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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Revelation 3



Other Authors
Verse 2

Revelation 3:2. (45) ἔ΄ελλον) Thus the Al. And. Pet. 3, the Cov. Areth. and also Uff. read ἔμελλεν: Er. from the comm. of Andreas, μέλλει: Leicestrensis and eight others, and also Comp. Arab. εμελλες ( ἀποθανεῖν being on this account changed into ἀποβάλλειν). This reading of the clause formerly did not displease me, ἔ΄ελλες ἀποθανεῖν, in this sense: Strengthen that which remains, which, unless you were here admonished, you were about to lose by spiritual death. There is a very similar phrase of Philo, τὸν τῆς ἀρετῆς βίον θνήσκειν; also, τάς ψυχὰς τεθνᾶσι. And of Heraclitus in Philo, τεθνήκα΄εν τὸν ἐκείνων βίον. But that expression of itself appears more philosophical than prophetical. The simple and genuine sentiment must be that, which the Latin imitates, the things which were about to die;(46) and so the Armen. Copt. Syr(47)

Verse 3

Revelation 3:3. πῶς· ποίαν) Regard to its former character (“how” it once stood) ought to defend the Church of Sardis, that the future hour, whatsoever it shall be, may not be attended with calamity to it.

Verse 7

Revelation 3:7. κλεῖν) Hence the plural κλεῖς, ch. Revelation 1:18.— καὶ κλείει) The article ὅς is contained in ἀνοίγων, and is to be understood from thence.

Verse 9

Revelation 3:9. τῶν λεγόντων) This depends upon τινὰς, understood.— ποιήσω αὐτοὺς, ἵνα) The same construction occurs, ch. Revelation 13:12; Revelation 13:16.

Verse 10

Revelation 3:10. (49) τοὺς κατοικοῦντας ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς) Thus the Septuagint often render, when in the Hebrew ישבי הארץ is found: Isaiah 26:21, etc. But the word σκηνοῦν is used of the inhabitants of heaven, ch. Revelation 12:12.

Verse 12

Revelation 3:12. (51) ναῷ) A recent error has λαῷ.(52) See App. on this passage, Ed. ii.

Verse 16

Revelation 3:16.(53) ΄έλλω σὲ ἐμεσαι) This is a milder form of speech than if it were ἐ΄έσω σέ. ΄έλλω makes a modal(54) form of speech out of a categorical. [He implies the denial which is about to take place, in the event of their continuing “lukewarm,” before His Father; Psalms 16:4.—V. g.]

Verse 17

Revelation 3:17. ὅσι λέγεις) This ὅτι is not connected with the preceding words, in which their own ὅτι is inserted, ὅτι χλιαρὸς εἶ; but with the following words, as the thing speaks for itself. Thus, ch. Revelation 18:7, followed by ὅτιδιὰ τοῦτο.— πλούσιος) A few read ὅτι πλούσιος. Such a use of the particle ὅτι, for quoting the language of any one, is of frequent occurrence, but not in the Apocalypse.(55) See ch. Revelation 5:12, Revelation 18:7, etc.— πεπλούτηκα) I have used my riches, and with my gold I have provided for myself many things; for instance, garments. So the Septuagint, πεπλούτηκα, Hosea 12:8.

Verse 18

Revelation 3:18. συμβουλεύω, I give counsel) But if the Superior Being in the meantime lays aside His power, that very fact may possibly be the mark of a mind the more estranged, as if the servant is rebuked by his Lord, and the Lord says, I advise you to take heed to yourself. We give advice even to friends, but not while we rebuke them.— αἰσχύνη) The Hebrew ערוה is sometimes rendered in the Septuagint by αἰσχύνη.— κολλούριον) namely ἀγοράσαι, to buy, for the purpose of anointing. [This is the last thing. Riches with clothing precede.—V. g.] Celsus speaks at largo on eye-salve.

Verse 19

Revelation 3:19. φιλῶ) In the case of the Philadelphian Church, He (Revelation 3:9) ἠγάπησε (esteemed it): in the case of the Laodicean, He φιλεῖ (loves it). The former, with His judgment: the latter, with gratuitous affection [favour]. Comp. John 21:15, note. In each passage(56) ἀγαπᾷν implies something more than φιλεῖν. In the passage quoted from John, the spiritual tie of relationship is of more value than the judgment of Peter. Here, in the Apocalypse, it is a more blessed thing to flourish [be esteemed] in the judgment of the Lord, than to be chastised through mere gratuitous affection.— ζήλωσον) Both ζεστὸς, Revelation 3:15-16, and ζῆλος, are derived from ζέω.

Verse 20

Revelation 3:20. ἰδοὺ—, behold—) The observation respecting retrograde order depends almost entirely upon this very increase of close approach, respecting which see Erkl. Off.


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 3:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, June 5th, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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