In Ephesus (εν Επεσωι en Ephesōi). Near the sea on the river Cayster, the foremost city of Asia Minor, the temple-keeper of Artemis and her wonderful temple (Acts 19:35), the home of the magic arts (Ephesian letters, Acts 19:19) and of the mystery-cults, place of Paul‘s three years‘ stay (Acts 19:1-10; 20:17-38), where Aquila and Priscilla and Apollos laboured (Acts 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 (Acts 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.”These things (ταδε tade). This demonstrative seven times here, once with the message to each church (Revelation 2:1, Revelation 2:8, Revelation 2:12, Revelation 2:18; Revelation 2:1, Revelation 2:7, Revelation 2:14), only once elsewhere in N.T. (Acts 21:11). He that holdeth (ο κρατων ho kratōn). Present active articular participle of κρατεω krateō a stronger word than εχων echōn in Revelation 1:16, to which it refers. He that walketh (ο περιπατων ho peripatōn). Present active articular participle of περιπατεω peripateō an allusion to Revelation 1:13. These two epithets are drawn from the picture of Christ in Revelation 1:13-18, and appropriately to conditions in Ephesus describe Christ‘s power over the churches as he moves among them.
I know (οιδα oida). Rather than γινωσκω 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 Revelation 2:9, Revelation 2:13, Revelation 2:19; Revelation 3:1, Revelation 3:8, Revelation 3:15. For the distinction see John 21:17, “where the universal knowledge passes into the field of special observation.”Works (εργα erga). The whole life and conduct as in John 6:29. And thy toil and patience (και τον κοπον και την υπομονην σου kai ton kopon kai tēn hupomonēn sou). “Both thy toil and patience,” in explanation of εργα erga and see 1 Thessalonians 1:3, where all three words (εργον κοποσ υπομονη ergonεργα koposκοποι hupomonē) occur together as here. See Revelation 14:13 for sharp distinction between υπομονη erga (activities) and κοπος kopoi (toils, with weariness). Endurance (και οτι hupomonē) in hard toil (κοπος kopos). And that (ου δυνηι kai hoti). Further explanation of δυνασαι kopos (hard toil). Not able (βαστασαι ou dunēi). This Koiné form for the Attic βασταζω dunasai (second person singular indicative middle) occurs also in Mark 9:22; Luke 16:2. Bear (και επειρασας bastasai). First aorist active infinitive of πειραζω bastazō for which verb see John 10:31; John 12:6; Galatians 6:2. These evil men were indeed a heavy burden. And didst try (δυνηι εχεις kai epeirasas). First aorist active indicative of τους λεγοντας εαυτους αποστολους peirazō to test, a reference to a recent crisis when these Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:6) were condemned. The present tenses (και ουκ εισιν dunēiκαι ουκ οντας echeis) indicate the continuance of this attitude. Cf. 1 John 4:1. Which call themselves apostles (λεγοντας 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 (2 Corinthians 11:5, 2 Corinthians 11:13; 2 Corinthians 12:11). Paul had foretold such false teachers (Gnostics), grievous wolves, in Acts 20:29; in sheep‘s clothing, Jesus had said (Matthew 7:15). And they are not (και ευρες kai ouk eisin). A parenthesis in Johannine style (John 2:9; John 3:9; 1 John 3:1) for ευρισκω kai ouk ontas to correspond to επειρασας legontas didst find (πσευδεις kai heures). Second aorist active indicative of πσευδης heuriskō Dropping back to the regular structure parallel with epeirasas (pseudeis). Predicate accusative plural of pseudēs self-deceived deceivers as in Revelation 21:8.
Thou hast (εχεις echeis). Continued possession of patience.Didst bear (εβαστασας ebastasas). First aorist indicative of βασταζω bastazō repeated reference to the crisis in Revelation 2:2. And hast not grown weary (και ου κεκοπιακες kai ou kekopiakes). Perfect active indicative of κοπιαω kopiaō old verb, to grow weary (Matthew 6:28), play on the word κοπος kopos late form in ες ̇es for the regular ας ̇as (λελυκας lelukas). like απηκες aphēkes (Revelation 2:4) and πεπτωκες peptōkes (Revelation 2:5). “Tired in loyalty, not of it. The Ephesian church can bear anything except the presence of impostors in her membership” (Moffatt).
This against thee, that (κατα σου οτι kata sou hoti). For the phrase “have against” see Matthew 5:23. The οτι hoti clause is the object of εχω echō didst leave (απηκες aphēkes). First aorist active (kappa aorist, but with ες ̇es instead of ας ̇as) of απιημι aphiēmi a definite and sad departure.Thy first love (την αγαπην σου την πρωτην tēn agapēn sou tēn prōtēn). “Thy love the first.” This early love, proof of the new life in Christ (1 John 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.
Remember (μνημονευε mnēmoneue). Present active imperative of μνημονευω mnēmoneuō “continue mindful” (from μνημων mnēmōn).Thou art fallen (πεπτωκες peptōkes). Perfect active indicative of πιπτω piptō state of completion. Down in the valley, look up to the cliff where pure love is and whence thou hast fallen down. And repent (και μετανοησον kai metanoēson). First aorist active imperative of μετανοεω metanoeō urgent appeal for instant change of attitude and conduct before it is too late. And do (και ποιησον kai poiēson). First aorist active imperative of ποιεω poieō “Do at once.” The first works (τα πρωτα εργα ta prōta erga). Including the first love (Acts 19:20; Acts 20:37; Ephesians 1:3.) which has now grown cold (Matthew 24:12). Or else (ει δε μη ei de mē). Elliptical condition, the verb not expressed (μετανοεις metanoeis), a common idiom, seen again in Revelation 2:16, the condition expressed in full by εαν μη ean mē in this verse and Revelation 2:22. I come (ερχομαι erchomai). Futuristic present middle (John 14:2.). To thee (σοι soi). Dative, as in Revelation 2:16 also. Will move (κινησω kinēsō). Future active of κινεω kineō In Ignatius‘ Epistle to Ephesus it appears that the church heeded this warning. Except thou repent (εαν μη μετανοησηις ean mē metanoēsēis). Condition of third class with εαν μη ean mē instead of ει μη ei mē above, with the first aorist active subjunctive of μετανοεω metanoeō f0).
That thou hatest (οτι μισεις hoti miseis). Accusative object clause in apposition with τουτο touto (this). Trench tells of the words used in ancient Greek for hatred of evil (μισοπονηρια misoponēria) and μισοπονηρος misoponēros (hater of evil), neither of which occurs in the N.T., but which accurately describe the angel of the church in Ephesus.Of the Nicolaitans (των Νικολαιτων tōn Nikolaitōn). Mentioned again in Revelation 2:15 and really meant in Revelation 2:2. Irenaeus and Hippolytus take this sect to be followers of Nicolaus of Antioch, one of the seven deacons (Acts 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 Revelation 2:14 were a variety of this same sect (Revelation 2:15). Which I also hate (α καγω μισω ha kagō misō). Christ himself hates the teachings and deeds of the Nicolaitans (α ha not ους hous deeds, not people), but the church in Pergamum tolerated them.
He that hath an ear (ο εχων ους ho echōn ous). An individualizing note calling on each of the hearers (Revelation 1:3) to listen (Revelation 2:7, Revelation 2:11, Revelation 2:17, Revelation 2:28; Revelation 3:3, Revelation 3:6, Revelation 3:13, Revelation 3:22) and a reminiscence of the words of Jesus in the Synoptics (Matthew 11:15; Matthew 13:9, Matthew 13:43; Mark 4:9, Mark 4:23; Luke 8:8; Luke 14:35), but not in John‘s Gospel.The spirit (το πνευμα to pneuma). The Holy Spirit as in Revelation 14:13; Revelation 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). To him that overcometh (τωι νικωντι tōi nikōnti). Dative of the present (continuous victory) active articular participle of νικαω nikaō a common Johannine verb (John 16:33; 1 John 2:13; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4.; Revelation 2:7, Revelation 2:11, Revelation 2:17, Revelation 2:26; Revelation 3:5, Revelation 3:12, Revelation 3:21; Revelation 5:5; Revelation 12:11; Revelation 15:2; Revelation 17:14; Revelation 21:7). Faith is dominant in Paul, victory in John, faith is victory (1 John 5:4). So in each promise to these churches. I will give (δωσω dōsō). Future active of διδωμι didōmi as in Revelation 2:10, Revelation 2:17, Revelation 2:23, Revelation 2:26, Revelation 2:28; Revelation 3:8, Revelation 3:21; Revelation 6:4; Revelation 11:3; Revelation 21:6. To eat (παγειν phagein). Second aorist active infinitive of εστιω esthiō the tree of life (εκ του χυλου της ζωης ek tou xulou tēs zōēs). Note εκ ek with the ablative with παγειν phagein like our “eat of” (from or part of). From Genesis 2:9; Genesis 3:22. Again in Revelation 22:2, Revelation 22:14 as here for immortality. This tree is now in the Garden of God. For the water of life see Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:17 (Cf. John 4:10, John 4:13.). Which (ο ho). The χυλον xulon (tree). In the Paradise of God (εν τωι παραδεισωι του τεου en tōi paradeisōi tou theou). Persian word, for which see Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 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.
In Smyrna (εν Σμυρνηι 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.The first and the last (ο πρωτος και ο εσχατος ho prōtos kai ho eschatos). Repeating the language of Revelation 1:17. Which was dead (ος εγενετο νεκρος hos egeneto nekros). Rather, “who became dead” (second aorist middle indicative of γινομαι ginomai) as in Revelation 1:18. And lived again (και εζησεν kai ezēsen). First aorist (ingressive, came to life) active of ζαω zaō (ο ζων ho zōn in Revelation 1:18). Emphasis on the resurrection of Christ.
Thy tribulation and thy poverty (σου την τλιπσιν και πτωχειαν 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 (James 2:5; 1 Corinthians 1:26; 2 Corinthians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 8:2). In contrast with the wealthy church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:17).But thou art rich (αλλα πλουσιος ει alla plousios ei). Parenthesis to show the spiritual riches of this church in contrast with the spiritual poverty in Laodicea (Revelation 3:17), this a rich poor church, that a poor rich church. Rich in grace toward God (Luke 12:21) and in good deeds (1 Timothy 6:18). Perhaps Jews and pagans had pillaged their property (Hebrews 10:34), poor as they already were. Blasphemy (βλασπημιαν blasphēmian). Reviling believers in Christ. See Mark 7:22. The precise charge by these Jews is not indicated, but see Acts 13:45. Of them which say (εκ των λεγοντων ek tōn legontōn). “From those saying” (εκ ek with the ablative plural of the present active articular participle of λεγω legō). They are Jews (Ιουδαιους ειναι εαυτους Ioudaious einai heautous). This is the accusative of general reference and the infinitive in indirect discourse after λεγω legō (Acts 5:36; Acts 8:9) even though λεγοντων legontōn is here ablative (cf. Revelation 3:9), common idiom. These are actual Jews and only Jews, not Christians. And they are not (και ουκ εισιν kai ouk eisin). Another parenthesis like that in Revelation 2:2. These are Jews in name only, not spiritual Jews (Galatians 6:15., Romans 2:28). A synagogue of Satan (συναγωγη του Σατανα sunagōgē tou Satanā). In Revelation 3:9 again and note Revelation 2:13, Revelation 2:24, serving the devil (John 8:44) instead of the Lord (Numbers 16:3; Numbers 20:4).
Fear not (μη ποβου mē phobou). As in Revelation 1:17. Worse things are about to come than poverty and blasphemy, perhaps prison and death, for the devil “is about to cast” (μελλει βαλλειν mellei ballein), “is going to cast.”Some of you (εχ υμων ex humōn). Without τινας tinas (some) before εχ υμων ex humōn a common idiom as in Revelation 3:9; Revelation 11:19; Luke 11:49. That ye may be tried (ινα πειραστητε hina peirasthēte). Purpose clause with ινα hina and the first aorist passive subjunctive of πειραζω 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 Revelation 3:10 a general persecution is outlined by πειρασμος peirasmos shall have (εχετε hexete). Future active, but some MSS. read εχητε echēte (present active subjunctive with hina, “that ye may have”). Tribulation ten days (τλιπσιν ημερων δεκα 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. Be thou faithful (γινου πιστος ginou pistos). “Keep on becoming faithful” (present middle imperative of γινομαι ginomai), “keep on proving faithful unto death” (Hebrews 12:4) as the martyrs have done (Jesus most of all). The crown of life (τον στεπανον της ζωης ton stephanon tēs zōēs). See this very image in James 1:12, a familiar metaphor in the games at Smyrna and elsewhere in which the prize was a garland. See also Revelation 3:11. The crown consists in life (Revelation 2:7). See Paul‘s use of στεπανος stephanos in 1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8.
Shall not be hurt (ου μη αδικητηι ou mē adikēthēi). Strong double negative with first aorist passive subjunctive of αδικεω adikeō old verb, to act unjustly (from αδικος adikos), here to do harm or wrong to one, old usage as in Revelation 6:6; Revelation 7:2.; Revelation 9:4, Revelation 9:10; Revelation 11:5.Of the second death (εκ του τανατου του δευτερου ek tou thanatou tou deuterou). Εκ Ek here used for the agent or instrument as often (Revelation 3:18; Revelation 9:2; Revelation 18:1). See Revelation 20:6, Revelation 20:14; Revelation 21:8 where “the second death” is explained as “the lake of fire.” The idea is present in Daniel 12:3; John 5:29 and is current in Jewish circles as in the Jerusalem Targum on Deuteronomy 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).
In Pergamum (εν Περγαμωι 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 (χαρτα Περγαμενα 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” (Revelation 2:13). Here also the Nicolaitans flourished (Revelation 2:15) as in Ephesus (Revelation 2:6) and in Thyatira (Revelation 2:20.). Like Ephesus this city is called temple-sweeper (νεωκορος neōkoros) for the gods.The sharp two-edged sword (την ρομπαιαν την διστομον την οχειαν tēn romphaian tēn distomon tēn oxeian). This item repeated from Revelation 1:16 in the same order of words with the article three times (the sword the two-mouthed the sharp) singling out each point.
Where (πουοπου pou- Που hopou). οπου Pou is interrogative adverb used here in an indirect question as in John 1:39. που Hopou is relative adverb referring to ο τρονος του Σατανα pou Satan‘s throne (κρατεις το ονομα σου ho thronos tou Satanā). Satan not simply resided in Pergamum, but his “throne” or seat of power of king or judge (Matthew 19:28; Luke 1:32, Luke 1:52). The symbol of Asklepios was the serpent as it is of Satan (Revelation 12:9; Revelation 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.Holdest fast my name (κρατεω krateis to onoma sou). Present active indicative of Κυριος Καισαρ krateō “dost keep on holding,” as in Revelation 2:25, Revelation 3:11. This church refused to say Κυριος Ιησους Kurios Kaisar (Martyrd. Polyc. 8f.) and continued to say ουκ ηρνησω Kurios Iēsous (1 Corinthians 12:3). They stood true against the emperor-worship. Didst not deny (αρνεομαι ouk ērnēsō). First aorist middle second person singular of την πιστιν μου arneomai Reference to a specific incident not known to us. My faith (Αντιπας tēn pistin mou). Objective genitive, “thy faith in me.” Of Antipas (Αντιπα Antipas). Indeclinable in this form. It is possible that ο μαρτυς μου 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). My witness (ο πιστος μου ho martus mou). Nominative in apposition with a genitive as in Revelation 1:5 (with ablative), common solecism in the Apocalypse. “Witness” as Jesus had said they should be (Acts 1:8) and Stephen was (Acts 22:20) and others were (Revelation 17:6). The word later (by third century) took on the modern meaning of martyr. My faithful one (μου ho pistos mou). Nominative also, with απεκταντη mou also. Jesus gives Antipas his own title (Swete) as in Revelation 1:5; Revelation 3:14. Faithful unto death. Was killed (αποκτεινω apektanthē). First aorist passive indicative of παρ υμιν apokteinō this passive form common in the Apocalypse (Revelation 2:13; Revelation 6:11; Revelation 9:5, Revelation 9:15, Revelation 9:18, Revelation 9:20; Revelation 11:13; Revelation 13:10; Revelation 19:21). Among you (οπου ο Σατανας κατοικει par humin). By your side. Proof of the throne of Satan, “where Satan dwells” (hopou ho Satanās katoikei), repeated for emphasis.
There (εκει ekei). That is παρ υμιν 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.Some that hold (κρατουντας kratountas). “Men holding” (present active participle of κρατεω krateō). The teaching of Balaam (την διδαχην αλααμ tēn didachēn Balaam). Indeclinable substantive Balaam (Numbers 25:1-9; Numbers 31:15.). The point of likeness of these heretics with Balaam is here explained. Taught Balak (εδιδασκεν τωι αλακ edidasken tōi Balak). Imperfect indicative of διδασκω 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 (Romans 6:15). The use of the dative with διδασκω didaskō is a colloquialism rather than a Hebraism. Two accusatives often occur with διδασκω didaskō cast a stumbling-block (βαλειν σκανδαλον balein skandalon). Second aorist active infinitive (accusative case after εδιδασκεν edidasken) of βαλλω ballō regular use with σκανδαλον skandalon (trap) like τιτημι σκανδαλον tithēmi skandalon in Romans 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). To eat things sacrificed to idols (παγειν ειδωλοτυτα phagein eidōlothuta). Second aorist active infinitive of εστιω esthiō and the verbal adjective (from ειδωλον eidōlon and τυω thuō), quoted here from Numbers 25:1., but in inverse order, repeated in other order in Revelation 2:20. See Acts 15:29; Acts 21:25; 1 Corinthians 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.
So thou also (ουτως και συ houtōs kai su). Thou and the church at Pergamum as Israel had the wiles of Balaam.The teaching of the Nicolaitans likewise (την διδαχην των Νικολαιτων ομοιως tēn didachēn tōn Nikolaitōn homoiōs). See note on Revelation 2:6 for the Nicolaitans. The use of ομοιως homoiōs (likewise) here shows that they followed Balaam in not obeying the decision of the Conference at Jerusalem (Acts 15:20, Acts 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 Colossians 3:5-8; Ephesians 5:3-6.
Repent therefore (μετανοησον ουν metanoēson oun). First aorist (tense of urgency) active imperative of μετανοεω metanoeō with the inferential particle ουν oun (as a result of their sin).I come (ερχομαι erchomai). Futuristic present middle indicative, “I am coming” (imminent), as in Revelation 2:5 with ταχυ tachu as in Revelation 3:11; Revelation 11:14; Revelation 22:7, Revelation 22:12, Revelation 22:20. As with εν ταχει en tachei (Revelation 1:1), we do not know how soon “quickly” is meant to be understood. But it is a real threat. Against them (μετ αυτων met' autōn). This proposition with πολεμεω polemeō rather than κατα kata (against) is common in the lxx, but in the N.T. only in Revelation 2:16; Revelation 12:7; Revelation 13:4; Revelation 17:14 and the verb itself nowhere else in N.T. except James 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). With (εν en). Instrumental use of εν en For the language see Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12; Revelation 19:15.
Of the hidden manna (του μαννα του κεκρυμμενου tou manna tou kekrummenou). “Of the manna the hidden” (perfect passive articular participle of κρυπτω kruptō). The partitive genitive, the only N.T. example with διδωμι didōmi though Q reads το to (accusative) here. For examples of the ablative with απο apo and εκ ek see Robertson, Grammar, p. 519. See John 6:31, John 6:49 for the indeclinable word μαννα manna The golden pot of manna was “laid up before God in the ark” (Exodus 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 (John 6:31-33, John 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.”A white stone (πσηπον λευκην psēphon leukēn). This old word for pebble (from πσαω 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 Acts 26:10, where Paul speaks of “depositing his pebble” (κατηνεγκα πσηπον 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. A new name written (ονομα καινον γεγραμμενον onoma kainon gegrammenon). Perfect passive predicate participle of γραπω graphō Not the man‘s own name, but that of Christ (Heitmuller, Im Namen Jesu, p. 128-265). See Revelation 3:12 for the name of God so written on one. The man himself may be the πσηπος psēphos on which the new name is written. “The true Christian has a charmed life” (Moffatt). But he that receiveth it (ει μη ο λαμβανων ei mē ho lambanōn). “Except the one receiving it.” See Matthew 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 Revelation 19:12.
In Thyatira (εν Τυατειροις 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 (Acts 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).The Son of God (ο υιος του τεου ho huios tou theou). Here Jesus is represented as calling himself by this title as in John 11:4 and as he affirms on oath in Matthew 26:63. “The Word of God” occurs in Revelation 19:13. His eyes like a flame of fire (τους οπταλμους αυτου ως πλογα πυρος tous ophthalmous autou hōs phloga puros). As in Revelation 1:14. His feet like burnished brass (οι ποδες αυτου ομοιοι χαλκολιβανωι hoi podes autou homoioi chalkolibanōi). As in Revelation 1:15.
Thy works (σου τα εργα sou ta erga). As in Revelation 2:2 and explained (explanatory use of και kai = namely) by what follows. Four items are given, with separate feminine article for each (την αγαπην την πιστιν την διακονιαν την υπομονην tēn agapēnπιστιν tēn pistinδιακονιαν tēn diakonianκαι tēn hupomonēn), a longer list of graces than in Revelation 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 (και pistin) here may be “faithfulness,” and ministry (οτι diakonian) is ministration to needs of others (Acts 11:29; 1 Corinthians 16:15).And that (των πρωτων kai). Only πλειονα kai (and) in the Greek, but doubtless hoti (that) is understood. Than the first (tōn prōtōn). Ablative after the comparative pleiona (more).
Thou sufferest (απεις apheis). Late vernacular present active indicative second person singular as if from a form απεω apheō instead of the usual απιημι aphiēmi forms.The woman Jezebel (την γυναικα Ιεζαβελ 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 (1 Kings 16:31; 2 Kings 9:22) and who sought to drive out the worship of God from Israel. Some MSS. here (A Q 40 min.s) have σου sou (thy wife, thy woman Ramsay makes it), but surely Aleph C P rightly reject σου sou Otherwise she is the pastor‘s wife! Which calleth herself a prophetess (η λεγουσα εαυτην προπητιν hē legousa heautēn prophētin). Nominative articular participle of λεγω legō in apposition with the accusative γυναικα gunaika like ο μαρτυς ho martus in apposition with Αντιπας Antipas in Revelation 2:13. Προπητις Prophētis is an old word, feminine form for προπητης prophētēs in N.T. only here and Luke 2:36 (Anna), two extremes surely. See Acts 21:9 for the daughters of Philip who prophesied. And she teacheth and seduceth (και διδασκει και πλαναι kai didaskei kai planāi). A resolution of the participles (διδασκουσα και πλανωσα didaskousa kai planōsa) into finite verbs (present active indicatives) as in Revelation 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.
I gave her time (εδωκα αυτηι χρονον edōka autēi chronon). First aorist active indicative of διδωμι didōmi allusion to a definite visit or message of warning to this woman.That she should repent (ινα μετανοησηι hina metanoēsēi). Sub-final use of ινα hina with first aorist active subjunctive of μετανοεω metanoeō she willeth not (και ου τελει kai ou thelei). “And she is not willing.” Blunt and final like Matthew 23:37. To repent of (μετανοησαι εκ metanoēsai ek). First aorist (ingressive) active infinitive with εκ ek “to make a change out of,” the usual construction with μετανοεω metanoeō in this book (Revelation 2:22; Revelation 9:20.; Revelation 16:11), with απο apo in Acts 8:22. Πορνεια Porneia (fornication) here, but μοιχευω moicheuō (to commit adultery) in Revelation 2:22.
I do cast (βαλλω ballō). Futuristic present active indicative rather than the future βαλω balō since judgment is imminent.Into a bed (εις κλινην eis klinēn). “A bed of sickness in contrast with the bed of adultery” (Beckwith). Them that commit adultery with her (τους μοιχευοντας μετ αυτης tous moicheuontas met' autēs). Present active articular participle accusative plural of μοιχευω moicheuō The actual paramours of the woman Jezebel, guilty of both πορνεια porneia (fornication, Revelation 2:21) and μοιχεια moicheia (adultery), works of Jezebel of old and of this Jezebel. There may be also an allusion to the spiritual adultery (2 Corinthians 11:2) towards God and Christ as of old (Jeremiah 3:8; Jeremiah 5:7; Ezekiel 16:22). Except they repent (εαν μη μετανοησουσιν ean mē metanoēsousin). Condition of first class with εαν μη ean mē and the future active indicative of μετανοεω metanoeō put in this vivid form rather than the aorist subjunctive (ωσιν ̇ōsin) third-class condition. Of her works (εκ των εργων αυτης ek tōn ergōn autēs). Αυτης Autēs (her) correct rather than αυτων autōn (their). Jezebel was chiefly responsible.
I will kill with death (αποκτενω εν τανατωι apoktenō en thanatōi). Future (volitive) active of αποκτεινω apokteinō with the tautological (cognate) εν τανατωι en thanatōi (in the sense of pestilence) as in Ezekiel 33:27.Her children (τα τεκνα αυτης ta tekna autēs). Either her actual children, like the fate of Ahab‘s sons (2 Kings 10:7) or “her spiritual progeny” (Swete) who have completely accepted her Nicolaitan practices. Shall know (γνωσονται gnōsontai). Future (ingressive punctiliar) middle of γινωσκω ginōskō “shall come to know.” “The doom of the offenders was to be known as widely as the scandal had been” (Charles). Searcheth (εραυνων eraunōn). Present active articular participle of εραυναω eraunaō to follow up, to track out, late form for ερευναω ereunaō from Jeremiah 17:10. Reins (νεπρους nephrous). Old word for kidneys, here only in N.T., quoted also with καρδιας kardias from Jeremiah 17:10. See Revelation 22:17 for the reward of punishment.
To you the rest (υμιν τοις λοιποις humin tois loipois). Dative case. Those who hold out against Jezebel, not necessarily a minority (Revelation 9:20; Revelation 19:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13).As many as (οσοι hosoi). Inclusive of all “the rest.” This teaching (την διδαχην ταυτην tēn didachēn tautēn). That of Jezebel. Which (οιτινες hoitines). “Which very ones,” generic of the class, explanatory definition as in Revelation 1:7. Know not (ουκ εγνωσαν ouk egnōsan). Second aorist (ingressive) active of γινωσκω ginōskō “did not come to know by experience.” The deep things of Satan (τα βατεα του Σατανα 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 (1 Corinthians 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 (1 John 1:10; 1 John 3:10). Perhaps both ideas are involved. As they say (ως λεγουσιν hōs legousin). Probably referring to the heretics who ridicule the piety of the other Christians. None other burden (ουαλλο βαρος ou- αρος allo baros). πορτιον Baros refers to weight (Matthew 20:12), περω phortion from ογκος pherō to bear, refers to load (Galatians 6:5), βαρος ogkos to bulk (Hebrews 12:1). Apparently a reference to the decision of the Jerusalem Conference (Acts 15:28) where the very word baros is used and mention is made about the two items in Revelation 2:20 (fornication and idolatry) without mentioning the others about things strangled, etc. See the Pharisaic narrowness in Matthew 23:4.
Howbeit (πλην plēn). Common after ουκ αλλο ouk allo as a preposition with the ablative (Mark 12:32), but here a conjunction as in Philemon 1:18.Hold fast (κρατησατε kratēsate). First aorist active imperative of κρατεω krateō either ingressive (get a grip on) or constative (hold on as a single decisive effort). See present imperative κρατει kratei in Revelation 3:11 (keep on holding). Till I come (αχρι ου αν ηχω achri hou an hēxō). Indefinite temporal clause with αχρι ου achri hou (until which time) with modal αν an and either the future active indicative or the first aorist active subjunctive of ηκω hēkō (usual idiom with αχρι achri in Revelation as in Revelation 7:3; Revelation 15:8; Revelation 20:3, Revelation 20:5).
He that overcometh and he that keepeth (ο νικων και ο τηρων ho nikōn kai ho tērōn). Present active articular participles of νικαω nikaō and τηρεω tēreō in the nominative absolute (nominativus pendens) as in Revelation 3:12, Revelation 3:21, resumed by the dative αυτωι autōi (to him), as in Revelation 2:7, Revelation 2:17.Unto the end (αχρι τελους achri telous). That is, αχρι ου αν ηχο achri hou an hēxo above. Authority over the nations (εχουσιαν επι των ετνων exousian epi tōn ethnōn). From Psalm 2:8. The followers of the Messiah will share in his victory over his enemies (Revelation 1:6; Revelation 12:5; Revelation 19:15).
He shall rule (ποιμανει poimanei). Future active of ποιμαινω poimainō to shepherd (from ποιμην poimēn shepherd), also from Psalm 2:8. See again Revelation 7:17; Revelation 12:5; Revelation 19:15.With a rod of iron (εν ραβδωι σιδηραι en rabdōi sidērāi). Continuing the quotation. Instrumental use of εν en αβδος Rabdos (feminine) is the royal sceptre and indicates rigorous rule. The vessels of the potter (τα σκευη τα κεραμικα ta skeuē ta keramika). Old adjective, belonging to a potter (κεραμευσ κεραμος kerameusσυντριβεται keramos), here only in N.T. Are broken to shivers (συντριβω suntribetai). Present passive indicative of suntribō old verb, to rub together, to break in pieces (Mark 14:3).
As I also have received (ως καγω ειληπα hōs kagō eilēpha). Perfect active indicative of λαμβανω lambanō Christ still possesses the power from the Father (Acts 2:33; Psalm 2:7).The morning star (τον αστερα τον πρωινον ton astera ton prōinon). “The star the morning one.” In Revelation 22:16 Christ is the bright morning star. The victor will have Christ himself.
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 2". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany