Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 2:20

But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Adultery;   Affections;   Backsliders;   Church;   Idolatry;   Jezebel;   Lukewarmness;   Minister, Christian;   Prophetesses;   Scofield Reference Index - Life;   Repentance;   Satan;   The Topic Concordance - Adultery;   Government;   Heart;   Obedience;   Prophecy and Prophets;   Rendering;   Repentance;   Teaching;   Tribulation;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Affections, the;   Alliance and Society with the Enemies of God;   Prophets, False;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jezebel;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Idol, idolatry;   Jezebel;   Prophecy, prophet;   Revelation, book of;   Thyatira;   Women;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - False Prophet;   Second Death;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Patience of God;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Thyatira;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Excommunication;   Jezebel;   Kings, the Books of;   Thyatira;   Holman Bible Dictionary - False Apostles;   Food Offered to Idols;   Fornication;   Immorality;   Jezebel;   Letter Form and Function;   Nicolaitans;   Prophecy, Prophets;   Prophetess;   Revelation, the Book of;   Thyatira;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asia;   Church Government;   Gnosticism;   Jezebel;   Magi;   Nicolas;   Peter, Second Epistle of;   Prophetess;   Thyatira;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Angels;   Angels of the Seven Churches;   Commandment;   Fellowship;   Fornication ;   Gnosticism;   Jezebel;   Moses;   Prophecy Prophet Prophetess;   Tares ;   Teaching ;   Thyatira ;   Trade and Commerce;   Type;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jezebel ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Jezebel;   Sepharvaim;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Jezebel;   Thyatira;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Thyati'ra,;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Jezebel;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Nicolaitans;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Crime;   Gnosticism;   Jezebel;   Jude, the Epistle of;   Nicolaitans;   Philippi;   Revelation of John:;   Seduce;   Thyatira;   Woman;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

That woman Jezebel - There is an allusion here to the history of Ahab and Jezebel, as given in 2 Kings 9:1-10:36; and although we do not know who this Jezebel was, yet from the allusion we may take it for granted she was a woman of power and influence in Thyatira, who corrupted the true religion, and harassed the followers of God in that city, as Jezebel did in Israel. Instead of that woman Jezebel, την γυναικα Ιεζαβηλ, many excellent MSS., and almost all the ancient versions, read την γυναικα σου Ιεζαβηλ, Thy Wife Jezebel; which intimates, indeed asserts, that this bad woman was the wife of the bishop of the Church, and his criminality in suffering her was therefore the greater. This reading Griesbach has received into the text. She called herself a prophetess, i.e., set up for a teacher; taught the Christians that fornication, and eating things offered to idols, were matters of indifference, and thus they were seduced from the truth. But it is probable that by fornication here is meant idolatry merely, which is often its meaning in the Scriptures. It is too gross to suppose that the wife of the bishop of this Church could teach fornication literally. The messenger or bishop of this Church, probably her husband, suffered this: he had power to have cast her and her party out of the Church, or, as his wife, to have restrained her; but he did not do it, and thus she had every opportunity of seducing the faithful. This is what Christ had against the messenger of this Church.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee - Compare notes on Revelation 2:4.

Because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel - Thou dost tolerate, or countenance her. Compare the notes on Revelation 2:14. Who the individual here referred to by the name Jezebel was, is not known. It is by no means probable that this was her real name, but seems to have been given to her as expressive of her character and influence. Jezebel was the wife of Ahab; a woman of vast influence over her husband - an influence which was uniformly exerted for evil. She was a daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre and Sidon, and lived about 918 years before Christ. She was an idolater, and induced her weak husband not only to connive at her introducing the worship of her native idols, but to become an idolater himself, and to use all the means in his power to establish the worship of idols instead of the worship of the true God. She was highly gifted, persuasive, and artful; was resolute in the accomplishment of her purposes; ambitious of extending and perpetuating her power, and unscrupulous in the means which she employed to execute her designs. See 1 Kings 16:31 ff.

The kind of character, therefore, which would be designated by the term as used here, would be that of a woman who was artful and persuasive in her manner; who was capable of exerting a wide influence over others; who had talents of a high order; who was a thorough advocate of error; who was unscrupulous in the means which she employed for accomplishing her ends; and the tendency of whose influence was to lead the people into the abominable practices of idolatry. The opinions which she held, and the practices into which she led others, appear to have been the same which are referred to in Revelation 2:6 and Revelation 2:14-15 of this chapter. The difference was, that the teacher in this case was a woman - a circumstance which by no means lessened the enormity of the offence; for, besides the fact that it was contrary to the whole genius of Christianity that a woman should be a public teacher, there was a special incongruity that she should be an advocate of such abominable opinions and practices. Every sentiment of our nature makes us feel that it is right to expect that if a woman teaches at all in a public manner, she should inculcate only what is true and holy - she should be an advocate of a pure life. We are shocked; we feel that there is a violation of every principle of our nature, and an insult done to our common humanity, if it is otherwise. We have in a manner become accustomed to the fact that man should be a teacher of pollution and error, so that we do not shrink from it with horror; we never can be reconciled to the fact that a woman should.

Which calleth herself a prophetess - Many persons set up the claim to be prophets in the times when the gospel was first preached, and it is not improbable that many females would lay claim to such a character, after the example of Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, etc.

To teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication - Compare Revelation 2:14. Whether she herself practiced what she taught is not expressly affirmed, but seems to be implied in Revelation 2:22. It is not often that persons teach these doctrines without practicing what they teach; and the fact that they desire and design to live in this manner will commonly account for the fact that they inculcate such views.

And to eat things sacrificed unto idols - See the notes on Revelation 2:14. The custom of attending on the festivals of idols led commonly to licentiousness, and they who were gross and sensual in their lives were fit subjects to be persuaded to attend on idol feasts - for nowhere else would they find more unlimited toleration for the indulgence of their passions.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-2.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

But I have this against thee, that thou sufferest the woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess; and she teacheth and seduceth my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

The woman Jezebel ... This verse is one of the most interesting in the New Testament, because here there well could have been an example of female leadership having been accepted in a church of Christ. The very fact of this character's having been allowed to teach, with the sufferance of the whole church, and of her also claiming the gift of prophecy strongly suggest it. Moreover, the prominence which Lydia doubtless had in bringing the gospel to the place could have created a favorable atmosphere for the development of just such an aberration. However that may be, there is a clear case here of a dissolute woman having usurped the principal authority of a church. The word Jezebel "is not a figurative term for a party or a movement; it designates an actual person (Revelation 2:2f), her followers being distinguished from her."[81] Whatever her actual name might have been, the Lord called her "Jezebel," after the "wicked queen of that name who tried to establish an idolatrous cult in the place of the worship of Yahweh and was herself accused of whoredom and witchcraft (2 Kings 9:22)."[82] Some have sought to identify her with the Chaldean Sibyl, a pagan religious establishment that stood outside the walls of Thyatira; but, as Lenski said, "The woman of this letter cannot be such a sibyl; she is a pretending prophetess who operates right in the Christian Church as one of its members."[83]

To commit fornication ... eat things sacrificed to idols ... This identification of the sins of Jezebel identifies her and her followers with the followers of Balaam and with the Nicolaitans, there being no difference whatever in the sins cited. It is quite evident, therefore, that in the three churches of Ephesus, Pergamum, and Thyatira, the problem was the same, that being the type of wickedness described here; and that the principal thrust of the messages regards the progression of this evil from: (1) the conduct of a few at Ephesus; to (2) the justification of it by a body of teaching at Pergamum; to (3) the leadership of the church, in the person of Jezebel, having been thoroughly corrupted by it.

[81] Isbon T. Beckwith, op. cit., p. 466.

[82] G. R. Beasley-Murray, op. cit., p. 1285.

[83] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 115.

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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 2:20". "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

Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee,.... By way of complaint; so the Arabic version renders it, "I have a certain complaint against thee". The impartiality of Christ may be observed in taking notice of the bad deeds, as well as of the good ones of his people, and his tenderness in representing them as few; and these things he had against them not in a judicial way to their condemnation, but in a providential way, in order to chastise them for them, for their good; and they are as follow:

because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel; or "thy wife Jezebel", as the Complutensian edition and Syriac version read; the name of King Ahab's wife, who seduced him, in the Hebrew language is "Izebel", but is read by the Septuagint in 1 Kings 16:31, Jezebel, as here; and by JosephusF1Antiqu. l. 8. c. 13. sect. 1. 4, 7. Jezabela; she had her name from זבל, "Zebel", "dung", to which Elijah has reference in 2 Kings 9:37; the Ethiopic version calls her "Elzabel". By her is meant the apostate church of Rome, comparable to Jezebel, the wife of Ahab; as she was the daughter of an Heathen, so is Rome Papal the daughter of Rome Pagan; and as she was the wife of Ahab, and therefore a queen, so the whore of Babylon calls herself; and as Jezebel was famous for her paintings, so the church of Rome for her pretensions to religion and holiness, and for the gaudiness of her worship; and as she was remarkable for her idolatry, whoredoms, witchcrafts, and cruel persecution of the prophets of the Lord, and for murder, and innocent blood she shed; so the church of Rome, for her idolatrous worship of images, for her whoredoms, both in a literal and spiritual sense, and for the witchcrafts, magic, and devilish arts many of her popes have been addicted to, and especially for her barbarities and cruelties exercised upon the true professors of Christ, and for the blood of the martyrs, with which she has been drunk; and as Jezebel stirred up Ahab against good and faithful men, is has this church stirred up the secular powers, emperors, kings, and princes, against the true followers of Christ: and the end of both of them is much alike; as scarce anything was left of Jezebel, so Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, shall be cast into the sea, and be found no more at all: compare 2 Kings 9:7 with Revelation 17:1,

which calleth herself a prophetess; as perhaps Jezebel might do, since she was such a favourer of the prophets of Baal, and so familiarly conversed with them, and kept them, even a hundred of them, at her table: and certain it is, that the antitype of her pretends to an infallible interpretation of the Scriptures, and to have a bulk of unwritten traditions; and which interpretations and traditions are to be regarded as an infallible rule of faith and practice. Now what is complained of in the true members and followers of Christ is, that they suffered this woman

to teach; when it was insufferable for a woman to teach, and especially such a strumpet:

and to seduce my servants to commit fornication; to deceive such who called themselves the servants of Christ, and draw them into the commission of spiritual fornication, which is idolatry; as the idolatrous worship of the Mass, and of images and saints departed:

and to eat things sacrificed unto idols; as Balaam, or the pope, before had done, Revelation 2:14. This may have respect to the latter part of this period, when the eyes of many began to be opened to see these false doctrines and idolatrous practices, and yet had not courage enough to oppose them as they should,

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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 2:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-2.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit k fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

(k) Often in the scripture, by fornication they mean idolatry.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-2.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

a few things — omitted in the three oldest manuscripts. Translate then, “I have against thee that,” etc.

sufferest — The three oldest manuscripts read, “lettest alone.”

that woman — Two oldest manuscripts read, “THY wife”; two omit it. Vulgate and most ancient versions read as English Version. The symbolical Jezebel was to the Church of Thyatira what Jezebel, Ahab‘s “wife,” was to him. Some self-styled prophetess (or as the feminine in Hebrew is often used collectively to express a multitude, a set of false prophets), as closely attached to the Church of Thyatira as a wife is to a husband, and as powerfully influencing for evil that Church as Jezebel did Ahab. As Balaam, in Israel‘s early history, so Jezebel, daughter of Eth-baal, king of Sidon (1 Kings 16:31, formerly priest of Astarte, and murderer of his predecessor on the throne, Josephus [Against Apion, 1.18]), was the great seducer to idolatry in Israel‘s later history. Like her father, she was swift to shed blood. Wholly given to Baal worship, like Eth-baal, whose name expresses his idolatry, she, with her strong will, seduced the weak Ahab and Israel beyond the calf-worship (which was a worship of the true God under the cherub-ox form, that is, a violation of the second commandment) to that of Baal (a violation of the first commandment also). She seems to have been herself a priestess and prophetess of Baal. Compare 2 Kings 9:22, 2 Kings 9:30, “whoredoms of  …  Jezebel and her witchcrafts” (impurity was part of the worship of the Phoenician Astarte, or Venus). Her spiritual counterpart at Thyatira lured God‘s “servants” by pretended utterances of inspiration to the same libertinism, fornication, and eating of idol-meats, as the Balaamites and Nicolaitanes (Revelation 2:6, Revelation 2:14, Revelation 2:15). By a false spiritualism these seducers led their victims into the grossest carnality, as though things done in the flesh were outside the true man, and were, therefore, indifferent. “The deeper the Church penetrated into heathenism, the more she herself became heathenish; this prepares us for the expressions ‹harlot‘ and ‹Babylon,‘ applied to her afterwards” [Auberlen].

to teach and to seduce — The three oldest manuscripts read, “and she teaches and seduces,” or “deceives.” “Thyatira was just the reverse of Ephesus. There, much zeal for orthodoxy, but little love; here, activity of faith and love, but insufficient zeal for godly discipline and doctrine, a patience of error even where there was not a participation in it” [Trench].

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
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 2:20". "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

Thou sufferest (απειςapheis). Late vernacular present active indicative second person singular as if from a form απεωapheō instead of the usual απιημιaphiēmi forms.

The woman Jezebel (την γυναικα Ιεζαβελtēn gunaika Iezabel). Symbolical name for some prominent woman in the church in Thyatira, like the infamous wife of Ahab who was guilty of whoredom and witchcraft (1 Kings 16:31; 2 Kings 9:22) and who sought to drive out the worship of God from Israel. Some MSS. here (A Q 40 min.s) have σουsou (thy wife, thy woman Ramsay makes it), but surely Aleph C P rightly reject σουsou Otherwise she is the pastor‘s wife!

Which calleth herself a prophetess (η λεγουσα εαυτην προπητινhē legousa heautēn prophētin). Nominative articular participle of λεγωlegō in apposition with the accusative γυναικαgunaika like ο μαρτυςho martus in apposition with ΑντιπαςAntipas in Revelation 2:13. ΠροπητιςProphētis is an old word, feminine form for προπητηςprophētēs in N.T. only here and Luke 2:36 (Anna), two extremes surely. See Acts 21:9 for the daughters of Philip who prophesied.

And she teacheth and seduceth (και διδασκει και πλαναιkai didaskei kai planāi). A resolution of the participles (διδασκουσα και πλανωσαdidaskousa kai planōsa) into finite verbs (present active indicatives) as in Revelation 1:5. This woman was not a real prophetess, but a false one with loud claims and loose living. One is puzzled to know how such a woman had so much shrewdness and sex-appeal as to lead astray the servants of God in that church. The church tolerated the Nicolaitans and this leader whose primary object was sexual immorality (Charles) and became too much involved with her to handle the heresy.

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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 2:20". "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

A few things

Omit.

Thou sufferest ( ἐᾶς )

Used absolutely. Toleratest.

That woman

Rev., the woman. Some translate thy wife.

Jezebel

Used symbolically, but with reference to the notorious historic Jezebel. She was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Sidon (1 Kings 16:31), formerly a priest of Astarte, and who had made his way to the throne by the murder of his predecessor Pheles. Ahab's marriage with her was the first instance of a marriage with a heathen princess of a king of the northern kingdom of Israel. This alliance was a turning-point in the moral history of the kingdom. From the times of David and Solomon many treaties had been concluded between Phoenicia and Israel; but it was at the same time the special business of the kingdom of the ten tribes to restore the ancient rigidness of the nationality of Israel. Jezebel looked down with perverse pride upon a people whose religion she neither understood nor respected. Though the ten tribes had yielded to idolatry in the worship of the calves, the true God was still worshipped and the law of Moses acknowledged. From the time of Ahab's marriage the apostasy of Israel became more decided and deadly. She was “a woman in whom, with the reckless and licentious habits of an Oriental queen, were united the fiercest and sternest qualities inherent in the old Semitic race. Her husband, in whom generous and gentle feelings were not wanting, was yet of a weak and yielding character which soon made him a tool in her hands … . The wild license of her life and the magical fascination of her arts or her character became a proverb in the nation. Round her and from her, in different degrees of nearness, is evolved the awful drama of the most eventful crisis of this portion of the Israelite history” (Stanley, “Jewish Church”). She sought to exterminate the prophets of Jehovah (1 Kings 18:13), and inaugurated the worship of Baal the Sun-God on a magnificent scale. Two sanctuaries were established, one for each of the great Phoenician deities, at each of the two new capitals of the kingdom, Samaria and Jezreel. The sanctuary of Astarte or Ashtaroth (the Phoenician Venus) at Jezreel was under Jezebel's special sanction, and there is reason to suppose that she ministered as a priestess in that licentious worship. Four hundred priests or prophets were attached to this sanctuary and were supported at her table. The sanctuary to Baal at Samaria was large enough to contain all the worshippers of the northern kingdom. Its staff consisted of four hundred and fifty priests, and the interior contained representations of the Sun-God on small pillars, while a large statue of the same deity was set up in front. At these sanctuaries Ahab in person offered sacrifices.

Expositors are divided as to the symbolic import of the name in this passage, some referring it to a single person - “some single wicked woman in the Church of Thyatira inheriting this name of infamy in the Church of God,” giving herself out as a prophetess, and seducing the servants of Christ to commit fornication and to eat things offered to idols. Others interpret the name as designating an influential heretical party in the Church: but, as Alford remarks, “the real solution must lie hidden until all that is hidden shall be known.” It is clear, at any rate, that Thyatira, like the Church of old, had sinned by her alliance with a corrupt faith and practice.

To teach and to seduce ( διδάσκειν καὶ πλανᾶσθαι )

The best texts read καὶ διδάσκει andshe teacheth and seduceth. So Rev. For seduceth see on err, Mark 12:24, and see on deceiver and error, Matthew 27:63, Matthew 27:64. The word πλανᾶν toseduce is found oftener in Revelation than elsewhere in the New Testament. It never means mere error as such, but fundamental departure from the truth.

To commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols

Both sins of the historical Jezebel. See 2 Kings 9:22, 2 Kings 9:30; Jeremiah 4:30; Nahum 3:4.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "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

Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

But thou sufferest that woman Jezebel — who ought not to teach at all, 1 Timothy 2:12.

To teach and seduce my servants — At Pergamos were many followers of Balaam; at Thyatira, one grand deceiver. Many of the ancients have delivered, that this was the wife of the pastor himself. Jezebel of old led the people of God to open idolatry. This Jezebel, fitly called by her name, from the resemblance between their works, led them to partake in the idolatry of the heathens. This she seems to have done by first enticing them to fornication, just as Balaam did: whereas at Pergamos they were first enticed to idolatry, and afterwards to fornication.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-2.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Sufferest that woman Jezebel--to teach; that is, the spirit of Jezebel (1 Kings 18:4) to prevail.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-2.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Ver. 20. Thou sufferest that woman Jezebel] It is a fault, then, not only to be active in evil, but to be passive of evil. Non faciendo malus, sed patiendo fuit, said the poet concerning the Emperor Claudius. The kings of the earth are taxed, Revelation 18:9., for not rooting out the Romish religion and setting up the truth.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-2.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 2:20. Because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, Because thou sufferest thy wife Jezebel, is the Complutensian reading, which is more allusive to the symbol drawn from the history of Ahab, whose wife seduced him, than the common reading. Ahab is condemned above all other kings of Israel for doing ill, or, as it is said, for selling himself to do evil: he made himself a slave to this purpose, by suffering his wife Jezebel to do infinite mischief in introducing idolatry. By which it is plain, that the fault of the angel of this church was,that although he did his duty in all other respects, and rather increased in faith and diligence, yet he had suffered some to creep into the church, into his bosom, and there to sow the tares of the pernicious doctrine of the Gnostics, who arehere represented by the symbol of Jezebel, with the college of false prophets about her, whom she maintained to introduce idolatry in Israel, and corrupt the doctrine of God's laws by little and little: and whereas the former kings of Israel had chiefly been guilty of schism, she caused her husband and thewhole nation to fall into idolatry insensibly. It has been thought by many learned writers, that there was in this church some great and powerful woman, who, having been corrupted herself, (as it was the practice of the Gnostics to insinuate themselves into the favour of women,) did afterwards harbour and encourage those false prophets, whereby they had opportunities to seduce the faithful, which the governor of this church did not endeavour to hinder as he ought. She called herself a prophetess; and it is well known that the Gnostics, from their very first appearing, using arts and sorceries, found means to give potions to seduce women, and thereby throw them into fits like prophetic extasies; in which, being prepossessed with fancies and enthusiastic doctrines, they delivered strange conceits to deceive both themselves and others. The committing fornication, and eating things sacrificed to idols, went together; for in Canaan, the remnant of the idolatrous nations, deprived of their laws, erected tippling-houses; hence the harlots frequented such houses, and worshipping still their gods secretly, sacrificed to them, and then invited the Israelites to eat and drink with them, and to commit iniquity. See Proverbs 7:6; Proverbs 7:27. Thus they communicated in idolatry. See chap. Revelation 12:8.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-2.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

20.] Notwithstanding I have against thee that thou sufferest ( ἀφεῖς from ἀφέω, see ref. Ex. and Winer, edn. 6, § 14. 3) thy wife (or, the woman) Jezebel (on the whole, the evidence for σου being inserted in the text seems to me to preponderate. It could not well have been inserted: and was sure to have been erased, from its difficulty, and possibly from other reasons, considering what was the common interpretation of the ἄγγελος. It does not create any real difficulty: finding its meaning not in the matter of fact at Thyatira, but in the history from which the appellation ἰεζαβέλ is taken. In 3 Kings 20:25 (1 Kings 21:25) we read ἀχαάβ, ὃς ἐπράθη ποιῆσαι τὸ πονηρὸν ἐνώπιον κυρίου, ὡς μετέθηκεν αὐτὸν ἰεζαβὲλ ἡ γυνὴ αὐτοῦ: from which text the phrase is transferred entire, importing that this Jezebel was to the church at Thyatira what that other was to Ahab. It is not so easy to determine who is, or who are, imported by the term. The very fact of the name Jezebel being chosen (for it is impossible, even were this the actual name of a woman, that it should be used here with any other than the symbolic meaning), coupled with τὴν γυναῖκά σου above explained, takes us out of the realms of simple fact into those of symbolism. The figure of “Jezebel thy wife” being once recognized in its historical import, it would not be needful that an individual woman should be found to answer to it: the conscience of the Thyatiran church could not fail to apply the severe reproof to whatever influence was being exerted in the direction here indicated. So that I should rate at very little the speculations of many Commentators on the supposed woman here pointed out. Düsterd., recently, remarks that ἡ λέγουσα has something individual about it. So it has: but may not this individuality belong just as well to the figure, as to the thing signified by it? The sect or individuals being once concentrated as Jezebel, ἡ λέγουσα would follow of course, in the propriety of the figure. On the whole, however, I should feel it more probable that some individual teacher, high in repute and influence at the time, is pointed at. The denunciation of such a teacher under such a title would be at once startling and decisive. Nor would probability be violated by the other supposition, that a favoured and influential party In the Thyatiran church is designated. The church herself is represented by a woman: why may not a party (compare the Jews, who are the συναγωγὴ τοῦ σατανᾶ of Revelation 2:9) within the church be similarly symbolized? However this may be, the real solution must lie hidden until all that is hidden shall be known. See more below), who calleth herself a prophetess (the appositional nom. again: see reff.: and again with an indeclinable proper name, as in Revelation 2:13. This clause perhaps points at an individual: but there is on the other hand no reason why a sect claiming prophetic gifts should not be indicated: the feminine belonging as before to the historical symbol), and she teacheth and deceiveth my servants, to commit fornication and eat things sacrificed to idols (hence the propriety of the name Jezebel: for both these were the abominations of the historic Jezebel: 2 Kings 9:22; 2 Kings 9:30 (cf. Jeremiah 4:30; Nahum 3:4): the latter indeed in its more aggravated form of actual idolatry, 1 Kings 18:19. This specification of the mischief done shews us that this influence at Thyatira was in the same direction as the evil works of the Nicolaitans at Pergamum, Revelation 2:14. The fact that this was the prevalent direction of the false teaching of the day, is important in a chronological point of view: see Prolegg., § iii. par. 6). And I gave her time (not, “in my pre-ordination of what is to be,” as the aor. in Mark 13:20, but denoting historically that which the Lord had actually done, in vain. Notice that the ἀφεῖναι, on which depended the time given her for repentance, is yet blamed in the church of Thyatira as a sin) that she should repent, and she willeth not to repent of (lit. “out of:” constr. prægn., so as to come out of: or the μεταν. itself is regarded as an escape. The construction (reff.) is confined to this book: we have the verb once with ἀπό, Acts 8:22; and the subst. μετάνοια, Hebrews 6:1) her fornication ( πορνεία is here to be taken, as in all these passages, in its literal sense. Otherwise, if taken figuratively, it would be only a repetition of the other particular, idolatry).

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/revelation-2.html. 1863-1878.

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

Revelation 2:20. ἀλλʼ ἔχω κατὰ σοῦ ὅτι ἀφεῖς, κ. τ. λ. Cf. Revelation 2:4. Grot. incorrectly paraphrases: “I wish you to dismiss that wife.” The sense of the ἀφεῖς(1223) is correctly given by the var. ἐᾷς,(1224) “that thou let alone.” Connected with τὴν γυναῖκα ἰεσαβήλ, but in an interrupted construction, is the appositive(1225) λεγ., κ. τ. λ. The juncture proposed by Winer, p. 498, λέγουσα

καὶ διδάσκει καὶ πλανᾷ, is too refined, while the very harshness of the former inartificial construction corresponds with John’s mode. The words καὶ διδάσκει καὶ πλανᾷ are to be regarded neither as a so-called hysteron proteron,(1226) nor to be combined in διδάσκουσα πλανᾷ,(1227) but the accus. τ. ὲμ. δούλους depends upon both verbs, while the infinitives πορνεῦσαι καὶ φαγεῖν εἰδ., which are used with a certain looseness of construction, are nevertheless again connected with sufficient firmness by the prevailing meaning of the διδάσκει, which in its combination with πλανᾷ appears to refer to a false doctrine.

The explanation of the expression τ. γυναῖκα ἰεσαβήλ(1228) is a matter of controversy, which essentially depends upon the fact, that, as in Revelation 2:14, neither the πορνεῦσαι nor even the φαγεῖν εἰδωλ. is to be understood figuratively or even only in a double sense.(1229) The precedency of the πορνεῦσαι does not show that at Thyatira fornication prepared the way for eating sacrifices to idols,(1230) which in itself, and in view of Revelation 2:14, is improbable, as, on the contrary, the eating of sacrifices to idols gave occasion for unchastity; neither is it to be mentioned, that “in reference to ancient Jezebel, the history expressly intends only fornication, while in reference to Balaam the temptation to eat sacrifices offered to idols is also mentioned,”(1231) for according to 1 Kings 18:19; 1 Kings 21:25 sqq., this is not entirely correct with respect to either Jezebel or Balaam.(1232) Fornication precedes for the reasons for which (Revelation 2:21)(1233) it is alone named; viz., because it was the chief thing among the Nicolaitans in Thyatira. “The woman Jezebel” is manifestly represented as a teacher of a Balaamite or Nicolaitan character. If now “the woman Jez.” collectively is to designate a party and “personified heresy,”(1234) the body of Jews, the synagogue,(1235) cannot be meant,—an explanation which only by the most unnatural artificialness is united with the declaration that the false doctrine of Jezebel alludes to πορνεῦσαι and φαγ. εἰδωλ.,—but the Nicolaitan false teachers must be represented under the figure of Jezebel.(1236) But partly the designation τὴν γυναῖκα, which is attached to a name sufficient for that sense, partly the further limitation λεγουσα έαυτ., κ. τ. λ., which has in itself something that is individual, decides the view that a particular woman is meant; not the wife of a bishop,(1237) nor a woman who is actually called Jezebel,(1238) but some woman who under the pretence of being a prophetess had approved the doctrines of the Nicolaitans, and for that reason was designated a new Jezebel, as Ahab’s wife formerly in the O. T. church, by the introduction of the worship of Baal, and fornication,(1239) which was combined with the worship of Baal and Ashtaroth, gave the greatest offence.(1240) That the woman in Thyatira did not actually have the name Jezebel, but rather that this name was understood symbolically, does not follow from the fact that in the Apoc. all names except that of the composer are of a symbolical character,(1241) for that is not the case;(1242) but from the fact that it is applied to the false doctrines and godlessness, which have been designated already by the name of Balaam, of entirely similar notoriety with that of the wife of Ahab.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". 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 2:20. ἔχω κατὰ σοῦ) Not only some MSS., but by far the most witnesses, exhibit this reading,(37) which the others, by supplying of themselves πολλὰ, or πολὺ, or by inserting ὀλίγα from Revelation 2:14, confirm by this very separation into the extremes. In such places the shorter reading is almost always genuine. See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage. In the 19th verse the comparative πλείονα prefers the last works to the first, but it is not opposed to ὀλίγα. The Lord had neither many nor few things against the angel at Thyatira, but that one thing only which is expressly mentioned, as against the angel of the church at Ephesus, ch. Revelation 2:4, where Andreas writes that ἕν, one thing, only is blamed. Wherefore the denunciations against these two are more gentle than those against the angel of the church at Pergamos, against whom the Lord had a few things.— ὅτι ἀφεῖς τὴν γυναῖκα ἰεζάβελ, λέγουσα ἑαυτὴν προφῆτιν, καὶ διδάσκει καὶ πλανᾷ τοὺς ἐμοὺς δούλους) Wolf says, that he does not understand how ἀφεῖς can be said in Greek. But ἀφεῖς is read Exodus 32:32, in the most approved editions: Chrys. hom. 3, ad Pox. Ant. in the notes of Ducæus, quotes ἀφεῖς, Exodus 32; and in the Apocalypse it is supported by the agreement of all the MSS.,(38) if you except the silence of one or two which are more carelessly collated. Comp. Marck. on Ap. ii. § 46, 53. From ἕω (Ion. ἕημι, in the common dialects ἵημι) is formed ἀφέω, ἀφέεις, ἀφέει, although ἀφεῖς only, and that contracted, is in use. However it is, there was no reason why John himself should not write ἀφεῖς, equally with the Greek copyists, the meaning being free from doubt. Arethas, who substitutes ἀφίης, in other places used Greek forms better than those employed by John, as they appeared to himself to be suitable. See below on ch. Revelation 16:13. The same reasoning applies to the following words,(39) as far as relates to the MSS., καὶ διδάσκει καὶ πλανᾷ, the meaning of which also is obvious. For first the verb ἀφίημι is also put absolutely in Matthew 3:15 : next, the defining of its object is here subjoined: thou permittest that woman, namely, to teach, and she does actually teach, etc. So ch. Revelation 11:3, I will give to My two witnesses that they prophesy, and they shall prophesy. Comp. also Revelation 13:16. See App. Crit. Ed. ii. We have given λέγουσα for τὴν λέγουσαν, which is otherwise free from difficulty.(40)τὴν γυναῖκα) Many long ago read, τὴν γυναῖκά σου. Certainly she had a husband, for she had adulterers, Revelation 2:22. The word σοῦ appears to be a gloss,(41) but it is suitable to the subject itself. But it is elegantly said, woman, for thy wife; either because such an ellipsis is of frequent occurrence, Acts 7:20, or because the person spoken of here was an adulteress: comp. John 4:18; Acts 24:24 : and, the woman Jezebel; though the very name of Jezebel would indicate a woman: for she usurped the office of teaching, contrary to that which is becoming to a woman.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". 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

Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee: See Poole on "Revelation 2:4", See Poole on "Revelation 2:14".

Because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel: the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, mentioned Revelation 2:6,15, is so plainly expressed in the latter part of the verse, viz. maintaining the lawfulness of eating things offered to idols, and of fornication; that whosoever this woman was, it is plain she was one of that filthy sect. It is also plain, that she is called Jezebel with allusion to that wicked woman of that name who was the wife of Ahab, of whom we read, 1 Kings 16:31. She was an instrument to bring Ahab her husband to serve and worship Baal. It is also piain, that she was one that pretended to Divine revelations; she called herself a prophetess; and that taught in public, which no women but prophetesses might do, 1 Corinthians 14:34 1 Timothy 2:11,12: and that she taught a community of women, and the lawfulness as of fornication, so of eating things sacrificed to idols, directly contrary to the apostle’s doctrine, 1 Corinthians 9:10. But what she was cannot be determined; for though we allow this church to be typical of the church in the times of popery, and the popish synagogue, which maintaineth both these things to be the antitype; yet certainly there was some famous heretical strumpet in this church, which the governors did not restrain and cast out of their communion; which is the thing Christ had against this church, and the officers in it, who ought to have restrained her extravagancies both in teaching such doctrines, (being contrary to the apostle’s doctrine in the places before mentioned), and from teaching at all, being no prophetess though she pretended to it.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". 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

Иезавели Вероятно, так Иоанн называет женщину, которая влияла на церковь таким же образом, как Иезавель воздействовала на ветхозаветных иудеев, и ввергла их в идолопоклонство и любодеяние (ср. 3Цар. 21:25, 26).

любодействовать и есть идоложертвенное Ср. Деян. 15:19-29; см. пояснение к ст. 14.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-2.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Jezebel; a wicked woman like the wife of king Ahab; pretending to be a religious teacher, yet seducing the people into error and sin. The doctrine that she taught was the same as "the doctrine of Balaam," chap Revelation 2:14.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-2.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

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

2. "Thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess"--2:20.

The name Jezebel is the symbol of the powerful heathen influences and applied to the same defections designated by the doctrine of Balaam and the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. The expression that woman Jezebel was a gradation of the same evil Jewish parties in the Pergamos and the Thyatira churches. She was representative of a pseudo-prophetess in the person of a female Judaizer, a sort of the Lady Macbeth, of the Shakespearean play; a representation of an added source of opposition and seduction to the already existing Balaams and Nicolaitanes.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "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 2:20. What is praiseworthy in the church has been spoken of. The Lord now passes to that in which it failed. Again a division into four parts meets us:—(1) That thou sufferest thy wife Jezebel. We adopt this reading as every way preferable to the reading, ‘that woman Jezebel,’ given in both the Authorised and Revised Versions. The external evidence in its favour is at least equal to that for the common reading. The internal is much superior; and it is almost impossible to doubt that the misinterpretation which supposed the ‘Angel’ to be the Bishop of the church, and which therefore recoiled from the idea that the Bishop’s wife could have been a person of the kind here described, formed the chief reason why it was set aside for that commonly adopted. Let us have distinctly impressed upon us that the ‘Angel’ of Thyatira is the church of that city, and let us remember that the peculiar aggravation of the sin of Ahab in the Old Testament was that ‘he did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up’ (1 Kings 21:25); and we shall at once feel how much more in keeping with the force and vigour of the whole Apocalypse, as well as of the present passage, is the reading ‘thy wife’ than the reading ‘that woman.’ The very head and front of the church’s sin was, not that it merely tolerated false teaching and sinful practices in its midst, but that it had allied itself with them. Many, no doubt, had remained pure (Revelation 2:24), but the church as a whole was guilty. The Jezebel of the Old Testament, whose story lies at the bottom of the apostle’s language, was a heathen both by birth and training; and Ahab’s marriage with her was the first instance of the marriage with a heathen princess of a king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Thus had Thyatira sinned, had entered for the sake of worldly honour into alliance with the world, and was still continuing the sinful tie. The sentence, ‘thou sufferest thy wife Jezebel,’ it must be noticed, is complete in itself, ‘thou toleratest,’ ‘thou lettest alone’ (comp. John 11:48; John 12:7; and for the story of Jezebel, 1 Kings 16, 18, 19, 21; 2 Kings 9). Most commentators admit that the name Jezebel is to be understood symbolically; but they are not agreed whether, as so used, it refers to a single person,—a false female teacher,—or a heretical party within the church. The latter opinion is by much the more probable of the two, although we have before us not so much a regularly constituted party, as separate persons who were themselves addicted to the sins described, and who were endeavouring at the same time to seduce others. In Jeremiah 4:30 we have a similar description of the degeneracy of the Church. The persons thus pointed at were, it must be further noticed, within the Church. They had drawn their erroneous views and sinful practices, it is true, from heathenism, as Jezebel was the daughter of a heathen king, but they were not themselves heathen. They were professing members of the Christian community, for this Jezebel calleth herself a prophetess, not a false prophetess, but one with a divine commission.—(2) And she teacheth, etc. The sins into which the persons alluded to sought to betray the church are now mentioned. They are the sins already spoken of in the case of Pergamos; yet there is at the same time an important distinction. At Pergamos the evil came from an outward source, Balaam; at Thyatira from an inward source, Jezebel. The former was a Gentile Prophet; the latter was the wife of the King of Israel. Mark the progress.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "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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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Mulierem Jezabel, Greek: ten gunaika Iezabel. Dr. Wells, in his amendments to the Protestant translation, has put thy wife, and in the Greek Greek: gunaika sou which he says is found in the Alexandrian and several other manuscripts. But neither the Oxford edition of 1675, nor that at Amsterdam of 1711, take notice of this reading in any one manuscript. As for that one manuscript of Alexandria, I guess by Walton's Polyglot, that it cannot well be read in that place. And though it is likely that the author of the Syriac version may have found that reading, yet there is nothing for it in the Arabic or Ethiopic, nor in the vulgar Latin, which, as Dr. Wells himself take notice on 1 John v. 7. is more ancient than any other version or Greek manuscript. And though we find uxorem tuam in St. Cyprian ad Antonianum, edit. Rig. p. 72, and in the edition of Dr. Fell, published in Amsterdam, in the year 1701, p. 248, where he says in the note mark a, cui interpretationi favent illa Græca exemplaria, quæ lugent, Greek: gunaika sou, but he did not think fit to tell us where any such manuscripts were to be found, nor have I heard that they have been seen by any one. It is certain St. Epiphanius did not find Greek: sou, nor think this the true reading, when in the heresy of the Alogians, by Jezabel, he understands Maximilla, Priscilla, or Quintilla, in Marcion's time.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-2.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

a few things. Omit.

that = the.

Jezebel. See 1 Kings 16:30-34; 1 Kings 21:25. This patroness of Baal-worship will have her sinister antitype in the future.

prophetess. Only here and Luke 2:36 (Anna) in NT.

to teach, &c. The texts read "and she teacheth and seduceth".

seduce. App-128.

servants. App-190.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "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

Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

A few things. So oldest Vulgate; omitted in A B C: 'I have against thee that,' etc. 'Aleph (') has 'much' [ polu (Greek #4183)].

Sufferest, [ eaoo (Greek #1439); but 'Aleph (') A B C read, afeis (Greek #863), 'lettest alone']. That woman. So 'Aleph (') C, Vulgate; but A B, 'THY wife.' The symbolical, Jezebel was to Thyatira what Jezebel, Ahab's 'wife,' was to him. Some self-called prophetess (or, as the feminine in Hebrew often collectively expresses a multitude, a set of false prophets), as closely attached to the church of Thyatira as a wife is to a husband, and as powerfully influencing for evil that church as Jezebel did Ahab. As Balaam, in Israel's early history, so Jezebel, daughter of Eth-baal, king of Sidon (1 Kings 16:31), formerly priest of Astarte, and murderer of his predecessor on the throne (Josephus, 'Contra Apron,' 1:, 18), was the great seducer in Israel's later history. Like her father, she was swift to shed blood. Wholly given to Baal-worship, like Eth-baal, whose name expresses his idolatry, she, with her strong will, seduced the weak Ahab and Israel beyond the calf-worship (a worship of the true God under the cherub-ox form; i:e., a violation of the second commandment) to that of Baal (a violation of the first also). She was herself a priestess and prophetess of Baal. Compare 2 Kings 9:22; 2 Kings 9:30, "whoredoms of ... Jezebel and her witchcrafts" (impurity was part of the worship of the Phoenician Astarte, or Venus). Her spiritual counterpart at Thyatira lured God's "servants" by pretended inspiration to the same libertinism, fornication, and idol meats, as the Balaamites and Nicolaitanes (Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:14-15). By false spiritualism these led their victims into gross carnality, as though things done in the flesh were outside the man, and therefore indifferent. 'The deeper the Church penetrated into paganism, the more she became paganish. This prepares us for "harlot" and "Babylon," applied to her afterward' (Auberlen).

To teach and to seduce. So Vulgate; but 'Aleph (') A, B C, 'and she teaches and seduces' [ plana (Greek #4105), 'deceives']. 'Thyatira was just the reverse of Ephesus. There, zeal for orthodoxy, but little love; here, activity of faith and love, but insufficient zeal for discipline and doctrine: a patience of error even where there was not a participation in it' (Trench).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "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

(20) A few things.—The Sinaitic MS. has “I have much against thee; but the reading, I have against thee that thou lettest alone, &c., is to be preferred.

Jezebel.—Some adopt the reading, “thy wife Jezebel.” From these words it has been thought that there was some personal influence at work for evil in Thyatira. Whether in the household of the “angel” or not is at least doubtful. The sin alleged against her is the same for which the Nicolaitanes are condemned—fornication, and the eating of things sacrificed to idols. If the above view be right, the leader of the exorcists is a woman—regarded by her followers as a prophetess, as one with a real message from God; but viewed by the Lord of the churches as a very Jezebel, teaching and seducing the servants of God. For letting her alone, for being timid, paying too much deference to her spiritual pretensions, for failing to see and to show that the so-called “deep things” of these teachers were depths of Satan, the chief minister is rebuked. A large number of respectable critics regard Jezebel as a name applied to a faction, not as belonging to an individual. It seems best to view the name as symbolical, always remembering that the Jezebel spirit of proud, self-constituted authority, vaunting claims of superior holiness, or higher knowledge, linked with a disregard of—and perhaps a proud contempt for—“legalism,” and followed by open immorality, has again and again run riot in the churches of God.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
I have
4,14
that woman
1 Kings 16:31; 17:4,13; 19:1,2; 21:7-15,23-25; 2 Kings 9:7,30-37
and to seduce
14; Exodus 34:15; Numbers 25:1,2; Acts 15:20,29; 1 Corinthians 8:10-12; 10:18-21,28
Reciprocal: Leviticus 14:40 - take away;  1 Samuel 2:24 - ye make;  1 Kings 18:19 - eat at Jezebel's table;  2 Kings 9:22 - the whoredoms;  2 Kings 10:6 - your master's sons;  2 Kings 21:9 - seduced;  2 Chronicles 21:11 - caused;  2 Chronicles 24:7 - that wicked;  Proverbs 7:13 - she;  Ezekiel 13:10 - seduced;  Ezekiel 13:17 - out of;  Daniel 11:34 - cleave;  Hosea 2:5 - their mother;  Micah 1:13 - she;  Micah 6:16 - the works;  Matthew 5:19 - shall teach;  Matthew 13:25 - men;  Matthew 18:7 - but;  Matthew 22:10 - both;  Mark 10:21 - One thing;  Luke 17:1 - It is;  Acts 21:9 - which;  1 Corinthians 5:2 - might;  1 Corinthians 5:11 - fornicator;  2 Corinthians 2:17 - which;  2 Corinthians 11:13 - false;  2 Corinthians 11:29 - and I burn;  Galatians 1:7 - pervert;  Galatians 3:1 - who;  1 Timothy 1:3 - charge;  2 Timothy 3:8 - resist;  Titus 2:3 - teachers;  Hebrews 12:16 - any fornicator;  Revelation 2:2 - how

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-2.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

A GRAVE INDICTMENT.

Revelation 2:20. — "But I have against thee that thou permittest the woman Jezebel, she who calls herself prophetess, and she teaches and leads astray My servants to commit fornication and eat of idol sacrifices." The Authorised Version reads, "I have a few things against thee," but in the Revised Version and others we read, "I have against thee." The Lord had a grave indictment against the angel. The Church in its representatives was permitting an evil in its midst of a more serious character than any that had yet appeared. In other words the papacy is in the forefront of this address. The supremacy of the Roman See is simply the development in full of the dispute amongst the disciples "who was the greatest" (Mark 9:33-34, R.V.).{*The historical development of the papacy from the fourth century, when the claim of supremacy was first advanced, to the eighth, when universal sovereignty, spiritual and temporal, was demanded, is ably traced in "The Rise of the Papal Power." by Hussey.} That the general state of the Church in the Middle Ages is represented by Thyatira seems self-evident.

HISTORICAL ORDER OF THE CHURCHES.

In the successional order of the churches attention is drawn to certain broadly marked features and distinctive epochs which lie open to every student of ecclesiastical history. The historian may furnish details, sometimes interesting, more often dreary, but the principles and broad characteristics of Church history, of which details are but the outcome and development, are plainly written down in chapters two and three of the Apocalypse. Decay of first love closed up the first century, of which Ephesus was the representative. Then persecution raged with greater or less intensity at intermittent periods for more than two centuries, of which Smyrna was the sorrowful witness. Next, and in historical order, we are brought to the era of Constantine, when the emperor ruined the Church with his gold and honours. This sad event is of fourth century notoriety, and was exhibited in Pergamos. Succeeding history shows the development of the papal system from the first claim of authority and supremacy in the council of Sardica, A.D. 347, till the seventh century, when its arrogant, pretentious claims clashed with the titles, honours, and worship due exclusively to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Then from the eighth century till the dawn of the Reformation the universal claim of the papacy over the kingdoms of the earth, and the souls and bodies of men, yea, as possessing even the keys of Paradise itself, was carried out as far as possible by force and fraud. The claim of universal sovereignty has never been withdrawn, and awaits another day for its enforcement. This, then, is the awful picture presented in Thyatira. The Reformation of the sixteenth century broke the yoke of the papacy and secured a measure of freedom for Europe. Luther with an open Bible was more than a match for the Pope, aided and abetted by the most potent monarch of his time. The blow then dealt at the papacy was not a deadly one, it is slowly but surely recovering from it. The Reformation and Protestantism are before us as prominent features in the epistle to Sardis. But another Reformation was needed, one of vital and practical Christianity. This was effected in the energy of the Spirit of God at the commencement of last century. Finally, the state neither hot nor cold; Christless, yet boasting of its wealth and supremacy; self-satisfied, too, is the main characteristic of the Church to-day. The cross outside and inside her buildings, with Christ outside at the door knocking for individuals to open is Laodicea. The Church refuses to hear His voice or own His authority.

JEZEBEL, OR THE PAPACY.

Jezebel was a woman, a queen, an idolater, a persecutor, and the virtual ruler and director of the government of Israel. Ahab was but a puppet in her hands (1 Kings 18:1-46; 1 Kings 19:1-21; 1 Kings 20:1-43; 1 Kings 21:1-29). All this and more is the Jezebel of the Apocalypse. Combining in herself these and other features of the popish system (Revelation 17:1-18; Revelation 18:1-24), she arrogantly assumes the title "prophetess." She professes to teach with authority. Combined with teaching she can employ all the arts and seductions of minds specially trained to effect her fell purpose.{*The Jesuit is the real power behind the Pope. The ruling principle of the Jesuit lies in this, that the end justifies the means. Morality, honour, principle are sacrificed in order to effect this end. "The Jesuits spend the night in hatching plots, and the day in running about to execute them." — Wyllie.} "Hear Mother Church" is the cry of every Romanist. "The Church cannot err in faith and morals," and it must be understood that by "the Church" is meant the papacy pure and simple. Her teachings and seductions, however contrary to Scripture and repellent to human understanding, must be accepted as authoritative and infallible. This is a dogma with Rome. She cannot err, therefore she cannot progress. It is thus that Rome and ignorance, Rome and superstition, Rome and no mind must necessarily, as history abundantly testifies, go together. Rome dreads the light and fears the Bible. "The Church teaches," says the Romanist. "The Church's mission is to evangelise," says the Protestant. Both are wrong. Teaching and preaching are not gifts conferred upon the Church, nor is it responsible to do either. The Church is taught, but does not teach. Both teaching and preaching are the exercise of gift by individual servants of the Lord (Ephesians 4:8-12).

She leads "astray My servants." This the Jezebel of modern days has done. She has turned the great mass of professing Christians (here designated "My servants," as bearing that name and character) from Christ to Mary; from Christ the one Mediator and Intercessor (1 Timothy 2:5; Romans 8:34) to the dead; from Christ to the Pope; from the one offering of eternal value to the sacrifice of the mass; from the Word of God and its certainty to the traditions of men which all are uncertain; and, in general, from Christianity to christianised paganism. Is not the indictment a grave and true one?

Where does this wide departure from truth lead to? What is the natural result to those led astray? The end of popish error, of intrigue, of blasphemous teachings, of wicked practices, and undying hatred to all outside her communion is to get her adherents and dupes "to commit fornication and eat of idol sacrifices" — FORNICATION and IDOLATRY. These were the two great Pergamos errors, only here seen in a more settled and intensified form. It will also be noticed that in Pergamos the evils are stated in inverse order — idolatry and fornication (v. 14). These two satanic evils were taught and practised in the Church itself. There may have been in the Thyatiran assembly an actual counterpart to the impious Jezebel of old, who led in these very evils unchecked by the angel. But these heinous sins must be understood in a broad and comprehensive sense, and in keeping with the thought repeatedly pressed in this Exposition, viz., descriptive of the general condition of the Church as a whole at a given time. Those terrible evils were the characteristics of the medieval Church.

Fornication, employed as a symbol here and elsewhere, signifies for those professing the Name of the Lord, illicit intercourse with the world. What was commenced by Constantine was consummated in the papacy.{*The term "Popery" and "Papacy" are not equivalent terms. The former is the embodiment of doctrine and religious rite and ceremony; the latter signifies the whole system — sacred and secular — from its root to its utmost branch.} The assumption of combined temporal and spiritual power, both universal in their range, was the masterpiece of the papacy. Kingdoms were bestowed, crowns given, and principalities conferred according to the will of one styling himself "The vicar of Jesus Christ, the successor of Peter, the anointed of the Lord, the God of Pharaoh, short of God, beyond man, less than God, greater than man, who judges all men, and is judged by no man."{*Innocent III., who ascended the pontifical chair in the early part of the twelfth century. A cruel and relentless persecutor} The unholy union of the Church with the world was as a system perfected in the papacy. It is spiritual fornication.

Participation in idol worship next follows, and is necessarily coupled with the former evil. Idolatry in the Church seems paradoxical, nevertheless it is true. We deliberately assert that the Romish Church and the Greek Church are systems of baptised paganism, and to some extent the Anglican Church is involved in the charge. Most of their doctrines, holy days, rites, ceremonies, vestments, titles, are heathen in their origin. The pagans refused to adopt Christian worship and doctrine, and so the Church — more evil — adopted pagan customs, giving them Christian names.{*All this is fully inquired into and proved beyond doubt in that remarkable book, "The Two Babylons," by Hyslop. See also "The Mystic Cities of Scripture," "Zion and Babylon," and "Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History," Vols. 1 and 2, English edition of 1845.} If the simple Church polity of the New Testament is compared with the unspiritual, mechanical worship and order in the Roman, Eastern, and Anglican churches, the reader may be surprised to learn that there is scarcely one point of agreement. But are the orthodox churches free from the taint of idolatry? Have they not more or less borrowed from Rome? Protestantism is not necessarily Christianity. The severance from the papacy by the churches of the Reformation was not as complete as it ought to have been. Numerous Romish practices and doctrines of pagan origin are yet retained in the Reformed churches. All mere forms of worship and doctrinal creeds not of direct Scripture authority draw the heart and eye from Christ; other objects are substituted, and that is idolatry.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "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

Having given the church credit for the good things it was doing the Lord next makes his complaints. Thou sufierest. When a church retains a bad character in its fellowship, it becomes a partaker of the evil deeds of that person and will be condemned by the Lord. (See verses14, 15.) The church at Thyatira was doing so concerning a false prophetess named Jezebel. Thayer defines this word, "A second Jezebel," then gives us the following historical statement. "The symbolic name of a woman who pretended to be a phophetess, and who, addicted to antinomianism [the doctrine of faith alone], claimed for Christians the liberty of eating things sacrificed to idols." This statement of Thayer's agrees with the language of the verse.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". 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 2:20

Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

"Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee," etc.

Christ in this verse, and in the three following verses, doth reprove this church and her ministers for suffering corrupt and false doctrine to be preached amongst them, whereby his servants were seduced, that Isaiah, drawn away from the truth, and led into errors both of judgment and in conversation. See Exposition on Revelation 2:14-15.

See KNOLLYS: Revelation 2:14

See KNOLLYS: Revelation 2:15

"Because thou sufferest that Woman Jezebel, which calleth her self a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants"

Not that there was such a woman in the church called Jezebel, or any other woman that pretended to be a prophetess, who taught or spake publicly in the church, for that was against the law of Christ and command of the apostle, { 1 Corinthians 14:34; 2 Timothy 2:22} and it's probable would not have been suffered by the angel or ministers of this church: But rather as Christ used the name of Balaam { Revelation 2:14} to make the doctrine of the Nicolaitans odious to the saints in Pergamos; so he useth the name of this painted woman, Jezebel, who was infamous for idolatry, and other wickedness, { 1 Kings 16:31, etc.} to make that doctrine whereby his servants were seduced to be the more odious and hateful unto the saints in Thyatira, or else by the "woman Jezebel who called her self prophetess", we are to understand those false teachers who called themselves prophets and ministers of God, who taught corrupt and false doctrine in this Church, to wit

"to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols,"

which was the doctrine of Balaam and of the Nicolaitans, and their deeds also which Christ hated and here reproved sharply; which opinion I rather cleave unto, because that false teachers and false prophets in the church of Rome are called a woman, and the great whore. { Revelation 17:1; Revelation 17:3; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 19:20}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-2.html.

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

Revelation 2:20. But I have against thee, that thou sufferest thy wife Jezebel, who says she is a prophetess, and she teaches and seduces my servants to commit fornication and to eat things offered to idols. After, "I have against thee," some codices have introduced "little," (Luther: "I have a small thing against thee"), and others "much;" but the most and best have neither the one nor the other. The origin of both readings is explained from Revelation 2:14, even that of the latter. The feeling, that the style here is sharper than in the preceding epistle, gave rise to the opinion, that a contrast to the small there, was here in its proper place. Other departures from the genuine reading have been occasioned by the harsh and unclassical character of the construction.[Note: Text: The received text: " ὄ τι ἐ ᾶ ς τὴ ν γυναῖ κα ἰ εζαβὴ λ τή ν λὲ γουσαν ἐ αυτὴ ν προφῆ τιν διδά σκειν καὶ πλανᾶ σθαι ἐ μοὺ ς δού λους, at first sight betrays this to have been its origin.]In particular, people could not understand, the "thou sufferest" (namely, to teach and seduce), and "she teaches;" comp. ch. Revelation 11:3, "And I shall give my two witnesses (to prophecy) and they shall prophecy." But the most important deviation has been, that frequently for "thy wife," is substituted "the woman," which Luther also has adopted. That the external reasons in support of the first reading greatly preponderate, is clear alone from its admission into the text of Lachmann. How the omission of the thy took place, may be learned from De Wette, who rejects it as "unsuitable." How should any one have thought of thrusting in this thy, the cross of expositors, into the text, if it had not originally existed? It is enough, that it still remains untouched in so many and such important critical helps. Bengel remarks on the expression, thou sufferest: "There are people, who have a hearty love for the good, and occupy themselves with all that is lovely, delight in it and rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ as their portion. But the evil may still for them have its progress." Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, the king of Zidon, the wife of Ahab of Israel, who as a murderer of the prophets, introduced the worship of idols into Israel, is after Balaam the second chief representative in Old Testament times of the heathenish seduction that found its way into the church of the Lord. There can be no manner of doubt, that it is not some particular seductive woman, who is designated by the name of Jezebel, as manifesting somewhat of her nature in the church at Thyatira; but that the Jezebel was a symbolical person, the personified heresy and heathenish false doctrine; so that 1 John 4:1, "Many false prophets have gone out into the world," as to meaning exactly corresponds. To this conclusion, first, the whole character of the seven epistles points; for to this it would be quite foreign to introduce such minute particulars, as a reference here would be to a "certain woman." Certainly, "it has nothing against it, to suppose that there was a woman at Thyatira," etc.; but it has a great deal against it, that John should have assigned so important a place to such a woman in a book consecrated to the church of all times. Farther, the analogy of Balaam leads in the same direction, as to this corresponded not a single individual in the prophet's own time, but a whole class of false teachers. Then, the mention of adulteries and children in Revelation 2:22-23, with which even those who defend the reference to a "certain influential woman," have no patience; De Wette, for example, who remarks, that "her children, can scarcely he taken in the natural sense, but must mean scholars, followers." But it is quite decisive, that here the discourse is not indefinitely of a woman, but of the wife of the angel. If it is a fixed point, that the angel is an ideal person, or a collective, then under the woman we cannot understand a single individual. We must rather understand by it the weaker half (1 Peter 3:7), that part of the governing body who were infected with the heresy, whether it might be, that there were such among those, who actually held office, or that these, represented by the angel, had false teachers beside them, who exercised a considerable influence on the church, and in point of fact had a share in the direction. Jezebel is represented as one, who said, that she was a prophetess. We have already drawn attention to the false pretensions to inspiration, which were put forth by the Gnostics at the first. Vitringa has shewn, that in a certain sense the Old Jezebel assumed the character of a false prophetess. To this especially points the enchantments attributed to her, 2 Kings 9:22, the enthusiastical conduct of the servants of the Baal-worship which she introduced with fanatical zeal, and the fact, that her father, according to a fragment of Menander's translation from the Tyrian annals in Josephus, was originally high-priest of Astarte. Little as we can think of identifying the angel with the church, we are still farther prevented from doing so by the circumstance, that the wife also of the angel calls herself a prophetess, teaches and seduces, and the laity, who adhere to the false doctrine, are distinguished from her. That the committing of fornication forms the commencement here otherwise than in Revelation 2:14, is to be explained from the circumstance, that in reference to the Old Jezebel the history makes express mention only of adultery; whereas in reference to Balaam the seducing also to eat of things offered to idols is mentioned. In 2 Kings 9:22, Jehu's answer to the question of Joram, "Is there peace, Jehu?" was, "What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel, and her witchcrafts continue?" There it is primarily spiritual fornication that is meant; but this went hand in hand with the bodily, especially in the worship of demoniacal excitement, like that which was promoted by Jezebel; and 2 Kings 9:30, compared with Jeremiah 4:30 shews, that in Jezebel's case also this connection existed. The fornication here, too, bears this double meaning. If this is not kept in mind both here and in Revelation 2:21, the transition in Revelation 2:22, where the discourse comes to be of spiritual adultery, will be too sharp.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-2.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

20.That woman—Though Alford rather approves the reading, thy wife, (meaning the wife of the pastor or bishop,) Tischendorf and Trench reject it. This reading may have arisen from the words, “Jezebel, his wife,” 1 Kings 21:25.

Jezebel—Was the true female counterpart of Balaam, both being great patrons of the same system of idolotrous sensualism, the fiery Molochism of the Tyrian sun-god. He seduced Israel on his first entrance to the promised land; she, more fatally, centuries after, won the kingdom of Israel to a still more fatal form of the same apostasy. She was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre and priest of Astarte. She became the wife of Ahab, king of Israel, and not only imported the voluptuous rites of the Tyrian religion, but gave it a complete ascendency over the religion of Jehovah in Jehovah’s own land. A contempt for the gloomy and narrow scruples of the true Israelite was diffused; it became aristocratic to be dissolute; temples were abundantly erected for the seductive rites, until but 7,000 adherents of Jehovah were alone known to Jehovah himself in the fallen nation. The overthrow and tragic end of Jezebel we need not here rehearse. Her antitype in spirit and influence was now found in the little Church of Thyatira, a libertine woman of great talent seducing the people by sensual doctrines, and leading them into most atrocious practices. There is not the slightest demand or excuse for giving any allegorical sense to these plain facts. The remark of Alford, that the emblematical name of Jezebel, given to this woman, leads “us into the regions of symbolism,” is over-strained. If we were to brand a modern traitor with the name of Judas, that would not at all imply that his treasonable character and acts were allegorical, or his person an unreality. And we have specimens of even female lecturers at the present day denouncing the institution of marriage, and propagating a theory of unsanctified sensualism, aiding us to understand both the Tyrian and the Thyatirian Jezebel. She claimed to be a prophetess, as Balaam was a prophet. That is, she assumed to be a religious doctrinary.

My servants—As Balaam’s influence seduced Israel of old.

Fornication—Eating of things sacrificed unto idols.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-2.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 2:20. Women (cf.Acts 21:9; 1 Corinthians 11:5, and the later Ammia in Philadelphia: Eus. H. E. ver 17. 2) occasionally prophesied in the early church, and false prophetesses were as likely to exist as false prophets. This “Jezebel of a woman, alleging herself to be a prophetess,” seems to have been some influential female (as the definite imagery of Revelation 2:21-23 indicates); her lax principles or tendencies made for a connexion with foreign and compromising associations which evidently exerted a dangerous charm upon some weaker Christians in the city. The moral issue corresponds to that produced by the Nikolaitan party at Pergamos ( . , ), but the serious nature of the heresy at Thyatira appears from the fact that it was not simply propagated within the church but also notorious (Revelation 2:23) and long-continued ( ), thanks to obstinacy among the Ahabs and adherents of this prominent woman (Revelation 2:21). They prided themselves on their enlightened liberalism (Revelation 2:24). The definiteness of her personality, the fact of her situation within a Christian church which had jurisdiction over her, and the association of her practices with those of the Nikolaitans, who were members of the church, render it impossible to identify this libertine influence of Jude with a foreign institution such as the famous shrine of the Chaldean Sibyl at Thyatira (Schürer: Theol. Abhandlungen, pp. 39 f., a theory suggested by Blakesley, in Smith’s DB), or with the wife of the local Asiarch (Selwyn, 123). Besides it was not the cults but the trade-guilds that formed the problem at Thyatira. Jastrow points out (p. 267) that for some occult reason female sorcerers were preferred to men among the Babylonians; “the witch appears more frequently than the male sorcerer”. Hillel (Pirke Aboth, ii. 8; see Dr. C. Taylor’s note) had already declared, “more women, more witchcraft”. For the connexion of women and sorcery cf. Blau’s Altjüd. Zauberwesen 18 f., 23 f.— . . ., an irregular nomin. absolute, characteristic of the writer. This LXX peculiarity of a detached participle thrown into relief, which is not confined to the Apocalypse (cf.Philippians 3:16-19, etc.), renders the participle almost a relative (Vit. i., 202); but indeed any word or group of words, thus singled out as characteristic of some preceding noun, tends to become independent and to take its own construction (II. 8f). See Zephaniah 1:12 (LXX).

[903]. Jude

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-2.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

20. But here Is what I have against you. Here in Thyatira, labor guilds were centered around an idol. Sex orgies and drunkenness were part of the activity of these guilds. Obviously a Christian could not take part in this sort of thing, so, he lost his job! This created terrific pressure on the Christians to participate in these orgies, so he could keep his job and feed his family (see 1 Peter 4:4; compare 1 Corinthians 7:26-28). Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, symbolizes seduction, idolatry and immorality [1 Kings 16:31; 1 Kings 18:4; 1 Kings 19:1-2]. Here “Jezebel” symbolizes a faction in the church who developed an “easy way out.” What they said must have been this: “You can’t conquer sin unless you experience it. If you learn the deep things of Satan by worshiping the idol and joining the orgy, you will be a better Christian.” The church at Thyatira was permitting this, but the One whose “eyes blaze like fire” is not to be fooled! He has said: “You must be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 2:20". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-2.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.