Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 2:10

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Blessing;   Crown;   Decision;   Faithfulness;   Heart;   Persecution;   Perseverance;   Prophecy;   Reward;   Righteous;   Satan;   Scofield Reference Index - Life;   Rewards;   Satan;   Thompson Chain Reference - Adversary;   Blessings-Afflictions;   Church;   Crowns;   Endowments;   Faithfulness-Unfaithfulness;   Fidelity;   Future, the;   Gifts;   God;   Persecution;   Promises, Divine;   Reward;   Satan;   Satan's;   Satan-Evil Spirits;   Serpent;   Spiritual;   Suffering for Righteousness' S;   Tempter;   Work, Satan's;   The Topic Concordance - Devil/devils;   Endurance;   Faith/faithfulness;   Fear;   Giving and Gifts;   Life;   Righteousness;   Suffering;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Affliction, Consolation under;   Afflictions Made Beneficial;   Death of Saints, the;   Faithfulness;   Martyrdom;   Reward of Saints, the;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Crown;   Encouragement;   Revelation, book of;   Ruler;   Satan;   Smyrna;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Crown;   Reward;   Satan;   Second Death;   Suffering;   Temptation, Test;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Pastor;   Patience of God;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Crown;   Devil;   Smyrna;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Antipas;   Crown;   Games;   Number;   Revelation of John, the;   Satan;   Smyrna;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Faithful;   Letter Form and Function;   Life;   Persecution in the Bible;   Revelation, the Book of;   Smyrna;   Suffering;   Temptation;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asia;   Crown;   Love, Lover, Lovely, Beloved;   Magi;   Nicolas;   Smyrna;   Temptation;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Brotherly Love;   Devil ;   Faithfulness;   Games;   Numbers;   Numbers (2);   Perseverance;   Prize;   Righteous, Righteousness;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Self- Denial;   Smyrna ;   Suffering;   Temptation, Trial;   Tribulation;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Crown;   Faithful,;   Revelation, the;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Sepharvaim;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Smyr'na;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Smyrna;   Triumphs;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Crown;   Day;   Games;   Life;   Persecution;   Revelation of John:;   Smyrna;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Crown;  
Devotionals:
Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life - Devotion for December 2;   Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for August 3;   Every Day Light - Devotion for April 9;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

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.

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. Genesis 31:7, Genesis 31:41; : Thou hast changed my wages Ten Times; i.e. thou hast frequently changed my wages Numbers 14:22; : Those men have tempted me now these Ten Times; i.e. they have frequently and grievously tempted and sinned against me. Nehemiah 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. Daniel 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."

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.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer - He did not promise them exemption from suffering. He saw that they were about to suffer, and he specifies the manner in which their affliction would occur. But he entreats and commands them not to be afraid. They were to look to the “crown of life,” and to be comforted with the assurance that if they were faithful unto death, that would be, theirs. We need not dread suffering if we can hear the voice of the Redeemer encouraging us, and if he assures us that in a little while we shall have the crown of life.

Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison - Or, shall cause some of you to be cast into prison. He had just said that their persecutors were of the “synagogue of Satan.” He here represents Satan, or the devil - another name of the same being - as about to throw them into prison. This would be done undoubtedly by the hands of men, but still Satan was the prime mover, or the instigator in doing it. It was common to cast those who were persecuted into prison. See Acts 12:3-4; Acts 16:23. It is not said on what pretence, or by what authority, this would be done; but, as John had been banished to Patmos from Ephesus, it is probable that this persecution was raging in the adjacent places, and there is no improbability in supposing that many might be thrown into prison.

That ye may be tried - That the reality of your faith may be subjected to a test to show whether it is genuine. The design in the case is that of the Saviour, though Satan is allowed to do it. It was common in the early periods of the church to suffer religion to be subjected to trial amidst persecutions, in order to show that it was of heavenly origin, and to demonstrate its value in view of the world. This is, indeed, one of the designs of trial at all times, but this seemed eminently desirable when a new system of religion was about to be given to mankind. Compare the notes on 1 Peter 1:6-7.

And ye shall have tribulation ten days - A short time; a brief period; a few days. It is possible, indeed, that this might have been literally ten days, but it is much more in accordance with the general character of this book, in regard to numbers, to suppose that the word “ten” here is used to denote a few. Compare Genesis 24:55; 1 Samuel 25:38; Daniel 1:12, Daniel 1:14. We are wholly ignorant how long the trial actually lasted; but the assurance was that it would not be long, and they were to allow this thought to cheer and sustain them in their sorrows. Why should not the same thought encourage us now? Affliction in this life, however severe, can be but brief; and in the hope that it will soon end, why should we not bear it without complaining or repining?

Be thou faithful unto death - Implying, perhaps, that though, in regard to the church, the affliction would be brief, yet that it might be fatal to some of them, and they who were thus about to die should remain faithful to their Saviour until the hour of death. In relation to all, whether they were to suffer a violent death or not, the same injunction and the same promise was applicable. It is true of everyone who is a Christian, in whatever manner he is to die, that if he is faithful unto death, a crown of life awaits him. Compare the notes on 2 Timothy 4:8.

And I will give thee a crown of life - See the notes on James 1:12. Compare 1 Peter 5:4; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. The promise here is somewhat different from what was made to the faithful in Ephesus Revelation 2:7, but the same thing substantially is promised them - happiness hereafter, or an admission into heaven. In the former case it is the peaceful image of those admitted into the scenes of paradise; here it is the triumph of the crowned martyr.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-2.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days,

The devil is about to cast some of you into prison ... As Hinds pointed out, "These words show that evil-workers are in the service of the devil,"[49] since it was actually men, human beings, who cast the saints into prison. Furthermore, this must not be understood as any form of mild punishment. Those seized by the government and awaiting trial and execution were held in prison, which in that ancient culture was only an anteroom to death. "The struggle anticipated here is desperate; martyrdom is no remote contingency."[50]

And ye shall have tribulation ten days ... This passage sheds light upon some of the problems of interpretation; but, of course, there is no agreement upon exactly what is meant. The most reasonable supposition that this writer has encountered is that of Foy E. Wallace and Gaebelein:

This cannot mean a literal ten days, but rather the ten persecutions, the number of which is historically factual.[51]

The number ten is of special interest, for history informs us that there were just ten persecutions of Christians by the Roman emperors.[52]SIZE>

[49] John T. Hines, op. cit., p. 42.

[50] James Moffatt, op. cit., p. 354.

[51] Foy E. Wallace, Jr., The Book of Revelation (Nashville: Foy E. Wallace, Jr., Publications, 1966), p. 90.

[52] Arno C. Gaebelein, The Revelation (Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1961), p. 36.

Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life.

Faithful unto death ... This does not mean merely "until you die," but faithfulness, "even if fidelity involves death."[53]

The crown of life ... This and all similar promises given to these seven churches simply mean eternal life with God in heaven. Eating of the tree of life, receiving the white stone, or the morning star, etc., all mean the same thing. Why were different expressions used? Perhaps the view is correct that sees "The imagery here has direct reference and application to geographical, historical, and social features familiar to the seven congregations to which these cryptic letters were sent."[54] Was it not appropriate that the citizens of Smyrna who were so proud of their crown (the tall buildings mentioned above), should have been reminded of the greater crown of life? Despite this, Beckwith, however, says that, "It is necessary to look for a local origin of the metaphor."[55] The crown of life was an expression, which, with variations, occurs repeatedly in the New Testament: "the incorruptible crown" (1 Corinthians 9:25), "the crown of life" (James 1:12), "a crown of glory" (1 Peter 5:4), and "a crown of righteousness" (2 Timothy 4:8). All of these expressions refer to the same reward.

[53] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 57.

[54] E. M. Blaiklock, op. cit., p. 98.

[55] Isbon T. Beckwith, The Apocalypse of John (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1919), p. 455.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-2.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer,.... God's people undergo sufferings of various sorts, as the Christians of those times did, scourgings, imprisonment, confiscation of goods, and death itself in various shapes; and these are certain, they shall suffer them; they are all known beforehand to Christ, and he sometimes gives his people previous notice of them, nor should they indulge a slavish fear about them. It is reported of Polycarp, bishop of this church at Smyrna, in a letter written by the church itselfF14Apud Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 4. c. 15. that three days before he suffered, he dreamed his pillow, on which he laid his head, was on fire; upon which, awaking, he said to those that were by him, that he should be burnt for Christ; and when he came to suffer, as he was led along, a voice was heard by the bystanders, Polycarp, be strong, and play the man,

Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison; which has been the lot of many of the saints, and was of some, even of the faithful ministers of the word in this interval; in which Satan had an hand, instigating their enemies to prevent and stop the progress of the Gospel, and deter others both from preaching and professing it: the end was in the permission of it,

that ye may be tried; that their graces might be tried, their faith, love, zeal, courage, faithfulness, and constancy. Suffering times are trying times, whether men are real Christians or not; whether they have the true grace of God or not; and whether the principles they hold are right and true, and are worth, and will bear suffering for:

and ye shall have tribulation ten days: meaning it may be the ten persecutions under the Roman emperors; the "first" was under Nero, in the year 64 or 66; the "second" was under Domitian, about the year 93; the "third" was under Trojan, in the year 104; the "fourth" was under Hadrian, in the year 125; the "fifth" was under Marcus Antoninus, in the year 151; the "sixth" was under Septimius Severus, in the year 197; the "seventh" was under Maximinus, in the years 235, 236, 237; the "eighth" was under Decius, in the year 250; the "ninth" was under Valerianus, in the year 257; and the "tenth" was under Dioclesian, in the year 303. AustinF15De Civitate Dei, l. 18. c. 52. reckons the ten persecutions thus: the first by Nero, the second by Domitian, the third by Trojan, the fourth by Antoninus, the fifth by Severus, the sixth by Maximus, the seventh by Decius, the eighth by Valerianus, the ninth by Aurelianus, the tenth by Dioclesian and Maximianus. Others, inasmuch as Nero's persecution was before this vision, reckon the ten persecutions thus: Domitian, Trojan, M. Antoninus, Verus and Lucius, Severus, Maximinus, Decius, Valerianus, Aurelianus, Dioclesianus, Licinius: the Dioclesian persecution lasted ten years almost throughout: and some think that this last persecution, which held ten years, is here particularly meant, and not without some good reason; since it is usual in prophetic writings, and in this book of the Revelation, to put days for years; so that these ten days may be the ten years the last persecution held, and at which time the period of this church state ended, and that of Pergamos took place,

Be thou faithful unto death: which is an address to the ministers in this interval, to be faithful in preaching the pure and unmixed Gospel of Christ; in a constant administration of the ordinances, as they were delivered; in watching over the souls of men under their care, reproving, exhorting, &c. with all longsuffering; continuing in the discharge of duty, though in continual danger of death, and though it issued in it. And also to the churches and the members of them, to continue believing in Christ, professing his name, striving for his Gospel, attending on his ordinances, and following him whithersoever he went; though this should expose them to sufferings, even unto death, which it became them cheerfully to undergo: and to which they are encouraged by what follows,

and I will give thee a crown of life; which may refer not only to eternal life, which is so called, James 1:12; because of the glory of that state, and its everlasting continuance, and is in the possession and gift of Christ; but to the deliverance of the Christians from persecution, by Constantine; who coming to the imperial crown, that became not only a crown of glory to him, but of life to the church, and was as life from the dead unto the saints: to dead men is promised a crown of life, in allusion to the Gentiles, who crowned their deadF16Vid. Minut. Felix, p. 42. ,

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-2.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have 8 tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

(8) That is, of ten years. For so commonly both in this book and in Daniel, years are signified by days: that God by this might declare, that the space of time is appointed by him and the same very short. Now because John wrote this book in the end of Domitian the Emperor's reign, as Justinus and Ireneus do witness, it is altogether necessary that this should be referred to that persecution which was done by the authority of the emperor Trajan: who began to make havock of the Christian church in the tenth year of his reign, as the historians do write: and his bloody persecution continued until Adrian the emperor had succeeded in his stead: The space of which time is precisely ten years, which are here mentioned.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-2.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Fear none, etc. — the oldest manuscripts read, “Fear not those things,” etc. “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].

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 rulers of the darkness of this world.

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 separate his chaff from his wheat, the devil sifting him in the hope that nothing but chaff will be found in him [Trench].

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 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, Genesis 24:55; Numbers 11:19. Ten is the number of the world powers hostile to the Church; compare the ten horns of the beast, Revelation 13:1.

unto death — so as even to endure death for My sake.

crown of lifeJames 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:8, “crown of righteousness”; 1 Peter 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.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-2.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Fear not (μη ποβουmē 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 βαλλεινmellei ballein), “is going to cast.”

Some of you (εχ υμωνex humōn). Without τιναςtinas (some) before εχ υμωνex humōn a common idiom as in Revelation 3:9; Revelation 11:19; Luke 11:49.

That ye may be tried (ινα πειραστητεhina peirasthēte). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the first aorist passive subjunctive of πειραζωpeirazō 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 πειρασμοςpeirasmos shall have (εχετεhexete). Future active, but some MSS. read εχητεechēte (present active subjunctive with hina, “that ye may have”).

Tribulation ten days (τλιπσιν ημερων δεκαthlipsin 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 πιστοςginou pistos). “Keep on becoming faithful” (present middle imperative of γινομαιginomai), “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 ζωηςton 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 στεπανοςstephanos in 1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8.

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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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-2.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Fear not ( υηδὲν φοβοῦ )

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

Behold ( ἰδοὺ δὴ )

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

The Devil ( διάβολος )

See on Matthew 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.”

Shall cast ( μέλλει βαλεῖν )

Rev., rightly, is about to cast.

Prison ( φυλακὴν )

See on Acts 5:21.

May be tried ( πειρασθήτε )

Tempted. See on 1 Peter 1:7.

Tribulation ten days ( θλῖψιν ἡμερῶν δέκα )

Lit., a tribulation of ten days.

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.

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.”

A crown ( τὸν στέφανον )

Rev., rightly, “the crown.” See on 1 Peter 5:4; see on James 1:12. Crown is used with a variety of words: crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8); glory (1 Peter 5:4); beauty Isaiah 62:3, Sept., A.V., glory ); pride (Isaiah 28:1); rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19).

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.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-2.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

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.

Fear none of those things which thou art about to suffer — Probably by means of the false Jews.

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 soon after.

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

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, 1 Peter 4:12,14.

And ye shall have affliction — Either in your own persons, or by sympathizing with your brethren.

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

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 testimony with his blood; fifty years before the martyrdom of Polycarp, for whom some have mistaken him.

And I will give thee the crown of life — The peculiar reward of them who are faithful unto death.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-2.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

The devil, that is, wicked men under the influence of the devil.--Some of you. This and similar expressions show clearly that it was the members of these churches, and not the several presiding officers, who were really addressed in these epistles.--That ye may he tried; that your faith, and patience may be tried.--Ten days; for a short time.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-2.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Ver. 10. Fear none of those things] Quit thy heart of that cowardly passion, and die rather than deny the truth. Put on that resolution, Necesse esse ut eam, non ut vivam, Duty must be done, though I die for it.

Behold, the devil] viz. By his imps and instruments whom he acts and agitates, Ephesians 2:2. But he and his are overruled and limited; for he shall cast some of you, not all of you, into prison, not into hell, that ye may be tried, not destroyed; and this for ten days only, not for any long continuance.

Be thou faithful unto death] Say as one martyr did, "The heavens shall sooner fall than I will deny my dear Lord;" and as another martyr, "Though you may pluck my heart out of my bowels, yet shall you never pluck the truth out of my heart."

A crown of life] A crown without cares, corivals, envy, end. Kings’ crowns are so weighty with cares, that often they make their heads ache. Not so this crown; the joys whereof are without measure or mixture.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-2.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Revelation 2:10

Faithfulness is the main distinction of the noblest and best of all these angels of Christ's Church. The high moral excellence of honourably discharging the duties which were assigned to them is obviously made by our Lord the great principle and test of acceptable service. These words of the Master mean—

I. Faithfulness to the human heart. We sometimes make mistakes by not listening to what our hearts tell us about our fellow-men. When under the power of conscience, in the hard grip of logic, and amid the unyielding dicta of our theological dogmas, we are often in danger of forgetting some of the most fundamental facts of human nature which are witnessed to us by our "heart of hearts."

II. Faithfulness to the conscience. The spirit that overcomes the world is the spirit of Christ. It is only when we arm the soul with the same mind that was in Him, only when we take up the cross to follow Him even to Calvary, and there to suffer with Him, that we can gain the victory. He has promised victory to him that overcometh.

III. Faithfulness to our Master and His word under all circumstances. We may be forgotten by our fellows, hidden from all eyes but His; we may have no sympathy from companions, no cheering words from comrades in the fight; we may even hear nothing further on this score from the great Captain of our salvation. But we must be faithful unto death in our spirit, our trust, our obedience, and our love. He looks at death as a foe whom He has worsted; He knows the mettle and the malice of His great antagonist; He has put him to the proof, and the proof was too great. Whereas we tremble at the thought of the encounter, with Him it is the moment of our discharge from doubt, from temptation, from servitude, from waiting, from patience, from tedious toil; to Him it is our acceptance of the reward, the crown, and the glory.

H. R. Reynolds, Notes of the Christian Life, p. 353.


I. These words of the Divine Redeemer imply that a sacred trust has been confided to our keeping.

II. Fidelity in keeping our sacred trust is another point brought out in the text. "Be thou faithful" is the command of our Lord and Saviour to every one who has enlisted in His holy service.

III. The length of the period to which our faithfulness is expected to extend is "unto death"—"faithful" at home and abroad; "faithful" in prosperity and adversity; "faithful" through the whole course of our lives; "faithful unto death. A reward is promised in the text to all who have loved the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity which should stir up the most languid of us to renewed and increasing effort: "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."

J. N. Norton, Every Sunday, p. 494.


References: Revelation 2:10.—E. Paxton Hood, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xviii., p. 257. Revelation 2:12-17.—Expositor, 1st series, vol. ii., p. 433. Revelation 2:13.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. vi., p. 155.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/revelation-2.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 2:10. Fear none of those things, &c.— This chiefly concerns Polycarp, the angel, who is here comforted, and foretold of his future sufferings; but it does not exclude the rest of his flock, who are comprised under the shepherd. His constancy in martyrdom proves that he followed this advice. The next clause concerns chiefly the members of his church; and the event was suitable: for many of them were cast into prison, tormented, exhibited upon the theatre, and thrown to the lions; and the persecution ceased not till Polycarp had, by his death, put an end to it; "who, by his martyrdom, stopped the persecution, putting, as it were, a seal over it," as they express it in the account of his martyrdom. The ten days signify ten years, according to the usual stile of prophecy; and the greater persecution which the Christian church ever endured, was that under Diocletian, which lasted ten years, and grievously afflicted all the Asiatic, and indeed all the eastern churches. This character can apply to none of the other general persecutions; for none of them lasted so long as ten years. As the commendatory and reproving parts of these epistles exhibit the present state of the churches, so the promissory and threatening parts foretel something of their future condition; and in this sense, and no other, can these epistles be said to be prophetical. It is added, Be thou faithful unto death, &c. Faithful here signifies brave, constant, and patient: our religion being a warfare, words from war are used to express what concerns it. See 2 Timothy 4:7. Polycarp fully answered their expectation, when, being solicited to apostatize, he said thus: "Eighty-six years have I served him, and he never wronged me: how then can I blaspheme my King, who hath saved me?" Therefore, as soon as he entered the stadium, there came a voice to comfort him, saying, "Be strong, O Polycarp, and shew thyself a man." That the primitive martyrs had miraculous comfortsand assistances of the Holy Ghost, is fully proved by Mr. Dodwell, Cyprian, Dissert. 12: sect. 42. The crown, as a symbol of reward and encouragement for constancy, is suitable to the notion of martyrdom, as a fight or combat for victory. It implies likewise, that this reward shall partly consist of power and dominion over others; therefore these martyr conquerors are to reign with Christ, ch. Revelation 20:4.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-2.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

10.] Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer (in the ways mentioned below. indicates manifold tribulation, as there): behold [for certain ( δή gives the tone of present certainty and actuality: see reff. It is in fact originally no more than a shortened form of ἤδη: see Hartung, Partikellehre, i. 245 ff.) ], the devil (Hengstb. after Züllig, would lay stress here on the import of the name of the great adversary, as connected with the βλασφημία above. But this again would be forced and unnatural, especially after the recent mention of σατανᾶ. Of course it is understood from the context, that the devil would act through the hostility of human agents, and among them eminently these Jewish enemies. Trench, in loc., remarks on the reference to the devil, as the primary author of all assaults on the Church, found in the Acts of the ancient martyrs: e. g. the Ep. from the Churches of Lyons and Vienne: the Martyrdom of Polycarp, 3, 17, pp. 1032, 1041: Martyr. Ignat.) is about to oast (some) of you into prison (literally: the constant accompaniment of persecution, Acts 12:4; Acts 16:23; not, as Heinr., put for all kinds of misery), that ye may be tried (by temptations to fall away: not, that ye may be proved,—“ut fidem suam inter maxima pericula probare eoque consummatam virtutem consummare possint,” as Ewald. This might be the end which Christ had in view in permitting the persecution: but ἵνα here rather gives the purpose of the agent in the previous clause, ὁ διάβολος): and ye shall have tribulation ten days (the expression is probably used to signify a short and limited time: so in Genesis 24:55; Numbers 11:19; Daniel 1:12; see also Numbers 14:22; 1 Samuel 1:8; Job 19:3; Acts 25:6. Wetst. quotes Ter. Adelph. v. 1. 36, “decem dierum vix mihi est familia.” So Arethas in Catena, εἰς ὀλίγον χρόνον τούτων ἡ θλῖψις, καὶ οὐδʼ ὅσον δέκα ἡμέραις παραμετρεῖσθαι ἀξία. And so, recently, Trench. All kinds of fanciful interpretations have been given: so in Gloss. ord.,—“Deus suos ad bella mittens Decalogo armat” (another variety of which is, “tribulatio ecclesiæ durabit quamdiu observatio præceptorum Decalogi, quod est usque ad finem mundi:” so Lyra, altern.):—“x. diebus, i. e. toto hoc tempore in quo per septem dies contra tria principalia vitia pugnatur, avaritiam, cupiditatem, vanam gloriam.” Similarly Ansbert. And again, “significatur totum tempus usque ad finem sæculi, eo quod omnes numeri sequentes denarium sunt replicationes ipsius et partium suarum.” Lyra introduces “the year-day principle:”—“posset etiam aliter salvo meliori judicio exponi, ut per decern dies intelligantur decem anni, secundum illud, Ezech. Revelation 4:6, ‘Diem pro anno dedi;’ forte tantum duravit persecutio Smyrnensis ecclesiæ.” This has been taken up by Cluver. in Calov., Brightmann, al. Bed(27), Haym(28), and Joachim understand it of the ten persecutions from Nero to Diocletian: Perer., Ribera, and Corn.-a-lap., “decem, id est, multis, diebus:” Ambr(29), “quia, licet ista tribulatio pluribus diebus et mensibus duret, decem tamen diebus erit atrocissima:” and recently Ebrard understands the ten days of ten divisions, or periods, in the persecution). Be ( γίνου, not ἴσθι, see reff.: new circumstances of trial requiring new kinds and degrees of fidelity; which does not remain as it is, but takes accession) thou (it is quite futile to attempt to distinguish in these Epistles between what is said to the Angel in the singular, and what is said to the Church in the plural. This is shewn by the former part of this verse,— ἃ μέλλεις πάσχειν.… followed by ἐξ ὑμῶν. Only where there is occasion to discriminate, is the plural used: cf. Revelation 2:24 f.: but wherever the whole church is spoken of it is in the singular, under the person of its representative angel) faithful unto (reff. not, “until:” but “even unto,” i. e. up to the point or measure of: Let not thy faithfulness stop short of enduring death itself. Cf. Philippians 2:8) death, and (reff.) I will give thee the crown ( τὸν στ., as being the well-known prize promised to the faithful: as in reff. Trench, in loc., has an interesting note on the question whether this is a diadem of royalty, or a garland of victory: and decides for the former, seeing that the στέφανοι of ch. 5 can only be royal crowns,—that the word is employed by all the Evangelists of the “Crown of thorns,”—and that the imagery of this book is not any where drawn from Gentile antiquity, but is Jewish throughout) of life (gen. of apposition: the life itself being the crown: see note, and distinction, on 2 Timothy 4:8).

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/revelation-2.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 2:10. In reference to the θλῖψις which is to follow the present (Revelation 2:9), an exhortation to fearless, faithful perseverance unto death, and a corresponding promise of life, are made. Troubles of many kinds ( plural) impend; especially mentioned is imprisonment(1061) for some of the church,(1062)—the chief thing in all the persecutions in which the civil authorities were active,(1063)—and a view of the same is disclosed, even unto death for Christ’s sake.(1064) The mention of imprisonment shows, still more than that of death, that the assault of heathen magistrates who, according to Revelation 2:9, were incited by the Jews, is here contemplated. The Lord therefore comprises both forms of antichrist. As the proper author of the afflictions, διάβολος is therefore mentioned,(1065) the personal first enemy of Christ and his kingdom,(1066) who uses Jews and heathen as his instruments. The significance of the name (slanderer) is not here to be emphasized:(1067) otherwise we should expect in Revelation 2:9 διαβ., and in Revelation 2:10 σατ.

ἵνα πειρασθῆτε καὶ ἔχητε, κ. τ. λ. Both the temptation and the oppression(1068) belong to the intention of the Devil. Thus the πειρασ΄ός appears not as a divine trial,(1069) but(1070) as a temptation intended on Satan’s part for their ruin,(1071) in connection with which, of course, it must be firmly maintained,(1072) that the Devil’s power is exercised only under the Divine control.(1073) Under this presumption, to the καὶ ἔχητε θλίψιν, which as the πειρασθῆτε is entirely dependent on ἵνα, the ἡ΄ερῶν δέκα is added. For the Lord fixes a limit of duration to the troubles which are to come upon his believers.(1074) Only a few expositors have understood the ἡ΄ερ. δέκα of ten actual days,(1075) but even these in the sense that the short period of the calamity is intended as a consolation. But the number is purely of a schematic nature,(1076) and signifies not a long(1077) but a short time.(1078) [See Note XXX., p. 156.] The entire period of the universal tribulation is schematically represented by forty-two months.(1079) The chief misinterpretations are known already by N. de Lyra: that the ten days are ten years, in which are reckoned the persecution under Domitian(1080) and that under Decius;(1081) that the ten persecutions of Christians are meant;(1082) that the ten days correspond to and signify the Ten Commandments, and that the persecution of the entire Church will continue as long as the Ten Commandments are in force, i.e., until the end of the world, etc.

Without any external combination, the admonition γίνου πιστός follows, which in the limitation ἄχρι θαν. reaches farther than has been thus far represented by the θλῖψις. With reference to the still future maintenance of fidelity, the γίνου and not ἴσθι properly stands.(1083)

The promise, having its pledge in the Lord’s own life after death (Revelation 2:8), has essentially no other meaning than that which is given the victor in Revelation 2:11, as the victory is won only by fidelity unto death.

The καὶ which introduces the promise places it in connection with the preceding requirement.(1084)

τ. στέφανον τῆς ζωῆς. Appositive genitive,(1085) so that life itself appears as the crown.(1086) The expression στέφανος does not mean here the crown of a king, neither in the sense that the coming kingdom of the faithful is indicated,(1087) nor in this, that the king’s crown designates in general only “something exceedingly precious and glorious;”(1088) but the figure of the victor’s crown(1089) is derived from the games, and in the mouth of the author of the Apocalypse, as well as of the Apostle Paul,(1090) is open to no objection whatever.(1091)

NOTES BY THE AMERICAN EDITOR

XXX. Revelation 2:10. ἡμερῶν δέκα

So Alford: “The expression is probably used to signify a short and limited time (Genesis 24:55; Numbers 11:19; Daniel 1:12. See also Numbers 14:22; 1 Samuel 1:8; Job 19:3; Acts 25:6).” Also Trench. Luthardt: “A human measure, so that it is endurable.” Stier: “Whatever may be the fact with regard to these uncertain historical circumstances, the general meaning of this word will assure us that all times of tribulation are measured before the Lord, and that they will be cut short for salvation (Matthew 24:22).” Plumptre, however, following Bähr’s Symbolik: “The number ten, the representative of completeness, and here, therefore, of persecution carried to its full extent, and lacking nothing that could make it thorough and perfect.”

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-2.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 2:10. (31) βαλεῖν, to cast) Understand, some one, or rather some persons.

Rec. Text has τὰ ἔργα καὶ τὴν θλ. with B and Syr. But ACh Vulg. Memph. omit τὰ ἔργα καί.—E.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-2.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer; thou art like to suffer yet sharper things than thou hast suffered, the persecutions are but begun; but pluck up a good courage, fear not your enemies, Matthew 10:28.

Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison; you shall be cast into prison, by Jews and pagans, who are the devil’s instruments, and execute his malice against you; which should both encourage you, that your fight is with the common enemy of mankind, and teach you to pity and pray for your persecutors, who are but the devil’s instruments, whose hearts he hath filled with malice against you.

That ye may be tried; that your faith, love, patience, obedience, may be tried.

And ye shall have tribulation ten days: interpreters are divided about these ten days, what space of time is meant by them; some think the whole time of the ten persecutions, but they lasted above two hundred years; others will have them the ten years of Trajan’s persecution, from the year 99 to 109. Others observe, that in ten days are two hundred and forty hours, which make up the number of years from 85, when the second persecution began, (under which John at this time was), to 325, when all the persecutions ceased. But to let these fancies go: it is either a certain number put for an uncertain; or, it signifies many days; as in Genesis 31:42, Thou hast changed my wages ten times, that is, many times; so 2 Samuel 19:43 Job 19:3. Or else it signifies a little time, as in Genesis 24:55 Amos 5:3 6:9. If we understand this epistle as only concerning the church of Smyrna at that time, it may signify a small time. If we understand it prophetically, describing the state of all churches, till the pagan persecution ceased, (which was more than two hundred and forty years), ten days signifies a long time.

Be thou faithful unto death, hold fast to thy profession of faith and holiness to the end of thy life here,

and I will give thee a crown of life, and I will give thee eternal life and salvation, which shall be a great reward. It is called a crown of righteousness, 2 Timothy 4:8.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-2.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

диавол Греческое название врага Господня означает «обвинитель». Объяснение слова «сатана» см. в Еф. 6:10-17.

скорбь дней десять Их заключение будет коротким.

венец жизни Этот венец есть жизнь, или награда, которая есть жизнь, а не реальный венец, который украшает голову. «Венец» здесь – это не то, что носят цари, а венок, которым украшают победившего спортсмена.

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Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The devil shall cast some of you into prison; you shall be cast by his instigation.

Ten days; a symbolical designation for a short time. The persecution of Christians on account of their religion is instigated by Satan; and those who engage in it are his servants, doing his work, and ripening for the place prepared for him and his angels. Matthew 25:41.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-2.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Do not be afraid of the things which you are about to suffer. Behold the Devil is about to cast some of you into prison so that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life.’

It is noteworthy that Smyrna, the insignificant church, is one of only two not criticised for failure (Philadelphia is the other). Their patient endurance is acknowledged, and as they continue faithful in the persecution to come they will, through death, receive the crown of life. As Jesus died, and is alive again (Revelation 2:8), so too will they be. And they will be given the victor’s crown, the crown of life, given to those who love Him (James 1:12).

‘The Devil’ (diabolos - ‘one who brings charges with hostile intent’) probably refers to his activity through the Roman authorities, as will be apparent later (chapter 13), combined with the Jews mentioned earlier as members of the Synagogue of Satan, as tools of the Devil. They falsely accuse Christians and are acting as agents for the Devil by ‘accusing the brethren (Revelation 12:10).

There is to be a short but intense persecution, instigated by these Jews, which will result in imprisonment and martyrdom for many. ‘Ten days’ means a shortish period with ten signifying ‘a number of’ (compare how Jacob could say ‘you have changed my wages ten times’ (Genesis 31:7)). Persecution was often spasmodic, with some incident suddenly raising the tempo, which then continued a short while and finally died down.

Possibly intended by the phrase ‘ten days’ is the idea that God will not allow the persecution to go on longer than He permits. Its time is of a duration fixed by God. More information about such persecution will be given later in Revelation. This again confirms that these churches are to face what is described there. In Daniel 1:12 Daniel and his friends are tested for ten days to see if their diet was satisfactory compared with what the Babylonians offered. This may have sprung to mind here with the thought that the ten day test would make these Christians more pure than ever. Compare also how Jeremiah waited before God for ten days when ascertaining what would be the fate of God’s people after Gedaliah had killed the representative of the king of Babylon (Jeremiah 42:7). So ‘ten days’ is seen as a period of waiting and testing.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-2.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

3. Exhortation2:10a

These persecuted Christians did not need to fear their adversaries or death since they would live forever with Jesus Christ. "Behold" signals an oracular declaration (cf. Revelation 2:22; Revelation 3:8-9; Revelation 3:20). [Note: Thomas, Revelation 1-7, p167.] The devil would incite their foes to imprison some of them shortly, having received permission from God to do so (cf. Job 1). This would be a trial (Gr. peirasthete) that Satan would use to try to entice them to depart from the Lord.

"Under the Roman legal system imprisonment was usually not a punishment in itself; rather it was used either as a means of coercion to compel obedience to an order issued by a magistrate or else as a place to temporarily restrain the prisoner before execution .... Here it appears that imprisonment, viewed as a period of testing, is primarily for the purpose of coercion." [Note: Aune, p166.]

The "ten days" of trouble may refer to a period of relatively brief duration, specifically the "days" of persecution under10 Roman emperors (cf. Genesis 24:55; Numbers 11:19; Numbers 14:22; 1 Samuel 1:8; Nehemiah 5:18; Job 19:3; Jeremiah 42:7; Daniel 1:12; Acts 25:6). The emperors whom advocates of this view identify are usually Nero, Domition, Trajan, Hadrian, Septimus Severus, Maximin, Decius, Valerian, Aurelian, and Diocletian. [Note: See Thomas, Revelation 1-7, p169; and J. Vernon McGee, Through the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, 5:906.] However, Ladd claimed that these were not empire-wide persecutions. [Note: Ladd, pp8-10.] Other interpreters view the days as symbolic. Some interpret these days as undefined periods of trial. [Note: Beale, p243.] Others see them as an undefined period of years. [Note: William Lee, "The Revelation of St. John," in The Holy Bible, 4:481, 520, 532.] Still others take them as some other period of time (e.g, complete tribulation). Of these, some view the days as a longer period of time. [Note: Ray Summers, Worthy Is the Lamb, p113; Mounce, p94.] Others interpret them as a short, limited time. [Note: Swete, p32; Charles, 1:58; Martin Kiddle, The Revelation of St. John, p28; Aune, p166; Ladd, p44.] However, John probably intended us to interpret this period as10 literal24-hour days that lay in the near future of the original recipients of this letter. [Note: See Walter Scott, Exposition of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, p69.] There is nothing in this text that provides a clue that we should take this number in a figurative sense.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-2.html. 2012.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

3. "Ye shall have tribulation ten days"--2:10.

This cannot mean a literal ten days, but rather to the ten persecutors, the number of which is historically factual. As there were five fallen imperial rulers before Nero--from Nero to Diocletian there were ten persecuting emperors. This era of persecution reached its crescendo in Diocletian's reign of terror, in which he vowed to obliterate the name Christian from the Roman empire.

The indications are too plain for doubt that this ten days tribulation had immediate reference to the era or epoch of the ten persecuting emperors. Their succession is symbolized in Revelation 17:8-11, which describe the ebbing and the flowing of the tide of persecution, in the expressions was, is not and yet is. In the verses 10 and 11 the succession of these emperors is so plainly indicated that the mention of them by name could not have been plainer to the members of the churches to whom this code language was addressed. The history of these apocalyptic facts is verified in Gibbon's History Of The Fall And Decline Of The Roman Empire.

4. "Be thou faithful unto death"--2:10.

The death of this admonition predicted the martyrdom of some of their number. It does not refer to ordinary death as related to the usual span of life, not merely until one dies; it was a warning to them with specific reference to martyrdom. It was an exhortation to be faithful even unto martyrdom, a consequence of loyalty to Christ in the persecutions, and apocalyptic forecast fulfilled in the experiences of these churches in their own time, the trials of the immediate conflict, not prophecies of remote centuries.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-2.html. 1966.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 2:10. An exhortation not to fear the things which it was about to suffer. Fresh persecution was immediately to arise. The children of God are not comforted amidst their troubles by the assurance that these are about to pass away. It may often happen, on the contrary, that one wave of tribulation shall only be followed by another. Strength and comfort are to be found in other thoughts. The tribulation to be expected is then further specified. It shall proceed from the devil, a name of Satan chosen with a reference to the calumnies and slanders previously alluded to. Under that name he is ‘the accuser of the brethren’ (Revelation 12:10; comp. Job 12; Zechariah 3:1-2). But the devil is not only to slander them. He is about, it is said, to cast some of you into prison, prevailing upon the heathen powers, ever ready to listen to accusations against the Christians, to visit them with this punishment. Further, he is to do this in order that ye may be tried. It is not that they may be ‘proved.’ God proves His people. Satan tries them; and this trial shall come from his hands, to be the means, if possible, of effecting his Satanic purposes. Their tribulation, they are told, shall be one of ten days (comp. Daniel 1:12).

By these words we are neither to understand ten literal days, nor ten years, nor ten separate persecutions stretching over an indefinite period of time. Like all the other numbers in the Apocalypse, the number is symbolical. It denotes completeness, yet not the Divine fulness of the number seven. They are to have tribulation frequent, oft repeated, lasting, it may be, as long as life itself, yet alter all extending only to this present scene, the course of which may be best marked by ‘days’ that are ‘few and evil’ (Genesis 47:9; Job 8:9; Psalms 90:12; comp. 1 Peter 1:6).

Be thou faithful unto death, that is, not merely during the whole of life, but even to the extremity, if necessary, of meeting death.

And I will give thee the crown of life, that is, the crown which consists in ‘life’ (comp. 2 Timothy 4:8),—in life corresponding to the life of Him of whom we have been told in Revelation 2:8 that He ‘rose to life.’ This last consideration ought alone to be sufficient to determine whether we have here the crown of a king or that of a victor in the games. It is not the latter, but the former (comp. chaps, Revelation 4:4, Revelation 5:10), the crown of the Lord Himself (chap. Revelation 14:14; comp. Psalms 21:3-4). The use of the word stephanos, not diadema, seems to flow from the fact that the crown spoken of is not the mere emblem of royalty, but of royalty reached through severe contests and glorious victories,—its garland crown. ‘So should desert in arms be crowned.’

In addition to this, however, we may well include the thought of the Hebrew crown of joy, the crown with which Solomon was crowned ‘in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart’ (Song of Solomon 3:11). Yet there, too, we must remember there is the thought that Solomon had won his bride.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-2.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

none of = not. App-105.

shalt = art about to.

behold. App-133.

devil. See Revelation 12:9.

shall = is about to.

that = in order that. Gr. hina.

tried = tested. Compare Matthew 10:22; Matthew 24:9, Matthew 24:10; &c.

days. Not "periods". Compare Genesis 7:4, Genesis 7:10. Numbers 14:33; &c.

be = become.

faithful. App-150.

unto = until. Greek. achri.

death. See Revelation 12:11.

a = the.

crown. Greek. Stephanos. See 1 Peter 5:4.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-2.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

None. So 'Aleph ('), Vulgate, Syriac; but A B C, Coptic, 'Fear not those things,' etc. 'The Captain of our salvation never keeps back what faithful witnesses for Him may have to bear; never entices recruits by promising they shall find all things easy and pleasant' (Trench).

Devil - `the accuser,' acting through Jewish accusers, against Christ and His people. The conflict is not with mere flesh and blood, but with the rulers of the darkness of this world.

Tried, [ peirastheete (Greek #3985)] - with temptation. The same event is often both a temptation from the Devil, and a trial from God-God sifting the man to separate his chaff from his wheat, the devil sifting him in hope that nothing but chaff will be found in him (Trench).

Ten days - not the ten persecutions from Nero to Diocletian. Lyra explains ten years on the year-day principle. The shortness of the persecution is made the ground of consolation. The time of trial shall be short, the joy forever. Compare "ten days" for a short time, Genesis 24:55; Numbers 11:19. Ten is the number of the world-powers hostile to the Church: cf. the beast's ten horns, Revelation 13:1.

Unto death - so as even to die for my sake.

Crown of life - (James 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:8, "of righteousness;" 1 Peter 5:4, "of glory.") The crown is the garland of a conqueror, or one rejoicing, or at a feast; but diadem is the mark of a KING.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-2.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(10) Fear none of those things.—Though Christ proclaimed His yoke to be easy, He also said that His followers must expect tribulation (John 16:33). He never conceals the difficulties or dangers of His service. (See Matthew 10:16-31; Acts 9:16.) So here He proclaims, “Behold, the devil shall cast some. . . .”

The devil.—The LXX. translation gives this name to Satan, regarding him as the “accuser.” (See Job 1:6; Zechariah 3:1-2; and comp. Revelation 12:10, where he is described as the “accuser of the brethren.”)

Tried.—On the part of the adversary, the intention was that they might be tempted from their allegiance to Christ. The real effect would be that they who endured would come forth tested and approved. The suffering would be for “ten days.” This is variously explained. Some think it applies to the periods of persecution; others understand it to mean a long persecution of ten years; others take it literally; others again view it as expressing completeness: the test would be thorough. The exhortation, “Be thou faithful (even) unto death,” seems to favour this last; while the mention of “ten days” was, perhaps, designed to remind them that the period of trial was limited by Him who knew what they could bear, and would be but a little while when compared with the life with which they would be crowned.

A crown of life.—Rather, the crown of life. A crown was given to the priest who presided at the Dionysian Mysteries, which were celebrated with great pomp at Smyrna. A crown was also given at the Olympian Games, which were held at Smyrna. If there is any allusion to either of these, the latter would be the most natural. Some hold, however, the crown—though the word is Stephanos, not diadema—is rather that of royalty than of victory. It is interesting to note that the narrative which tells of the death of Polycarp closes with words which it is difficult not to believe to be an allusion to this promise—“By his patience he overcame the unrighteous ruler, and received the crown of immortality” (Smyrn. Ep.).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Fear
Matthew 10:22
shalt
Daniel 3:16-18; Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:4-7
the devil
12:9-11; 13:2,7,15-17; Luke 21:12; John 13:2,27; Ephesians 2:2; 6:12; 1 Peter 5:8
ye shall
9
ten days
Habakkuk 2:3; 1 Peter 1:6,7
be thou
12:11; Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 8:35; 13:13; Luke 21:16-19; John 12:25; Acts 20:24; 21:13; 2 Timothy 4:7,8
a crown
3:11; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4
Reciprocal: Genesis 3:15 - thou;  Numbers 24:14 - I will advertise;  Deuteronomy 3:2 - Fear;  Deuteronomy 20:3 - let not;  1 Kings 22:27 - Put this fellow;  Job 2:6 - save;  Psalm 27:3 - war;  Psalm 69:33 - his prisoners;  Psalm 119:112 - the end;  Psalm 125:3 - the rod;  Proverbs 28:20 - faithful;  Isaiah 35:4 - fear not;  Jeremiah 20:2 - smote;  Jeremiah 29:26 - that thou;  Jeremiah 37:15 - put;  Lamentations 3:57 - thou saidst;  Lamentations 5:16 - The crown;  Ezekiel 16:11 - and a;  Ezekiel 18:24 - All his;  Ezekiel 48:11 - charge;  Daniel 3:18 - be it;  Daniel 6:10 - as he;  Daniel 11:35 - to try;  Matthew 4:3 - the tempter;  Matthew 5:10 - are;  Matthew 6:13 - lead;  Matthew 10:39 - GeneralMatthew 24:9 - shall they;  Matthew 24:12 - the love;  Matthew 25:21 - I will;  Mark 4:17 - when;  Mark 8:34 - take;  Mark 13:9 - take;  Luke 1:74 - that we;  Luke 6:23 - your;  Luke 9:24 - GeneralLuke 11:4 - lead;  Luke 12:8 - Whosoever;  Luke 17:33 - GeneralLuke 18:30 - manifold more;  John 8:44 - He was;  John 14:27 - afraid;  Acts 5:18 - GeneralActs 14:22 - we;  Acts 16:23 - they cast;  Romans 2:7 - patient;  1 Corinthians 4:17 - faithful;  1 Corinthians 9:25 - but;  1 Corinthians 10:13 - hath;  2 Corinthians 6:5 - imprisonments;  Galatians 6:9 - if;  Ephesians 1:1 - which;  Ephesians 3:1 - the;  Philippians 1:28 - in;  Philippians 1:30 - the same;  Colossians 1:23 - ye continue;  1 Thessalonians 2:18 - Satan;  1 Thessalonians 3:3 - moved;  2 Timothy 2:2 - faithful;  2 Timothy 2:5 - is he;  Hebrews 2:14 - the devil;  Hebrews 11:36 - bonds;  James 1:2 - divers;  Revelation 1:9 - companion;  Revelation 2:13 - Satan's;  Revelation 4:4 - crowns;  Revelation 17:14 - and faithful

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-2.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

TRIALS AND ENCOURAGEMENT.

Revelation 2:10. — "Fear nothing (of) what thou art about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give to thee the crown of life." "Fear not," or "nothing," is a word of preparation for yet further trials, and is evidently taken from Revelation 1:17. There it fell on the ear of the fainting Seer, carrying absolute and unqualified assurance to his soul; here it is to reassure the Church in view of the gathering storm about to burst upon it. Tribulation and poverty were bad enough, and hard to be borne. But worse still was in store. The closing imperial persecutions exceeded in savage cruelty the former ones. The dark clouds were gathering; the wild, hoarse roar of the coming storm was heard. Here the Church is forewarned and encouraged. These coming trials are traced from false accusers, and from the instruments and agents of cruelty to the devil. Persecution was his work. But faith rests on this mighty and grand sustaining truth that "Power belongeth unto God" (Psalms 62:11). The power of the devil is limited and controlled, and he cannot put forth his hand and touch even the feeblest lamb of the flock without express permission (Job 1:1-22; Job 2:1-13). "There is no power but of God" (Romans 13:1), whether satanic or human. The use and employment of the power is another question, involving responsibility of the gravest character. God's purpose was that His Church might be tried, and that to the utmost, and to this end the devil was His servant. Thus God's saints were purified. Love, faith, courage, and faithfulness were strengthened. The Church had a definite and appointed period of tribulation — "ten days." There may be here an allusion to the well-known "ten persecutions," and also to the tenth under Diocletian, which lasted just ten years. The expression "ten days" signifies a limited period, a brief time inconsistent with the lengthened period of pagan persecution covering 250 years. The following references to "ten days" will confirm the meaning of the term as implying a brief and limited time: Genesis 24:55; Nehemiah 5:18; Daniel 1:12; Acts 25:6; Jeremiah 42:7, etc.

Some, not many, of the early witnesses for the truth, appalled by the dread of torture and death, denied their Lord. Here faithfulness every step of the way, even unto death, is urged. If the martyr's crown is to be won, then constancy and steadfastness to the end must be maintained. There are various crowns spoken of in the Word. There is the crown of gold on the head of every redeemed one in Heaven (Revelation 4:4). The crown of righteousness, the reward of a holy and righteous walk on earth (2 Timothy 4:8). Next, there is the crown of glory bestowed on all who shepherd the beloved flock of God (1 Peter 5:4). Lastly, we have the martyr's crown, the crown of life (Revelation 2:10). This crown, like other rewards and encouragements, is given personally by Christ, "I will give."

Then follows the usual call to hear. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Individual responsibility is ever and firmly maintained. In these addresses is contained the mind of the Spirit and of the Lord which is one, and is meant for all Christian assemblies at all times throughout the earth.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-2.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Imprisonment as a persecution was to be one feature of their tribulation which will be credited to the devil. Ten days is a figurative reference to a series of persecutions that were heaped upon the church under the opposition from the Roman government. This was to become a trial of their faith, and the Lord consoles them with the assurance that they need fear none of those things. Faithful unto death. Even death cannot defraud a true disciple of his reward. Crown of life. A crown is a decoration for being victor over a foe and such a token is worthy those who remain true to the Lord in the presence of death. Their body may die in His service but it will not deprive them of eternal life. (See Luke 12:4.)

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-2.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 2:10

Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer

Those sufferings were part of this churches tribulation, which Christ foreknew, and he testified in this verse. First, the kind of their sufferings, to wit, imprisonment. Secondly, the time thereof ten days. Thirdly, the end why God permitted them to suffer, to try them. Fourthly, the instruments of their sufferings, "the devil," the adversary, etc. Fifthly, their duty to be "faithful unto Death:" And sixthly, their reward, to wit, "a crown of life." Suffer thou must, if thou be a true visible church of God. { 1 Thessalonians 2:14} If thou be a faithful minister of Christ. { 2 Timothy 2:10-11} If thou be a sanctified believer, who lives godly, { 2 Timothy 2:12} fear thou should not, { Isaiah 8:11-13} nor be terrified by the adversaries. { Philippians 1:28-29}

Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, etc.

The "devil" by a metonymy of the efficient cause, is here put for his instruments, who were provided and instigated by him to persecute and imprison some of the ministers and members of this church. diabolov, signifies an adversary, whose enmity is here noted with an idou, behold, that Isaiah, consider and know, who will prove your adversary, and will act the devil's design against you, which was the them Roman, pagan emperors, and other grand persecutors, metaphorically called the red dragon, the serpent, called also the devil and his angels. { Revelation 12:3-4; Revelation 12:7; Revelation 12:14-17}

That ye may be tried, etc.

that your faith may be tried, { 1 Peter 1:7} and your patience, { Revelation 13:10} and all other graces, { Romans 5:3-5} which was commended by the apostle in the primitive suffers. { 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5} The saints may expect fiery trials, { 1 Peter 4:12} which they ought not to thing strange, but to rejoice in. { James 1:2-4}

"And ye shall have tribulation ten days."

Times of persecution are times of "tribulation," so it was with the apostles and saints. { 2 Corinthians 4:8-10} We are troubled on every side, etc. "Ten days, " that Isaiah, a certain time put mystically for the ten bloody persecutions under the heathen emperors, as Dioclesian, or for some other times of persecution, which are here numbered by Christ; so that the times of the saint's churches, and ministers sufferings are in the hand of the Lord, { Psalm 31:15} not in the adversaries power. The time when the churches, ministers, or saints shall suffer persecution and imprisonment, or any other kind of "tribulation"is appointed of God, and ordered and measured out by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

The faithfulness of the church ministers, and saints of Christ consists, first, in a bold confession of the faith of Christ, when they are thereunto called. { Acts 24:13; Acts 24:16} Secondly, in enduring sufferings for Christ's sake, not loving their lives unto death. Thirdly, { Revelation 12:11} in not accepting deliverance upon any sinful terms. { Hebrews 11:35; Hebrews 11:38} "The Crown of life" which Christ promiseth is an eternal weight of glory. { 1 Corinthians 4:16-18} "For which cause we faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory: While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen, are temporal; but the things which are not seen, are eternal."

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-2.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Revelation 2:10. Fear not what thou wilt suffer. Behold the devil will cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried, and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. "As foreseen evils hurt and terrify less, it is a proof of our Lord's fidelity that he shews the rod before the smiting took place, Luke 9:23, John 16:1, John 16:33." The announcement of the suffering suggests a twofold source of consolation—first, the persecution will be shortened, and then those who suffer in it will attain to blessedness. It is in itself of general import: times of persecution are always followed by times of revival; God's protecting hand, which defends the church, makes itself known by causing the persecution always to come by fits and starts. What would have become of the church, if all the persecutions of heathen Home had followed one another in immediate succession? And to those who are faithful unto death, God in every age gives the crown of life. But that this general truth should have been applied precisely to the angel of the church in Smyrna, in this certainly lies an indication of the particular fate that awaited him, or rather the man who formed the soul of those who bore rule in that community. Polycarp was faithful even to the death, and was therefore "crowned with the crown of martyrdom," as was said in the church's report of his martyrdom, doubtless with allusion to what was written here. And with his death the ten days' persecution came to an end: the report says, that Polycarp had by his martyrdom, as it were, given the seal to the persecution, and finished it (Euseb. IV. 15.)

In the preceding verse Satan was the subject of discourse; here the author of the persecution is called the devil, διά βολος, properly the Calumniator. Züllig: "This adversary was quite properly called a calumniator by the LXX. in reference to the part he acted in the book of Job, and Zechariah 3. In the relation of the Jewish adversaries of Jesus towards his followers, the designation of Satanism (antagonism), as a calumniating, diabolical one, was the more suitable, as their malice could only vent itself in calumniating their opponents before the heathen magistrates." Also in ch. Revelation 12:9-10, where Satan and the devil are likewise connected together, respect is had to the internal difference of the two names. If we understand here by the devil the calumniator, a closer connection will be found to exist between this verse and the preceding one, where the blasphemies or venomous slanders of the synagogue of Satan are spoken of. In a series of passages, Justin, in his conversations with Tryphon, describes the Jews as the chief authors of the calumnies against the Christians, which in his time were still current. "How little," remarks Hoffmann justly, "this would suit the time when the Jewish war made the whole Jewish people be suspected of a rebellious disposition, is self-evident;" and the Apocalypse must have been composed during that war, if it belonged, according to the modern supposition, to the reign of Galba.—"Trial," says Bengel, "is on the devil's part of an evil and dangerous nature; but on the part of the Lord it is good and salutary. An old, well-tried warrior is worth far more than one who is new-fledged and without experience."

Ten days, among short periods a long one; comp. 1 Samuel 25:38, Daniel 1:12, Genesis 24:55, where the ten days are beyond doubt, as here also, used as a round period. There is an indication of shortness in the employment of days, and a certain length also in the shortness, neither very great nor very small, in coupling with the days, not an unit or an hundred, but a ten.

By the death we are to understand from the connection a violent one. The till has respect, not to the continuance, but to the high degree of the required fidelity. The angel must follow the example of Christ, who, according to Philippians 2:8, was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; comp. ch. Revelation 12:11.

The crown, is here, as in ch. Revelation 4:4, Revelation 6:2, Revelation 9:7, Revelation 14:14, not the crown of victory, but the badge of royal dignity. We are not on this account, however, to suppose with Züllig, that the subject of discourse is the kingdom of the conqueror. The kingly crown here is brought into view rather as something of a very rich and glorious nature—"the crown of life," as much as, life, eternal blessedness; comp. on the idea of life at Revelation 7:17, which is so glorious a possession, that the splendour of all kings' crowns pales before it. So, as the image of the glorious the crown is not unfrequently used in the Old Testament; for example, in Isaiah 62:3, "And thou art a glorious crown in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God;" Isaiah 28:3, where the crown of Ephraim is but another name for his glory.[Note: Gesenius Thes. s v. עטרת: coronae autem imagine designatur quidquid alicui ornamento est et dignitati, Job 19:9, coronam detraxit de capite meo, Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 14:34, etc.]Death is not to be feared, where it is the passage to a glorious life. In a wonderful manner does the Apocalypse here discover itself as the closing book of the New Testament. It makes allusion to the declarations of Paul, Peter, and James, in which a crown of glory is promised as a reward to faithfulness. Paul speaks of "a crown of righteousness, which the Lord will give to him, and to all those who love his appearing," 2 Timothy 4:8; and Peter comforts faithful elders with the incorruptible crown of glory, which they shall receive, at the time of the good Shepherd's appearance, 1 Peter 5:4. James speaks of God (James 1:12) as having promised the crown of life to those who love him. John here had specially in his eye this passage of James: "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those that love him." For here also a preceding temptation is spoken of, and the expression, the crown of life, is common to the two passages, and to these only. In Revelation 2:9 an undoubted allusion is again made to the epistle of James and the one reference confirms the other. There is never any reason for thinking of the crown of victory, unless perhaps in 1 Corinthians 9:25. In Peter nothing is said in the context of the conflict and the crown. Images from heathen life (and such an one is the crown of victory), must not be resorted to without necessity, least of all in the Apocalypse, which clings so fast to holy ground.[Note: The anthor would be quite an alius a se ipso, if Ewald's supposition were right: Inprimis hic respicitur ad ludos Olympicos, ab Hercule institutos, in quibus victores publice donati sunt coruona.]

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-2.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

10.Fear none—Literally, (Greek,) Fear not what things thou art about to suffer. And this fear not cheers them with three facts:—their persecution will be limited to a few, some: to a brief time, ten days: and will be followed by a crown of life. The word some is, indeed, not expressed by the Greek, but is necessarily implied: the Church would not be exterminated: it is not exterminated yet.

Ten days—Literally, thou shalt have a persecution of ten days. A variety of unnecessary symbolical interpretations have been given to the ten days. They have been interpreted to predict “the ten persecutions,” which history has been rather strained to make out in order to fulfil that meaning of the text. But if ten general persecutions could be made out, still this text only predicts locally, and for Smyrna alone. Others find a parallelism with the ten commandments; and others, applying the “year-day” principle, find ten years. But the purpose of the whole verse is to express a consoling limitation of the time, as some of you limits the number. Ten days, as a brief round number, occurs in Genesis 24:55; Numbers 11:19; Daniel 1:12.

Unto death—Even a martyr’s death. The words do not mean during thy life, but to the extremest suffering, even of death.

Crown of life—The glorious antithesis of death. Says Trench: “This ‘crown of life,’ always remaining essentially the same, is not the less designated by a rich variety of images. Here, and with St. James, (James 1:12,) it is acrown of life;’ with St. Paul, a ‘crown of righteousness,’ (2 Timothy 4:8;) with St. Peter, a ‘crown of glory,’ (1 Peter 5:4;) with Isaiah, a ‘crown of beauty;’ with which compare diadem of beauty; (Wisdom of Solomon 5:7;) in the martyrdom of Polycarp, a ‘crown of incorruption;’ with Ignatius, a ‘crown of conflict.’” A crown of life, is life or immortality itself, as a bestowed and crowning endowment.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-2.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 2:10. . , . . . “Thou orderest us to endure, not to love, trials. A man may love to endure, but he does not love what he endures” (Aug. Conf. x. 28). Ill-treatment, as well as misrepresentation, is traced back to a diabolic source, in the common early Christian manner (Weinel, 13 f.). The Imperial authorities ( as in 1 Peter 5:8), although often instigated by the Jews, had the sole power of inflicting imprisonment, in this case for a refusal to worship the emperor’s image; the prophet here predicts an imminent persecution of this kind (compare Acts 9:16, and above Introd. § 6) lasting for a short and limited time ( . see reff., originally due to the rough Semitic division of a month into decades). The local intensity of feeling upon the Imperial cultus may be gathered from the fact that in 23 A.D. Smyrna had secured from Tiberius and the senate, after keen competition, the coveted distinction of possessing the second temple decreed by the province to the Imperial cultus. Hence the struggle anticipated here is desperate ( . .); martyrdom is no remote contingency. Compare Ep. Lugd., where the martyr-crisis is taken as an anticipation of the final persecution (cf.Revelation 3:10; Revelation 13:7-15): “with all his might the adversary assailed us, giving us a hint of what his unbridled advent would be like at the end”; the martyrs “endured nobly all the assaults heaped on them by the mob. They were shouted at, struck, haled about, robbed, stoned, imprisoned; in fact they suffered all that an infuriated mob likes to inflict on enemies and opponents.”—Then follows a commandment with promise: (not ), “show thyself” throughout all degrees of trial and in any emergency. It is more than doubtful if this is a subtle local allusion to the loyalty and local patriotism upon which Sardis prided herself and which she had urged as her plea to Tiberius (Tacit. Ann. iv. 56). On the honours subsequently paid to martyrs in Smyrna, cf. Mart. Polyk. xvii. , (also Euseb. H. E. iv. 15. 46, 47), with the contemporary cry of 4 Ezra 8:27: “Look not at the deeds of the impious but at those who have kept Thy covenants amid affliction” (i.e., the martyrs), also the subsequent Christian honour paid by Hermas (Vis. iii. 1, 2), who reserves the right hand of God for the martyrs who have “suffered for the sake of the Name,” enduring “stripes, imprisonments, great afflictions, crosses, wild beasts”. For , with fut. after imperative, see Ephesians 5:14, James 4:7.— . . Life, the reward assigned in Revelation 2:7 to the triumph of faith is here bestowed upon the loyalty of faith. To hold one’s ground is, under certain circumstances, as trying and creditable as it is under others to win positive successes. The metaphor of . with its royal, sacerdotal, and festal (Song of Solomon 3:11, Isaiah 28:1, Herm. Sim. viii. 2) associations, would call up civic and athletic honours to the local Christians, the latter owing to the famous games at Smyrna, the former from the fact that . frequently occurs also in inscriptions as = public honour for distinguished service (paid, e.g., to Demosthenes and Zeno), whilst the yearly appointment of a priest at Eumeneia to the temple of Zeno was termed (C. B. P. ii. 358). Compare, with the of Revelation 3:4, the sentence in Ep. Lugd. upon the martyrs: , , , and the Greek phrase for noble deeds, (Plut. Pericl. 28).

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-2.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

10. Do not be afraid. You may suffer, but do not fear. The Devil. He is the power behind those who claim to be Jews. [“Jew” in the Bible is applied to different groups of people. Sometimes it means specifically the Pharisees, Sadducees and teachers of the Law (the group who rejected Christ).] Your troubles will last ten days. A definite, full, but short period of time. See Matthew 24:22; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9; 1 Peter 1:6-9. Be faithful to me. Not just until death, but even if it costs you your life! Crown of life. Note the emphasis on victory over death! (See also 2 Timothy 4:7-8. )

 

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 2:10". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-2.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.