very sins to which the Old Testament Balaam seduced Israel; so the heavenly high priesthood is the reward promised here to those zealous against the New Testament Balaamites tempting Christ's people to the same sins.

JFB: Rev 2:17 - receiveth it Namely, "the stone"; not "the new name"; see above. The "name that no man knew but Christ Himself," He shall hereafter reveal to His people.

Namely, "the stone"; not "the new name"; see above. The "name that no man knew but Christ Himself," He shall hereafter reveal to His people.

JFB: Rev 2:18 - Thyatira In Lydia, south of Pergamos. Lydia, the purple-seller of this city, having been converted at Philippi, a Macedonian city (with which Thyatira, as bein...

In Lydia, south of Pergamos. Lydia, the purple-seller of this city, having been converted at Philippi, a Macedonian city (with which Thyatira, as being a Macedonian colony, had naturally much intercourse), was probably the instrument of first carrying the Gospel to her native town. John follows the geographical order here, for Thyatira lay a little to the left of the road from Pergamos to Sardis [STRABO, 13:4].

JFB: Rev 2:18 - Son of God . . . eyes like . . . fire . . . feet . . . like fine brass Or "glowing brass" (see on Rev 1:14-15, whence this description is resumed). Again His attributes accord with His address. The title "Son of God," is ...

Or "glowing brass" (see on Rev 1:14-15, whence this description is resumed). Again His attributes accord with His address. The title "Son of God," is from Psa 2:7, Psa 2:9, which is referred to in Rev 2:27. The attribute, "eyes like a flame," &c., answers to Rev 2:23, "I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts." The attribute, "feet like . . . brass," answers to Rev 2:27, "as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers," He treading them to pieces with His strong feet.

JFB: Rev 2:19 - -- The oldest manuscripts transpose the English Version order, and read, "faith and service." The four are subordinate to "thy works"; thus, "I know thy ...

The oldest manuscripts transpose the English Version order, and read, "faith and service." The four are subordinate to "thy works"; thus, "I know thy works, even the love and the faith (these two forming one pair, as 'faith works by love,' Gal 5:6), and the service (ministration to the suffering members of the Church, and to all in spiritual or temporal need), and the endurance of (that is, shown by) thee (this pronoun belongs to all four)." As love is inward, so service is its outward manifestation. Similarly, faith and persevering endurance, or "patient continuance (the same Greek as here, Rom 2:7) in well-doing," are connected.

JFB: Rev 2:19 - and thy works; and the last Omit the second "and," with the three oldest manuscripts and the ancient versions; translate, "And (I know) thy works which are last (to be) more in n...

Omit the second "and," with the three oldest manuscripts and the ancient versions; translate, "And (I know) thy works which are last (to be) more in number than the first"; realizing 1Th 4:1; the converse of Mat 12:45; 2Pe 2:20. Instead of retrograding from "the first works" and "first love," as Ephesus, Thyatira's last works exceeded her first (Rev 2:4-5).

JFB: Rev 2:20 - a few things Omitted in the three oldest manuscripts. Translate then, "I have against thee that," &c.

Omitted in the three oldest manuscripts. Translate then, "I have against thee that," &c.

JFB: Rev 2:20 - sufferest The three oldest manuscripts read, "lettest alone."

The three oldest manuscripts read, "lettest alone."

JFB: Rev 2:20 - that woman Two oldest manuscripts read, "THY wife"; two omit it. Vulgate and most ancient versions read as English Version. The symbolical Jezebel was to the Chu...

Two oldest manuscripts read, "THY wife"; two omit it. Vulgate and most ancient versions read as English Version. The symbolical Jezebel was to the Church of Thyatira what Jezebel, Ahab's "wife," was to him. Some self-styled prophetess (or as the feminine in Hebrew is often used collectively to express a multitude, a set of false prophets), as closely attached to the Church of Thyatira as a wife is to a husband, and as powerfully influencing for evil that Church as Jezebel did Ahab. As Balaam, in Israel's early history, so Jezebel, daughter of Eth-baal, king of Sidon (1Ki 16:31, formerly priest of Astarte, and murderer of his predecessor on the throne, JOSEPHUS [Against Apion, 1.18]), was the great seducer to idolatry in Israel's later history. Like her father, she was swift to shed blood. Wholly given to Baal worship, like Eth-baal, whose name expresses his idolatry, she, with her strong will, seduced the weak Ahab and Israel beyond the calf-worship (which was a worship of the true God under the cherub-ox form, that is, a violation of the second commandment) to that of Baal (a violation of the first commandment also). She seems to have been herself a priestess and prophetess of Baal. Compare 2Ki 9:22, 2Ki 9:30, "whoredoms of . . . Jezebel and her witchcrafts" (impurity was part of the worship of the Phœnician Astarte, or Venus). Her spiritual counterpart at Thyatira lured God's "servants" by pretended utterances of inspiration to the same libertinism, fornication, and eating of idol-meats, as the Balaamites and Nicolaitanes (Rev 2:6, Rev 2:14-15). By a false spiritualism these seducers led their victims into the grossest carnality, as though things done in the flesh were outside the true man, and were, therefore, indifferent. "The deeper the Church penetrated into heathenism, the more she herself became heathenish; this prepares us for the expressions 'harlot' and 'Babylon,' applied to her afterwards" [AUBERLEN].

JFB: Rev 2:20 - to teach and to seduce The three oldest manuscripts read, "and she teaches and seduces," or "deceives." "Thyatira was just the reverse of Ephesus. There, much zeal for ortho...

The three oldest manuscripts read, "and she teaches and seduces," or "deceives." "Thyatira was just the reverse of Ephesus. There, much zeal for orthodoxy, but little love; here, activity of faith and love, but insufficient zeal for godly discipline and doctrine, a patience of error even where there was not a participation in it" [TRENCH].

JFB: Rev 2:21 - space Greek, "time."

Greek, "time."

JFB: Rev 2:21 - of her fornication . . . she repented not The three oldest manuscripts read, "and she willeth not to repent of (literally, 'out of,' that is, so as to come out of) her fornication." Here there...

The three oldest manuscripts read, "and she willeth not to repent of (literally, 'out of,' that is, so as to come out of) her fornication." Here there is a transition from literal to spiritual fornication, as appears from Rev 2:22. The idea arose from Jehovah's covenant relation to the Old Testament Church being regarded as a marriage, any transgression against which was, therefore, harlotry, fornication, or adultery.

JFB: Rev 2:22 - Behold Calling attention to her awful doom to come.

Calling attention to her awful doom to come.

JFB: Rev 2:22 - I will Greek present, "I cast her."

Greek present, "I cast her."

JFB: Rev 2:22 - a bed The place of her sin shall be the place of her punishment. The bed of her sin shall be her bed of sickness and anguish. Perhaps a pestilence was about...

The place of her sin shall be the place of her punishment. The bed of her sin shall be her bed of sickness and anguish. Perhaps a pestilence was about to be sent. Or the bed of the grave, and of the hell beyond, where the worm dieth not.

JFB: Rev 2:22 - them that commit adultery with her Spiritually; including both the eating of idol-meats and fornication. "With her," in the Greek, implies participation with her in her adulteries, name...

Spiritually; including both the eating of idol-meats and fornication. "With her," in the Greek, implies participation with her in her adulteries, namely, by suffering her (Rev 2:20), or letting her alone, and so virtually encouraging her. Her punishment is distinct from theirs; she is to be cast into a bed, and her children to be killed; while those who make themselves partakers of her sin by tolerating her, are to be cast into great tribulation.

JFB: Rev 2:22 - except they repent Greek aorist, "repent" at once; shall have repented by the time limited in My purpose.

Greek aorist, "repent" at once; shall have repented by the time limited in My purpose.

JFB: Rev 2:22 - their deeds Two of the oldest manuscripts and most ancient versions read "her." Thus, God's true servants, who by connivance, are incurring the guilt of her deeds...

Two of the oldest manuscripts and most ancient versions read "her." Thus, God's true servants, who by connivance, are incurring the guilt of her deeds, are distinguished from her. One oldest manuscript, ANDREAS, and CYPRIAN, support "their."

JFB: Rev 2:23 - her children (Isa 57:3; Eze 23:45, Eze 23:47). Her proper adherents; not those who suffer her, but those who are begotten of her. A distinct class from the last i...

(Isa 57:3; Eze 23:45, Eze 23:47). Her proper adherents; not those who suffer her, but those who are begotten of her. A distinct class from the last in Rev 2:22 (compare Note, see on Rev 2:22), whose sin was less direct, being that only of connivance.

JFB: Rev 2:23 - kill . . . with death Compare the disaster that overtook the literal Jezebel's votaries of Baal, and Ahab's sons, 1Ki 18:40; 2Ki 10:6-7, 2Ki 10:24-25. Kill with death is a ...

Compare the disaster that overtook the literal Jezebel's votaries of Baal, and Ahab's sons, 1Ki 18:40; 2Ki 10:6-7, 2Ki 10:24-25. Kill with death is a Hebraism for slay with most sure and awful death; so "dying thou shalt die" (Gen 2:17). Not "die the common death of men" (Num 16:29).

JFB: Rev 2:23 - all the churches shall know Implying that these addresses are designed for the catholic Church of all ages and places. So palpably shall God's hand be seen in the judgment on Thy...

Implying that these addresses are designed for the catholic Church of all ages and places. So palpably shall God's hand be seen in the judgment on Thyatira, that the whole Church shall recognize it as God's doing.

JFB: Rev 2:23 - I am he The "I" is strongly emphatical: "that it is I am He who," &c.

The "I" is strongly emphatical: "that it is I am He who," &c.

JFB: Rev 2:23 - searcheth . . . hearts God's peculiar attribute is given to Christ. The "reins" are the seat of the desires; the "heart," that of the thoughts. The Greek for "searcheth" exp...

God's peculiar attribute is given to Christ. The "reins" are the seat of the desires; the "heart," that of the thoughts. The Greek for "searcheth" expresses an accurate following up of all tracks and windings.

JFB: Rev 2:23 - unto every one of you Literally, "unto you, to each."

Literally, "unto you, to each."

JFB: Rev 2:23 - according to your works To be judged not according to the mere act as it appears to man, but with reference to the motive, faith and love being the only motives which God rec...

To be judged not according to the mere act as it appears to man, but with reference to the motive, faith and love being the only motives which God recognizes as sound.

JFB: Rev 2:24 - you . . . and . . . the rest The three oldest manuscripts omit "and"; translate then, "Unto you, the rest."

The three oldest manuscripts omit "and"; translate then, "Unto you, the rest."

JFB: Rev 2:24 - as many as have not Not only do not hold, but are free from contact with.

Not only do not hold, but are free from contact with.

JFB: Rev 2:24 - and which The oldest manuscripts omit "and"; translate, "whosoever."

The oldest manuscripts omit "and"; translate, "whosoever."

JFB: Rev 2:24 - the depths These false prophets boasted peculiarly of their knowledge of mysteries and the deep things of God; pretensions subsequently expressed by their arroga...

These false prophets boasted peculiarly of their knowledge of mysteries and the deep things of God; pretensions subsequently expressed by their arrogant title, Gnostics ("full of knowledge"). The Spirit here declares their so-called "depths," (namely, of knowledge of divine things) to be really "depths of Satan"; just as in Rev 2:9, He says, instead of "the synagogue of God," "the synagogue of Satan." HENGSTENBERG thinks the teachers themselves professed to fathom the depths of Satan, giving loose rein to fleshly lusts, without being hurt thereby. They who thus think to fight Satan with his own weapons always find him more than a match for them. The words, "as they speak," that is, "as they call them," coming after not only "depths," but "depths of Satan," seem to favor this latter view; otherwise I should prefer the former, in which case, "as they speak," or "call them," must refer to "depths" only, not also "depths of Satan." The original sin of Adam was a desire to know EVIL as well as good, so in HENGSTENBERG'S view, those who professed to know "the depths of Satan." It is the prerogative of God alone to know evil fully, without being hurt or defiled by it.

JFB: Rev 2:24 - I will put Two oldest manuscripts have "I put," or "cast." One oldest manuscript reads as English Version.

Two oldest manuscripts have "I put," or "cast." One oldest manuscript reads as English Version.

JFB: Rev 2:24 - none other burden Save abstinence from, and protestation against, these abominations; no "depths" beyond your reach, such as they teach, no new doctrine, but the old fa...

Save abstinence from, and protestation against, these abominations; no "depths" beyond your reach, such as they teach, no new doctrine, but the old faith and rule of practice once for all delivered to the saints. Exaggerating and perfecting Paul's doctrine of grace without the law as the source of justification and sanctification, these false prophets rejected the law as a rule of life, as though it were an intolerable "burden." But it is a "light" burden. In Act 15:28-29, the very term "burden," as here, is used of abstinence from fornication and idol-meats; to this the Lord here refers.

JFB: Rev 2:25 - that which ye have already (Jud 1:3, end).

(Jud 1:3, end).

JFB: Rev 2:25 - hold fast Do not let go from your grasp, however false teachers may wish to wrest it from you.

Do not let go from your grasp, however false teachers may wish to wrest it from you.

JFB: Rev 2:25 - till I come When your conflict with evil will be at an end. The Greek implies uncertainty as to when He shall come.

When your conflict with evil will be at an end. The Greek implies uncertainty as to when He shall come.

JFB: Rev 2:26 - And Implying the close connection of the promise to the conqueror that follows, with the preceding exhortation, Rev 2:25.

Implying the close connection of the promise to the conqueror that follows, with the preceding exhortation, Rev 2:25.

JFB: Rev 2:26 - and keepeth Greek, "and he that keepeth." Compare the same word in the passage already alluded to by the Lord, Act 15:28-29, end.

Greek, "and he that keepeth." Compare the same word in the passage already alluded to by the Lord, Act 15:28-29, end.

JFB: Rev 2:26 - my works In contrast to "her (English Version, 'their') works" (Rev 2:22). The works which I command and which are the fruit of My Spirit.

In contrast to "her (English Version, 'their') works" (Rev 2:22). The works which I command and which are the fruit of My Spirit.

JFB: Rev 2:26 - unto the end (Mat 24:13). The image is perhaps from the race, wherein it is not enough to enter the lists, but the runner must persevere to the end.

(Mat 24:13). The image is perhaps from the race, wherein it is not enough to enter the lists, but the runner must persevere to the end.

JFB: Rev 2:26 - give power Greek, "authority."

Greek, "authority."

JFB: Rev 2:26 - over the nations At Christ's coming the saints shall possess the kingdom "under the whole heaven"; therefore over this earth; compare Luk 19:17, "have thou authority [...

At Christ's coming the saints shall possess the kingdom "under the whole heaven"; therefore over this earth; compare Luk 19:17, "have thou authority [the same word as here] over ten cities."

JFB: Rev 2:27 - -- From Psa 2:8-9.

From Psa 2:8-9.

JFB: Rev 2:27 - rule Literally, "rule as a shepherd." In Psa 2:9 it is, "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron." The Septuagint, pointing the Hebrew word differently, r...

Literally, "rule as a shepherd." In Psa 2:9 it is, "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron." The Septuagint, pointing the Hebrew word differently, read as Revelation here. The English Version of Psa 2:9 is doubtless right, as the parallel word, "dash in pieces," proves. But the Spirit in this case sanctions the additional thought as true, that the Lord shall mingle mercy to some, with judgment on others; beginning by destroying His Antichristian foes, He shall reign in love over the rest. "Christ shall rule them with a scepter of iron, to make them capable of being ruled with a scepter of gold; severity first, that grace may come after" (TRENCH, who thinks we ought to translate "SCEPTER" for "rod," as in Heb 1:8). "Shepherd" is used in Jer 6:3, of hostile rulers; so also in Zec 11:16. As severity here is the primary thought, "rule as a shepherd" seems to me to be used thus: He who would have shepherded them with a pastoral rod, shall, because of their hardened unbelief, shepherd them with a rod of iron.

JFB: Rev 2:27 - shall they be broken So one oldest manuscript, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic Versions read. But two oldest manuscripts, read, "as the vessels of a potter are broken to shive...

So one oldest manuscript, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic Versions read. But two oldest manuscripts, read, "as the vessels of a potter are broken to shivers." A potter's vessel dashed to pieces, because of its failing to answer the design of the maker, is the image to depict God's sovereign power to give reprobates to destruction, not by caprice, but in the exercise of His righteous judgment. The saints shall be in Christ's victorious "armies" when He shall inflict the last decisive blow, and afterwards shall reign with Him. Having by faith "overcome the world," they shall also rule the world.

JFB: Rev 2:27 - even as I "as I also have received of (from) My Father," namely, in Psa 2:7-9. Jesus had refused to receive the kingdom without the cross at Satan's hands; He w...

"as I also have received of (from) My Father," namely, in Psa 2:7-9. Jesus had refused to receive the kingdom without the cross at Satan's hands; He would receive it from none but the Father, who had appointed the cross as the path to the crown. As the Father has given the authority to Me over the heathen and uttermost parts of the earth, so I impart a share of it to My victorious disciple.

JFB: Rev 2:28 - the morning star That is, I will give unto him Myself, who am "the morning star" (Rev 22:16); so that reflecting My perfect brightness, he shall shine like Me, the mor...

That is, I will give unto him Myself, who am "the morning star" (Rev 22:16); so that reflecting My perfect brightness, he shall shine like Me, the morning star, and share My kingly glory (of which a star is the symbol, Num 21:17; Mat 2:2). Compare Rev 2:17, "I will give him . . . the hidden manna," that is, Myself, who am that manna (Joh 6:31-33).

Clarke: Rev 2:1 - Unto the angel of the Church of Ephesus Unto the angel of the Church of Ephesus - By αγγελος, angel, we are to understand the messenger or person sent by God to preside over this C...

Unto the angel of the Church of Ephesus - By αγγελος, angel, we are to understand the messenger or person sent by God to preside over this Church; and to him the epistle is directed, not as pointing out his state, but the state of the Church under his care. Angel of the Church here answers exactly to that officer of the synagogue among the Jews called שליח ציבור sheliach tsibbur , the messenger of the Church, whose business it was to read, pray, and teach in the synagogue. The Church at Ephesus is first addressed, as being the place where John chiefly resided; and the city itself was the metropolis of that part of Asia. The angel or bishop at this time was most probably Timothy, who presided over that Church before St. John took up his residence there, and who is supposed to have continued in that office till a.d. 97, and to have been martyred a short time before St. John’ s return from Patmos

Clarke: Rev 2:1 - Holdeth the seven stars Holdeth the seven stars - Who particularly preserves, and guides, and upholds, not only the ministers of those seven Churches, but all the genuine m...

Holdeth the seven stars - Who particularly preserves, and guides, and upholds, not only the ministers of those seven Churches, but all the genuine ministers of his Gospel, in all ages and places

Clarke: Rev 2:1 - Walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks Walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks - Is the supreme Bishop and Head, not only of those Churches, but of all the Churches or congr...

Walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks - Is the supreme Bishop and Head, not only of those Churches, but of all the Churches or congregations of his people throughout the world.

Clarke: Rev 2:2 - I know thy works I know thy works - For the eyes of the Lord are throughout the earth, beholding the evil and the good; and, being omnipresent, all things are contin...

I know thy works - For the eyes of the Lord are throughout the earth, beholding the evil and the good; and, being omnipresent, all things are continually open and naked before him. It is worthy of remark, that whatsoever is praiseworthy in any of these Churches is first mentioned; thereby intimating that God is more intent on finding out the good than the evil in any person or Church; and that those who wish to reform such as have fallen or are not making sufficient advances in the Divine life, should take occasion, from the good which yet remains, to encourage them to set out afresh for the kingdom of heaven. The fallen or backsliding who have any tenderness of conscience left are easily discouraged, and are apt to think that there is no seed left from which any harvest can be reasonably expected. Let such be told that there is still a seed of godliness remaining, and that it requires only watching and strengthening the things which remain, by prompt application to God through Christ, in order to bring them back to the full enjoyment of all they have lost, and to renew them in the spirit of their mind. Ministers continually harping on Ye are dead, ye are dead; there is little or no Christianity among you, etc., etc., are a contagion in a Church, and spread desolation and death wheresoever they go. It is far better to say, in such cases, "Ye have lost ground, but ye have not lost all your ground; ye might have been much farther advanced, but through mercy ye are still in the way. The Spirit of God is grieved by you, but it is evident he has not forsaken you. Ye have not walked in the light as ye should, but your candlestick is not yet removed, and still the light shines. Ye have not much zeal, but ye have a little. In short, God still strives with you, still loves you, still waits to be gracious to you; take courage, set out afresh, come to God through Christ; believe, love, obey, and you will soon find days more blessed than you have ever yet experienced."Exhortations and encouragements of this kind are sure to produce the most blessed effects; and under such the work of God infallibly revives

Clarke: Rev 2:2 - And thy labor And thy labor - He knew their works in general. Though they had left their first love, yet still they had so much love as excited them to labor, and...

And thy labor - He knew their works in general. Though they had left their first love, yet still they had so much love as excited them to labor, and enabled them to bear persecution patiently, and to keep the faith; for they could not tolerate evil men, and they had put fictitious apostles to the test, and had found them to be liars, pretending a Divine commission while they had none, and teaching false doctrines as if they were the truths of God.

Clarke: Rev 2:3 - And hast borne And hast borne - The same things mentioned in the preceding verse, but in an inverted order, the particular reason of which does not appear; perhaps...

And hast borne - The same things mentioned in the preceding verse, but in an inverted order, the particular reason of which does not appear; perhaps it was intended to show more forcibly to this Church that there was no good which they had done, nor evil which they had suffered, that was forgotten before God

Clarke: Rev 2:3 - And hast not fainted And hast not fainted - They must therefore have had a considerable portion of this love remaining, else they could not have thus acted.

And hast not fainted - They must therefore have had a considerable portion of this love remaining, else they could not have thus acted.

Clarke: Rev 2:4 - Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee - The clause should be read, according to the Greek, thus: But I have against thee that thou hast left thy...

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee - The clause should be read, according to the Greek, thus: But I have against thee that thou hast left thy first love. They did not retain that strong and ardent affection for God and sacred things which they had when first brought to the knowledge of the truth, and justified by faith in Christ.

Clarke: Rev 2:5 - Remember Remember - Consider the state of grace in which you once stood; the happiness, love, and joy which you felt when ye received remission of sins; the ...

Remember - Consider the state of grace in which you once stood; the happiness, love, and joy which you felt when ye received remission of sins; the zeal ye had for God’ s glory and the salvation of mankind; your willing, obedient spirit, your cheerful self-denial, your fervor in private prayer, your detachment from the world, and your heavenly-mindedness. Remember - consider, all these

Clarke: Rev 2:5 - Whence thou art fallen Whence thou art fallen - Fallen from all those blessed dispositions and gracious feelings already mentioned. Or, remember what a loss you have susta...

Whence thou art fallen - Fallen from all those blessed dispositions and gracious feelings already mentioned. Or, remember what a loss you have sustained; for so εκπιπτειν is frequently used by the best Greek writers

Clarke: Rev 2:5 - Repent Repent - Be deeply humbled before God for having so carelessly guarded the Divine treasure

Repent - Be deeply humbled before God for having so carelessly guarded the Divine treasure

Clarke: Rev 2:5 - Do the first works Do the first works - Resume your former zeal and diligence; watch, fast, pray, reprove sin, carefully attend all the ordinances of God, walk as in h...

Do the first works - Resume your former zeal and diligence; watch, fast, pray, reprove sin, carefully attend all the ordinances of God, walk as in his sight, and rest not till you have recovered all your lost ground, and got back the evidence of your acceptance with your Maker

Clarke: Rev 2:5 - I will come unto thee quickly I will come unto thee quickly - In the way of judgment

I will come unto thee quickly - In the way of judgment

Clarke: Rev 2:5 - And will remove thy candlestick And will remove thy candlestick - Take away my ordinances, remove your ministers, and send you a famine of the word. As there is here an allusion to...

And will remove thy candlestick - Take away my ordinances, remove your ministers, and send you a famine of the word. As there is here an allusion to the candlestick in the tabernacle and temple, which could not be removed without suspending the whole Levitical service, so the threatening here intimates that, if they did not repent, etc., he would unchurch them; they should no longer have a pastor, no longer have the word and sacraments, and no longer have the presence of the Lord Jesus.

Clarke: Rev 2:6 - The deeds of the Nicolaitanes The deeds of the Nicolaitanes - These were, as is commonly supposed, a sect of the Gnostics, who taught the most impure doctrines, and followed the ...

The deeds of the Nicolaitanes - These were, as is commonly supposed, a sect of the Gnostics, who taught the most impure doctrines, and followed the most impure practices. They are also supposed to have derived their origin from Nicolas, one of the seven deacons mentioned Act 6:5 (note). The Nicolaitanes taught the community of wives, that adultery and fornication were things indifferent, that eating meats offered to idols was quite lawful; and mixed several pagan rites with the Christian ceremonies. Augustine, Irenaeus, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Tertullian, have spoken largely concerning them. See more in my preface to 2d Peter, where are several particulars concerning these heretics.

Clarke: Rev 2:7 - He that hath an ear He that hath an ear - Let every intelligent person, and every Christian man, attend carefully to what the Holy Spirit, in this and the following epi...

He that hath an ear - Let every intelligent person, and every Christian man, attend carefully to what the Holy Spirit, in this and the following epistles, says to the Churches. See the note on Mat 11:15, where the same form of speech occurs

Clarke: Rev 2:7 - To him that overcometh To him that overcometh - To him who continues steadfast in the faith, and uncorrupt in his life; who faithfully confesses Jesus, and neither imbibes...

To him that overcometh - To him who continues steadfast in the faith, and uncorrupt in his life; who faithfully confesses Jesus, and neither imbibes the doctrines nor is led away by the error of the wicked; will I give to eat of the tree of life. As he who conquered his enemies had, generally, not only great honor, but also a reward; so here a great reward is promised τῳ νικωντι, to the conqueror: and as in the Grecian games, to which there may be an allusion, the conqueror was crowned with the leaves of some tree; here it is promised that they should eat of the fruit of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God; that is, that they should have a happy and glorious immortality. There is also here an allusion to Gen 2:9, where it is said, God made the tree of life to grow out of the midst of the garden; and it is very likely that by eating the fruit of this tree the immortality of Adam was secured, and on this it was made dependent. When Adam transgressed, he was expelled from this garden, and no more permitted to eat of the tree of life; hence he became necessarily mortal. This tree, in all its sacramental effects, is secured and restored to man by the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ. The tree of life is frequently spoken of by the rabbins; and by it they generally mean the immortality of the soul, and a final state of blessedness. See many examples in Schoettgen. They talk also of a celestial and terrestrial paradise. The former, they say, "is for the reception of the souls of the just perfect; and differs as much from the earthly paradise as light from darkness.

The Epistle to the Church at Smyrna

Clarke: Rev 2:8 - Unto the angel Unto the angel - This was probably the famous Polycarp. See below

Unto the angel - This was probably the famous Polycarp. See below

Clarke: Rev 2:8 - These things saith the first and the last These things saith the first and the last - He who is eternal; from whom all things come, and to whom all things must return. Which was dead, for th...

These things saith the first and the last - He who is eternal; from whom all things come, and to whom all things must return. Which was dead, for the redemption of the world; and is alive to die no more for ever, his glorified humanity being enthroned at the Father’ s right hand.

Clarke: Rev 2:9 - I know thy works I know thy works - As he had spoken to the preceding Church, so he speaks to this: I know all that ye have done, and all that ye have suffered. The ...

I know thy works - As he had spoken to the preceding Church, so he speaks to this: I know all that ye have done, and all that ye have suffered. The tribulation here mentioned must mean persecution, either from the Jews, the heathens, or from the heretics, who, because of their flesh-pampering doctrines might have had many partisans at Smyrna

Clarke: Rev 2:9 - And poverty And poverty - Stripped probably of all their temporal possessions, because of their attachment to the Gospel

And poverty - Stripped probably of all their temporal possessions, because of their attachment to the Gospel

Clarke: Rev 2:9 - But thou art rich But thou art rich - Rich in faith, and heir of the kingdom of Christ

But thou art rich - Rich in faith, and heir of the kingdom of Christ

Clarke: Rev 2:9 - The blasphemy of them which say they are Jews The blasphemy of them which say they are Jews - There were persons there who professed Judaism, and had a synagogue in the place, and professed to w...

The blasphemy of them which say they are Jews - There were persons there who professed Judaism, and had a synagogue in the place, and professed to worship the true God; but they had no genuine religion, and they served the devil rather than God. They applied a sacred name to an unholy thing: and this is one meaning of the word blasphemy in this book.

Clarke: Rev 2:10 - Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer - This may be addressed particularly to Polycarp, if he was at that time the bishop of this Church...

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer - This may be addressed particularly to Polycarp, if he was at that time the bishop of this Church. He had much to suffer; and was at last burnt alive at Smyrna, about the year of our Lord 166. We have a very ancient account of his martyrdom, which has been translated by Cave, and is worthy of the reader’ s perusal. That account states that the Jews were particularly active in this martyrdom, and brought the fagots, etc., by which he was consumed. Such persons must indeed have been of the synagogue of Satan

Clarke: Rev 2:10 - Ten days Ten days - As the days in this book are what is commonly called prophetic days, each answering to a year, the ten years of tribulation may denote te...

Ten days - As the days in this book are what is commonly called prophetic days, each answering to a year, the ten years of tribulation may denote ten years of persecution; and this was precisely the duration of the persecution under Diocletian, during which all the Asiatic Churches were grievously afflicted. Others understand the expression as implying frequency and abundance, as it does in other parts of Scripture. Gen 31:7, Gen 31:41 : Thou hast changed my wages Ten Times; i.e. thou hast frequently changed my wages Num 14:22 : Those men have tempted me now these Ten Times; i.e. they have frequently and grievously tempted and sinned against me. Neh 4:12 : The Jews that dwelt by them came and said unto us Ten Times, i.e. they were frequently coming and informing us, that our adversaries intended to attack us, Job 19:3; These Ten Times have ye reproached me; i.e. ye have loaded me with continual reproaches. Dan 1:20 : In all matters of wisdom, he found them Ten Times better than all the magicians; i.e. the king frequently consulted Daniel and his companions, and found them more abundantly informed and wise than all his counsellors

Some think the shortness of the affliction is here intended, and that the ten days are to be understood as in Terence, Heaut., Act v., scen. 1, ver. 36, Decem dierum vis mi est familia . "I have enjoyed my family but a short time.

Clarke: Rev 2:10 - Be thou faithful unto death Be thou faithful unto death - Be firm, hold fast the faith, confess Christ to the last, and at all hazards, and thou shalt have a crown of life - th...

Be thou faithful unto death - Be firm, hold fast the faith, confess Christ to the last, and at all hazards, and thou shalt have a crown of life - thou shalt be crowned with life, have an eternal happy existence, though thou suffer a temporal death. It is said of Polycarp that when brought before the judge, and commanded to abjure and blaspheme Christ, he firmly answered, "Eighty and six years have I served him, and he never did me wrong, how then can I blaspheme my king who hath saved me?"He was then adjudged to the flames, and suffered cheerfully for Christ his Lord and Master.

Clarke: Rev 2:11 - He that overcometh He that overcometh - The conqueror who has stood firm in every trial, and vanquished all his adversaries

He that overcometh - The conqueror who has stood firm in every trial, and vanquished all his adversaries

Clarke: Rev 2:11 - Shall not be hurt of the second death Shall not be hurt of the second death - That is, an eternal separation from God and the glory of his power; as what we commonly mean by final perdit...

Shall not be hurt of the second death - That is, an eternal separation from God and the glory of his power; as what we commonly mean by final perdition. This is another rabbinical mode of speech in very frequent use, and by it they understand the punishment of hell in a future life

The Epistle to the Church at Pergamos

Clarke: Rev 2:12 - The angel of the Church in Pergamos The angel of the Church in Pergamos - See the description of this place, Rev 1:11

The angel of the Church in Pergamos - See the description of this place, Rev 1:11

Clarke: Rev 2:12 - Which hath the sharp sword Which hath the sharp sword - See on Rev 1:16 (note). The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, cuts every way; it convinces of sin, righteo...

Which hath the sharp sword - See on Rev 1:16 (note). The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, cuts every way; it convinces of sin, righteousness, and judgment; pierces between the joints and the marrow, divides between the soul and spirit, dissects the whole mind, and exhibits a regular anatomy of the soul. It not only reproves and exposes sin, but it slays the ungodly, pointing out and determining the punishment they shall endure. Jesus has the sword with the two edges, because he is the Savior of sinners, and the Judge of quick and dead.

Clarke: Rev 2:13 - Where Satan’ s seat is Where Satan’ s seat is - Ὁπου ὁ θρονος του Σατανα· Where Satan has his throne - where he reigns as king, and is univ...

Where Satan’ s seat is - Ὁπου ὁ θρονος του Σατανα· Where Satan has his throne - where he reigns as king, and is universally obeyed. It was a maxim among the Jews, that where the law of God was not studied, there Satan dwelt; but he was obliged to leave the place where a synagogue or academy was established

Clarke: Rev 2:13 - Thou holdest fast my name Thou holdest fast my name - Notwithstanding that the profession of Christianity exposed this Church to the bitterest persecution, they held fast the...

Thou holdest fast my name - Notwithstanding that the profession of Christianity exposed this Church to the bitterest persecution, they held fast the name of Christian, which they had received from Jesus Christ, and did not deny his faith; for when brought to the trial they openly professed themselves disciples and followers of their Lord and Master

Clarke: Rev 2:13 - Antipas was my faithful martyr Antipas was my faithful martyr - Who this Antipas was we cannot tell. We only know that he was a Christian, and probably bore some office in the Chu...

Antipas was my faithful martyr - Who this Antipas was we cannot tell. We only know that he was a Christian, and probably bore some office in the Church, and became illustrious by his martyrdom in the cause of Christ. There is a work extant called The Acts of Antipas, which makes him bishop of Pergamos, and states that he was put to death by being enclosed in a burning brazen bull. But this story confutes itself, as the Romans, under whose government Pergamos then was, never put any person to death in this way. It is supposed that he was murdered by some mob, who chose this way to vindicate the honor of their god Aesculapius, in opposition to the claims of our Lord Jesus.

Clarke: Rev 2:14 - I have a few things against thee I have a few things against thee - Their good deeds are first carefully sought out and commended; what was wrong in them is touched with a gentle bu...

I have a few things against thee - Their good deeds are first carefully sought out and commended; what was wrong in them is touched with a gentle but effectual hand

The followers of Balaam, the Nicolaitanes, and the Gnostics, were probably all the same kind of persons; but see on Rev 2:6 (note). What the doctrine of Balaam was, see the notes on Num 24:1 (note) through Num 25:18; and Numbers 31:1-54 (note). It appears that there were some then in the Church at Pergamos who held eating things offered to idols in honor of those idols, and fornication, indifferent things. They associated with idolaters in the heathen temples, and partook with them in their religious festivals.

Clarke: Rev 2:15 - The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes - See on Rev 2:6 (note).

The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes - See on Rev 2:6 (note).

Clarke: Rev 2:16 - Will fight against them with the sword of my mouth Will fight against them with the sword of my mouth - See on Rev 2:12 (note). He now speaks for their edification and salvation; but if they do not r...

Will fight against them with the sword of my mouth - See on Rev 2:12 (note). He now speaks for their edification and salvation; but if they do not repent, he will shortly declare those judgments which shall unavoidably fall upon them.

Clarke: Rev 2:17 - The hidden manna The hidden manna - It was a constant tradition of the Jews that the ark of the covenant, the tables of stone, Aaron’ s rod, the holy anointing ...

The hidden manna - It was a constant tradition of the Jews that the ark of the covenant, the tables of stone, Aaron’ s rod, the holy anointing oil, and the pot of manna, were hidden by King Josiah when Jerusalem was taken by the Chaldeans; and that these shall all be restored in the days of the Messiah. This manna was hidden, but Christ promises to give it to him that is conqueror. Jesus is the ark, the oil, the rod, the testimony, and the manna. He who is partaker of his grace has all those things in their spiritual meaning and perfection

Clarke: Rev 2:17 - And will give him a white stone And will give him a white stone - I. It is supposed that by the white stone is meant pardon or acquittance, and the evidence of it; and that there i...

And will give him a white stone -

I. It is supposed that by the white stone is meant pardon or acquittance, and the evidence of it; and that there is an allusion here to the custom observed by judges in ancient times, who were accustomed to give their suffrages by white and black pebbles; those who gave the former were for absolving the culprit, those who gave the latter were for his condemnation. This is mentioned by Ovid, Metam. lib. xv., ver. 41

Mos erat antiquus, niveis atrisque lapillis

His damnare reos, illis absolvere culpa

Nunc quoque sic lata est sententia tristis

"A custom was of old, and still remains

Which life or death by suffrages ordains

White stones and black within an urn are cast

The first absolve, but fate is in the last.

Dryden

II. Others suppose there is an allusion here to conquerors in the public games, who were not only conducted with great pomp into the city to which they belonged, but had a white stone given to them, with their name inscribed on it; which badge entitled them, during their whole life, to be maintained at the public expense. See Pind., Olymp. vii. 159, and the Scholia there; and see the collections in Wetstein, and Rosenmuller’ s note. These were called tesserae among the Romans, and of these there were several kinds

1.    Tesserae conviviales , which answered exactly to our cards of invitation, or tickets of admission to a public feast or banquet; when the person invited produced his tessera he was admitted. The mention of the hidden manna here may seem to intimate that there is a reference to these convivial tesserae , whether given to the victor in the public games, entitling him to be fed at the public expense, or to a particular friend, inviting him to a family meal or to a public banquet

2.    There were tesserae inscribed with different kinds of things, such as provisions, garments, gold or silver vessels, horses, mares, slaves, etc. These were sometimes thrown by the Roman emperors among the crowd in the theatres, and he that could snatched one; and on producing it he received that, the name of which was inscribed on it. But from Dio Cassius it appears that those tesserae were small wooden balls, whereas the tesserae in general were square, whence they had their name, as having four sides, angles, or corners. Illi τεσσαρην , vel τεσσαραν, vocabant figuram quamvis quadratam, quae quatuor angulos haberet ; and these were made of stone, marble, bone, or ivory, lead, brass, or other metal. See Pitiscus

3.    Tesserae frumentariae , or tickets to receive grain in the public distributions of corn; the name of the person who was to receive, and the quantum of grain; being both inscribed on this badge or ticket. Those who did not need this public provision for themselves were permitted to sell their ticket, and the bearer was entitled to the quantum of grain mentioned on it

4.    But the most remarkable of these instruments were the tesserae hospitales , which were given as badges of friendship and alliance, and on which some device was engraved, as a testimony that a contract of friendship had been made between the parties. A small oblong square piece of wood, bone, stone, or ivory, was taken and divided into two equal parts, on which each of the parties wrote his own name, and then interchanged it with the other. This was carefully preserved, and handed down even to posterity in the same family; and by producing this when they traveled, it gave a mutual claim to the bearers of kind reception and hospitable entertainment at each other’ s houses

It is to this custom that Plautus refers in his Poenulus, act. v., scen. 2, ver. 80, in the interview between Agorastocles, and his unknown uncle Hanno

Hanno. - O mi popularis, salve !

Agorastocles. - Et tu edepol, quisquis es. Et si quid opus est, quaeso, die atque impera, Popularitatis caussa

Han. - Habeo gratiam. Verum ego hic hospitium habeo: Antidamae filium Quaero; commonstra, si novisti, Agorastoclem. Ecquem adolescentem tu hic novisti Agorastoclem

Agor. - Siquidem tu Antidamarchi quaeris adoptatitium, Ego sum ipsus, quem tu quaeris

Han. - Hem! quid ego audio

Agor. - Antidamae gnatum me esse

Han. - si ita est, tesseram Conferre si vis hospitalem, eccam adtuli

Agor. - Agedum huc ostende; est par probe: nam habeo domi

Han. - O mi hospes, salve multum! nam mihi tuus pater, Pater tuus ergo, hospes Antidamas fuit. Haec mihi hospitalis tessera cum illo fuit

Agor. - Ergo hic apud me hospitium tibi praebebitur. Nam haud repudio hospitium, neque Carthaginem: Inde sum oriundus

Han. - Di dent tibi omnes quae velis

Hanno. - Hail, my countryman

Agorastocles. - I hail thee also, in the name of Pollux, whosoever thou art. And if thou have need of any thing, speak, I beseech thee; and thou shalt obtain what thou askest, for civility’ s sake

Hanno - I thank thee, but I have a lodging here; I seek the son of Antidamas. Tell me if thou knowest Agorastocles. Dost thou know in this place the young Agorastocles

Agorastocles - If thou seek the adopted son of Antidamarchus, I am the person whom thou seekest

Hanno - Ha! What do I hear

Agorastocles - Thou hearest that I am the son of Antidamas

Hanno - If it be so, compare, if thou pleasest, the hospitable tessera; here it is, I have brought it with me

Agorastocles - Come then, reach it hither: it is the exact counterpart; I have the other at home

Hanno - O my friend, I am very glad to see thee, for thy father was my friend; therefore Antidamas thy father was my guest. I divided this hospitable tessera with him

Agorastocles - Therefore, a lodging shall be provided for thee with me; I reverence hospitality, and I love Carthage, where I was born

Hanno - May all the gods grant thee whatsoever thou wishest

The tessera taken in this sense, seems to have been a kind of tally; and the two parts were compared together to ascertain the truth. Now it is very probable that St. John may allude to this; for on this mode of interpretation every part of the verse is consistent

1.    The word ψηφος does not necessarily signify a stone of any kind, but a suffrage, sentence, decisive vote; and in this place seems answerable to the tessera . The tessera which Hanno had, he tells us in his Punic language, was inscribed with the image or name of his god. " Sigillum hospitii mei est tabula sculpta, conjus sculptura est Deus meus . This is the interpretation of the Punic words at the beginning of the above 5th act of the Poenulus, as given by Bochart

2.    The person who held it had a right to entertainment in the house of him who originally gave it; for it was in reference to this that the friendly contract was made

3.    The names of the contracting persons, or some device, were written on the tessera , which commemorated the friendly contract; and as the parts were interchanged, none could know that name or device, or the reason of the contract, but he who received it

4.    This, when produced, gave the bearer a right to the offices of hospitality; he was accommodated with food, lodging, etc., as far as these were necessary; and to this the eating of the hidden manna may refer

But what does this mean in the language of Christ

1.    That the person is taken into an intimate state of friendship with him

2.    That this contract is witnessed to the party by some especial token, sign, or seal, to which he may have recourse to support his claim, and identify his person. This is probably what is elsewhere called the earnest of the Spirit; see the note on Eph 1:14, and the places there referred to. He then who has received and retains the witness of the Spirit that he is adopted into the heavenly family, may humbly claim, in virtue of it, his support of the bread and water of life; the hidden manna - every grace of the Spirit of God; and the tree of life - immortality, or the final glorification of his body and soul throughout eternity

3.    By this state of grace into which he is brought he acquires a new name, the name of child of God; the earnest of the Spirit, the tessera, which he has received, shows him this new name

4.    And this name of child of God no man can know or understand, but he who has received the tessera or Divine witness

5.    As his Friend and Redeemer may be found everywhere, because he fills the heavens and the earth, everywhere he may, on retaining this tessera, claim direction, succor, support, grace, and glory; and therefore the privileges of him who overcometh are the greatest and most glorious that can be imagined

For a farther account of the tessera of the ancients, as well as for engravings of several, see Graevii Thesaur.; Pitisci Lexic.; and Poleni Supplement; and the authors to whom these writers refer

The Epistle to the Church at Thyatira

Clarke: Rev 2:18 - These things saith the Son of God These things saith the Son of God - See the notes on Rev 1:14-15 (note).

These things saith the Son of God - See the notes on Rev 1:14-15 (note).

Clarke: Rev 2:19 - I know thy works I know thy works - And of these he first sets forth their charity, την αγαπην, their love to God and each other; and particularly to the p...

I know thy works - And of these he first sets forth their charity, την αγαπην, their love to God and each other; and particularly to the poor and distressed: and hence followed their faith, την πιστιν, their fidelity, to the grace they had received; and service, την διακονιαν, and ministration; properly pious and benevolent service to widows, orphans, and the poor in general

Clarke: Rev 2:19 - And thy patience And thy patience - Την ὑπομονην σου· Thy perseverance under afflictions and persecutions, and thy continuance in well-doing. I pu...

And thy patience - Την ὑπομονην σου· Thy perseverance under afflictions and persecutions, and thy continuance in well-doing. I put faith before service according to the general consent of the best MSS. and versions

Clarke: Rev 2:19 - Thy works Thy works - The continued labor of love, and thorough obedience

Thy works - The continued labor of love, and thorough obedience

Clarke: Rev 2:19 - The last to be more than the first The last to be more than the first - They not only retained what they had received at first, but grew in grace, and in the knowledge and love of Jes...

The last to be more than the first - They not only retained what they had received at first, but grew in grace, and in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. This is a rare thing in most Christian Churches: they generally lose the power of religion, and rest in the forms of worship; and it requires a powerful revival to bring them to such a state that their last works shall be more than their first.

Clarke: Rev 2:20 - That woman Jezebel That woman Jezebel - There is an allusion here to the history of Ahab and Jezebel, as given in 2 Kings 9:1-10:36; and although we do not know who th...

That woman Jezebel - There is an allusion here to the history of Ahab and Jezebel, as given in 2 Kings 9:1-10:36; and although we do not know who this Jezebel was, yet from the allusion we may take it for granted she was a woman of power and influence in Thyatira, who corrupted the true religion, and harassed the followers of God in that city, as Jezebel did in Israel. Instead of that woman Jezebel, την γυναικα Ιεζαβηλ, many excellent MSS., and almost all the ancient versions, read την γυναικα σου Ιεζαβηλ, Thy Wife Jezebel; which intimates, indeed asserts, that this bad woman was the wife of the bishop of the Church, and his criminality in suffering her was therefore the greater. This reading Griesbach has received into the text. She called herself a prophetess, i.e., set up for a teacher; taught the Christians that fornication, and eating things offered to idols, were matters of indifference, and thus they were seduced from the truth. But it is probable that by fornication here is meant idolatry merely, which is often its meaning in the Scriptures. It is too gross to suppose that the wife of the bishop of this Church could teach fornication literally. The messenger or bishop of this Church, probably her husband, suffered this: he had power to have cast her and her party out of the Church, or, as his wife, to have restrained her; but he did not do it, and thus she had every opportunity of seducing the faithful. This is what Christ had against the messenger of this Church.

Clarke: Rev 2:21 - I gave her space to repent I gave her space to repent - " This alludes to the history of Jezebel. God first sent Elijah to Ahab to pronounce a severe judgment upon him; upon w...

I gave her space to repent - " This alludes to the history of Jezebel. God first sent Elijah to Ahab to pronounce a severe judgment upon him; upon which Ahab showed tokens of repentance, and so God put off his punishment. By these means the like punishment pronounced against Jezebel was also put off. Thus God gave her time to repent, which she did not, but instead of that seduced her sons to the same sins. See 1 Kings 21:1-29. According to the Mosaical law, the punishment of idolatrous seducers was not to be delayed at all, but God sometimes showed mercy; and now much more under the Christian dispensation, though that mercy is often abused, and thus produces the contrary effect, as in the case of this Jezebel. See Ecc 8:11.

Clarke: Rev 2:22 - Behold, I will cast her into a bed Behold, I will cast her into a bed - " This again alludes to the same history. Ahaziah, son of Ahab and Jezebel, by his mother’ s ill instructi...

Behold, I will cast her into a bed - " This again alludes to the same history. Ahaziah, son of Ahab and Jezebel, by his mother’ s ill instruction and example, followed her ways. God punished him by making him fall down, as is supposed, from the top of the terrace over his house, and so to be bedridden for a long time under great anguish, designing thereby to give him time to repent; but when, instead of that, he sent to consult Baalzebub, Elijah was sent to pronounce a final doom against his impenitence. Thus the son of Jezebel, who had committed idolatry with and by her advice, was long cast into the bed of affliction, and not repenting, died: in the same manner his brother Jehoram succeeded likewise. All this while Jezebel had time and warning enough to repent; and though she did not prevail with Jehoram to continue in the idolatrous worship of Baal, yet she persisted in her own way, notwithstanding God’ s warnings. The sacred writer, therefore, here threatens the Gnostic Jezebel to make that wherein she delighteth, as adulterers in the bed of lust, to be the very place, occasion, and instrument, of her greatest torment. So in Isaiah, the bed is made a symbol of tribulation, and anguish of body and mind. See Isa 28:20; Job 33:19.

Clarke: Rev 2:23 - And I will kill her children with death And I will kill her children with death - " That is, I will certainly destroy her offspring and memory, and thereby ruin her designs. Jezebel’ ...

And I will kill her children with death - " That is, I will certainly destroy her offspring and memory, and thereby ruin her designs. Jezebel’ s two sons, being both kings were both slain; and after that, all the seventy sons of Ahab; (2Ki 10:1); in all which the hand of God was very visible. In the same manner God predicts the destruction of the heretics and heresies referred to; see Rev 2:16. It should seem by the expression, I am he which searcheth the reins and the hearts, that these heretics lurked about, and sowed their pernicious doctrines secretly. But our Savior tells them that it was in vain, for he had power to bring their deeds to light, having that Divine power of searching into the Evilly and affections of men; and hereby he would show both them and us that he is, according to his title, The Son of God; and hath such eyes to pry into their actions, that, like a fire, they will search into every thing, and burn up the chaff which cannot stand his trial; so that the depths of Satan, mentioned in the next verse, to which this alludes, (Christ assuming here this title purposely) shall avail nothing to those who think by their secret craft to undermine the Christian religion; he will not only bring to light, but baffle all their evil intentions. See Rev 17:9.

Clarke: Rev 2:24 - But unto you I say, and unto the rest But unto you I say, and unto the rest - " But unto the rest, etc. This is the reading of the Complutensian, and seems preferable to the common one, ...

But unto you I say, and unto the rest - " But unto the rest, etc. This is the reading of the Complutensian, and seems preferable to the common one, as it evidently shows that the rest of the epistle wholly concerns the faithful, who have not received the former doctrine of error. I will put upon you none other burden is a commendation of the sound part of the Church, that they have no need of any new exhortation or charge to be given them, no new advice but to persevere as usual. See Rom 15:14, Rom 15:15. The expression of burden is taken from the history of Ahab, 2Ki 9:25 : The Lord laid this burden on him; a word often used by the prophets to signify a prophecy threatening heavy things to be suffered. See on Isa 13:1 (note), and Num 4:19 (note)."See Dodd’ s Notes

It is worthy of remark that the Gnostics called their doctrine the depths of God, and the depths of Bythos, intimating that they contained the most profound secrets of Divine wisdom. Christ here calls them the depths of Satan, being master pieces of his subtlety. Perhaps they thought them to be of God, while all the time they were deceived by the devil.

Clarke: Rev 2:25 - That which ye have That which ye have - That is, the pure doctrine of the Gospel, hold fast till I come - till I come to execute the judgments which I have threatened.

That which ye have - That is, the pure doctrine of the Gospel, hold fast till I come - till I come to execute the judgments which I have threatened.

Clarke: Rev 2:26 - Power over the nations Power over the nations - Every witness of Christ has power to confute and confound all the false doctrines and maxims of the nations of the world, f...

Power over the nations - Every witness of Christ has power to confute and confound all the false doctrines and maxims of the nations of the world, for Christianity shall at last rule over all; the kingdom of Christ will come, and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ.

Clarke: Rev 2:27 - He shall rule them with a rod of iron He shall rule them with a rod of iron - He shall restrain vice by the strictest administration of justice; and those who finally despise the word an...

He shall rule them with a rod of iron - He shall restrain vice by the strictest administration of justice; and those who finally despise the word and rebel shall be broken and destroyed, so as never more to be able to make head against the truth. This seems to refer to the heathen world; and perhaps Constantine the Great may be intended, who, when he overcame Licinius, became the instrument in God’ s hand of destroying idolatry over the whole Roman empire; and it was so effectually broken as to be ever after like the fragments of an earthen vessel, of no use in themselves, and incapable of being ever united to any good purpose.

Clarke: Rev 2:28 - And I will give him the morning star And I will give him the morning star - He shall have the brightest and most glorious empire, next to that of Christ himself. And it is certain that ...

And I will give him the morning star - He shall have the brightest and most glorious empire, next to that of Christ himself. And it is certain that the Roman empire under Constantine the Great was the brightest emblem of the latter day glory which has ever yet been exhibited to the world. It is well known that sun, moon, and stars are emblems, in prophetic language, of empires, kingdoms, and states. And as the morning star is that which immediately precedes the rising of the sun, it probably here intends an empire which should usher in the universal sway of the kingdom of Christ

Ever since the time of Constantine the light of true religion has been increasingly diffused, and is shining more and more unto the perfect day.

Clarke: Rev 2:29 - He that hath an ear He that hath an ear - Let every Christian pay the strictest regard to these predictions of Christ; and let them have a suitable influence on his hea...

He that hath an ear - Let every Christian pay the strictest regard to these predictions of Christ; and let them have a suitable influence on his heart and life.

Defender: Rev 2:1 - Ephesus Ephesus was an important seaport on the Aegean Sea where the Apostle Paul had spent a long period of time (Act 20:31). It was a very immoral city and ...

Ephesus was an important seaport on the Aegean Sea where the Apostle Paul had spent a long period of time (Act 20:31). It was a very immoral city and the location of the great temple of Artemis (or Diana - see Act 19:27), considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. As the first church addressed in the seven epistles, it is often considered typical of the apostolic-era church, with the later epistles representing successive later periods of church history. The supposed correlations, however, are arbitrary. Since each type of church is represented in every period of church history, it is more realistic to understand the seven churches as depicting all churches in general, thereby surveying all the merits and defects of churches everywhere."

Defender: Rev 2:2 - not These false apostles were also of great concern to Paul (2Co 11:13-15). John had no doubt warned the Ephesians to "try the spirits whether they are of...

These false apostles were also of great concern to Paul (2Co 11:13-15). John had no doubt warned the Ephesians to "try the spirits whether they are of God," for they might well be "false prophets" (1Jo 4:1). They had done just that, and Christ commended them for it."

Defender: Rev 2:6 - Nicolaitans The "Nicolaitans" are mentioned only here and in Rev 2:15. There was no known sect or movement with this name during the apostolic period, so this is ...

The "Nicolaitans" are mentioned only here and in Rev 2:15. There was no known sect or movement with this name during the apostolic period, so this is probably a descriptive term rather than a proper noun. Since these messages were meant ultimately for all churches, it is certain that the term has meaning for all churches. In context, it almost certainly is referring to the false apostles of Rev 2:2. Practically all churches have been plagued at one time or another by false teachers, false prophets, false apostles and sometimes even by false Christs. The word "nicolaitans" means literally "overcomers of the people." That is precisely what false apostles seek to do. They desire to turn the love and allegiance of the people in the church to themselves rather than to Christ. Christ hates both the deeds and doctrines (Rev 2:15) of Nicolaitanism, and we should do the same."

Defender: Rev 2:7 - unto the churches Note that each of the seven letters was intended to be heard, not by just the one church to which it was addressed, but by all "the churches."

Note that each of the seven letters was intended to be heard, not by just the one church to which it was addressed, but by all "the churches."

Defender: Rev 2:7 - overcometh Each epistle has a special promise to those who overcome. We are urged to "overcome the wicked one" (1Jo 2:13), "by the blood of the Lamb, and by the ...

Each epistle has a special promise to those who overcome. We are urged to "overcome the wicked one" (1Jo 2:13), "by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Rev 12:11).

Defender: Rev 2:7 - tree of life John confirms that "the tree of life" and "paradise" were historical realities and will also be future realities (Rev 22:1, Rev 22:2)."

John confirms that "the tree of life" and "paradise" were historical realities and will also be future realities (Rev 22:1, Rev 22:2)."

Defender: Rev 2:8 - Smyrna Smyrna was also a port city about thirty-five miles north of Ephesus. It survives today as Izmir, in Turkey. Polycarp, supposedly a convert of John, l...

Smyrna was also a port city about thirty-five miles north of Ephesus. It survives today as Izmir, in Turkey. Polycarp, supposedly a convert of John, later served as pastor there until his martyrdom in about a.d. 155."

Defender: Rev 2:9 - say they are Jews These must have been Gentile converts of the Judaizers, who were trying to impose Judaism, with its law and priesthood, on Christianity. Just as false...

These must have been Gentile converts of the Judaizers, who were trying to impose Judaism, with its law and priesthood, on Christianity. Just as false apostles were disturbing the church at Ephesus, so at Smyrna men claiming to have become Jews but had not were plaguing the church. These two groups of heretics were beginning a corruption of Christianity which would eventually pervade the church for a thousand years, imposing an imagined apostolic succession and continuing priesthood, both of which would subjugate the ordinary people in the churches in a "Nicolaitan" hierarchy. As the false apostles were spoken of as "ministers of Satan" (2Co 11:13-15), so these false Jews had become - unknowingly perhaps - a synagogue of Satan."

Defender: Rev 2:10 - ten days It should be kept in mind that these letters to the churches had universal relevance as well as immediate applications to the particular churches addr...

It should be kept in mind that these letters to the churches had universal relevance as well as immediate applications to the particular churches addressed. Consequently the "ten days" must suggest a general Biblical principle which was intended to sustain any group of Christians facing persecution. The only other Biblical reference to "ten days" is in Dan 1:12, Dan 1:14, Dan 1:15. There, Daniel experienced "ten days" of testing, but then God blessed him with seventy years of vital ministry. Just so, if we endure our "ten days" of tribulation, even unto death if need be, God will give us a "crown of life" for eternity (see note on Jam 1:15)."

Defender: Rev 2:12 - Pergamos Pergamos, a center of idolatry, was sixty miles north of Smyrna. The great altar of Zeus, the largest altar in the world, was located there. As the ch...

Pergamos, a center of idolatry, was sixty miles north of Smyrna. The great altar of Zeus, the largest altar in the world, was located there. As the church at Ephesus had been infiltrated by false apostles, and the Smyrna church by Judaizers, so Pergamos was impacted by compromise with the paganism surrounding it. Ever since the beginning of the church age, sacerdotalism, legalism, evolutionary pantheism, or all of these have affected the Church."

Defender: Rev 2:13 - Satan's seat "Satan's seat" is literally "Satan's throne." This may be a reference to the great altar of Zeus at Pergamos, but there is also some evidence that the...

"Satan's seat" is literally "Satan's throne." This may be a reference to the great altar of Zeus at Pergamos, but there is also some evidence that the priesthood of Babylonian idolatry had moved to Pergamos when Babylon fell to the Persians.

Defender: Rev 2:13 - Antipas "Antipas" means "against all." Although Antipas may have been an otherwise unknown martyr ("witness") at Pergamos, the Lord may have included his name...

"Antipas" means "against all." Although Antipas may have been an otherwise unknown martyr ("witness") at Pergamos, the Lord may have included his name here to represent all His faithful witnesses who take a clear stand for Christ "against all" the forces of Satan, even at the possible cost of martyrdom."

Defender: Rev 2:14 - doctrine of Balaam The "doctrine of Balaam," which had apparently infiltrated the Pergamos church, was that of compromise with the immoral and ungodly life style of the ...

The "doctrine of Balaam," which had apparently infiltrated the Pergamos church, was that of compromise with the immoral and ungodly life style of the pagans in similar fashion to the way Balaam had influenced the Israelites to take Moabite wives (Num 31:15, Num 31:16)."

Defender: Rev 2:15 - doctrine of the Nicolaitans The deeds of the Nicolaitans ("overcomers of the people,") troubled the church at Ephesus; their doctrine infiltrated the church at Pergamos. Christ h...

The deeds of the Nicolaitans ("overcomers of the people,") troubled the church at Ephesus; their doctrine infiltrated the church at Pergamos. Christ hates both the deeds and the doctrines (see note on Rev 2:6)."

Defender: Rev 2:17 - hidden manna The "hidden manna" refers to the manna preserved in the ark of the covenant (Exo 16:33-35; Heb 9:4), no doubt picturing the One who was "the bread of ...

The "hidden manna" refers to the manna preserved in the ark of the covenant (Exo 16:33-35; Heb 9:4), no doubt picturing the One who was "the bread of God ... which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world" (Joh 6:33).

Defender: Rev 2:17 - new name Like Abraham and Israel, the Lord Jesus will give each overcomer a new name appropriate to his own character and service. Like the names in the precio...

Like Abraham and Israel, the Lord Jesus will give each overcomer a new name appropriate to his own character and service. Like the names in the precious stones on the breastplate of the Aaronic priesthood (Exo 28:15-21), it will be inscribed in a pure white stone, perhaps a diamond."

Defender: Rev 2:18 - Thyatira Thyatira was a city about forty miles east of Pergamos. Lydia, whom Paul met at Philippi, was from Thyatira. The letter to Thyatira is the central and...

Thyatira was a city about forty miles east of Pergamos. Lydia, whom Paul met at Philippi, was from Thyatira. The letter to Thyatira is the central and longest of the seven epistles."

Defender: Rev 2:20 - Jezebel Jezebel had been the pagan queen of Israel in the days of Elijah; she introduced Baal worship into Israel (1Ki 16:30-33; 2Ki 9:22). A similar seductre...

Jezebel had been the pagan queen of Israel in the days of Elijah; she introduced Baal worship into Israel (1Ki 16:30-33; 2Ki 9:22). A similar seductress in the Thyatiran church had somehow obtained a position of leadership in the church despite Paul's warnings against women prophesying or teaching in the church (1Co 14:34; 1Ti 2:11, 1Ti 2:12). Her anti-nomian teachings (teachings "against law," purportedly giving license to sin as one pleased), given with the claim that she had the gift of prophecy, had led the church into gross immorality while simultaneously manifesting love, faith and good works (Rev 2:19). This church, as well as many churches since, professed spirituality and "love" while downgrading doctrine and separation."

Defender: Rev 2:22 - great tribulation Christ referred to a coming period of "great tribulation," and so did "one of the elders" later speaking to John (Rev 7:14). This warning indicates th...

Christ referred to a coming period of "great tribulation," and so did "one of the elders" later speaking to John (Rev 7:14). This warning indicates that the adulterous members (spiritually adulterous, as well as physically, and thus not truly born-again believers) of those Thyatira-like churches at the end of the age could be left behind when Christ returns and be cast into the period of great tribulation on earth. Compare to the church at Philadelphia (see note on Rev 3:10)."

Defender: Rev 2:24 - depths of Satan The "depths of Satan" is better rendered "the deep things of Satan" (contrast 1Co 2:10 - "the deep things of God"). When a church embraces Nicolaitani...

The "depths of Satan" is better rendered "the deep things of Satan" (contrast 1Co 2:10 - "the deep things of God"). When a church embraces Nicolaitanism and Balaamism, along with evolutionary pantheism, it may easily become infatuated with various manifestations of occultism, learning the deep things of Satan rather than the deep things of God."

Defender: Rev 2:25 - till I come The last four epistles all have references to the imminent return of Christ (Rev 3:3, Rev 3:11, Rev 3:20). This indicates that there will be Thyatira-...

The last four epistles all have references to the imminent return of Christ (Rev 3:3, Rev 3:11, Rev 3:20). This indicates that there will be Thyatira-like churches, as well as churches like the churches at Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea, prominent on the earth at the time of Christ's second coming."

Defender: Rev 2:27 - rod of iron This promise was given first to the Son by the Father (Psa 2:7-9). Here He shares His Father's promise with His saints, who shall "judge the world" (1...

This promise was given first to the Son by the Father (Psa 2:7-9). Here He shares His Father's promise with His saints, who shall "judge the world" (1Co 6:2; see also Dan 7:18, Dan 7:27)."

Defender: Rev 2:28 - morning star Christ is "the morning star" (Rev 22:16). He will give His own presence to His people (1Th 4:16, 1Th 4:17)."

Christ is "the morning star" (Rev 22:16). He will give His own presence to His people (1Th 4:16, 1Th 4:17)."