Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 2:21

I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Adultery;   Afflictions and Adversities;   Backsliders;   Church;   God Continued...;   Idolatry;   Impenitence;   Lukewarmness;   Minister, Christian;   Scofield Reference Index - Life;   Repentance;   The Topic Concordance - Adultery;   Government;   Heart;   Obedience;   Prophecy and Prophets;   Rendering;   Repentance;   Teaching;   Tribulation;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Afflictions of the Wicked, the;   Repentance;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jezebel;   Revelation, book of;   Thyatira;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Time;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Patience of God;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Thyatira;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Fornication;   Immorality;   Nicolaitans;   Repentance;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asia;   Magi;   Nicolas;   Peter, Second Epistle of;   Thyatira;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Moses;   Repentance;   Tares ;   Thyatira ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Sepharvaim;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Jezebel;   Thyatira;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Thyati'ra,;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Fornication;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Crime;   Gnosticism;   Philippi;   Revelation of John:;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I gave her space to repent - "This alludes to the history of Jezebel. God first sent Elijah to Ahab to pronounce a severe judgment upon him; upon which Ahab showed tokens of repentance, and so God put off his punishment. By these means the like punishment pronounced against Jezebel was also put off. Thus God gave her time to repent, which she did not, but instead of that seduced her sons to the same sins. See 1 Kings 21:1-29. According to the Mosaical law, the punishment of idolatrous seducers was not to be delayed at all, but God sometimes showed mercy; and now much more under the Christian dispensation, though that mercy is often abused, and thus produces the contrary effect, as in the case of this Jezebel. See Ecclesiastes 8:11.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And I gave her space to repent of her fornication - Probably after some direct and solemn warning of the evil of her course. The error and sin had been of long standing, but he now resolved to bear with it no longer. It is true of almost every great sinner, that sufficient time is given for repentance, and that vengeance is delayed after crime is committed. But it cannot always be deferred, for the period must arrive when no reason shall exist for longer delay, and when punishment must come upon the offender.

And she repented not - As she did not do it; as she showed no disposition to abandon her course; as all plea of having had no time to repent would now be taken away, it was proper that he should rise in his anger and cut her down.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-2.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And I gave her time that she should repent; and she willeth not to repent of her fornication.

I gave her time ... The longsuffering of the Lord is in this. The Saviour is not seeking some grounds for casting out his children, but overlooks their transgressions for a season, waiting for their repentance. For the willfully impenitent, however, there remains a judicial hardening and the execution of judgment. As Beasley-Murray said, "There is also the implication that Jezebel had been previously warned."[84] Another necessary deduction from this was cited by Carpenter, thus: "True repentance is a repentance whereby we forsake sin."[85] The immorality at Thyatira was flagrant, and more flagrant still was their persistence in it.

Fornication ... There is no need to spiritualize this as "spiritual adultery." The obscenities and debaucheries openly observed in the pagan culture were fleshly, sensual, carnal and reprobate.

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

[85] W. Boyd Carpenter, op. cit., p. 545.

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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 2:21". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-2.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And I gave her space to repent of her fornication,.... Of idolatry. This may have respect to the time of the witnesses, the Waldenses, and others, who bore a testimony against the Romish idolatry, and reproved for it, and denounced the judgment of God in case of impenitence; and as these things were repeated time after time, this may be called a space given to repent in; just as Jezebel had a space given her to repent in, from the time that Elijah declared the word of the Lord, that the dogs should eat her: so the JewsF2Juchasin, fol. 7. 1. say of the old world, that God gave them זמן לשוב, "space to repent", but they repented not, as here:

and she repented not; see Revelation 9:20; for the time for, and means leading to repentance may be given, yet if the grace of repentance itself is not given, men, either particular persons, or whole bodies of men, will never repent of their sins. The Alexandrian copy, Complutensian, Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, read, "and she would not repent",

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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-2.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

spaceGreek, “time.”

of her fornication  …  she repented not — The three oldest manuscripts read, “and she willeth not to repent of (literally, ‹out of,‘ that is, so as to come out of) her fornication.” Here there is a transition from literal to spiritual fornication, as appears from Revelation 2:22. The idea arose from Jehovah‘s covenant relation to the Old Testament Church being regarded as a marriage, any transgression against which was, therefore, harlotry, fornication, or adultery.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "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

I gave her time (εδωκα αυτηι χρονονedōka autēi chronon). First aorist active indicative of διδωμιdidōmi allusion to a definite visit or message of warning to this woman.

That she should repent (ινα μετανοησηιhina metanoēsēi). Sub-final use of ιναhina with first aorist active subjunctive of μετανοεωmetanoeō she willeth not (και ου τελειkai ou thelei). “And she is not willing.” Blunt and final like Matthew 23:37.

To repent of (μετανοησαι εκmetanoēsai ek). First aorist (ingressive) active infinitive with εκek “to make a change out of,” the usual construction with μετανοεωmetanoeō in this book (Revelation 2:22; Revelation 9:20.; Revelation 16:11), with αποapo in Acts 8:22. ΠορνειαPorneia (fornication) here, but μοιχευωmoicheuō (to commit adultery) in Revelation 2:22.

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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 2:21". "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

Space ( χρόνον )

Lit., time, as Rev.

Repent ( μετανοήσῃ )

See on Matthew 3:2; see on Matthew 21:29.

Of her fornication ( ἐκ )

Lit., out of; i.e., so as to come out of and escape from her sin. See on Revelation 2:7.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-2.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

And I gave her time to repent — So great is the power of Christ! But she will not repent - So, though repentance is the gift of God, man may refuse it; God will not compel.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-2.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Ver. 21. And I gave her space to repent] "In space comes grace" proves not always a true proverb. They that defer the work, and say that men may repent hereafter, say truly, but not safely. The branch that bears not timely fruit is cut off. John 15:2. The ground that yields not a seasonable and suitable return is nigh unto cursing, Hebrews 6:8. The chick that comes not at the clucking of the hen becomes a prey to the kite, &c.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-2.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 2:21. And I gave her space And I gave her time. This alludes to the history of Jezebel. God first sent Elijah to Ahab to pronounce a severe judgment upon him; upon which Ahab shewed tokens of repentance, and so God put off his punishment. By these means the like punishment pronounced against Jezebel was also put off. Thus God gave her time to repent, which she did not; but, instead of that, seduced her sons to the same sins. See 1 Kings 21:23-29. According to the Mosaical law, the punishment of idolatrous seducers was not to be delayed at all; but God sometimes shewed mercy; and now much more under the Christian dispensation, though that mercy often produces the contrary effects, as in this Jezebel. See Ecclesiastes 8:1

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". 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 2:21. This misleader’s worthiness of punishment(1243) is increased by the fact that she had time for repentance, and yet will not repent. Thus by the καί this point is added to the guilt mentioned in Revelation 2:20.

ἔδωκα, κ. τ. λ., designates not the unsearchable decree of God in relation to “the speedy coming” of the Lord, that a time for repentance should still be open, but in connection with which it is predicted that the same will not be utilized;(1244) but a time of repentance is designated, the discerning of which, indeed, lies in an act of the Lord’s grace that is now past ( ἔδωκα),(1245) but which, as the pres. θέκλει μεταν. shows, is to be regarded as continuing still to the present, and that, too, fruitlessly. Thus there is no ground for the opinion(1246) that John had already before published a written rebuke. But it is correctly inferred(1247) that the woman Jezebel had for a long time already exercised her corrupt activity. Even the fact that she had been let go(1248) appears from the standpoint of Divine Providence to afford an opportunity for a time of repentance, although the church must on this account be censured.

The ὲκ after μεταν.(1249) naturally stands as a designation of the movement out of sins.

The πορνεία—not “inaccurately stated for immodest pursuits leading to inchastity”(1250)—is meant precisely as in Revelation 2:20 (Revelation 2:14). Fornication in its various forms was properly the heart of the error.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-2.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

I was not quick with her, but gave her a time of patience, and did not cut her off at first; but she was incorrigible, and went on in her sinful courses.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-2.html. 1685.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 2:21. (3) And I gave her time that she should repent. It is intended by the use of the word ‘time’ here, that we should fix our thoughts upon the delay of the Son of God in executing His righteous judgments (comp. chap. Revelation 10:6). All along punishment was deserved, but He withheld His hand that His goodness might lead the evil-doers to repentance.—(4) She willeth not to repent of her fornication. The delay was in vain. The hearts of these transgressors was set in them to do evil. They ‘willed’ not to repent. The expression is remarkable and characteristic (comp. on John 5:6; John 6:21).

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-2.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

space = time. Greek. chronos. See Revelation 6:11; Revelation 20:3, and App-195.

to repent = in order that (Greek. hina) she might repent. and she, &c. The texts read, "and she is not willing to repent of her fornication".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-2.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Space - `time.'

Of her fornication; and she repented not. 'Aleph (') omits "and she repented not;" A reads, 'she willed not;' B C, Vulgate, 'she willeth not to repent of [ ek (Greek #1537), out of] (i:e., so as to come out of) her fornication. A transition from literal to spiritual fornication (cf. Revelation 2:22). Yahweh's covenant relation to the Old Testament Church being regarded as a marriage, any transgression against it was fornication, or adultery (Isaiah 54:5).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "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

(21) And I gave her space.—Read, And I gave her time to repent, and she will not (or, is not willing to) repent of her fornication, or, to repent out of—i.e., so as to forsake her fornication. Here, as before, we are reminded that true repentance is a repentance whereby we forsake sin. (Comp. Revelation 2:5; Revelation 3:2.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
space
9:20,21; Jeremiah 8:4-6; Romans 2:4,5; 9:22; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:9,15
Reciprocal: Exodus 9:2 - GeneralIsaiah 26:10 - favour;  Jeremiah 44:5 - they;  Ezekiel 18:30 - so;  Daniel 4:29 - end;  Amos 4:6 - yet;  Haggai 2:17 - yet;  Matthew 3:2 - Repent;  Matthew 11:20 - because;  Matthew 21:32 - repented;  Luke 13:3 - except;  Luke 15:15 - he went;  John 5:14 - lest;  John 8:11 - go;  Acts 8:22 - Repent;  Acts 26:20 - repent;  1 Corinthians 5:1 - fornication;  Ephesians 5:3 - fornication;  Revelation 2:2 - how;  Revelation 2:5 - and repent;  Revelation 2:16 - Repent;  Revelation 3:3 - repent;  Revelation 3:19 - repent;  Revelation 16:9 - and they

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-2.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

TIME FOR REPENTANCE.

Revelation 2:21. — "And I gave her time that she should repent, and she will not repent of her fornication." Rome yet exists. In principle she is unchanged. She is slowly but surely recovering her strength and somewhat of her ancient prestige. Jezebel, i.e., the papacy, reigned as queen for more than a thousand years, but repented not. Yet another period of grace from the Reformation till now — 300 years — and the papacy is unchanged — wicked as ever, persecuting as ever, filthy as ever, idolatrous as ever. The Lord "gave her time to repent," but there has been no repentance. The Jezebel of the last 1300 years and more is the Apocalyptic Babylon of prophecy. Read her character and doings in Revelation 17:1-18; Revelation 18:1-24, and you will see that instead of repentance her character is blacker and her deeds are darker than in the past. How good the Lord is to grant such abundant mercy, such lengthened delay to induce repentance, though they be unavailing! The divine verdict is recorded, "She will not repent of her fornication." It is not she cannot repent, but she will not. Popery is utterly corrupt. Her character is fixed, so too is her doom.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "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

Gave her space (of time) to repent indicates the longsuffering of God toward evildoers. Repent of her fornication. Doubtless those whose religion was so materialistic as to worship dumb idols also indulged themselves in fieshly fornication. However, it is evident from many passages that idolatry was classed as spiritual fornication in Bible times; one such passage is Jeremiah 3:9.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". 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 2:21

Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Here followeth the manifestation of Christ's patience; "I gave her space to repent of her fornication," that Isaiah, Christ did forbear to punish her for a time, expecting that she should repent both of her corrupt doctrine, and also of her wicked life. "And she repented not," notwithstanding all his patience and long suffering, she remained impenitent. { Revelation 9:21; Revelation 16:9}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-2.html.

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

Revelation 2:21. And I have given her time to repent, and she will not repent of her fornication. The destination to punishment is regarded as a seal of her impenitence, which God sets upon her bad conduct. John lays open another point of view. Bengel: "The adulteress was hardened, her deceived followers were expressly called to repentance: the spiritual overseer will then himself, with his abiding good sense, come right."

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-2.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

21.I gave her space—The Church tolerated her from negligence, but Christ allowed her space in mercy. Yet she had been living on probation.

Repented not—It would seem that the space for repentance hardly now existed; yet there is a saving clause at the close of the next verse.

 

 

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-2.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 2:21. The immorality was flagrant; more flagrant still was the obstinate persistence in it, despite admonitions and forbearance (cf.Ecclesiastes 8:11; Bar. Ap. xxi. 20; 2 Peter 3:9). This allusion to an abuse of God’s patience and to a warning given already (hardly in some writing like Jud. 2 Peter, Spitta) is left quite indefinite; it was probably familiar enough to the first readers of the book. Interests and old associations had proved hitherto too strong for this prophetic counsel to be followed. Membership of a trade-guild, although it necessarily involved the recognition of some pagan deity and often led to orgies, “was a most important matter for every tradesman or artisan; it aided his business, and brought, him many advantages socially” (Ramsay).

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-2.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

21. Ihave given her time. It is God’s wish that everyone would turn from sin. Even Jezebel is offered the opportunity to repent. (See why Jesus came! John 3:16-17.)

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 2:21". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-2.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.