Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 2:23

And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church;   Fellowship;   Heart;   Jesus Continued;   Judgment;   Judgments;   Lukewarmness;   Minister, Christian;   Responsibility;   Sin;   Wicked (People);   Thompson Chain Reference - Future, the;   Judgment;   The Topic Concordance - Government;   Heart;   Obedience;   Prophecy and Prophets;   Rendering;   Repentance;   Teaching;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Alliance and Society with the Enemies of God;   Christ Is God;   Wisdom of God, the;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Heart;   Jezebel;   Thyatira;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Motives;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Patience of God;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Trinity;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Thyatira;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Fire;   Thyatira;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Kidney;   Nicolaitans;   Revelation, the Book of;   Works;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asia;   Inwards, Inward Parts;   Kidneys;   Magi;   Nicolas;   Peter, Second Epistle of;   Thyatira;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Brotherly Love;   Moses;   Revelation, Book of;   Tares ;   Thyatira ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Reins;   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 - Reins;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Foreknow;   Kidneys;   Omniscience;   Philippi;   Reins;   Revelation of John:;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And I will kill her children with death - "That is, I will certainly destroy her offspring and memory, and thereby ruin her designs. Jezebel's two sons, being both kings were both slain; and after that, all the seventy sons of Ahab; ( 2 Kings 10:1;); in all which the hand of God was very visible. In the same manner God predicts the destruction of the heretics and heresies referred to; see Revelation 2:16. It should seem by the expression, I am he which searcheth the reins and the hearts, that these heretics lurked about, and sowed their pernicious doctrines secretly. But our Savior tells them that it was in vain, for he had power to bring their deeds to light, having that Divine power of searching into the Evilly and affections of men; and hereby he would show both them and us that he is, according to his title, The Son of God; and hath such eyes to pry into their actions, that, like a fire, they will search into every thing, and burn up the chaff which cannot stand his trial; so that the depths of Satan, mentioned in the next verse, to which this alludes, (Christ assuming here this title purposely) shall avail nothing to those who think by their secret craft to undermine the Christian religion; he will not only bring to light, but baffle all their evil intentions. See Revelation 17:9.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And I will kill her children with death - A strong Hebraistic mode of expression, meaning that he would certainly destroy them. It has been made a question whether the word “children” here is to be taken literally or figuratively. The word itself would admit of either interpretation; and there is nothing in the connection by which its meaning here can be determined. If it is to be taken literally, it is in accordance with what is often threatened in the Scriptures, that children shall be visited with calamity for the sins of parents, and with what often occurs in fact, that they do thus suffer. For it is no uncommon thing that whole families are made desolate on account of the sin and folly of the parent. See the notes on Romans 5:19. If it is to be taken figuratively, then it refers to those who had imbibed her doctrines, and who, of course, would suffer in the punishment which would follow from the propagation of such doctrines. The reference in the word “death” here would seem to be to some heavy judgment, by plague, famine, or sword, by which they would be cut off.

And all the churches shall know, … - That is, the design of this judgment will be so apparent that it will convince all that I know what is in the hearts of people, even the secret acts of wickedness that are concealed from human view.

I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts - This is clearly a claim to omniscience; and as it is the Lord Jesus who speaks in all these epistles, it is a full proof that he claims this for himself. There is nothing which more clearly pertains to God than the power of searching the heart, and nothing that is more constantly claimed by him as his special prerogative, 1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 7:9; Psalm 11:4; Psalm 44:21; Psalm 139:2; Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 17:10; Jeremiah 20:12; Jeremiah 32:19; Hebrews 4:13. The word “reins” - νεφροὺς nephrous- means, literally, “the kidney,” and is commonly used in the plural to denote the kidneys, or the loins. In the Scriptures it is used to denote the inmost mind, the secrets of the soul; probably because the parts referred to by the word are as hidden as any other part of the frame, and would seem to be the repository of the more secret affections of the mind. It is not to be supposed that it is taught in the Scriptures that the reins are the real seat of any of the affections or passions; but there is no more impropriety in using the term in a popular signification than there is in using the word “heart,” which all continue to use, to denote the seat of love.

And I will give unto every one of you according to your works - To every one of you; not only to those who have embraced these opinions, but to all the church. This is the uniform rule laid down in the Bible by which God will judge people.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-2.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he that searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto each one of you according to your works.

And all the churches shall know ... The appropriate nature of the threatened visitation should be noted. The bed of suffering was an appropriate reward for the bed of fornication; and their judgment was to be as notorious as their scandal had been.

I will kill her children with death ... Regarding the diverse punishment of the fornicators in Revelation 2:22 (suffering), as compared with death for "her children" here, Beasley-Murray thought that, "The former were sufficiently influenced by Jezebel to compromise their Christian loyalty, but the latter wholly embraced her doctrine."[86] If such a terrible judgment was indeed executed upon them, the example of it would have had tremendous force in nerving the church to stand against paganism.

ENDNOTE:

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

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "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 will kill her children with death,.... Her popes, cardinals, priests, Jesuits, monks, friars, and all that join in the Romish apostasy, they shall be killed with death; there shall be an utter extirpation of them in God's own time; or they shall be killed with the second death: מותנא, when used alone, or as distinct from any other kind of death, signifies the plague; compare with this 2 Kings 9:24,

and all the churches: that shall be in being at the time of Rome's destruction:

shall know that I am he that searcheth the reins and heart; or am the omniscient God; which will be known by inflicting punishment on the followers of antichrist; when their hidden things of darkness will be brought to light, and exposed by him; and they shall receive the righteous reward of their evil practices, which they have coloured over, and glossed with specious pretences of religion and holiness, and a zeal for God and his glory, when they only meant themselves, the gratifying their carnal lusts, and securing their worldly interests, and amassing riches and honours to themselves:

and I will give unto everyone of you according to your works; who have connived at, and joined with them in their evil deeds; as many as were seduced by the false prophetess to commit spiritual fornication with her: as Christ is omniscient, and does not judge according to the outward appearance of things, but knows the principles and ends of all actions, however covert they may be; so he is righteous in judging and in punishing, which will be according as men's works are; and not one shall escape his righteous judgment, nor the due desert of their sins, though the punishment of some may be greater than that of others.

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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 2:23". "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

her children — (Isaiah 57:3; Ezekiel 23:45, Ezekiel 23:47). Her proper adherents; not those who suffer her, but those who are begotten of her. A distinct class from the last in Revelation 2:22 (compare Note, see on Revelation 2:22), whose sin was less direct, being that only of connivance.

kill  …  with death — Compare the disaster that overtook the literal Jezebel‘s votaries of Baal, and Ahab‘s sons, 1 Kings 18:40; 2 Kings 10:6, 2 Kings 10:7, 2 Kings 10:24, 2 Kings 10:25. Kill with death is a Hebraism for slay with most sure and awful death; so “dying thou shalt die” (Genesis 2:17). Not “die the common death of men” (Numbers 16:29).

all the churches shall know — implying that these addresses are designed for the catholic Church of all ages and places. So palpably shall God‘s hand be seen in the judgment on Thyatira, that the whole Church shall recognize it as God‘s doing.

I am he — the “I” is strongly emphatical: “that it is I am He who,” etc.

searcheth  …  hearts — God‘s peculiar attribute is given to Christ. The “reins” are the seat of the desires; the “heart,” that of the thoughts. The Greek for “searcheth” expresses an accurate following up of all tracks and windings.

unto every one of you — literally, “unto you, to each.”

according to your works — to be judged not according to the mere act as it appears to man, but with reference to the motive, faith and love being the only motives which God recognizes as sound.

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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 2:23". "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 will kill with death (αποκτενω εν τανατωιapoktenō en thanatōi). Future (volitive) active of αποκτεινωapokteinō with the tautological (cognate) εν τανατωιen thanatōi (in the sense of pestilence) as in Ezekiel 33:27.

Her children (τα τεκνα αυτηςta tekna autēs). Either her actual children, like the fate of Ahab‘s sons (2 Kings 10:7) or “her spiritual progeny” (Swete) who have completely accepted her Nicolaitan practices.

Shall know (γνωσονταιgnōsontai). Future (ingressive punctiliar) middle of γινωσκωginōskō “shall come to know.” “The doom of the offenders was to be known as widely as the scandal had been” (Charles).

Searcheth (εραυνωνeraunōn). Present active articular participle of εραυναωeraunaō to follow up, to track out, late form for ερευναωereunaō from Jeremiah 17:10.

Reins (νεπρουςnephrous). Old word for kidneys, here only in N.T., quoted also with καρδιαςkardias from Jeremiah 17:10. See Revelation 22:17 for the reward of punishment.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "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

Children ( τέκνα )

Emphatic. Distinguished from the participators of Revelation 2:22, as her proper adherents, “who are begotten of her and go to constitute her.” Others, however, deny any distinction (Milligan), and others (as Trench) explain as the less forward and prominent members of the wicked company, deceived where the others were the deceivers.

With death ( ἐν θανάτῳ )

To kill with death is a very strong expression. Compare Leviticus 20:10, Sept., θανάτῳ θανατούσθωσαν shallbe put to death (A. V. and Rev.). Lit., let them be put to death with death. The reference can hardly be to the slaughter of Ahab's seventy sons (2 Kings 10:6, 2 Kings 10:7) who were not Jezebel's children.

All the churches

Not merely the seven churches, but the churches throughout the world.

Shall know ( γνώσονται )

See on John 2:24.

Searcheth ( ἐρευνῶν )

See John 5:39; John 7:52; Romans 8:27. Compare Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 17:10; Jeremiah 20:12; 1 Peter 1:11. Denoting a careful search, a following up or tracking. See Genesis 31:35; 1 Kings 20:6; Proverbs 20:27; 1 Corinthians 2:10.

Reins ( νεφροὺς )

Only here in the New Testament. Strictly, kidneys. Used of the thoughts, feelings, and purposes of the soul. A similar use of the physical for the spiritual organ is σπλάγχνα bowelsfor heart. See pitiful, 1 Peter 3:8.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "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 will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

And I will kill her children — Those which she hath borne in adultery, and them whom she hath seduced.

With death — This expression denotes death by the plague, or by some manifest stroke of God's hand. Probably the remarkable vengeance taken on her children was the token of the certainty of all the rest.

And all the churches — To which thou now writest.

Shall know that I search the reins — The desires.

And hearts — Thoughts.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-2.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Her children; her votaries.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-2.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Ver. 23. And I will kill her children with death, ] All men die (saith a divine, descanting upon this text), but all are not killed with death. As a godly man said, that he did aegrotare vitaliter, to be sick so as to endow with life, so godly men do mori vitaliter. die so as to endow with life. He that can so die, is fit to die; and the contrary. Oh, it is a woeful thing to be killed with death.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-2.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 2:23. And I will kill her children with death; That is, "I will certainly destroy her offspring and memory, and thereby ruin her designs." Jezebel's two sons, being both kings, were both slain; and, after that, all the seventy sons of Ahab, 2 Kings 10:1 in all which the hand of God was very visible. In the same manner God predicts here the destruction of the heretics and heretics referred to. See Revelation 2:16. It should seem by the expression, I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts, that these heretics lurked about, and sowed their pernicious doctrines secretly. But our Saviour tells themthat it was in vain; for he had power to bring their deeds to light, having that divine power of searching into the wills and affections of men; and hereby he would shew both them and us, that he is, according to his title, The Son of God, and hath such eyes to pry into their actions, that, like a fire, they will search into every thing, and burn up the chaff which cannot stand his trial: so that the depths of Satan, mentioned in the next verse, to which this alludes, (Christ assuming here this title on purpose,) shall avail nothing to those who think, by their secret craft, to undermine the Christian religion. He will not only bring to light, but baffle all their evil intentions. See ch. Revelation 17:9.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-2.html. 1801-1803.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 2:23. ἀποκτενῶ ἐν θανάτῳ) Ezekiel 33:27, בדבר ימותו. The Septuagint has θανάτῳ ἀποκτενῶ.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". 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

And I will kill her children, those who are seduced by her,

with death; I will destroy them; unless some special death, such as the plague, be here threatened. So shall all the churches near Thyatira know, that I am a God who do not only take notice of overt, scandalous acts, but of the secret thoughts, motions, counsels, and designs of men’s hearts, Psalms 7:10 Jeremiah 11:20 17:10; and that I am a just God, who will deal with all according to their works.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". 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

детей ее Когда Иоанн писал, церкви было около 40 лет, и ее учение продолжило второе поколение последователей, которые были сторонниками невоздержанности.

испытующий сердца и внутренности Бог полностью осведомлен о всем сокровенном в каждом человеческом сердце; ни одно зло не может быть сокрыто от Него (Пс. 7:9; Пр. 24:12; Иер. 11:20; 17:10; 20:12).

по делам вашим Дела – всегда основа для будущего суда (20:12, 13; Мф. 16:27; Рим. 2:6). Они не спасают (Еф.2:8, 9), но они служат доказательством обретенного спасения (Иак. 2:14-26).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-2.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Her children; her followers. The discrimination of character which Christ will make as to each individual, will show his complete knowledge of the heart, and that nothing has ever been thought, said, or done, with which he was not perfectly acquainted.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-2.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 2:23. And I will kill her children with death. Those thus named ‘her children’ are generally distinguished from the persons formerly mentioned either as her ‘proper adherents,’ in contrast with ‘those who encouraged her,’ or as the ‘less forward,’ ‘the deceived,’ in contrast with the deceivers. There seems no ground for either view. The latter destroys the force of the word ‘children’ (comp. John 1:12), the former that of the previous clause. The truth is that the two classes are the same: they are in both cases those who partake of her spirit, and who follow her example. It will be observed that the fate of the historical Jezebel is repeated in those who imitate her. As Ahab’s queen was cast out of the window, so this Jezebel is to be cast into affliction. As Ahab’s sons were slain, so the spiritual progeny of this Jezebel shall be killed.

And all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts. ‘All the churches,’ an indication of the universal reference of these Epistles. And the ‘churches,’ not the world, shall ‘know,’ shall have inward knowledge and experience of the fact (comp. ‘knoweth’ in Revelation 2:17). The wicked are not in the Lord’s thought, ‘for God’s judgments are far above out of their sight, but all who ponder these things and lay them to heart’ (Trench).

And I will give unto each one of you according to your works. The clause is peculiarly important when taken along with that immediately preceding it. The Lord tries the ‘reins and hearts,’ the most inward parts of men. From these the ‘works’ of men cannot be separated. His ‘works’ are the whole of man. The inward manifests itself in the outward: the value of the outward is dependent upon the inward.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "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

children. App-108.

death. i.e. pestilence, as Revelation 6:8; Revelation 18:8.

know. App-132.

searcheth, &c. Compare 1 Kings 8:39. Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 17:10; Jeremiah 20:12.

every = each.

according to. App-104.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "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 will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Her children - (Isaiah 57:3; Ezekiel 23:45; Ezekiel 23:47.) Her proper adherents: not those who suffer, but those who are begotten of, her. A distinct class from those, Revelation 2:22 (cf. note there), whose sin was that only of connivance.

Kill ... with death - which overtook the literal Jezebel's votaries of Baal, and Ahab's sons (1 Kings 18:40; 2 Kings 10:6-7; 2 Kings 10:24-25). A Hebraism for slay with sure and awful death: so 'dying, die' (Genesis 2:17). Not "die the common death of all men" (Numbers 16:29).

All the churches shall know. These addresses are for the Catholic Church of all ages and places. So palpably shall God's hand be seen in the judgment on Thyatira, that the whole Church shall recognize it.

I am he - strongly emphatic: 'it is I am He who,' etc.

Searcheth ... hearts - God's special attribute is given to Christ. The "reins" are the seat of the desires; the "heart," that of the thoughts. [ Eraunoon (Greek #2045), "searcheth:" accurately following up all tracks and windings.]

Unto every one of you - `unto you, to each,' etc. According to your works - to be judged, not according to the act as it appears to man, but with reference to faith and love, the only motives which God accepts.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "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

(23) Her children.—This is to be understood of her followers. The so-called prophetess led the way in looseness of morals, under the pretence of some deeper knowledge. She had her associates and their disciples; the evil and the evil consequences would grow; the disciples outrun their teachers, and more than tribulation—death—is their penalty.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
with death
6:8
and all
7,11; Deuteronomy 13:11; 17:13; 19:20; 21:21; Zephaniah 1:11
I am
1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 29:17; 2 Chronicles 6:30; Psalms 7:9; 44:21; Jeremiah 11:20; 17:10; Jeremiah 20:12; John 2:24,25; 21:17; Acts 1:24; Romans 8:27; Hebrews 4:13
and I will
20:12; Psalms 62:12; Isaiah 3:10,11; Matthew 16:27; Romans 2:5-11; 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Galatians 6:5; 1 Peter 1:17
Reciprocal: Exodus 23:21 - my name;  Leviticus 13:3 - shall look;  Numbers 5:16 - set her;  Deuteronomy 8:2 - to know;  Joshua 22:22 - he knoweth;  Judges 3:1 - prove;  1 Samuel 2:3 - a God;  2 Samuel 7:20 - knowest;  1 Kings 8:39 - for thou;  1 Chronicles 17:18 - thou knowest;  Job 11:11 - he knoweth;  Job 24:23 - yet his eyes;  Psalm 16:7 - my reins;  Psalm 119:168 - for all my;  Psalm 139:1 - thou hast;  Proverbs 5:21 - GeneralProverbs 15:11 - the hearts;  Proverbs 16:2 - but;  Proverbs 17:3 - GeneralProverbs 21:2 - the Lord;  Proverbs 24:12 - doth not he that;  Isaiah 29:15 - seek;  Jeremiah 23:25 - heard;  Jeremiah 32:19 - to give;  Ezekiel 11:5 - for;  Ezekiel 18:20 - righteousness;  Zephaniah 1:12 - the men;  Zechariah 13:7 - the man;  Malachi 3:2 - for;  Matthew 6:4 - seeth;  Matthew 9:4 - knowing;  Matthew 12:25 - Jesus;  Matthew 16:8 - when;  Matthew 18:35 - from;  Matthew 22:11 - when;  Matthew 22:18 - perceived;  Matthew 26:21 - Verily;  Mark 2:8 - when;  Mark 8:17 - knew;  Mark 9:33 - What;  Mark 12:15 - knowing;  Luke 5:22 - perceived;  Luke 6:8 - But;  Luke 9:47 - perceiving;  Luke 11:17 - knowing;  Luke 16:15 - God;  John 4:16 - Go;  John 5:19 - and;  John 5:42 - I know;  John 6:61 - GeneralJohn 13:18 - I know;  John 16:19 - Jesus;  John 21:15 - thou knowest;  Acts 8:21 - for;  Acts 15:8 - which;  Romans 2:6 - General1 Corinthians 3:8 - and every;  2 Corinthians 11:11 - God;  1 Thessalonians 2:4 - but God;  Hebrews 4:12 - and is;  1 John 3:20 - and

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-2.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

A LESSON AND A PROMISE.

Revelation 2:23. — "And all the churches shall know that I am He that searches (the) reins and (the) hearts: and I will give to you each according to your works." The practical effect of the Lord's exposure of evil in Christendom and of its judgment is that the churches shall know that Christ searches the reins and hearts. Hidden evil is brought to light, and Christ is owned as the divine Searcher of the secret thoughts and hidden deeds of men. This was the sole prerogative of Jehovah in Old Testament times (Jeremiah 17:10), and the churches are to learn the lesson, or rather know that Christ, with whom they have to do, exercises this solemn function. Omniscience belongs to Him.

But while systems, professedly good or bad, shall be judged, there is also an individual judgment of each one's works. Neither the believer's person nor his sins shall come into judgment (John 5:24; Hebrews 10:17), but the works of each one shall be examined in light of that day, and blame or praise awarded by the Lord accordingly. The Lord shall pass righteous judgment on the works of each one bearing His Name. How needful to know this in view of the general toleration of evil and laxity of morals now so prevalent.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "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

Kill her children with death. This may sound strange to us if we try to be technical, for if a person is killed at all it would mean death. It is what is known as a Hebraism which means an expression peculiar to the speech of the Hebrews and used by others for the purpose of emphasis. The idea is to make the hearer realize the certainty that death is to be inflicted. It is similar to "thou shalt surely die" ( Genesis 2:17), or not to "die the common death of all men" ( Numbers 16:29). All the churches shall know. Whatever was going to be done was to be of such a public character as to make it an example. Searcheth the reins and hearts. The Lord is able to penetrate the innermost thoughts and expose the evil to the shame of the guilty. Will give unto every one of you according to your works. Those who are personally responsible for the conditions will be called to account.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". 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 2:23

Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

And I will kill her children with death, etc.

"Her children" were the children of whoredoms, begotten by corrupt doctrine, and in the sense, born of fornications; not that there was such a woman in the church, not that these "her children" were begotten by corporal fornication: But as the mother is a mystical woman, so "her children" are those that she seduced by her doctrine to commit fornication. And by children here, we are to understand some members of this church, who being seduced by Jezebel's doctrine, did commit fornication, that Isaiah, both spiritual and corporal whoredom, which is called by Christ "their deeds." As the Nicolaitans had their doctrine and their deeds, so Jezebel had her doctrine and her deeds. By "killing her children with death" is meant, that they shall be destroyed by God's just and righteous judgments. { Jeremiah 18:21} Therefore deliver up her children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword.

And all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts, etc.

This is another testimony of Christ's omnisciency. Before he told the churches that he knew their works; and now he gives them to understand, that he knows their hearts also: And the Churches shall know, that Isaiah, shall understand, confess and acknowledge that Christ hath been trying, searching, and examining the reins and hearts, that is to say, the inward bent and frame of the spirits of men. { Jeremiah 17:10} I the Lord search the hearts, and try the reins.

And I will give unto every one of you (ministers and members) according to your works.

Those works faith, love, patience, charity and service, which Christ commends, shall be rewarded; Christ will own them and crown them with acceptance, and with reward of grace and glory, saying, Well done good and faithful Servant, enter into the joy of thy Master. And those works or deeds of fornication and other evil doings, which Christ reproved and gave them space and time to repent of, and they repented not, Christ will also reward by executing his righteous judgments upon them, even unto death and eternal condemnation { Romans 1:18; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 2:5-6; Romans 2:11} except they repent.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-2.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23.Her children—Not her partisans and followers, for they are threatened their due in the last verse; but her literal brood, who are worthy of death for the sins both which they have learned from her and have freely practised.

With death—As a direct penal infliction, a capital punishment. It shall not be a natural decease.

All the Churches—The seven and their sister Churches: for Alford’s opinion, that it means “all the Churches in the world,” and gives “an oecumenical character to these messages,” seems to be inadmissible. “The Churches” were to know this by the plainly palpable judicial character of the known penalties endured by these culprits; but those facts, as they were, have never been presented to “all the Churches in the world.” We have, indeed, no proof that any special tribulation was suffered by these individuals. They may have repented under influence of this message.

Reins—Literally, the kidneys; the lower parts of the back, where the workings of anxious emotions are recognised. Reins and hearts are often associated in Scripture, Psalms 7:9; Psalms 26:2; Jeremiah 11:20. The searching them is named as an attribute of omniscience. And here the declaration is, that he whose eyes are like unto a flame of fire, fully knows all the dark secrets of these votaries of hidden sensual sin.

Works— The doubt whether Jezebel was guilty of actual deeds of sin, expressed by Stuart and others, seems fully contradicted by such terms as seduce, her fornication, commit adultery, deeds, works. To resolve all these plain terms of active perpetration into figures signifying “doctrines,” would render it difficult to find any terms which might not be figured out of their literal meaning. If these words do not express actual deeds, what terms can?

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-2.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 2:23. , literally, perhaps with an indirect allusion to the killing of Ahab’s seventy sons. . . (Hebraism), “I will utterly slay”; see on Revelation 6:8. If any particular form of death is meant, it may be pestilence (the inscriptions often mention fever), which represented to an Oriental mind the punishment of God on man’s unfaithfulness. The curious difference between the treatment of the . and the is due to the fact that (cf.Daniel 6:24), a parent’s sin was visited upon his family, both in Jewish and in contemporary pagan belief (cf. the Phrygian inscription, cited by Mayor on James 5:12, ). Yet even when both classes are allegorised into active coadjutors and deluded victims, the relative punishment looks unequal. John, unlike Ezekiel (Revelation 13:17-18), holds that the victims of the false prophetess are willing and responsible for their position.— ., the judgment was to be as notorious as evidently the scandal had been. The idea recalls one of Ezekiel’s favourite conceptions.— . . . “I know the abysses,” and “discerner of hearts and searcher of the reins “were old Egyptian titles for divine beings. This intimate knowledge of man (cf. 16 c) pierces below superficial appearances, e.g., connexion with the church, prophetic zeal, and plausible excuses. As in Jeremiah 17:10; Jeremiah 20:12 (cf. Ps. Song of Solomon 8:8), the divine acquaintance with man’s real, secret life forms the basis of unerring and impartial judgment; while, as in Jeremiah 4:16-17 (cf.Acts 4:1 f., 1 Timothy 1:20, 1 Corinthians 5:4, etc.) the prophetic denunciation or imprecation has a direct effect upon the person denounced (cf. von Dobschütz, 270 f.). The former would be a fairly novel idea to most of those accustomed to the Roman religio, which was “one of observance, sacrifice, and outward act, that in no way searched the heart of the worshipper—a system of rules which covered the circumstances of Roman life” (H. O. Taylor, Ancient Ideals, i. 417, 418).

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-2.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

23. I will also kill her followers. A grim threat of Divine vengeance upon those who “follow Jezebel” (by participating in this sin). Then all the churches will know. God loves us (see Romans 5:8-11)and wants to bless us. But sin brings punishment, sometimes in this life (see Ananias and Sapphira – Acts 5:1-11).

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 2:23". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-2.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.