Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 2:13

‘I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Antipas;   Church;   Pergamos;   Persecution;   Satan;   Scofield Reference Index - Day (of Jehovah);   Life;   Satan;   The Topic Concordance - Hate;   Knowledge;   Repentance;   Teaching;   War/weapons;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Confessing Christ;   Faithfulness;   Martyrdom;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Antipas;   Martyr;   Satan;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Denial;   Martyr;   Pergamum;   Persecution;   Revelation, book of;   Satan;   Witness;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Patience of God;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Antipas;   Martyr;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Antipas;   Name;   Pergamos;   Revelation of John, the;   Satan;   Throne;   Witnesses;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Antipas;   Asia Minor, Cities of;   Devil, Satan, Evil, Demonic;   Gods, Pagan;   Persecution in the Bible;   Revelation, the Book of;   Rome and the Roman Empire;   Works;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Acts of the Apostles;   Antipas;   Asia;   Magi;   Nicolas;   Peter, Second Epistle of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Antipas ;   Brotherly Love;   Confession (of Christ);   Devil ;   Divination;   Emperor-Worship;   Faithfulness;   Image;   Jezebel;   Luke (2);   Manna ;   Martyr;   Pergamus Pergamum ;   Peter Epistles of;   Self- Denial;   Throne ;   Witness (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Antipas ;   Martyr;   Throne;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Sepharvaim;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Pergamos;   Smith Bible Dictionary - An'tipas;   Nicola'itans;   Per'gamos;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Lodge;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Anitipas;   Pergamus;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Antipas;   Deny;   Martyr;   Name;   Pergamos;   Persecution;   Revelation of John:;   Seat;   Tabernacle;   Witness;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Antipas;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Where Satan's seat is - Ὁπου ὁ θρονος του Σατανα· Where Satan has his throne - where he reigns as king, and is universally obeyed. It was a maxim among the Jews, that where the law of God was not studied, there Satan dwelt; but he was obliged to leave the place where a synagogue or academy was established.

Thou holdest fast my name - Notwithstanding that the profession of Christianity exposed this Church to the bitterest persecution, they held fast the name of Christian, which they had received from Jesus Christ, and did not deny his faith; for when brought to the trial they openly professed themselves disciples and followers of their Lord and Master.

Antipas was my faithful martyr - Who this Antipas was we cannot tell. We only know that he was a Christian, and probably bore some office in the Church, and became illustrious by his martyrdom in the cause of Christ. There is a work extant called The Acts of Antipas, which makes him bishop of Pergamos, and states that he was put to death by being enclosed in a burning brazen bull. But this story confutes itself, as the Romans, under whose government Pergamos then was, never put any person to death in this way. It is supposed that he was murdered by some mob, who chose this way to vindicate the honor of their god Aesculapius, in opposition to the claims of our Lord Jesus.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I know thy works - The uniform mode of addressing the seven churches in these epistles. See the notes on Revelation 2:2.

And where thou dwellest - That is, I know all the temptations to which you are exposed; all the allurements to sin by which you are surrounded; all the apologies which might be made for what has occurred arising from those circumstances; and all that could be said in commendation of you for having been as faithful as you have been. The sense of the passage is, that it does much to enable us to judge of character to know where people live. It is much more easy to be virtuous and pious in some circumstances than in others; and in order to determine how much credit is due to a man for his virtues, it is necessary to understand how much he has been called to resist, how many temptations he has encountered, what easily-besetting sins he may have, or what allurements may have been presented to his mind to draw him from the path of virtue and religion. In like manner, in order to judge correctly of those who have embraced error, or have been led into sin, it is necessary to understand what there may have been in their circumstances that gave to error what was plausible, and to sin what was attractive; what there was in their situation in life that exposed them to these influences, and what arguments may have been employed by the learned, the talented, and the plausible advocates of error, to lead them astray. We often judge harshly where the Saviour would be far less severe in his judgments; we often commend much where in fact there has been little to commend. It is possible to conceive that in the strugglings against evil of those who have ultimately fallen, there may be more to commend than in cases where the path of virtue has been pursued as the mere result of circumstances, and where there never has been a conflict with temptation. The adjudications of the great day will do much to reverse the judgments of mankind.

Even where Satan‘s seat is - A place of special wickedness, as if Satan dwelt there. Satan is, as it were, enthroned there. The influence of Satan in producing persecution is what is particularly alluded to, as is apparent from the reference which is immediately made to the case of Antipas, the “faithful martyr.”

And thou holdest fast my name - They had professed the name of Christ; that is, they had professed to be his followers, and they had steadfastly adhered to him and his cause in all the opposition made to him. The name Cristian, given in honor of Christ, and indicating that they were his disciples, they had not been ashamed of or denied. It was this name that subjected the early Christians to reproach. See 1 Peter 4:14.

And hast not denied my faith - That is, hast not denied my religion. The great essential element in the Christian religion is faith, and this, since it is so important, is often put for the whole of religion.

Even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr - Of Antipas we know nothing more than is here stated. “In the Acta Sanctorum (2, pp. 3,4) is a martyrology of Antipas from a Greek ms.; but it is full of fable and fiction, which a later age had added to the original story” (Prof. Stuart, in loco).

Who was slain among you - It would seem from this that, though the persecution had raged there, but one person had been put to death. It would appear also that the persecution was of a local character, since Pergamos is described as “Satan‘s seat”; and the death of Antipas is mentioned in immediate connection with that fact. All the circumstances referred to would lead us to suppose that this was a popular outbreak, and not a persecution carried on under the authority of government, and that Antipas was put to death in a popular excitement. So Stephen Acts 14:19.

Where Satan dwelleth - The repetition of this idea - very much in the manner of John - showed how intensely the mind was fixed on the thought, and how much alive the feelings were to the malice of Satan as exhibited at Pergamos.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-2.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

I know where thou dwellest, even where Satan's throne is; and thou holdest fast my name, and didst not deny my faith, even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwelleth.

I know where thou dwellest ... Repeatedly, this affirmation of the omniscience of the Master emphasizes the truth that all things are open and naked to the eyes of the Lord.

Where Satan's throne is ... See under preceding verse.

Holdest fast my name ... See under Revelation 2:3.

And didst not deny my faith ... The usage of "faith" in this verse is significant, standing, as it so frequently does in the New Testament, for the Christian religion.

Even in the days of Antipas ... who was killed ... Nothing is known of this Christian martyr except what is written here. The inference is that he died for his faith and that the event was known widely in the church.

Where Satan dwelleth ... In all probability, like the expression above, "where Satan's throne is," this is a reference to the pagan emperor-cult which was centered in Pergamum. "It was a power which was then testing the church and had effected the death of Antipas."[63]

Caird gives an extensive analysis of the arguments that might have been advanced by the compromise party in Pergamum, to the effect that "All that the emperors really wanted was a gesture of political loyalty,"[64] that actually the pagan "gods" were really "nothing," and that gestures of honor given them were without meaning, etc.; but Blaiklock explains the adamant refusal of Christians to participate in such things thus:

Allow the pinch of incense before the emperor and the landslide would begin. The guild-feasts would follow, a problem for Christians in Thyatira. Then would come the immoralities of Corinth's worship of Aphrodite, and the breakdown of Christian morality, the sanctities of Christian marriage, the whole challenging distinctiveness of the Christian faith, the whole purpose of its being.[65]

[63] Isbon T. Beckwith, op. cit., p. 458.

[64] G. B. Caird, op. cit., p. 34.

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

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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 2:13". "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

I know thy works,.... Both good and bad, and which in that pure part of this church, which opposed the growing corruptions of antichrist, were for the most part good,

And where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is. Pergamos was a city very much given to idolatry, here Satan reigned while it was Pagan, and so was a fit emblem of the idolatrous church of Rome. Pausanias saysF1L. 1. sive Attica, p. 8. , the country the Pergamenes inhabited was sacred to the Cabiri, the chief gods of the Heathens. And the same writerF2L. 3. sive Laconica, p. 215. observes, that Aesculapius particularly was worshipped at Pergamos; and hence he is called by MartialF3L. 9. Epig. 14. the Pergamean god; to his temple here, men used to go from different parts of the world for cure of diseases; hither Antoninus the emperor went for such a purpose, as HerodianF4Hist. l. 4. c. 14. relates; and this being a common thing, hence LucianF5In Icaro Menippo. scoffingly says, that Aesculapius had an apothecary's shop at Pergamos. As Rome, and its dominions, were the principal seat of the church in this period of time, it may well be called Satan's seat or throne; not only because it had been the seat of the Roman emperors, the ten horned and seven headed beast, Revelation 13:2; but because it was the seat of antichrist, which the great dragon Satan gave him, whose coming was after the working of Satan, and he was influenced by him; and who, like Satan, exalted himself above all that is called God; yea, placed himself in the temple of God, the church, as God, showing himself to be God, assuming that power to himself which only belonged to God. Moreover, he may be called so for his enmity and malice against the saints, and for his art and subtlety, and insidious methods to ensnare and destroy them. Now to dwell where such an one has his seat, his throne, has a kingdom, power, and authority, must be very uncomfortable, as well as dangerous; and required great care, circumspection, and prudence how to behave: and yet to the commendation of this church it is said,

and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith: the pure members of this church are the two witnesses, which rose up at the beginning of the apostasy of Rome, and bore their testimony against it, and for the truth; and continued to do so amidst all the corruptions and persecutions of that state: these are the two olive trees, that, through the golden pipes of the word and ordinances, emptied the golden oil of Gospel truths out, of themselves, pure and incorrupt, and the two candlesticks that held forth the light of the Gospel in the darkest times of Popery; these held fast the name of Christ, or the Gospel, and denied not, but confessed the doctrine of faith in the worst of times. They had the truths of the Gospel in their possession, which were dear and valuable to them; and whereas there was danger of losing them, they held them fast, with great courage, magnanimity, and strength, though the greater number was against them, and they were attended with reproach and persecution:

even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. Antipas is the proper name of a man; so a son of Herod was calledF6Joseph. Antiqu. l. 17. c. 1. sect. 3. De Bello Jud. l. 1. c. 28. sect. 4. , even he that beheaded John, and mocked Christ: and there might be a man of this name at Pergamos, that might suffer martyrdom for the Gospel of Christ; and who was an emblem of the confessors, witnesses, and martyrs, that suffered for Christ, in this period of time, through their opposition to the popes of Rome; for Antipas is the contraction of Antipater, and is the same with Antipapas, or Antipappas, which signifies one that is against the pope, an opposer of that holy father; and so intends all those that made head against him, upon his rising and revelation, and when he assumed the power he did to himself; such as the Waldenses and Albigenses particularly, who set themselves against him, openly declared that the pope was antichrist, and that his government was tyrannical, and his doctrines the doctrines of devils, abominable and fabulous. They bore a faithful testimony against all his corruptions and innovations, and became martyrs in the cause of Christ, many thousands of them being slain for his sake within the dominions of this firstborn of Satan. The Alexandrian copy reads "Anteipas"; and his name is left out in the Syriac and Arabic versions,

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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 2:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-2.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

12 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, [even] where Satan's seat [is]: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in e those days wherein Antipas [was] my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

(12) The proposition of praise is in this verse, of reprehension in the two following, and of exhortation joined with a conditional threat (Revelation 2:16). Now this Antipas was the angel or minister of the church of Pergamos, as Aretas writes.

(e) The faith of those at Pergamos is so much the more highly commended, because they remained constant even in the very heat of persecution.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-2.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

I know thy works — Two oldest manuscripts omit this clause; one oldest manuscript retains it.

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

even in those days — Two oldest manuscripts omit “even”; two retain it.

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

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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 2:13". "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

Where (πουοπουpou- Πουhopou). οπουPou is interrogative adverb used here in an indirect question as in John 1:39. πουHopou is relative adverb referring to ο τρονος του Σαταναpou Satan‘s throne (κρατεις το ονομα σουho thronos tou Satanā). Satan not simply resided in Pergamum, but his “throne” or seat of power of king or judge (Matthew 19:28; Luke 1:32, Luke 1:52). The symbol of Asklepios was the serpent as it is of Satan (Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:2). There was, besides, a great throne altar to Zeus cut on the Acropolis rock, symbol of “rampant paganism” (Swete) and the new Caesar-worship with the recent martyrdom of Antipas made Pergamum indeed a very throne of Satan.

Holdest fast my name (κρατεωkrateis to onoma sou). Present active indicative of Κυριος Καισαρkrateō “dost keep on holding,” as in Revelation 2:25, Revelation 3:11. This church refused to say Κυριος ΙησουςKurios Kaisar (Martyrd. Polyc. 8f.) and continued to say ουκ ηρνησωKurios Iēsous (1 Corinthians 12:3). They stood true against the emperor-worship.

Didst not deny (αρνεομαιouk ērnēsō). First aorist middle second person singular of την πιστιν μουarneomai Reference to a specific incident not known to us.

My faith (Αντιπαςtēn pistin mou). Objective genitive, “thy faith in me.”

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

My witness (ο πιστος μουho martus mou). Nominative in apposition with a genitive as in Revelation 1:5 (with ablative), common solecism in the Apocalypse. “Witness” as Jesus had said they should be (Acts 1:8) and Stephen was (Acts 22:20) and others were (Revelation 17:6). The word later (by third century) took on the modern meaning of martyr.

My faithful one (μουho pistos mou). Nominative also, with απεκταντηmou also. Jesus gives Antipas his own title (Swete) as in Revelation 1:5; Revelation 3:14. Faithful unto death.

Was killed (αποκτεινωapektanthē). First aorist passive indicative of παρ υμινapokteinō this passive form common in the Apocalypse (Revelation 2:13; Revelation 6:11; Revelation 9:5, Revelation 9:15, Revelation 9:18, Revelation 9:20; Revelation 11:13; Revelation 13:10; Revelation 19:21).

Among you (οπου ο Σατανας κατοικειpar humin). By your side. Proof of the throne of Satan, “where Satan dwells” (hopou ho Satanās katoikei), repeated for emphasis.

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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 2:13". "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

Dwellest ( κατοικεῖς )

See on Luke 11:26; see on Acts 2:5.

Seat ( θρόνος )

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

Holdest fast ( κρατεῖς )

See on Matthew 7:3; see on Acts 3:11.

My name

See on 1 John 1:7.

My faith

See on Acts 6:7.

Antipas

There is no other record of this martyr.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "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

I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Where the throne of Satan is — Pergamos was above measure given to idolatry: so Satan had his throne and full residence there.

Thou holdest fast my name — Openly and resolutely confessing me before men.

Even in the days wherein Antipas — Martyred under Domitian.

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

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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.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-2.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Where Satan's seat is. This expression implies that idolatry or corruption, or the spirit of persecution, held unusual sway at Pergamos. The allusion at the close of the verse seems to refer to the latter of these sins.--Who was slain among you, &c. No information in respect to this case, excepting what is contained in this allusion to it, has been preserved.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-2.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Ver. 13. Even where Satan’s seat is] There was the court of King Attalus ( discedat ab aula Qui velit esse pius; " flee thee away, O thou seer, for this is the king’s court," Amos 7:13), and there was afterwards the seat of the Roman persecuting proconsuls, Qui ab ascensore suo Satana perurgebantur, as Bernard hath it. Such a seat of Satan is both old and new Rome. At Constantinople (which was called new Rome) Arius, that arch-heretic, sedens in latrina effudit intestina, voided his entrails at the stool, and left Mahometism there behind him as his excrement. Yet, as at Pergamos also God had a Church, so hath he still even at Constantinople; the patriarch whereof, Cyril, hath lately set forth a confession of the faith of those Eastern Churches, agreeable in all points almost to the Protestant religion, but diametrically opposite to Popery.

Thou holdest fast] κρατεις, as with tooth and nail, or by main strength.

Who was slain] An honour not granted to the angels of heaven, as Latimer was wont to say.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-2.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 2:13. Even where Satan's seat is: Satan's throne; the place where he has great power. It is probable, that the Heathens were there particularly furious against the Christians. Now, where there are persecutions, there Satan dwelleth and reigneth. See ch. Revelation 12:10. The church of Pergamos, to incite them to future fidelity and a holy conduct, is here commended for things which they had done; for having courageouslymaintained their faith in the time of persecution, which is here pointed at by a particular instance; namely, when Antipas suffered martyrdom. It is likely that many of that church suffered then, andthat Antipas their bishop, by his death, put an end to the persecution, as Polycarp did afterwards.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-2.html. 1801-1803.

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

Revelation 2:13. The ποῦ κατοικ. is immediately afterwards described more accurately: ὅπου θρ. τ. σατ. This in itself does not contain a commendation, but serves as a commendation only as the church remains faithful although dwelling where Satan’s seat is, which is communicated by the more emphatic and explicit repetition at the close of ὅπου σατ. κατοικεῖ.(1113) It is a matter of importance, however, that the Lord first of all simply testifies, for its consolation, to his knowledge of the nature of his church’s abode: ὅπου θρόνος τοῦ σατανᾶ. At all events, this(1114) points to the city of Pergamos as the place of the church; and hence the explanation is incorrect, according to which the godless enemies of Christ and his believers are represented(1115) as Satan’s throne.(1116) There is nothing to support the opinion(1117) that Satan’s throne was in Pergamos as the chief abode of the worship of Aesculapius, whose symbol was the serpent; for if, on account of his serpent, John would have desired to designate Aesculapius directly as the Devil(1118) (which would have been inappropriate, as, according to 1 Corinthians 10:20, that particular ἔιδωλον can be only one δαι΄όνιον among many), he would at least have indicated it by θρ. τοῦ δράκοντος. We must first, with Andreas,(1119) think of a remarkable flourishing of idol-worship in general, if the remark of And. that Perg. was κατείδωλος ὑπὲρ τὴν ʼασίαν πᾶσαν (given to idolatry above all Asia) would have an historical foundation. That Perg. is called the seat of Satan as the abode of heathen and Nicolaitans,(1120) is partly too general, and partly contrary to the meaning of Revelation 2:14. The only correct view is the reference, understood already by N. de Lyra, to the persecution of the church, ascribed also in Revelation 2:10 to the Devil;(1121) decidedly in favor of this explanation is the ὅπου σατ. κατοικεῖ in its connection with ἀπεκτάνθη παρʼ ὑ΄ῖν. Only in Perg. had Satan been able to proceed so far as to shed the blood of martyrs. Whether this was caused by the adherence of the heathen with special fanaticism to their Aesculapius;(1122) or the fact that Perg., as the seat of supreme jurisdiction,(1123) most readily offered a theatre for persecutions;(1124) or, finally, that only particularly hostile individuals(1125) to be sought among the heathen, because not further designated,(1126) were present in Perg.,—it is not possible to decide.

καὶ κρατεῖς, κ. τ. λ. The holding fast(1127) of Christ’s name, which continues still to the present ( κρατεῖς, pres.), has already approved itself on some special opportunity ( καὶ οὐκ ἠρνήσω, aor.). As the κρατεῖς corresponds to the contrasted ἠρνῆσω, so τὸ ὄνομα μου is parallel with τὴν πίστιν μου. The former is the objective, and the latter the subjective nature. Christ’s ὄνομα which is held fast by believers is not “the profession of doctrine delivered by Christ”(1128) or the confession of his name,(1129) but the name of Christ appears as something in itself objective, so that one may have, hold, and lose, confess and deny it, yea, even, it may work,(1130) as the name of Christ comprises the true objective person of Christ together with his riches and glory. The κρατεῖν τὸ ὄνομα occurs in the sense of this passage, of course, only by faithful, frank confession, but not simply “in life and faith.”(1131) The corresponding inner item (Romans 10:10) is faith in the Lord: τ. πίστ. μου, objective genitive.(1132)

καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ʼαντίπας, κ. τ. λ. The correct text, with which the Vulg. in the critical recension agrees,(1133) i.e., in which before ʼαντίπας neither αἱς nor ἐν αἰς nor ἐμαῖς is to be read, but on the contrary before ἀπεκτ. there is a ὃς,(1134) is not explicable by the conjecture that the gen. ʼαντίπα may have stood originally in the text,(1135) nor by the idea that ʼαντίπας is used as indeclinable, and the form here is intended as genitive;(1136) for both conjectures, in themselves having little probability, are made doubly difficult by the nominative appos. μαρτ. ό πιστ., since here it is hard to accept the explanation which is in place in Revelation 1:5, where what is said, is of Christ himself. Grotius assumes an ellipsis and a transposition by thus analyzing the sentence: ἐν τ. ἡμ. ʼαντίπα, ὃς ʼαντίπας

ἀπεκτάνθη. Ebrard, who, however, reads αἰς before ʼαντ., explains the anacoluthon in the sentence by the supposition that the originally intended construction αἰς ʼαντίπας

ἀπεκτάνθη was abandoned, because the chief verb ἀπεκτ. is added as an explanation of the words ό μαρτ. μ. ό πιστ., and thus a relative sentence originated which contains the verb properly belonging to ʼαντίπας. But even the latter explanation does not naturally appear in the simple members of which the entire sentence consists. Primas, N. de Lyra, C. a Lap., and other catholic expositors,(1137) have correctly hit the sense by following the explanatory reading of the Vulg. “in diebus illis,” for if also the mere article cannot have directly the force of a demonstrative, yet it marks the precise days in which the church did not deny the faith: “and in the day Antipas” (namely: was) “my faithful witness who,” etc. It is designedly that the commendation of the church is still further enhanced by the circumstance especially added ( καί), that one witness, in the days when the whole church faithfully gave its testimony, was faithful even unto death. The reference to the οὐκ ἠρνήσω. τ. πίστιν μου is indicated also by the expression μαρτ. μου πίστος,(1138) as then also the παρʼ ὑμῖν and the repeated ὅπου σατ. κατοικεῖ in this connection are significant.

Of the martyr Antipas, nothing historical is known. Whether his martyrdom, noticed by Andreas, were related already perhaps from the account, contained in the later martyrologies and menologies, viz., that Antipas as bishop of Pergamos under Domitian was put to death in a glowing brazen ox, we do not know. The interpretations of the name as ἀντι- πᾶς, i.e., “Against all,” therefore, child of God, and hence enemy of the whole world,(1139) or Anti-papa,(1140) are wrecked by grammar, which teaches that ἀντίπας is similar to ἀντίπατρος.(1141) Coccejus, for this reason, wants to find in Antipas the confessor of Athanasianism, since ἀντίπατρος resembles ἰσόπατρος, and this again ὁμοούσιος. Vitringa adds, yet, that the mystical Pergamos where this mystical Antipas was slain, viz., again mystically, by banishment, or, in general, by hinderance of confession, is Alexandria, the residence of Athanasius.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". 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 2:13. πίστιν) To this the cognate word πιστὸς presently afterwards answers.— ἐν ταῖς ἠμέραις) See App. on this passage.(32)αἷς ἀντίπας) that is, οὐκ ἠρνήσατο. The Menologia say, that Antipas was slain under Domitian: the Martyrologia, that he was cast into a heated brazen bull.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". 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

I know thy works, and where thou dwellest; God knows all his people’s circumstances, where they dwell, as well as what they do, and how they behave themselves in their habitations.

Even where Satan’s seat is; where the devil rules by his pagan deputies and antichrist’s officers.

And thou holdest fast my name; the word of my truth, by which I am known, as a man by his name.

And hast not denied my faith; neither by the words of thy mouth, nor by any apostacy from this profession, notwithstanding the temptations thou hast had from suducers and from persecutors, and the sight of those who have been put to death for their profession.

Even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr: it is much no ecclesiastical history makes mention of this martyr Antipas, which argueth him to have been a person but of an obscure note in the world; but Christ seeth and taketh notice of those little ones who belong to him, though the world overlooks them. Our being able from no history to give an account of this martyr, hath inclined some to think this epistle wholly prophetical, and that Antipas signifieth not any particular person, but all those that have opposed the pope, as if it were Antipapa. But certainly there was such a martyr as Antipas belonging to the church at Smyrna at that time, who suffered for the truth, though we do not allow this church to have been typical of all the gospel churches for many years.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". 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

где престол сатаны Центр сатанинского противодействия и языческих ложных религий. На акрополе в Пергаме находился огромный алтарь Зевсу, построенный в виде трона. С Пергамом также ассоциировался Асклепий, бог исцеления. (Изображение в виде змеи и сейчас является медицинским символом.) Знаменитая медицинская школа, соединенная с его храмом, переплела медицину с оккультизмом. Одно из предписаний призывало поклоняющихся Асклепию спать на полу храма, чтобы змеи ползали по их телу и наделяли их своей исцеляющей силой.

Антипа Вероятно, пастор церкви.

верный свидетель Легенда гласит, что Антипа был сожжен внутри медного быка. В переводе с греческого слово «martos» означает «мученик». И это так, поскольку так много свидетелей, верных Христу, были замучены.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-2.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Satan’s seat; the place in which and from which he exerts great influence.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-2.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘You hold fast my name, and did not deny my faith (your faith in me), even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you where Satan dwells.’

‘You hold fast my name’ - compare Revelation 11:18 and contrast Revelation 13:17. Pergamum has already suffered some persecution in times when fervency for the Emperor and for Rome has raised the passions of the people against Christians. But they had not wavered.

‘Did not deny my faith.’ The aorist tense suggests that this refers to some particular period of persecution which they would all remember, when the church emerged triumphant

‘The faith of me’ contains an objective genitive and means ‘your faith in me’. Antipas is unknown to us but was clearly well known then. The importance of the mention of the name is that it reminds them that God knows us each by name. God will hold fast the names of those who hold fast the name of Jesus. Indeed Antipas mirrors Jesus as a faithful witness (compare Revelation 1:5). So the members of the church at Pergamum have already proved their readiness to suffer for Christ’s sake.

Notice the continual reference to Satan. He is working through Jews, he is working through Romans, he is working through officialdom. Pergamum appears to be especially the target of Satan.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-2.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

2. Commendation2:13

The Pergamum Christians had held firmly to their commitment to Jesus Christ and their witness for Him even though they lived in one of Satan"s strongholds.

"Antipas is said to have been a dentist and a physician, but the Aesculapiades suspected that he was propagating Christianity secretly and they accused him of disloyalty to Caesar. He was condemned to death and was shut up in a brazen (or copper) bull, which was then heated until it was red-hot." [Note: Frederick A. Tatford, The Patmos Letters, p75.]

Satan"s throne may be an allusion to one or more of the pagan temples in the city, most likely the Aesculapium. [Note: For information about the temples in John"s seven cities of Asia, see R. Larry Overstreet, "The Temple of God in the Book of Revelation," Bibliotheca Sacra166:664 (October-December2009):446-53.] The Aesculapium was a complex of buildings devoted to the god of healing. This made Pergamum "the Lourdes of the Province of Asia." [Note: Charles, 1:60.] Some have thought that this throne was the altar of Zeus, which was very prominent in the town. [Note: E.g, Adolf Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, p281, footnote3.] Another possibility is that Satan"s throne refers to emperor worship that was stronger in Pergamum than elsewhere. [Note: Beale, p246.]

"The city was a leader in this form of worship, which was relatively new to the province of Asia ..." [Note: Thomas, Revelation 1-7, p184. Cf. Mounce, p96; and Ladd, p46.]

". . . it appears that the "throne of Satan" should be identified not with a specific architectural feature of Roman Pergamon (in part because so little is actually known about first-century Pergamon) but rather with the Roman opposition to early Christianity, which the author of Revelation 2-3perceived as particularly malevolent in that city." [Note: Aune, pp183-84.]

Swete referred it to the rampant paganism of Pergamum that included emperor worship. [Note: Swete, pp34-35.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "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

2. "Where Satan's seat is"--2:13.

The stronghold of Satan consisted in the pagan and Jewish oppositions, which were combined in Pergamos into deadly threats against the church. The Pergamos church had been weakened by the heathen surroundings of Mysia, known for its famous temples, dedicated to Zeus, Minerva, Apollo, Venus, Bacchus, and Aesculapius. The figure, Satan's seat, denotes the wickedness of these idolatrous temples and the nuptials to these gods. The name Pergamos meant the "place of nuptials." It was a fitting figure of Satan's seat.

3. "In those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr"--2:13.

There is a traditional claim that Antipas was once a bishop of the Pergamos church, but history does not identify him. In this book of symbols and code, the same reason for not mentioning other persons by name, such as Nero, the emperor, would also argue against the reality of these names. It is more consistent with the character of the book for Antipas to be a symbolic designation and representative for martyrdom. The word Antipas is derived from antipater: "anti," against; and "pater," father, or paternal--and its meaning was, against the gods: hence, symbolic of faithfulness to Christ to the extent of "against all" gods of paganism. It therefore stood for all who would become victims of martyrdom in the persecutions to follow.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "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 2:13. As in the Epistle to Smyrna, the words ‘thy works’ do not belong to the true text Three particulars in the state of the church are noted;—(1) Its outward position. It dwelt where Satan’s throne is. The word used is not ‘seat,’ but distinctly and intentionally ‘throne’ (comp. Psalms 94:20), the purpose of the writer being to contrast the throne of Satan with the throne of God, of which it is the evil and mocking counterpart, and thus to point with peculiar emphasis to the temptations and dangers which the Christians of Pergamos had to encounter. Very different opinions have been entertained with regard to the reasons which may have determined the Lord of the Church to describe Pergamos by this language. Some have traced it to the circumstance that the chief worship of the place was that of AEsculapius, and that the symbol of that divinity was a serpent. The explanation is fanciful. Others have attributed it to the idea that Pergamos was more given over to idolatry than other cities. There is no proof that such was the case. Others, again, have sought an explanation in the fact that Pergamos was under the Roman power, and that thus, representing the heathen persecutors of the Church, it might be said with more than ordinary force to hold the throne of Satan. This explanation also fails, for Satan is in the Apocalypse distinguished from the world-power. The true explanation seems to be that of one of the oldest commentators on the Apocalypse, that in Pergamos persecution first culminated, reaching even to the shedding of Christian blood. In Revelation 2:10 Satan had persecuted to the point of imprisonment; here he kills; and the repetition of the closing words of the verse, where Satan dwelleth, in immediate connection with the putting of Antipas to death, is obviously designed to associate the thought of Satan’s dwelling-place with the thought of this last extremity of his rage. In a city, where science itself was the very pillar of witchcraft and idolatry, Satan had been enabled to put forth against the bodies of the Christians every evil which envy at their souls’ escape from him suggested. He had been permitted even to reign over their bodily life; for, whereas he had once been commanded to spare the life of Job, he had now succeeded in putting Antipas to death. Even in such a city, however, the church had been found faithful, for it is said to it, (2) Thou boldest fast My name. The word ‘name’ is used here, as elsewhere in the writings of St. John, for the fulness of that revelation of the Father which is given in the Son; and the use of the verb ‘hold fast’ instead of the simple ‘have,’ may be determined, as in chap, Revelation 3:11, by the peculiar difficulties of the situation in which the church was placed. At the same time, it is the answer of faith to the ‘holding fast’ predicated of Jesus in Revelation 2:1.—(3) And didst not deny my faith, not the confession of Christ’s faith, but faith of which Jesus was Himself the direct object and the substance. The mention of this faith is made still more emphatic by the fact that it had been maintained even in days when persecution reached to death. Who the Antipas spoken of was it is impossible to say, any notice of him in the martyrologies being founded on this passage. There is even a high probability, when we consider the general structure of the Apocalypse, that there was no such person. The name may be symbolical, although it is at once to be allowed that every attempt hitherto made to point out its symbolical signification has failed.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "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

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-2.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

thy works, and. The texts omit.

dwellest, dwelleth. Greek. katoikeo, to take up abode. See Acts 2:5.

seat = throne. Compare Revelation 13:2, Revelation 16:10.

holdest fast. Same as hold, Revelation 2:1.

hast . . . denied = didst . . . deny.

denied. Greek. arneomai. First occurrence Matthew 10:33.

My faith. See Revelation 14:12.

faith. See App-150.

wherein. Most texts omit.

Antipas. A witness in future who will be faithful unto death. Mentioned proleptically.

faithful. App-150.

martyr = witness. See Revelation 1:5.

among. Greek. para. App-104.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "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

I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

I know thy works. So B but 'Aleph (') A C, Vulgate, Coptic, omit. Satan's seat - rather, all through Revelation, "throne." Satan, in impious mimicry of God's heavenly throne, sets up his earthly throne (Revelation 4:2). Esculapius was worshipped there under the serpent form. Satan, the old servant, as instigator (cf. Revelation 2:10) of devotees of Esculapius, and, through them, of the supreme magistracy at Pergamos, persecuted one of the Lord's people (Antipas) to death. This address is an anticipatory preface to Revelation 12:1-17, notes.

Even in those days. So A C but 'Aleph (') B omit "even."

Wherein. So B but 'Aleph (') A C, Vulgate, Coptic, omit: then translate, 'in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness.' So 'Aleph (') B but A C read, 'My witness, MY faithful one.' Another form for Antipater. Simeon Metaphrastes has a legendary story, that Antipas, in Domitian's persecution, was shut up in a redhot brazen bull, and ended his life in thanksgivings and prayers. Hengstenberg makes the name symbolical, meaning one standing out 'against all' for Christ.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "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

(13) I know thy works.—Here, as in Revelation 2:9, some MSS. omit “thy works,” and read, “I know where thou dwellest—even where Satan’s seat is.” The word is translated elsewhere “throne,” and should be here, “Where the throne of Satan is.” But why should this pre-eminence in evil be assigned to Pergamos? The answer is difficult. Some leave it unsolved, saying that in the absence of any historical notice, it must remain one of the unsolved riddles of these epistles. Prof. Plumptre suggests that the general character of the city, its worship and customs, in addition to the persecutions which the Christians had encountered, may well account for the description. Æsculapius was worshipped as the “Preserver,” or “Saviour.” The symbol of the serpent must have been conspicuous among the objects of adoration in his temple. Curious arts were practised; lying wonders were claimed; persecution had extended to death. Such evil in such a city may have led to its being regarded as the very head-quarters of the enemy.

Hast not denied.—Better, Thou didst not deny My faith in the days in which Antipas My faithful witness, was slain, &c.

Antipas.—Short for Antipater. (Comp. Lucas and Silas, short for Lucanus and Silvanus.) Nothing is known of Antipas. There are later traditions respecting him, but these are probably fancy-drawn.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
know
2,9
Satan's
9,10,24; 3:9
thou holdest
25; 3:3,11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Hebrews 3:6; 10:23
my name
3:8; Matthew 24:9; Luke 21:17; Acts 9:14; James 2:7
denied
Matthew 10:23; 1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Timothy 2:12; Jude 1:3,4
was
Acts 22:20
Reciprocal: Psalm 120:5 - Woe;  Proverbs 4:13 - Take;  Proverbs 24:10 - thou;  Proverbs 28:20 - faithful;  Isaiah 37:28 - I know;  Isaiah 66:18 - I know;  Daniel 6:10 - as he;  Daniel 11:33 - yet;  Matthew 10:32 - confess me;  Matthew 13:21 - for;  Matthew 24:45 - is;  Mark 4:17 - when;  Mark 13:9 - take;  Luke 12:8 - Whosoever;  Luke 21:16 - and some;  John 7:13 - spake;  John 10:14 - know;  John 17:6 - they;  Romans 10:10 - and with;  1 Corinthians 4:17 - faithful;  1 Corinthians 8:3 - is;  Ephesians 1:1 - which;  1 Thessalonians 3:3 - moved;  2 Timothy 2:19 - Let;  Hebrews 12:4 - General2 Peter 2:1 - denying;  1 John 5:18 - keepeth;  Revelation 2:19 - know;  Revelation 6:9 - slain;  Revelation 12:9 - and Satan;  Revelation 12:11 - they loved not;  Revelation 17:6 - the martyrs

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-2.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

SATAN'S THRONE AND DWELLING.

Revelation 2:13. — "I know where thou dwellest, where Satan's throne is." In the Authorised Version the words "thy works and" coming after "I know" are an unwarranted interpolation, believed to be the work of a careless copyist. "Satan's throne" (not "seat"), as in the Authorised Version and other modern versions, alone suits the demands of the context and of the general truth of the passage. The decay of first love was the first characteristic feature of the Church in its downward career. The second, or Smyrnean condition, was one of open persecution from the heathen imperial power. Probably the most severe but the most useful and sanctifying periods of persecution were those under Decius, A.D. 249, and Diocletian, A.D. 284.{*White, in his excellent and condensed history, "The Eighteen Christian Centuries," gives the ten pagan persecutions as follows: The first under Nero, A.D. 54; the second under Domitian, A.D. 81; the third under Trajan, A.D. 98; the fourth under Adrian, A.D. 117; the fifth under Septimius Severus, A.D. 193; the sixth under Maximin, A.D. 235; the seventh under Decius, A.D. 249; the eighth under Valerian, A.D. 254; the ninth under Aurelian, A.D. 270; the tenth under Diocletian, A.D. 284. It is impossible in all cases to determine the exact year when persecution commenced. The legal enactments against Christianity were suspended or enforced according to the will of the then reigning emperor. The persecuting laws of Domitian were repealed by the gentle Nerva, and those of Diocletian by the first Christian (?) emperor, Constantine.} The effect of both was to separate the false from the true, and to purify the faith of the suffering Church. The cruelty of Satan from without was let loose against it, the heathen authorities being his instruments; but utterly baffled in his efforts to destroy Christianity his next move was to destroy the Church in its true character and testimony, and effect its ruin from within, using religious men and teachers to accomplish his deadly work. It has been said that "Paul feared the clergy, while Ignatius feared the people." Paul's prophetic forecast (Acts 20:29-30) was amply verified, as the Pergamos and Thyatiran states of the Church fully demonstrate.

Pergamos at the time of the Apocalypse was the capital of the Roman government in Asia. Heathenism reigned supreme. From it as a centre idolatry and persecution spread all over western Asia, the Asia of the Apocalypse; hence the local force of the expressions "Satan's throne" and where "Satan dwelleth." Satan had his throne and dwelling in Pergamos, and from thence he sought to strangle Christianity in that part of the earth.{*Divine honours were paid to the Roman emperors, and in this impiety Pergamos took the lead in Asia. Says a Roman historian: "The city of Pergamos made a merit of having already built a temple in honour of Augustus," and petitioned Tiberius for the honour of erecting another. It is significant that the last phase of public idolatrous evil is to be the worship of the Beast, or revived power of Rome, in an intense and malignant form.} Surely, however, a larger and more comprehensive use of these expressions must be sought for!

We must keep steadily in view that each of these three first churches describes a special condition of the whole professing Church at successive periods of its history. Thus the Pergamos period brings us up to the era of Constantine, the beginning of the fourth century. The repeated assaults of Satan as a "roaring lion" (1 Peter 5:8) in open persecution for 250 years left the Church spiritually richer if poorer in the eyes of the world. Where Diocletian, the last of the persecuting emperors, failed, Constantine the first Christian emperor succeeded. The seductions of Satan effected the moral ruin of the Church.

After the death of Licinius, the colleague of Constantine the Great, the latter became sole emperor. On his accession to the throne the persecuting edicts of his predecessor were repealed, and liberty granted to the Christians to worship according to their conscience, A.D. 313. But the Christian religion was then simply regarded as one of the many religions of the empire. All were equally tolerated. But as time wore on Constantine got better acquainted with Christianity, and was sagacious enough to discern in it principles of an enduring character, and such as would tend to consolidate his power; his Christian subjects, too, could be relied upon to uphold the imperial dignity, whereas his pagan ones were continually raising insurrections in various parts of the empire.

Accordingly Constantine, A.D. 324, and frequently afterwards, issued edicts against paganism, and sought with might and main to force Christianity on the empire as its one and only religion. Pagans were banished from the court, and Christians advanced to posts of honour. Constantine offered his gold and patronage to the Church, and it eagerly swallowed the bait, sacrificed its conscience and allegiance to its Lord, and the Church and the world, which had hitherto walked apart (John 17:1-26; 2 Corinthians 6:14-16), were soon locked in each other's arms. Fatal union! From this period we date the unhappy alliance of Church and State, and the rise of Church establishments endowed by the State. Christianity was in many instances forced upon unwilling subjects at the point of the sword. It was either the sword or baptism, although the august ruler himself put off observance of the Christian rite till a few days before his death at Nicomedia. The gorgeous heathen temples and vestments of the priests were consecrated for Christian service. Instead therefore of the plain and unpretending meeting rooms and halls, in which the early Church assembled, grand buildings and ostentatious display became the order of the day. Christianity walked in golden slippers. In order to reconcile the priests and people of the ancient superstitions to the new order of things many of the pagan rites and ceremonies were adopted by the Church. Thus it falsified its character as a witness for holiness and truth. The effects of that unholy alliance remain to this day, and although God has governmentally used it in checking the tide of infidelity, yet it has wrought incalculable mischief to the Church viewed as the body of Christ, and has done much harm in lowering the holy and unworldly character which the Church ought to show in this Christ-rejecting age. The true union of Church and State awaits the revelation of another day (Revelation 21:9; Revelation 22:5). The Church thus at her ease in the presence of the "throne" and "dwelling" of Satan, who is the god of this world, enables us to see the force of the unusually strong expressions in verse 13. Satan has both a "throne" and "dwelling" on earth, and for the Church to sit down thereon or therein is truly awful. There are enumerated twenty-eight items in chapter 18 of the Apocalypse as characteristic of the false Church: the first is "gold," and the last "souls."

This epoch of Church history is one of such importance that we have devoted to its consideration these lengthy remarks.

DWELLERS ON THE EARTH.

13. — The Lord was not indifferent. I know "where thou dwellest" has a deeply moral and ominous significatian (compare with Philippians 3:19 and Revelation 3:10; Revelation 6:10; Revelation 11:10; Revelation 13:14; Revelation 14:6; Revelation 17:8). These passages point to a class of persons who are not simply on the earth, but whose sole interests are in it and bounded by it. They refer to a class of persons morally characterised as "dwellers on the earth."{*"The dwellers upon earth are a moral class, the worst in it, seemingly, apostates who have had the offer of the heavenly calling, but have deliberately chosen earth as their portion instead."— C. E. S.}

COMMENDED.

13. — "Thou holdest fast My Name, and hast not denied My faith." All that is vital in Christianity had been firmly maintained — the Name and faith of Christ. They had been tested and proved under the most appalling circumstances — confiscation of goods, torture, and death. "Swear by the genius of Caesar" they would not. They held fast the Name of Him Who is holy and true. Deny the faith of Christ as Son of God in divine relationship, as Son of Man in Holy humanity towards men, and as Son of David in Judaic rights and glory they would not. They endured as "seeing Him Who is invisible." They shrank not from the fiery trial, and the Lord delights to recount it and commend them for it, even when He has to strongly censure them for dwelling in the high places of the earth where Satan had established his throne and dwelling. It was Satan really who had his throne first at Rome, afterwards at Constantinople, and who employed the Caesars as his instruments and agents; from thence he governed. He dwelt there while also having access to Heaven. His overthrow is determined and the moment fixed (Revelation 12:7-13).

ANTIPAS, THE FAITHFUL.

The orthodoxy of the angel as to vital truth was unquestionable. Pergamos, in the main, had not surrendered one article of fundamental truth, and this especially, "even in the days in which Antipas, My faithful witness (was), who was slain among you." The name of this noble witness for Christ who sealed his testimony with his blood has been handed down to all ages.{*"Andreas speaks of the account of the martyrdom of Antipas existing in his time and his bold expostulations against his accusers. It is said that in the reign of Domitian he was cast into the brazen bull." — "The Apocalypse, with Notes and Reflections," p. 30.} But although nothing certain is known of Antipas save the name, there is much wrapped up in that sentence, "My faithful witness, My faithful one" (R.V.). What Christ was to God (Revelation 1:5), that Antipas was to Christ.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "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

I know thy works. (See comments at verse2.) Know is used in the sense of approval with regard to the works in this verse. Where Satan's seat is. Pergamos was in one of the worst centers of idolatry, making the temptation all the greater. This church as a whole withstood the influence of heathendom, holding fast to the name of Christ as the true person to worship. Not denied my faith denotes that they maintained the basis of that faith or system of religion which was the Gospel. Not much is said elsewhere about this Antipas further than what is said here. He is referred to as a "martyr" even as it is in our passage. However, the reason for so classifying him is an error, namely, because it is said that he was slain for his faith. He was a martyr before being slain because death is not what makes a man a martyr; it only proves that he was a martyr. That term is from the same Greek word as "witness" and it means the same. It is the word for "witness" in Hebrews 12:1 where we know Paul is speaking about the faithful servants of God enumerated in the preceding chapter. We also know that some of those "witnesses" (martyrs) did not die, for they "wandered in deserts and in mountains." Hence a martyr is one who is true to the testimony of the Lord come what may, whether it be death or loss of goods or banishment like the case of John. Accordingly in the case of Antipas; he went to his death because he had been a true and faithful martyr for Christ.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". 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 2:13

Revelation 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

"I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat Isaiah," etc.

The matter of this epistle contains, first, Christ's commendation of this church and her angel. Secondly, his reproof of their faults. { Revelation 2:14-15} Thirdly, an exhortation to repentance. { Revelation 2:16} Christ takes notice of their works; so as to approve them, that were good works, done according to his revealed will in his written word, { Revelation 2:13} and so as to reprove them that were evil. { Revelation 2:14-15} And Christ also took notice where they dwelt, to wit, the nation, country and city, viz. Asia, tolia and Pergamos, where Satan's throne then was; that is to say, where iniquity and idolatry was practiced and established by law, which Christ here call Satan's throne, because the devil gave the Roman, pagan emperors (as he did afterwards the anti-Christian beast; Revelation 13:2) his power, and throne, and great authority, as appears in Revelation 12:1-17 and Revelation 13:1-18.

"And thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith," etc.

By Christ's name here we may understand his word, his ordinances, his doctrine, his gospel, and whatsoever bears his name: and to hold fast his name is to cleave to the Lord, his truth, is ordinances of divine worship; and not to deny the faith of Christ and his gospel, once delivered to the saints, { Jude 1:3} but contending earnestly for the faith, striving together for the faith of the gospel. { Philippians 1:27}

"Even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth"

Who this Antipas was is not recorded in holy writ; some historians say, he was one of the ministers of this church: Christ testifieth he was a martyr and faithful unto death.

Jesus Christ takes notice, and keeps a record in heaven of all the sufferings, and death of his faithful servants. { Psalm 116:15; 1 John 5:7; Revelation 6:9-11; Revelation 20:4}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-2.html.

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

Revelation 2:13. I know where thou dwellest, where Satan s throne is, and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in the days, in which Antipas (was) my faithful witness, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. Copyists bent on uniformity have here also shoved in "thy works and," after "I know." Besides the external grounds, there are also internal ones against the insertion. For what immediately follows is no work, and the threefoldness of the points noticed is made up without it. There can be no doubt that Pergamos is called the throne of Satan from being a principal seat of persecution against the Christians, or rather the principal seat in Asia. For, in Revelation 2:10, Satan had also been mentioned as the author of persecution, and in a similar respect the throne of Satan is brought into notice in ch. Revelation 13:2. But how the persecuting malice should have concentrated itself exactly in Pergamos, cannot with certainty be determined. The circumstance of its being the seat of a higher court of judicature has been thought of as a reason.[Note: Pliny, H. N. L. v.c. 33: Longeque clarissimum Asiae Pergamum.

Pergamena vocatur ejus tractus jurisdictio. Ad eam conveniunt Thyatireni, Mygdones, Mosyni, etc., aliaeque in honorae civitates. Comp. Strabo, L. xiii. p. 623: " ἔ χει δέ τινα ἠ γεμονί αν πρὸ ς τό πους τού τους τὸ πέ ργαμον, ἐ πιφανὴ ς πό λις καὶ πολὺ ν συνευτυχή σασα χρονον τοῖ ς ἀ τταλικοῖ ς βασιλεῦ σι."]But this is not a sufficient reason, as the other leading cities of Asia had such courts also. It has been supposed that Pergamos was inordinately devoted to the service of idolatry above all cities in Asia. But there is no proof of this, though Pergamos is known to have had a famous temple to AEsculapius. The reason is most probably to be sought in individual persons, who were peculiarly animated by heathenish fanaticism, as the reason also of the internal differences that subsisted among the churches of Asia is to be sought in the existence, or the absence of leading persons more fully penetrated by the Spirit of Christ. The faith of Christ not unfrequently stands for faith in Christ, comp. Ephesians 3:12. We must not expound: True and faith toward me. For πί στις, as fidelity, never occurs in the New Testament, and the expression, "Thou hast not denied my name," in ch. Revelation 3:8, corresponds. After: in which Antipas, my faithful witness, is simply to be supplied: proved himself to be such, delivered his testimony. In this Hebraistic abbreviation (a similar one occurs, for example in Genesis 14:1-2), many copyists have lost themselves; and hence, they have either left out, "in which," or, "who." Luther adopts the latter reading: even in the days, in which Antipas my faithful witness was slain by you. Bengel remarks on the expression, "even in the days," "the great trial is sometimes experienced both in the evil and the good. He who despises, as Esau did with his birth-right, is in danger of suffering an irreparable injury; he who walks uprightly, as Abraham did in the offering up of Isaac, as Phinehas with his spear, as Joshua and Caleb, to him will it be reckoned for a perpetual blessing. In this manner a preceding valorous conduct is placed to the account of the angel of this church. Dear reader, when special circumstances befal you, consider well with yourself. In peaceful times it is easy to confess the name of Christ; but it is another thing in times that endanger the very life, and where a hard conflict has to be maintained, to deny not Christ but one's self."

According to the common opinion, Antipas is the proper name of a man who suffered death in the persecution of the time. But there are strong reasons for deciding otherwise. All other names in the Apocalypse are of a symbolical character. No historical Antipas is to be found, unless the name is to be regarded as such here. We find in the epistles the symbolical names of the Nicolaitans and of Jezebel. Farther, in a period of general bloody persecution, only such a person could be specially noticed as occupied an important position in the church—one who enjoyed an apostolical, or almost apostolical dignity. But it must appear extraordinary that no mention is made in history of an Antipas. For that the notices which we possess regarding him of very late origin, are pure inventions, is as clear as day. Tertullian adv. Gnos. c. 12, drew his knowledge of Antipas merely from this passage. There has been no want of expositors, who have viewed the name as a symbolical one. Saskerides, an expositor of the Reformed church, explains it as meaning one who is against all. There can be no doubt of the justness of this derivation. Antipas is formed precisely as Antichrist, and probably in imitation of it. A commentary on the Antipas, as similar to Antikosmos, is given by Jeremiah 20:10, Jeremiah 15:10, "Ah! my mother, that thou hast borne me, a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole land." If we have been followed thus far, it will not be reckoned too bold if we should hazard the supposition, that Timothy was the person here designated Antipas. The two names "Fear God," and "Against all," are closely connected with each other. One cannot truly fear God without standing forth against the world, which lies in wickedness, and having it also standing against us—comp. James 4:4, Acts 4:19, Acts 5:29. Elsewhere also in the New Testament we find stress laid on the name, as in Acts 4:36, and particularly in John's Gospel, John 9:7. He puts his own name also in connection with the love of Jesus toward him, John 13:23. Allusion is probably made here in ch. Revelation 2:9 to the name of Polycarp; and in ch. Revelation 3:1 a similar allusion to the name has with great probability been supposed to be made. The martyrdom of Timothy (comp. Tillemont mem. II. 1, p. 266), places his death in the year 97, when John was still at Patmos, and represents it as following on an affair, in which he truly showed the spirit of an Antipas: on a public solemnity he must set himself in strenuous opposition to heathenish disorder. The circumstance of the scene being transferred to Ephesus, is easily explained from the influence of the New Testament reports. It is not improbable that Timothy, when John took up his abode at Ephesus, removed to one of the two other chief cities in Asia, in order there to undertake the immediate oversight of the church, as being both important in itself and endangered by the prevalence of false teachers.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-2.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

13.And where thou dwellest—A touch of sympathy and palliation for shortcomings.

Satan’s seat is—No contemporary history exists to tell us what rendered Pergamos the home of the Satanic throne; for throne the word seat should have been rendered. Wordsworth notes, that the emblem of Esculapius was the serpent, who is represented on the Pergamene medals as “Pergameus Deus,” the Pergamene god; and this temple may have been the seat of Satan. Great numbers resorted to the Esculapian shrine for cures; and the cures were supposed to be effected by the miraculous power of the god. Hence it appears quite a probability that this temple, like that of Diana at Ephesus, was the source of violent persecution to the Church, rendering the city the stronghold of a violent pagan fanaticism.

The terms holdest fast, hast not denied, are delightful endorsements of the patience of the Church in that trying hour.

Even—What heightens the firmness.

Antipas—Is said by Eusebius to have been slain, in a tumult, by the Esculapian priests. He is supposed to have been bishop of Pergamos, and to have been martyred in the time of Domitian. The Greek Church dedicates April 11 as his day. Hengstenberg, by a preposterous etymology, makes Antipas mean “against all,” giving the last syllable its Greek meaning of all. This meaning of the whole name he likens to antichrist, against Christ, and anticosmos, against the world. To this Alford objects, that Antipas is a contraction of Antipater, and so cannot bear such a meaning. (See our biography of Luke, prefixed to his Gospel.) Trench, however, as absurd as Hengstenberg, while not accepting his meaning of Antipas, condemns Alford’s objection, averting that Antipas has all the rights of a word however formed. But surely if Antipas is merely a shortened form of Antipater, (meaning, instead of a father, pro-father,) the last syllable cannot mean all. When it is maintained by some that Antipas is an allegorical. and not a real character, because Balaam and Jezebel are here used allegorically, we reply that neither designates an unreal person in this book.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-2.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 2:13. Two features in the local situation menaced Christianity. Pergamos, besides forming a legal centre for the district (ad earn conueniunt Thyatireni aliaeque inhonorae ciuitates, Plin. ver 33), was an old centre of emperor-worship in Asia Minor; in 29 B.C. a temple had been erected to the divine Augustus and the goddess Roma, and a special priesthood had been formed ( ). Another feature, shocking to early Christian feeling, was the local cult of Aesculapius (cf. Zahn, § 73, note 2), whose favourite symbol (e.g., on coins) was a serpent (“the god of Pergamos, Mart. Revelation 9:17); so Pausan. Cor. 27, (3:402), , . In addition to these fashionable cults, a magnificent throne-like altar to Zeus Soter towered on the Acropolis (Paus. ii. 73, 75, iii. 556, 557) commemorating the defeat of the barbarian Gauls by Attalus two centuries earlier, and decorated by a famous frieze of the gods warring against the giants (the latter, a brood of vigorous opponents, having often human bodies and serpentine tails, cf. below, Revelation 9:19). No wonder Pergamos was called “a throne of Satan” by early Christians who revolted against the splendid and insidious paganism of a place where politics and religion were firm allies. Least of all at this cathedral centre of the Imperial cultus could dissent be tolerated. The Asiarch, e.g., who condemns Polykarp is the local high priest of the altar, and the animus against Cæsar-adoration which pervades the Apocalypse easily accounts for the last phrase . . ., particularly as the symbol of the serpent in the Aesculapius cult would come vividly home to pious Jewish Christians in the church, as a reminder of Satan (e.g., Revelation 12:9 and passim). The priesthood of this cult, “a vast college, believed to be in possession of certain precious medical secrets,” came “nearest, perhaps, of all the institutions of the pagan world, to the Christian priesthood,” its rites being “administered in a full conviction of the religiousness, the refined and sacred happiness, of a life spent in the relieving of pain” (Pater, Marius the Epicurean, i. 30; see Usener’s Götternamen, 1896, pp. 147 f., 350, and Dill’s Roman Soc. from Nero to M. Aur. 459 f.). , . . ., “And the magistrate pressed him hard, saying, ‘Swear the oath [by the genius of Cæsar] and I will release thee; curse the Christ.’ But Polykarp replied, ‘For eighty-six years I have served him, and he has never injured me. How then can I blaspheme my King, who has saved me?’ ” (Mart. Polyc. ix. Jewish analogies in 2 Maccabees 8:4, Ass. Mos. viii. etc.). Some definite outburst of persecution at Pergamos is in the writer’s mind ( ). To disown or abjure faith in Jesus, saying , implies here as in the gospels the moral fault of cowardice, elsewhere (e.g. 1 John, Judges 1:4, 2 Peter 2:1) erroneous doctrine. The circumstances and surroundings of the local church are taken into account, as usual, in the prophet’s estimate; they either claim some allowance to be made, or reflect additional credit and lustre on the particular community. , . . . He is faithful who retains his faith. Antipas (= , Jos. Ant. xiv. 1, 3; the name occurs in a third century inscription of Pergamos, Deissm. 187), is mentioned by Tertullian (adv. Gnost. scorp. 12); otherwise he is unknown. His Acts appear to have been read by Andreas and Arethas, and, according to Simon Metaphrastes, he was an old, intrepid bishop of Pergamos whose prestige drew upon him the honour of being burned to death in a brazen bull during Domitian’s reign. The sober truth is probably that he formed the first prominent victim in the local church, possibly in Asia Minor, to the demands of the Imperial cultus. Carpus, Papylus, and Agathonikê, the other martyrs of Pergamos named by Eusebius (H. E., iv. 15, 48), died at a later period. On the whole verse see Ep. Lugd., “then did the holy martyrs endure indescribable torture, Satan eagerly striving to make them utter ”. The textual variants arose from a failure to to see that (or - ) was a genitive and that was in characteristic irregular apposition to it. The name is neither a personification nor typical.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-2.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

13. I know where you live. They lived in a center of Satan-inspired idol worship. ‘Christians were asked to burn incense to the fetish of the emperors and to say “Caesar is our Lord.” You are true to me. They resisted the temptation to repudiate Christ to save themselves. They kept their faith even when Antipas was martyred. [The identity of Antipas is not known.]

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 2:13". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-2.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.