Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 2:12

"And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Angel of the Churches;   Church;   Minister, Christian;   Pergamos;   Sword;   Scofield Reference Index - Day (of Jehovah);   Life;   Rewards;   Satan;   Thompson Chain Reference - Angels;   Pergamos;   Spirit, Sword of the;   Sword of the Spirit;   Weapons;   The Topic Concordance - Hate;   Knowledge;   Repentance;   Teaching;   War/weapons;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Angel;   Pergamos;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Asia;   Pergamum;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Patience of God;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Pergamos;   Revelation of John, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Mysia;   Pergamos;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asia;   Magi;   Nicolas;   Pergamum;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Angels;   Ascension of Isaiah;   Manna ;   Pergamus Pergamum ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Pergamos ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Sepharvaim;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Pergamos;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Per'gamos;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Pergamus;   Synagogue;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Revelation of John:;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Apostle and Apostleship;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The angel of the Church in Pergamos - See the description of this place, Revelation 1:11.

Which hath the sharp sword - See on Revelation 1:16; (note). The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, cuts every way; it convinces of sin, righteousness, and judgment; pierces between the joints and the marrow, divides between the soul and spirit, dissects the whole mind, and exhibits a regular anatomy of the soul. It not only reproves and exposes sin, but it slays the ungodly, pointing out and determining the punishment they shall endure. Jesus has the sword with the two edges, because he is the Savior of sinners, and the Judge of quick and dead.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos - See the notes on Revelation 1:20.

These things saith he which hath the sharp sword, … - See the notes on Revelation 1:16. Compare Hebrews 4:12; Ecclesiastes 12:11; Isaiah 49:2. Prof. Stuart suggests that when the Saviour, as represented in the vision, “uttered words, as they proceeded from his mouth, the halitus which accompanied them assumed, in the view of John, the form of an igneous two-edged sword.” It is more probable, however, that the words which proceeded from his mouth did not assume anything like a form or substance, but John means to represent them as if they were a sharp sword. His words cut and penetrate deep, and it was easy to picture him as having a sword proceeding from his mouth; that is, his words were as piercing as a sharp sword. As he was about to reprove the church at Pergamos, there was a propriety in referring to this power of the Saviour. Reproof cuts deep; and this is the idea represented here.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-2.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These things saith he that hath the sharp two-edged sword:

PERGAMUM

Angel of the church ... See references above on this.

The name Pergamum means citadel,[58] but the word parchment, meaning paper of Pergamum, also derives from it.[59] When political jealousy interrupted the supply of papyrus from Egypt, Pergamum invented the method of making paper from the skins of animals; and a great library was built there, which was later moved to Alexandria and consolidated with the library there. The founding of the city lay beyond the mists of long pre-Christian history, but coins were minted there as late as 452 B.C., and possibly much earlier. The principal importance of the place dates from the times of Lysimachus (355 to 281 B.C.), after whom Pergamum continued as a kingdom until Attalus III, upon whose death (133 B.C.) the kingdom was bequeathed to Rome. By Christian times, Pergamum had become the chief center of the Roman emperor-worship, no less than three temples being erected there to Roman emperors,[60] but with many other temples also, to Zeus, Athena, Dionysus, and Asklepios (the serpent-god of healing). Of these, the temple of Zeus (Soter Theos), the "saviour god," had a huge altar 40 feet high carved like a great throne into the face of the mountain dominating the city, perhaps suggesting the words, "where Satan's throne is" (Revelation 2:13). A school of medicine was there, connected with the worship of Asklepios; and the city was also the principal seat of Roman authority in the area. All of these gave the city something of the character of a great imperial cathedral metropolis. It was the Roman sword which constituted the ultimate authority in the times and place of Pergamum, and thus it was most appropriate for John to speak of Christ to them as, "He that hath the sharp two-edged sword," an authority infinitely greater than that of Rome. The sword, of course, is the word of the Son of God.

The climate of Pergamum, religiously, was especially threatening to Christians. "Pergamum had mingled and synthesized the deities of three races, and of three successive periods of their history."[61] With these, they had also combined the worship of the Caesars, temples to both Augustus and Tiberius having already been constructed there when Revelation was written. In this atmosphere, there were some Christians, no doubt, who favored the incorporation of Christianity into the religious life of the community without a collision with the pagan world. As Billy Graham stated it, "The message to the church at Pergamum speaks of the danger of theological compromise ... Their sin was tolerating theological error in their midst."[62]

[58] F. F. Bruce, op. cit., p. 638.

[59] Funk and Wagnall's Standard Dictionary (New York: Funk and Wagnalls Company, 1958), in loco.

[60] E. J. Banks, op. cit., p. 2322.

[61] E. M. Blaiklock, op. cit., p. 106.

[62] Billy Graham, The Seven Churches of Asia in Christianity Today (Dover, New Jersey: Christianity Today, 1978), Vol. XXIII, No. 4, November 17,1978, p. 20.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "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

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,.... Of the city of Pergamos; see Gill on Revelation 1:11. In it was a church of Christ, but when it begun, and how long it lasted, is not certain. Antipas, who is mentioned, Revelation 2:13; is thought, by some, to have been the pastor of it. Though, according to the Apostolical ConstitutionsF19L. 7. c. 46. , Caius was the first bishop of it; and it appears, that in the "second" century there were several in this place that suffered martyrdom for Christ, as Carpus, Papulus, and a woman whose name was AgathoniceF20Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 4. c. 15. . Attalus, the martyr, who suffered in the same century, was also a native of this placeF21Ib. l. 5. c. 1. . In the "fifth" century there was a bishop of Pergamos in the council at Ephesus; and in the "sixth" century, there was one in the "fifth" synod at Constantinople; and in the "seventh" century, Theodorus, bishop of the church here, was in the sixth synod held at the same place; and in the "eighth" century one Pastilas was bishop of Pergamos; and in the same age, Basil, bishop of this place, was in the Nicene synodF23Hist. Eccl. Magdeburgh. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 3. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 4. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 3. c. 10. p. 254. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 4. ; and the Christian name now is not wholly, though almost extinct; for when our countryman, Dr. SmithF24Notitia, p. 120. , was there, there was a little church called St. Theodore's, whither a priest was frequently sent from Smyrna, to perform divine service, there being but a very few Christian families in it. This church represents the church from the time of Constantine, and onward, rising up to, and enjoying great power, riches, and honour Pergamos signifies high and lofty; things that were sublime and lofty, were, by the Greeks, called τα περγαμα, and also all high and lofty towersF25Servius in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 1. p. 403, & l. 2. p. 633. Ed Basil. 1586. . It was built under a very high and steep mountain, upon the top of which a tower was erected, by the lords of the lesser Asia, which still continuesF26Smith. Notitia, p. 112. . The church it represents had its principal seat at Rome, where Satan dwelt, Revelation 2:13; which signifies exalted likewise; and it introduces the man of sin, antichrist, the popes of Rome, who exalted themselves above all that is called God, princes, kings, and emperors; whom they excommunicated, dethroned, trod upon their necks, kicked off their crowns, and obliged them to hold their stirrups while they mounted their horses, with other haughty action, too many to name,

These things, saith he, which hath the sharp sword with two edges: of which See Gill on Revelation 1:16; This title is used partly to show, that the only weapon this church, and the true ministers and members of it had, to defend themselves against the growing corruptions of antichrist, who in this interval rose up by degrees, and was revealed, and came to the height of his power, was the word of God, the Scriptures of truth; and partly to show, that in process of time, though not in this period, the man of sin should be destroyed, with the breath of Christ's mouth, and the brightness of his coming; of which his fighting against the Nicolaitans, with the sword of his mouth, Revelation 2:16; is an emblem,

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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 2:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-2.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

11 And to the angel of the church in d Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

(11) The third passage is to the pastors of Pergamos. The introduction is taken from (Revelation 1:16).

(d) Pergamos was the name of a famous city of old in Asia, where the kings of the Attalians were always resident.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-2.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

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

he which hath the sharp sword with two edges — appropriate to His address having a twofold bearing, a searching power so as to convict and convert some (Revelation 2:13, Revelation 2:17), and to convict and condemn to punishment others (Revelation 2:14-16, especially Revelation 2:16; compare also see on Revelation 1:16).

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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 2:12". "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

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

The sharp two-edged sword (την ρομπαιαν την διστομον την οχειανtēn romphaian tēn distomon tēn oxeian). This item repeated from Revelation 1:16 in the same order of words with the article three times (the sword the two-mouthed the sharp) singling out each point.

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "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

Pergamos

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

The sharp sword with two edges

See on Revelation 1:16.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "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

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

The sword — With which I will cut off the impenitent, verse16. Revelation 2:16

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-2.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

As sharp sword; spoken of particularly Revelation 1:16.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-2.html. 1878.

Scofield's Reference Notes

angel

(See Scofield "Hebrews 1:4").

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 2:12". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-2.html. 1917.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE CHURCH IN PERGAMOS

‘And to the angel of the Church in Pergamos write.’

Revelation 2:12

The Church in Pergamos, with its constancy and self-devotion, and yet with the canker of grave moral and doctrinal evil, is surely typical of all communities, whether religious or civil, which are to a great extent in a sound and healthy condition, but are weakened and degraded by some deep-seated disease.

I. Take our modern English civilisation as a whole.—There is so much in it that is deserving of respect and admiration. But side by side with them are features to which none of us can shut our eyes, and which are of a very different character. As long as this side of our modern civilisation continues to be so dark and awful, can we really say that things are well with us, and that we have as a nation no reason to fear the Divine verdict? Is there not a very real and grim possibility of our fatally deceiving ourselves as to our standing as a people in the sight of Him ‘from Whom no secrets are hid’? Has the Judge before Whom ‘all the nations shall be gathered’ no cause for indignation—indignation stern and fierce—when such evils and shames are left by us to go on with no adequate effort to check them? These epistles, and not least this particular epistle to the Church in Pergamos, show us clearly that great virtues are not necessarily accepted by God as a set-off against gross sins. ‘I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth’ is ever his warning to those communities in which are found crying moral scandals; and in that ‘war’ all who have tolerated them must surely be to some extent fellow-sufferers with those who have actually committed them. ‘I will make war against them.’ The words ought to rouse us to strive with all our might against our sins and vices as a people, to stir us to clear out the various plague-spots in our cities or neighbourhoods, to eradicate the foul weeds which defile our national garden. We may not, we dare not, we cannot, let these things go on. We must make unceasing war upon them. We must make war upon them or God will make war upon us. ‘The wrath of God is revealed from heaven’—writes the Apostle to the Gentiles—‘against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold down the truth in unrighteousness.’ Woe indeed to us if it be revealed against us.

II. Has not the Church in Pergamos also its counterpart in individual life?—Are not these Nicolaitans, these propagators of the iniquity of Balaam, these who taught evil and tempted into open sin, representative of the dark blots to be found in characters which are otherwise clean and pure? There are such blots—not the infirmities and frailties of the saint, but shameful illustrations of guilt—in the natures of only too many of us. ‘I have a few things against thee’ was the warning to the angel of the Pergamene Church; but those ‘few things’ were provocative of the Divine vengeance. May it not be no with ourselves, with our own souls?

III. ‘To him that overcometh.’—Yes, upon him that is victor over his sins and temptations, ‘the Giver of all good things’ bestows rewards beyond all thought. ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard’ the wondrous gifts which await those who are ‘more than conquerors’ through the strength of Him Who died and rose again.

—Rev. the Hon. W. E. Bowen.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/revelation-2.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

Ver. 12. And to the angel] {See Trapp on "Revelation 2:1"} {See Trapp on "Revelation 1:16"}

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-2.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 2:12. To the angel of the church in Pergamos Pergamos, formerly the metropolis of the Hellespontic Mysia, and the seat of the Attalick kings, is, by the Turks, with some little variation, still called Bergamo, and has its situation about 64 miles to the north of Smyrna. Here are good buildings, but more ruins: The place is almost wholly occupied by the Turks, very few families of Christians being left, whose state is very deplorable. Here is only one church remaining, dedicated to St. Theodorus: and that the name of Christ is not wholly lost and forgotten in Pergamos, is owing to the care of the metropolitan of Smyrna, who continually sends a minister to perform the sacred offices. The cathedral church of St. John is buried in its own ruins, its angel or bishop removed, and its fair pillars adorn the graves of its destroyers, the Turks, who are estimated to be two or three thousand souls in number. Its other fine church, called Santa Sophia, is turned into a mosque, and daily profaned with the blasphemies of Mahomet. There are not, in the whole town, above a dozen or fifteen families of Christians, who till the ground to gain their bread, and live in the most abject and sordid service. There is the less reason to wonder at the wretched condition of this church, when we consider that it was the very throne of Satan, Revelation 2:13 that they ran greedily after the error of Balaam, Revelation 2:14 and that they held the impure doctrine of the Nicolaitans. It was denounced to them to repent, or else Christ would come unto them quickly, and fight against them, Revelation 2:16 as the event proves that he has done.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-2.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

In these verses is contained the third epistle, which St. John by direction had written and sent to the church of Pergamos, in which (as in the former) we have,

1. A description of Christ, as having a sharp two-edged sword in his mouth; denoting the word of God, and that piercing power which accompanies it to conquer the lusts and corruptions of men.

As also, 2. A commendation of what was good and excelling in that church, I know thy works; that is, with a knowledge of intelligence and observation, as also with a knowledge of approbation and acceptation. I know thee to be good in bad places, and in the worst of times, though thou dwellest where Satan's seat is, that is, where Satan bears sway by idolatry and persecution: yet dost thou hold fast my name, that is, the doctrine of the gospel preached in my name, and by which I am made known to the world as a man is by his name; and hast not denied my faith, but openly professed it in a time of persecution, even then when blood and slaughter attended the professors and profession of it, namely, when Antipas was slain, (who probably was a bishop, or some minister in Pergamos, of extraordinary piety; for upon such the storm of persecution generally falls;) who died a faithful witness to the truth of my gospel; even then and there, I say, hadst thou the courage to profess my name, and bear witness to the truth.

Mark here, What an honourable mention Christ makes of the services and sufferings of his people; nothing we either do or suffer for Christ, but it is recorded, and shall be remembered to our commendation and honour in this life, and to our consolation and happiness in the next.

Yet note farther, The holy impartiality of our blessed Lord; at the same time when he commends this church for what was commendable and praiseworthy, he reproves her for what was faulty and blameworthy, Revelation 2:14. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, and the Nicolaitans; that is, the doctrine of the impure Gnostics, who teach men now to eat things offered to idols, and to commit fornication, even as Balaam of old directed Balak to ensnare the Israelites, by committing fornication with the Moabitish women, and to eat of what they sacrificed unto idols then.

Here observe, That it was not the being of those heretics and heresies among them that Christ blames them for, but the tolerating of these in their communion, who made light both of adultery and idolatry. They ought to have executed church discipline upon them, and denounced the church censures against them, as had been done by the church of Ephesus before them, that Christ might have said of them, as he did of those, Revelation 2:6. Thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Observe next, The counsel which Christ gives this church, Repent; that is, be humbled for this thy connivance at and tolerating of this wicked sect and damnable doctrine, and amend, or verily I will come quickly upon thee and them in a way of judgment; and fight against them with a two-edged sword, that is, with my holy word, convince, wound, and condemn them, &c. The want of zeal and severity against sin and incorrigible sinners, is very displeasing to Christ, and provokes him to anger greatly.

Observe lastly, The conclusion and close of this epistolary letter, which is partly exhortatory, He that hath ears, let him hear, and with his mind ponder and consider what the Spirit saith, by way of counsel and caution, unto the churches; and partly consolatory, To him that overcometh will I give, &c.

Mark, he doth not say, to every one that fighteth; no, not to every one that conquereth in one, two, or more particular acts of resistance; but to him that perseveringly conquers, and finally overcomes both tempter and temptations, both persecutors and persecutions, both false teachers and false doctrines, to them will I give the hidden manna, laid up, not in the earthly tabernacle, but the heavenly sanctuary; by which understand Christ himself, and the joys and consolations of the Holy Spirit, which are hidden from the world, and the peculiar portion of such as sincerely believe in him, and cheerfully suffer for him.

It is added, I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name; that is, absolution and pardon of sin, together with the privilege of adoption; it being a custom anciently, to give a white stone in token of absolution, and a black stone as a sign of condemnation, on which stones were written the names of the innocent and guilty; accordingly this new name signifies God's pardoned and adopted ones; the sweetness and comfort of which privilege no man knows, but he that is possessed of it: the happiness of God's sons both here and hereafter cannot be expressed; only they that are so, know what it is to be so: and whereas Christ says, I will give the hidden manna, I will give the white stone and the new name, to them that overcome; surely it affords a good argument to convince and prove his divinity; who but a God can pardon sin, and sanctify and save sinners?

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-2.html. 1700-1703.

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

Revelation 2:12. The designation of Christ(1112) looks forward to the threat, Revelation 2:16.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-2.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Pergamos was a famous city of Troas; we read of Pergamos no where else in Scripture, but of Troas we read of Paul’s being there, Acts 16:8,11 20:5,6, and preaching Christ there, 2 Corinthians 2:12.

These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges: see the notes on Revelation 1:16.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". 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

Ангелу См. пояснение к 1:20.

Пергамской Пергам означает «крепость»; от названия этого города произошло слово «пергамент» – материал для письма, сделанный из кожи животных, который, вероятно, впервые был получен в этой местности. Пергам (совр. Бергамо) был построен на холме в 1000 футов (305 м) высотой в широкой плодородной долине в 20 милях (32 км) от Эгейского моря. В течение 250 лет он служил столицей Римской провинции Малая Асия и был важным религиозным центром языческих культов Афины, Асклепия, Диониса (или Бахуса) и Зевса. Это был первый город в Асии, в котором был построен храм цезарю (29 до Р.Х.) и который стал столицей культа поклонения цезарю.

острый с обеих сторон меч См. примечание к 1:16.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-2.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The sharp sword with two edges; see note to chap Revelation 1:16.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-2.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

The Letter To The Church in Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17).

‘And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write, These things says he who has the sharp two-edged sword.’

Taken from Revelation 1:16 this description suggests that the church in Pergamum is being reminded that it will be especially sifted, and if necessary exposed, by the word of God and judgment, because of the heresy in its midst. It may also be contrasting the glorious Son of Man with the throne of Satan (v. 13), the One having the word of truth the other the words of lies.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-2.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

1. Destination and description of Christ2:12

Pergamum (modern Bergama) lay about55 miles north of Smyrna inland a few miles from the Aegean coast. The meaning of the name "Pergamum" is "citadel." The town was noteworthy for three reasons. It was a center for many pagan religious cults, and emperor worship was more intense there than in any other surrounding city. [Note: Barclay, Letters to . . ., p45.] Second, it boasted a university with a large library. Third, it was the leader and center of the production of parchment.

Jesus Christ described Himself as the One who judges with His Word (cf. Revelation 1:16; Revelation 19:15; Revelation 19:21). God"s Word separates believers from the world and sinners from God. This is perhaps its double-edged quality. Or perhaps life and death are in view. Roman officials who had the right to carry this sword (Gr. hromphaia, cf. Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:16) had the power of life and death in cases of capital offenses.

"It is interesting that Pergamum was a city to which Rome had given the rare power of capital punishment (ius gladii), which was symbolized by the sword. The Christians in Pergamum were thus reminded that though they lived under the rule of an almost unlimited imperium, they were citizens of another kingdom-that of him who needs no other sword than that of his mouth ..." [Note: Johnson, p440. Cf. G. B. Caird, The Revelation of St. John the Divine, p38.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "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

The letter to the church at Pergamos.--2:12-17.

1. "He which hath the sharp sword with two edges"-- 2:12.

The sword is an instrument of war, hence Christ threatened to wage war against the church in Pergamos, because of the evils within it, with the weapon designated "the sword of my mouth." A sword of the mouth would necessarily be the spoken word, and it meant the employment of the two-edged sword of his word (Hebrews 4:12), as a dual condemnation of the outside espionage of Satan's seat in Pergamos, and the inside sabotage of Balaam's doctrine within the church itself--the combined infiltration of pagan secular practices on one hand, and the Nicolaitane spiritual contaminations of erroneous doctrines on the other hand.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "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 2:12. The third church addressed is that of Pergamos, now generally written Pergamum, a city which, in every thing except commerce, rivalled the most celebrated cities of Asia at the time. Without in any degree attempting to trace its history, which in no way concerns us here, it may simply be remarked that in the apostolic age Pergamos was especially noted for its worship of AEsculapius the god of medicine. With the genuine pursuit of medicine, however, there was then mixed up a great variety of other inquiries, which, dealing with the secret springs of life, and with drugs, philters, and potions, whose methods of operation no one could explain, invested the healing art with an air of impenetrable mystery. Licentiousness and wickedness of every kind were the inevitable result. Add to all this the temptations of wealth, learning, and art, together with an apparently indiscriminate worship of many deities, and we need not be surprised that Satan had at Pergamos an almost peculiar seat, and that what the Old Testament condemns under the name of witchcraft—or attempts to traffic with any spirit, however evil, in order to obtain knowledge or gratify desire—was more than ordinarily prevalent among the inhabitants of the city.

Again, as before, we meet first of all a description of Him from whom the Epistle comes. It is taken from chap. Revelation 1:16. Two only of the three characteristics there mentioned of the sword are here referred to, but it will be observed that the third meets us in Revelation 2:16,—an illustration of that style of the Apocalypse which leads it to scatter its details of the same object in different parts of the book, so that we have often to bring them together from great distances before we learn to know the object as a whole.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-2.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

-17

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-2.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Pergamos. A city of Mysia famous for the worship of Aesculapius, to whom the title of soter (saviour) was given and whose emblem was the serpent. Identified with Apollo; compare Acts 16:16. Some trace the Babylonian pagan priesthood as removing to Pergamos. there them that 1hold the doctrine

He Which hath, &c. See Revelation 1:16.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "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

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

Trench prefers Pergamus, or Pergamum: on the river Caicus. Capital of Attalus the Second's kingdom, bequeathed by him to the Romans, 133 BC Famous for its library, founded by Eumenes (197 BC - 159 BC), and destroyed by Caliph Omar. Parchment - i:e., Pergemena charta-was here discovered for book purposes. Also, famous for the magnificent temple of Esculapius, the healing god (Tacitus, Annals, 3:, 63).

He which hath the sharp sword with two edges - His address having a twofold bearing, a searching power to convict and convert some (Revelation 2:13; Revelation 2:17), and to condemn others (Revelation 2:14-16, especially Revelation 2:16 : cf. note, Revelation 1:16).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "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

(12) Pergamos.—Unlike Ephesus and Smyrna, Pergamos was not distinguished as a commercial city. Its importance was due to other causes. A striking coneshaped hill rose from the plain which bordered the northern banks of the Caicus. The hill was considered sacred. Its value as a strong natural fortress was early recognised, and it was used as a keep and treasury where local chieftains deposited their wealth. Its greatness as a city dated from Eumenes II., who was given by the Romans a large surrounding territory, and who fixed Pergamos as his royal residence. Under his auspices a splendid city—rich in public buildings, temples, art galleries, and with a library which rivalled that of Alexandria—rose into being. It has been described as a city of temples, “a sort of union of a pagan cathedral city, an university town, and a royal residence.” It retained its splendour even after it passed by bequest to the Roman Republic, and was declared by Pliny to be a city unrivalled in the province of Asia.

Sharp sword with two edges.—See Note on Revelation 1:16. The appropriateness of this language to the state of the church in Pergamos will best appear afterwards. (See Note on Revelation 2:15-16.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
the angel
1; 1:11
Pergamos
which hath
16; 1:16; 19:15,21; Isaiah 11:4; Hebrews 4:12
Reciprocal: Judges 3:16 - two edges;  Isaiah 49:2 - he hath made;  Ezekiel 44:15 - the sons;  Zechariah 9:13 - made;  Romans 1:7 - To all;  2 Corinthians 3:3 - the epistle;  Philippians 1:1 - the bishops;  1 Thessalonians 5:12 - and are;  Revelation 1:4 - to the;  Revelation 1:20 - The seven stars;  Revelation 19:9 - Write

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-2.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

THE SPIRIT'S ADDRESS TO PERGAMOS

(Revelation 2:12-17).

PERGAMOS OR PERGAMUM.

12. — "To the angel of the Church in Pergamos write." The most northern of the churches is next addressed. The ancient capital of Mysia still exists under the name of Bergamo, but shorn of its greatness and glory. Pergamos, or Pergamum more generally read, has been described as a "sort of union of a pagan cathedral city, a university town, and a royal residence." Attalus III. bequeathed his city to the great republic; then, and subsequently under the empire, it was considered one of the finest cities in Asia. Distinguished as it was for its idolatry, its learning, and medical science, nevertheless it was, from a Christian standpoint, one of the worst of the seven cities named. Christianity reverses the judgment of the world, inasmuch as it reveals things, principles, and persons in their true relation to God.

THE SHARP SWORD OF JUDGMENT.

12. — "These things says He that has the sharp two-edged sword." The glorious description of Christ, which constitutes the first vision beheld by the Seer (Revelation 1:12-16), is applied in its various parts in the addresses to the churches, or more correctly to their respective angels. The character of Christ to Pergamos is taken from verse 16 of the great introductory vision. There, however, the sword proceeds out of His mouth as denoting the character of judgment, the authority of His Word. Here, it is not said to be out of His mouth, but He has it. In neither passage is the sword seen sheathed, but drawn and ready for instant and thorough work, "sharp and two-edged." The sword is used as a symbol of judgment. It is employed to denote the Lord's vengeance on the guilty world (Revelation 19:15), as also of thorough and unsparing judgment of evil, not on His people, but of evil in them (Hebrews 4:12). Christ ever holds the sword, and uses it on friends and foes alike. He fights against evil, and by the simple authority of His Word it is exposed and judged. To those, whether in the Church or in the world, who refuse to bow before Him and own His absolute authority, the sword must do its mighty and sure work in the execution of judgment; for, be it solemnly remembered, judgment and the execution of it also, are committed to the Son of Man (John 5:22; John 5:27).

The sword is not to wound or kill the angel of the Church, but to be used against those for whose presence in the assembly the angel was responsible (Revelation 2:16).

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "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

The author identifies himself in this place by His possession of the sharp sword with two edges. This refers to the word of God which is described in Hebrews 4:12. The Lord says he hath this sword or that He originated it and has a perfect knowledge of the proper use of it. And to the angel is explained at Revelation 1:20.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". 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 2:12

Revelation 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

And to the Angel of the Church in Pergamos.

See KNOLLYS: Revelation 1:20, and See KNOLLYS: Revelation 2:1 touching the word "Church," and the word "Angel." Pergamos was a city of tolia, in Asia the less, where the Attalian kings kept their court and residence in ancient times, and the Roman governors over that providence had their residence there in John's time. Some writers say, that there was in this city a temple, wherein the devil, by the name of Gsruiapius, used to give answers unto the priests who worshipped in that temple. Certain it Isaiah, there was a true visible constituted church of God planted in this city in the apostles days. { Revelation 1:11}

" These things saith Hebrews, which hath the sharp sword with two edges"

The two-edged sword is the written word of God, { Hebrews 4:12} which is quick and powerful, mighty in operation and sharper that a two-edged sword; call the sword of the Spirit, { Ephesians 6:17} which sword Christ is here said to have, because this sharp two-edged sword is elsewhere said to come out of Christ's mouth, { Revelation 19:15; Revelation 19:21} and is called the sword of his mouth in Revelation 2:16; Revelation 1:16. See the exposition thereof.See KNOLLYS: Revelation 2:16See KNOLLYS: Revelation 1:16

The ministry of the written word of God, when managed by the hand of the Lord is sharp, powerful, and mighty in the operation thereof; by the Holy Spirit upon the consciences and in the hearts of sinners and saints. { Acts 2:37; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; Hebrews 4:12}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-2.html.

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

Revelation 2:12. And to the angel of the church at Pergamos write: These things saith he who has the sharp two-edged sword. The sharp two-edged sword is from ch. Revelation 1:16. "The sharpness," says Bengel, "of this slaughter weapon must be experienced by the impenitent, Revelation 2:16, Revelation 19:21. The angel at Pergamos had, according to the tenor of his future conduct, either to be afraid of this sword on account of his people, or to comfort himself regarding it as assuring him of victory over the enemies." The first aspect is expressly indicated in Revelation 2:16.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-2.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

III. PERGAMOS.—The martyr Church, yet too tolerant of licentious heresy, Revelation 2:12-17.

12.Pergamos—Sixty miles northeast from Smyrna, would bring our apostle on his circuit to Pergamos, (more correct form of the word, Pergamum,) once the celebrated capital of a small kingdom ruled by a succession of noble monarchs. It was the seat of the temple of Esculapius, and once the possessor of a library of 200,000 volumes, collected by one of its kings, but afterwards added to the Alexandrian library in Egypt. But whatever its ancient intellectual or moral fame, it seems to have been in the time of the Apocalypse the headquarters of antichristianity, where the only martyr by John commemorated suffered death. In the other epistles the Churches are rebuked, in this the city is anathematized.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-2.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 2:12. The title is apt in view of Revelation 2:16.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-2.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

12. To the angel of the church in Pergamum. To the evangelist. See note on Revelation 1:20. Sharp two-edged sword. See Revelation 1:16.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 2:12". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-2.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.