Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 3:17

Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Backsliders;   Blindness;   Church;   Depravity of Man;   Laodicea;   Pride;   Salvation;   Security;   Self-Delusion;   Self-Righteousness;   Wicked (People);   Scofield Reference Index - Kingdom;   Thompson Chain Reference - Deception;   Destitution, Spiritual;   Earthly;   Fulness;   Humility-Pride;   Ignorance;   Moral Bankruptcy;   Poverty, Spiritual;   Poverty-Riches;   Pride;   Prosperity;   Prosperity-Adversity;   Riches, Earthly;   Self, Ignorance of;   Self-Deception;   Self-Justification-Self-Condemnation;   Self-Righteousness;   Spiritual;   Treasures, Earthly;   Unclothed;   The Topic Concordance - Chastisement;   Coming;   Government;   Hearing;   Jesus Christ;   Love;   Rebuke;   Throne;   Victory/overcoming;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Blindness, Spiritual;   Presumption;   Pride;   Self-Delusion;   Self-Righteousness;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Laodicea;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Poor;   Wealth;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Blindness;   Wealth;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Poverty;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Poor;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Archippus;   Forehead;   Laodicea;   Philadelphia;   Revelation of John, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Asia Minor, Cities of;   Blindness;   Laodicea;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Archippus;   Asia;   Laodicea;   Magi;   Wealth;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Blindness;   Enoch Book of;   Laodicea;   Lukewarm;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Laodicea ;   Naked;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Sepharvaim;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Laodice'a;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Blind;   Name;   Rich (and forms);  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Colossians, Epistle to the;   Goods;   Laodicea;   Nymphas;   Poverty;   Revelation of John:;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I am rich - Thou supposest thyself to be in a safe state, perfectly sure of final salvation, because thou hast begun well, and laid the right foundation. It was this most deceitful conviction that cut the nerves of their spiritual diligence; they rested in what they had already received, and seemed to think that once in grace must be still in grace.

Thou art wretched - Ταλαιπωρος· Most wretched. "The word signifies," according to Mintert, "being worn out and fatigued with grievous labors, as they who labor in a stone quarry, or are condemned to the mines." So, instead of being children of God, as they supposed, and infallible heirs of the kingdom, they were, in the sight of God, in the condition of the most abject slaves.

And miserable - Ὁ ελεεινος· Most deplorable, to be pitied by all men.

And poor - Having no spiritual riches, no holiness of heart. Rich and poor are sometimes used by the rabbins to express the righteous and the wicked.

And blind - The eyes of thy understanding being darkened, so that thou dost not see thy state.

And naked - Without the image of God, not clothed with holiness and purity. A more deplorable state in spiritual things can scarcely be imagined than that of this Church. And it is the true picture of many Churches, and of innumerable individuals.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Because thou sayest, I am rich - So far as the language here is concerned, this may refer either to riches literally, or to spiritual riches; that is, to a boast of having religion enough. Prof. Stuart supposes that it refers to the former, and so do Wetstein, Vitringa, and others. Doddridge, Rosenmuller, and others, understand it in the latter sense. There is no doubt that there was much wealth in Laodicea, and that, as a people, they prided themselves on their riches. See the authorities in Wetstein on Colossians 2:1, and Vitringa, p. 160. It is not easy to determine which is the true sense; but may it not have been that there was an allusion to both, and that, in every respect, they boasted that they had enough? May it not have been so much the characteristic of that people to boast of their wealth, that they carried the spirit into everything, and manifested it even in regard to religion? Is it not true that they who have much of this world‘s goods, when they make a profession of religion, are very apt to suppose that they are well off in everything, and to feel self-complacent and happy? And is not the possession of much wealth by an individual Christian, or a Christian church, likely to produce just the lukewarmness which it is said existed in the church at Laodicea? If we thus understand it, there will be an accordance with the well-known fact that Laodicea was distinguished for its riches, and, at the same time, with another fact, so common as to be almost universal, that the possession of great wealth tends to make a professed Christian self-complacent and satisfied in every respect; to make him feel that, although he may not have much religion, yet he is on the whole well off; and to produce, in religion, a state of just such lukewarmness as the Saviour here says was loathsome and odious.

And increased with goods - πεπλουτηκα peploutēka- “am enriched.” This is only a more emphatic and intensive way of saying the same thing. It has no reference to the kind of riches referred to, but merely denotes the confident manner in which they affirmed that they were rich.

And have need of nothing - Still an emphatic and intensive way of saying that they were rich. In all respects their needs were satisfied; they had enough of everything. They felt, therefore, no stimulus to effort; they sat down in contentment, self-complacency, and indifference. It is almost unavoidable that those who are rich in this world‘s goods should feel that they have need of nothing. There is no more common illusion among people than the feeling that if one has wealth he has everything; that there is no want of his nature which cannot be satisfied with that; and that he may now sit down in contentment and ease. Hence, the almost universal desire to be rich; hence the common feeling among those who are rich that there is no occasion for solicitude or care for anything else. Compare Luke 12:19.

And knowest not - There is no just impression in regard to the real poverty and wretchedness of your condition.

That thou art wretched - The word “wretched” we now use to denote the actual consciousness of being miserable, as applicable to one who is sunk into deep distress or affliction. The word here, however, refers rather, to the condition itself than to the consciousness of that condition, for it is said that they did not know it. Their state was, in fact, a miserable state, and was suited to produce actual distress if they had had any just sense of it, though they thought that it was otherwise.

And miserable - This word has, with us now, a similar signification; but the term used here - ἐληινὸς elēinos- rather means a pitiable state than one actually felt to be so. The meaning is, that their condition was one that was suited to excite pity or compassion; not that they were actually miserable. Compare the notes on 1 Corinthians 15:19.

And poor - Notwithstanding all their boast of having enough. They really had not what was necessary to meet the actual needs of their nature, and, therefore, they were poor. Their worldly property could not meet the needs of their souls; and, with all their pretensions to piety, they had not religion enough to meet the necessities of their nature when calamities should come, or when death should approach; and they were, therefore, in the strictest sense of the term, poor.

And blind - That is, in a spiritual respect. They did not see the reality of their condition; they had no just views of themselves, of the character of God, of the way of salvation. This seems to be said in connection with the boast which they made in their own minds - that they had everything; that they wanted nothing. One of the great blessings of life is clearness of vision, and their boast that they had everything must have included that; but the speaker here says that they lacked that indispensable thing to completeness of character and to full enjoyment. With all their boasting, they were actually blind - and how could one who was in that state say that he “had need of nothing?”

And naked - Of course, spiritually. Salvation is often represented as a garment Matthew 22:11-12; Revelation 6:11; Revelation 7:9, Revelation 7:13-14; and the declaration here is equivalent to saying that they had no religion. They had nothing to cover the nakedness of the soul, and in respect to the real needs of their nature they were like one who had no clothing in reference to cold, and heat, and storms, and to the shame of nakedness. How could such an one be regarded as rich? We may learn from this instructive verse:

(1) That people may think themselves to be rich, and yet, in fact, be miserably poor. They may have the wealth of this world in abundance, and yet have nothing that really will meet their needs in disappointment, bereavement, sickness, death; the needs of their never-dying soul; their needs in eternity. What had the “rich fool,” as he is commonly termed, in the parable, when he came to die? Luke 12:16 ff. What had “Dives,” as he is commonly termed, to meet the needs of his nature when he went down to hell? Luke 16:19 ff.

(2) people may have much property, and think that they have all they want, and yet be wretched. In the sense that their condition is a wretched condition, this is always true; and in the sense that they are consciously wretched, this may be, and often is, true also.

(3) people may have great property, and yet be miserable. This is true in the sense that their condition is a pitiable one, and in the sense that they are actually unhappy. There is no more pitiable condition than that where one has great property, and is self-complacent and proud, and who has nevertheless no God, no Saviour, no hope of heaven, and who perhaps that very day may “lift up his eyes in hell, being in torments”; and it need not be added that there is no greater actual misery in this world than what sometimes finds its way into the palaces of the rich. He greatly errs who thinks that misery is confined to the cottages of the poor.

(4) people may be rich, and think they have all that they want, and yet be blind to their condition. They really have no distinct vision of anything. They have no just views of God, of themselves, of their duty, of this world, or of the next. In most important respects they are in a worse condition than the inmates of an asylum for the blind, for they may have clear views of God and of heaven. Mental darkness is a greater calamity than the loss of natural vision; and there is many an one who is surrounded by all that affluence can give, who never yet had one correct view of his own character, of his God, or of the reality of his condition, and whose condition might have been far better if he had actually been born blind.

(5) there may be gorgeous robes of adorning, and yet real nakedness. With all the decorations that wealth can impart, there may be a nakedness of the soul as real as that of the body would be if, without a rag to cover it, it were exposed to cold, and storm, and shame. The soul destitute of the robes of salvation, is in a worse condition than the body without raiment; for how can it bear the storms of wrath that shall beat upon it forever, and the shame of its exposure in the last dread day?

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-3.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art the wretched one and miserable and poor and blind and naked:

How strange that God's people in such a place were destitute of spiritual graces. There was plenty of money, but they were poor; there was plenty of the finest clothing on earth, but they were naked; there was healing for many in the medical school, but they were blind. This is a sad commentary upon the way things are today with many Christians who live in the affluent society, with plenty of everything except that alone which can prevent their being like the Laodiceans, miserable and poor and blind and naked.

And knowest not ... The worst thing about their condition was their total ignorance of the true nature of it. They had evidently mistaken "the good life" for the righteous life. They boasted of their riches and professed to need nothing whatever; and yet they were the neediest of all. May all Christians pray that they may not be self-deceived concerning their own spiritual condition. What can be done for the hypocrite who does not know he is a hypocrite, for the spiritual beggar who is dreaming that he is rich, or for the naked sojourner who images that he is fully clothed?

Copyright Statement
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 3:17". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Because thou sayest, I am rich,.... In worldly goods, which occasioned her lukewarmness, as riches often do, and her vanity, pride, and arrogance, afterwards expressed. Laodicea was a very rich city, and so will be this church state, through the accession of kings and princes, and great men of the earth unto it, in the former period: riches seldom do any good to the churches of Christ, they did not in Constantine's time; and it seems that even at the close of the spiritual reign of Christ they will be of bad consequence, since they will usher in the Laodicean church state: or her meaning is, that she was rich in spiritual things; not in grace, but in external gifts, which still remained, upon the very great pouring forth of the Spirit in the last church state; and in good works, on which she too much trusted for salvation, placing her righteousness in them: she is one whom the JewsF3Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 106. 2. call עשיר בתורה, "rich in the law":

and increased with goods: with outward peace and prosperity, with much natural and divine light and knowledge, with the purity of Gospel ordinances, even beyond the former church state in her own imagination:

and have need of nothing: contenting herself with these external things: true believers, as considered in Christ, stand in need of nothing indeed, they are complete in him, and have everything in him; but, as considered in themselves, they are daily in need of daily food for their souls, as for their bodies, of fresh light and life, strength and comfort, and of new supplies of grace; wherefore this church shows great ignorance of herself, as well as great pride and arrogance to express herself in this manner:

and knowest not that thou art wretched; as all men are in a state of nature and unregeneracy; which may be the case of many professors, and they be ignorant of it; as to be under a sentence of wrath, obnoxious to the curses of the law, in danger of hell and destruction, lost and undone, and unable to extricate themselves out of such a state: true believers account themselves wretched, as the Apostle Paul did, on account of indwelling sin, and the plague of their own hearts, which the members of this church, the greater part of them, were ignorant of:

and miserable; a miserable man is one that is attended with outward afflictions, but this was not the case of this church; and with spiritual poverty, blindness, and nakedness, and this was her case; some persons neither know their misery, nor their need of mercy:

and poor; not in purse, nor in spirit, nor with respect to outward afflictions, nor as to her church state, but in a spiritual sense; one whom the Jews call aF4Vajikra Rabba, sect. 34. fol. 173. 4. vid. Targum in Cant. viii. 9. רש בתורה, "poor in the law"; as such may be said to be who have nothing to eat that is fit to eat; nothing to wear but rags, and have no money to buy either; who are in debt, and not able to pay, nor to help themselves on any account; and this may be the case of professors, and yet not known and considered by them:

and blind; natural men are blind as to a saving knowledge of God in Christ, as to the way of salvation by Christ, as to the plague of their own hearts, as to the work of the Spirit of God upon the soul, and as to the truths of the Gospel, in the power of them; but here it regards blindness with respect to her church state, and its imperfection:

and naked; sin has stripped man of his moral clothing; man's own righteousness will not cover his nakedness; and whoever is destitute of the righteousness of Christ is a naked person,

Copyright Statement
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 3:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, 13 and poor, and blind, and naked:

(13) The spiritual misery of men is metaphorically expressed in three points which are matched as corresponds to those remedies offered in (Revelation 3:18).
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Self-sufficiency is the fatal danger of a lukewarm state (see on Revelation 3:15).

thou sayest — virtually and mentally, if not in so many words.

increased with goodsGreek, “have become enriched,” implying self-praise in self-acquired riches. The Lord alludes to Hosea 12:8. The riches on which they prided themselves were spiritual riches; though, doubtless, their spiritual self-sufficiency (“I have need of nothing”) was much fostered by their worldly wealth; as, on the other hand, poverty of spirit is fostered by poverty in respect to worldly riches.

knowest not that thou — in particular above all others. The “THOU” in the Greek is emphatic.

art wretchedGreek, “art the wretched one.”

miserable — So one oldest manuscripts reads. But two oldest manuscripts prefix “the.” Translate, “the pitiable”; “the one especially to be pitied.” How different Christ‘s estimate of men, from their own estimate of themselves, “I have need of nothing!”

blind — whereas Laodicea boasted of a deeper than common insight into divine things. They were not absolutely blind, else eye-salve would have been of no avail to them; but short-sighted.

Copyright Statement
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 3:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-3.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

I am rich (οτι πλουσιος ειμιhoti plousios eimi). Recitative οτιhoti like quotation marks before direct quotation. Old adjective from πλουτοςploutos riches, wealth. Laodicea was a wealthy city and the church “carried the pride of wealth into its spiritual life” (Swete).

Have gotten riches (πεπλουτηκαpeploutēka). Perfect active indicative of πλουτεωplouteō old verb from πλουτοςploutos used here of imagined spiritual riches which the church did not possess, just the opposite of church in Smyrna (poor in wealth, rich in grace). This church was in a rich city and was rich in pride and conceit, but poor in grace and ignorant of its spiritual poverty (ουκ οιδαςouk oidas knowest not).

The wretched one (ο ταλαιπωροςho talaipōros). Old adjective from τλαωtlaō to endure, and πωροςpōros a callus, afflicted, in N.T. only here and Romans 7:24. Note the one article in the predicate with all these five adjectives unifying the picture of sharp emphasis on “thou” (συsu), “thou that boastest.”

Miserable (ελεεινοςeleeinos). Pitiable as in 1 Corinthians 15:19.

Poor (πτωχοςptōchos). See Revelation 2:9 for spiritual poverty. Perhaps some local example of self-complacency is in mind.

Blind (τυπλοςtuphlos). Spiritual blindness as often (Matthew 23:17), and note “eye-salve” in Revelation 3:18.

Naked (γυμνοςgumnos). “The figure completes the picture of actual poverty” (Beckwith). See Revelation 3:15, Revelation 3:16.

Copyright Statement
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 3:17". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Because thou sayest

Connect, as A.V. and Rev., with what follows, not with what precedes. Some interpret I will spue thee out of my mouth because thou sayest, etc.

Increased with goods ( πεπλούτηκα )

Rev., have gotten riches. The reference is to imagined spiritual riches, not to worldly possessions.

Thou

Emphatic.

Wretched ( ὁ ταλαίπωρος )

Rev., better, giving the force of the article, the wretched one. From τλάω toendure, and πειρά atrial.

Miserable ( ἐλεεινός )

Only here and 1 Corinthians 15:19. An object of pity ( ἔλεος ).

Poor ( πτωχός )

See on Matthew 5:3.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Because thou sayest — Therefore "I counsel thee," etc.

I am rich — In gifts and grace, as well as worldly goods.

And knowest not that thou art — In God's account, wretched and pitiable.

Copyright Statement
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 3:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-3.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

I am rich rich; in piety and good works. They whose religious attainments are really the least, take generally the greatest pride in them.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-3.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Ver. 17. Because thou sayest] Si dixisti, satis est, periisti, saith Augustine. He that thinks he knows anything, knows nothing yet as he ought to know, 1 Corinthians 8:2.

And knowest not] Whatever thou deemest and dreamest of thyself, as setting up thy counter for 1000 pounds, and working thyself into the fool’s paradise of a sublime dotage.

That thou art wretched and miserable, &c.] Semper inops, misera, infelix, rerum omnium egena as Favolius saith of Athens, and her inhabitants at this day under the Turk.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-3.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Revelation 3:17

Two Kinds of Sight.

I. It is the striking contrast in these words to which I would draw your attention, the wonderful difference between the real state and the fancied state, and more especially to one word which is the key to the whole: that sin is blind: blind in a world of beauty and light; blind in a region of pitfalls, and delusions, and death. But mark—for this is what makes it so fearful—it is the blindness of the madman, who feels sure that he sees better than the sane. There are two powers of sight, the one real and the other unreal, and if we judge with sinful eyes, we never see reality. The faculty is wanting, and we do not, cannot, know the want unless we believe humbly. No keenness of the natural, intellectual eye matters at all, as a telescope does not make a man a better judge of colours. We may boast and argue from the piercing powers of sight, which can at the distance of millions of miles discover hidden worlds. A telescope is mere intellectual knowledge, and the eyes of the mere intellectual man are set in this distant focus; and the power of seeing the glory and beauty of the earth on which he lives and things around him is not his, however much he boasts of his sight.

II. Sin is blindness, and this sight is a new power. The truth of God cannot be seen by any unholy eye; and to pass through life trusting to our own judgments is to trust to a telescope to distinguish colours, to a microscope to show us stars, to feet for flying, or any incongruous mixture of wrong powers and functions. Holy Scripture expressly tells us, what all experience confirms, that spiritual things are folly to the natural man, for the simple reason that he does not see them, and so scorns them, just as a clever savage might despise electricity. Sin is blind. The pure see God, and there is no truth which is not of God. No impure spirit ever sees truth.

E. Thring, Uppingham Sermons, vol. i., p. 5.


References: Revelation 3:18.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 404. Revelation 3:19.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. iii., No. 164; Ibid., Evening by Evening, p. 159.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/revelation-3.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 3:17. Because thou sayest, I am rich, &c.— This angel, or his church, is quite the reverse of the angel of Smyrna: ch. Revelation 2:9. Here is a beautiful gradation in the words before us. It is something to be rich, more to be increased with goods, and still more to be in want of nothing; this is preserved with equal beauty in the latter part of the verse: the whole alludes to their spiritual state and spiritual goods. According to the common language of scripture, they only are wretched and miserable, who are oppressed with sins; Matthew 11:28 they arepoor, who lose their own soul; Matthew 16:26 they are blind, who see not their own sins; John 9:40-41 and they are naked, who are utterly destitute of true holiness; see ch. Revelation 16:15, Revelation 17:16.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-3.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. This church's partial opinion of herself, her vanity and vain-glorious ostentation, accompanied with self-esteem: she said she had need of nothing.

Observe, 2. That this boasting and vain-glorious ostentation did very probably spring from, and was occasioned by, this church's worldly prosperity: thou sayest, I am rich, and increased in goods. We are apt to mistake the warm sun for God's blessing, and to apprehend when we are great that we are gracious; and because rich in goods, conclude ourselves rich in grace: but, alas! God lifts up the light of his common providence upon thousands whom he does not lift up the light of his reconciled countenance upon.

Observe, 3. Christ's impartial judgment concerning this church of Laodicea, Thou sayest, thou art rich, and needest nothing: but I say, thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

Behold here, How some have little or no grace, who yet conceit they have much grace; as some reckon their temporal, so there are others that value their spiritual, estate, at many thousands beyond what it really is, and when upon a just balance of account they are worth nothing. Ah, miserable souls! empty and guilty, poor and pennyless in spirituals, wanting every thing, but especially a sight and sense of their poverty and wants.

Observe, 4. The counsel given by Christ to this church, very suitable to her condition: What pinches more than poverty? here is gold to enrich us. What shames us more than nakedness? here is a promise of raiment to clothe and cover us. What afflicts and grieves us more than blindness? here is eye-salve to anoint us.

But observe the order of the words, 1. Christ says not, I commanded thee, but, I counsel thee. O infinite condescension! the Lord Jesus does not always command like a king, but sometimes counsels like a friend; he counsels us by his Spirit, he counsels us by his ministers, he counsels us by our own consciences.

2. Christ's counsel is to buy; that is, earnestly to desire, and sincerely to endeavour, the procuring such spiritual blessings as we want: we buy with our prayers, our tears, our endeavours.

3. The blessings offered, tried gold, that will bear the touchstone, that faith and holiness which will give thee boldness in judgment. White raiment, or the merits of the Mediator, which covers our shame and nakedness out of the sight of God. And eye-salve, or the grace of spiritual illumination, whereby we see the want and worth of these spiritual blessings.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-3.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 3:17. ὅσι λέγεις) This ὅτι is not connected with the preceding words, in which their own ὅτι is inserted, ὅτι χλιαρὸς εἶ; but with the following words, as the thing speaks for itself. Thus, ch. Revelation 18:7, followed by ὅτιδιὰ τοῦτο.— πλούσιος) A few read ὅτι πλούσιος. Such a use of the particle ὅτι, for quoting the language of any one, is of frequent occurrence, but not in the Apocalypse.(55) See ch. Revelation 5:12, Revelation 18:7, etc.— πεπλούτηκα) I have used my riches, and with my gold I have provided for myself many things; for instance, garments. So the Septuagint, πεπλούτηκα, Hosea 12:8.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Because thou sayest, I am rich: it was said before, that one reason why the condition of a formalist is worse than that of an atheist, or more openly profane person, is, because the former is ordinarily proud and self-conceited, and hath something to stop the mouth of his natural conscience with, which the other wanteth. This is made good in the instance of this lukewarm angel; he said he was rich in a spiritual sense, in his state as a Christian, in spiritual gifts and endowments.

And increased with goods; and every day increasing and growing richer.

And have need of nothing; and needed nothing to make him happy and blessed.

And knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; in the mean time he was as miserable as one could be. These words used, are several words signifying persons under various bodily afflictions, and applied to signify this angel’s forlorn spiritual state, which, in the general, was wretched and miserable, and such as had need of mercy, wanting the true righteousness, wherein any could appear before God not naked, and wanting all true riches; and to complete his misery, he was spiritually blind, and knew not the sad circumstances he was under.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-3.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

I am rich; have knowledge and religion enough.

Wretched; on account of their ignorance of their wants and their indifference to religion.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Because you say I am rich, and have amassed wealth, and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are a wretch, a thing of misery, and poor and blind and naked.’

‘Wretched’ and ‘miserable’ both have the article before them suggesting they be read as nouns, thus ‘a wretched one, a thing of misery’.

Laodicea was a wealthy town with wealthy inhabitants and it was extremely proud of its wealth. When it was destroyed by an earthquake in 60 AD it proudly rejected all help from Rome and rebuilt itself from its own resources. It was famed for its black woollen garments, made from the wool of its equally famed black sheep, and there was a famous medical school in its vicinity where Phrygian stone was ground to make collyrium (Gk. ‘kollyrion’ as here - which mixed with oil was used for making an eye salve). Its inhabitants therefore had a very high opinion of themselves and were inordinately proud. Thus Jesus warns them that their view of themselves is really inadequate, for while they admire themselves because of their wealth, spiritually they are really like the homeless wretch in the street, a thing of misery, and poor, blind and unclothed into the bargain. Spiritually they are have-nothings.

The idea of nakedness was regularly used in the Old Testament to depict the sorry state of men before God because of their sinfulness (see Isaiah 47:3; Lamentations 1:8; Hosea 2:3; Jeremiah 13:25-26; Nahum 3:5; Genesis 3:7). For blindness see Isaiah 59:10; Zephaniah 1:17; Matthew 23:17; Matthew 23:19; John 12:40; 2 Corinthians 3:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 4:18; 2 Peter 1:9. Their whole condition is described in Jeremiah 5:27-29. Spiritually they are bare, empty and unseeing.

This church parallels the final stage in the downfall of Israel and Judah. They too had become proud, declaring their riches (Hosea 12:8), yet poor (Ezekiel 22:18), blind (Isaiah 59:10), and naked (Lamentations 1:8; Ezekiel 16:39). They were counselled to buy what is good (Isaiah 55:2). Failing to do this Judah came to its final downfall. (see Introduction). And this is the danger at Laodicea.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-3.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 3:17. This verse is sometimes connected with the preceding, as giving a further statement of the reason why the Lord would deal with the church at Laodicea according to His threatening. But it is more natural to connect it with Revelation 3:18, and to regard it as containing the ground of the counsel there given. The question may be asked, whether we are to understand the words of the first half of the verse as referring to temporal or spiritual wealth. The words of Revelation 3:18 determine in favour of the former. It was not spiritual pride that had made the church at Laodicea ‘lukewarm:’ the spiritually proud have too many positive elements of character to justify such a description in their case. It was worldly prosperity that had made the church indifferent to the energy and power of Divine truth. Outwardly she could still profess the Christian faith. But, to be held in reality, that faith must be accompanied by a clear and deep perception of the vanity of this world. To such a state of mind riches are a bar. The rich may no doubt enter into the kingdom of God as well as the poor, but they do so with difficulty (Mark 10:23-24). Their wants are satisfied with ‘corn and wine;’ the world pays homage to them; they have ‘much goods laid up for many years;’ they are free from anxiety as to the future; and they will ‘leave their substance to their babes.’ Why should they be eager about religion? They have difficulty in being ‘hot.’ Yet they would not oppose religion. It is easier to conform to it. They cannot oppose it or be ‘cold.’ Such is the state of mind which the Lord seems here to address, and hence the powerful language of the following words, and knowest not that thou art the wretched one, and miserable, etc. ‘Thou callest the poor wretched: thou art the wretched one: to thee really belong the misery and the poverty and the blindness and the nakedness for which thou pitiest or professest to pity others.’

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-3.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

nothing. Greek. oudeis.

knowest. App-132.

wretched = the wretched one. See Romans 7:24, and compare Hosea 2:11; Hosea 5:15.

poor. App-127.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

A lukewarm state generates fatal self-sufficiency (note, Revelation 3:15).

Thou sayest - mentally, if not in words.

Increased with goods, [ peplouteeka (Greek #4147)] - 'have become enriched:' self-praise in self-acquired riches. Alluding to Hosea 12:8. The riches on which they prided themselves were spiritual; their spiritual self-sufficiency ("I have need of nothing") was fostered by worldly wealth, as poverty of spirit is fostered by poverty in worldly riches. Compare Matthew 5:3, with Luke 6:20.

Knowest not that thou - in particular, above all others.

Art wretched - `art the wretched one.'

Miserable. So 'Aleph (') C but A B prefix 'the.' [ Ho (Greek #3588) eleeinos (Greek #1652), 'the pitiable:' especially to be pitied.] How different Christ's estimate from men's own estimate of themselves!

Blind. Laodicea boasted of a deeper than common insight into divine things. Not absolutely blind: else eye-salve would have been of no avail, but comparatively.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-3.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) I am rich.—The verse means, more literally, Because thou sayest, I am rich, and have grown rich, and in nothing have need, and knowest not that thou art the wretched (such is the emphasis) one, and the pitiable one, and beggarly, and blind, and naked. Thou art “the type, the embodiment of wretchedness.” The words should, I think, be taken as an amplification of the reason for their rejection. Christ was about to reject them for being in that tepid state which, beginning with self-satisfaction, led on to self- deception. They were rich in worldly goods (unlike the Church in Smyrna), but their very wealth led them into a quiet unaggressively kind of religion; they were proud also of their intellectual wealth; self- complacent because in comfortable worldly circumstances, and became puffed up with a vain philosophy, they learned to be satisfied with their spiritual state, and to believe the best of themselves, and then to believe in themselves. Hypocrites they were, who did not know they were hypocrites. They thought themselves good; and this self-deception was their danger. “For,” to use Prof. Mozley’s words, “why should a man repent of his goodness? He may well repent, indeed, of his falsehood; but unhappily the falsehood of it is just the thing he does not see, and which he cannot see by the very law of his character. The Pharisee did not know he was a Pharisee. If he had known it, he would not have been a Pharisee. The victim of passion, then, may be converted—the gay, the thoughtless, or the ambitious; he whom human glory has intoxicated; he whom the show of life has ensnared; he whom the pleasures of sense have captivated—they may be converted any one of these; but who is to convert the hypocrite? He does not know he is a hypocrite; he cannot upon the very basis of his character; he must think himself sincere; and the more he is in the shackles of his own character, i.e., the greater hypocrite he is, the more sincere he must think himself” (University Sermons, p. 34).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I am
2:9; Proverbs 13:7; Hosea 12:8; Zechariah 11:5; Luke 1:53; 6:24; 18:11,12; Romans 11:20,25; Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 4:8-10
have need
Deuteronomy 8:12-14; Proverbs 30:9; Jeremiah 2:31; Matthew 9:12
knowest
Romans 2:17-23
wretched
Matthew 5:3; Romans 7:24
blind
Isaiah 42:19; John 9:40,41; 2 Peter 1:9
naked
16:15; Genesis 3:7,10,11; Exodus 32:35
Reciprocal: Exodus 32:25 - naked;  2 Chronicles 28:19 - made Judah;  Psalm 72:12 - For;  Proverbs 8:5 - GeneralProverbs 9:4 - GeneralProverbs 26:12 - a man;  Isaiah 42:18 - ye deaf;  Isaiah 46:12 - Hearken;  Isaiah 59:6 - neither;  Isaiah 64:6 - all our;  Jeremiah 2:23 - How canst;  Ezekiel 16:7 - whereas;  Zephaniah 1:17 - they shall;  Matthew 6:23 - If;  Matthew 7:7 - and it;  Matthew 25:9 - but;  Mark 10:24 - trust;  Luke 6:25 - full;  Luke 6:42 - see;  Luke 11:35 - GeneralLuke 15:29 - Lo;  John 4:10 - thou wouldest;  Acts 2:40 - Save;  Acts 8:22 - pray;  Romans 2:19 - art confident;  Romans 10:3 - to establish;  1 Corinthians 10:12 - General2 Corinthians 8:7 - as;  2 Corinthians 11:19 - seeing;  1 Timothy 6:4 - He;  1 John 1:6 - If;  1 John 2:11 - because

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-3.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

THE PROUD BOAST AND THE LORD'S CONDEMNATION.

Revelation 3:17. — "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and am grown rich, and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art the{*The definite article is inserted by Darby, Kelly, Plumptre, and others.} wretched and the* miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Philadelphia has not a word to say for itself. Laodicea has. In fact, in almost every respect these two churches stand out in sharp contrast. "Thou sayest." There was not only a self-satisfied condition in the Church, but the proud boast of it is here recorded: "Thou sayest, I am rich." The city could boast of its material wealth, the Church would equally boast of its riches. It has added, moreover, to its wealth: "Am grown rich." Without doubt the Church in Laodicea had influence, numbers, gifts, showy attainments, intellectual acquirements, and other attractive qualities, and in the possession of these it prided itself. Alas! these things at the expense of spirituality, of a true and fervent love to Christ, can only be regarded as a curse, and must sooner or later, if not repented of, end in judgment. In their own estimation "they had need of nothing." They had neither heart for Christ nor desire for His presence. They could boast while immediate judgment was announced (v. 16), and Christ the Church's life and glory was standing outside (v. 20). The Laodicean condition is the special danger in these days.

What is the Lord's estimate of its state? What is the sum and character of Laodicean wealth in His eyes? "Thou art the wretched (one) and the miserable (one)," besides being "poor, and blind, and naked." The definite article (omitted in the Authorised Version) adds considerably to the point and force of the Lord's judgment of Laodicea. "The wretched" and "The miserable," or "pitiable," the concentration of extreme misery, and the subject beyond all others of pity. They were poor, as destitute of true riches; blind to their state and to the Lord's glory; and naked, as destitute of divine righteousness. ‘There is one other feature to complete the awful picture presented of this Christless Church: "AND KNOWEST NOT." Its actual condition before the Lord was absolutely unknown to it. Had there been the slightest recognition of its need there would have been hope. All was utter insensibility. Nothing, therefore, remained but loathsome rejection.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-3.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

The outstanding thought in this verse is to show how much a church can be self-deceived as to its real condition. Doubtless it possessed all of the things named of a temporal nature. One of the evil effects of earthly riches is to mislead their owners into a feeling of independence or self-sufficiency. That, is why Jesus speaks of "the deceitfulness of riches" in Matthew 13:22. The condition of this church was the opposite to that of Smyrna which was poor in this world"s goods but was rich in faith. Our present case is one of complete deception, for the church had concluded that it had need of nothing. We often hear the remark that some man "is independently rich," which is just the state of mind the church at Laodicea was cherishing. The Lord admits that those people did not know (or realize) what their actual condition was from a spiritual standpoint. Wretched is defined by Thayer, "Enduring trials and troubles." They had a good many conflicts because of their lack of spiritual worth. but their confidence in their wealth gave them a false sense of triumph over them all. Miserable virtually refers to the same condition as being wretched and their deception covered their situation also. Poor in faith while rich in the perishable things of this world. Blind means their eyes of faith had become entirely afflicted with a spiritual cataract developed from their corroding wealth, and hence they could not see that they were naked.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-3.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 3:17

Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Because thou sayest I am rich, and increased with goods.

Rich in grace, rich in faith, and rich in good works; so the Church elders and members ought to be, and they boasted that they were so; and they said they increased in goods, in spiritual gifts, grace, and good works, &c. They boasted of their growth, and increase in spirituals; though it was otherwise with them, as Christ testified in this verse.

And have need of nothing:

They thus gloried in appearance, as 2 Corinthians 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 4:8 as if they needed no spiritual gifts, or grace; no admonitions nor reproofs from Christ, no power from on high, no reformation or amendment, no counsel or advice.

And knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

Wretched that Isaiah, in a wretched condition; First, As being without God, and without Christ, and without grace, Ephesians 2:11-12. Secondly, As being miserably captivated by their corruptions, Romans 3:11-16; Romans 3:18 and Romans 7:23-24.

And poor, and blind, and naked.

That Isaiah, some of them had not a grain of grace, others dark in their understanding, and others naked; that Isaiah, in a shameful, filthy, and polluted condition, Revelation 3:18, that the shame of thy nakedness doth not appear.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-3.html.

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

Revelation 3:17. Because thou sayest, I am rich and have enriched myself and need nothing; and knowest not, that thou art wretched and miserable, poor, blind, and naked. The accusation of lukewarmness has its ground here. We are not to take this verse as a premiss, and Revelation 3:18 as a conclusion: Because thou sayest, etc., therefore I advise thee. For so long a premiss does not suit the excited character, which belongs to the discourse here. And the kind of periodical diction in question is ill-suited in general to the Hebraistic style of the Apocalypse. A view is given here of lukewarmness, which is full of consolation for humble and vexed souls. The severe judgment of the Lord against it has not respect to wants and weaknesses in themselves, toward which the Lord manifests infinite compassion; it has respect to them only in connection with a high-minded conceit, a state of self-satisfaction, the want of any sensible convictions of sin, or of earnest desires after pardon and sanctification. The palpable contrast between imaginary riches and actual poverty requires, that the riches should lie on the same territory that the poverty does, that it must be spiritual riches which are meant—comp. 1 Corinthians 1:5, 1 Corinthians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 8:9. The comparison of the original passage, Hosea 12:8, "Ephraim says, I have become rich, and have found substance," shews, that there is no substantial difference between the two expressions." I have become rich" and "I have enriched myself." Only by varying the words the idea of great wealth is expressed. It is possible, that the Laodiceans had low ideas of the calling of Christians, and so regarded the most miserable attainments as splendid riches. But it is also possible (and this is much more probable from the existing position of the Christian church), that they could point to showy virtues. How one can have and do everything, and still be lukewarm, appears from the example of the Pharisees, to whose "I thank thee, etc.," the Laodiceans responded, and received also along with them the condemnation of heaven, "Ye are they who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your heart;" see also 1 Corinthians 13:1, ss. The three actual wants correspond to the three imaginary distinctions. But beforehand the whole condition of the Laodiceans is condensed into the, par excellence, "wretched and miserable." The reproach of blindness, comp. Matthew 15:14, Matthew 23:26, shews, that the Laodiceans were disposed to pride themselves also on their knowledge. But while they undertook to search the depths of Godhead, and dreamt of the treasures of knowledge, as it appears also from the epistle to the Colossians, that a tendency existed at a very early period among the Christians in that region to pretend to a higher knowledge, they could not see what lay immediately before their eyes, did not at all know themselves, imagined themselves to be superlatively rich, though they actually were in a state of beggary.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-3.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17.Because may assign reason for the charge of lukewarmness in the last verse; or it may refer forward to next verse, and would correspond with a therefore inserted before I of Revelation 3:18. Because thou sayest, etc., therefore I counsel, etc. The Lord’s counsel is infinitely better than their say.

I am rich—The question is raised by commentators whether these are boasts over material or spiritual goods. Earlier commentators, as Bengel, Stuart, and others, take the former view; later ones, as Hengstenberg, Dusterdieck, and Trench, the latter. We think the old is better. The true idea certainly is, that in reply to their boasts of earthly goods, our Lord advises them to secure the heavenly. For, 1. This accords with our Lord’s style during his earthly ministry. So Matthew 6:19-20: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth;’ but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Of the rich fool, Luke 12:21, he says, “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” 2. This jubilant boasting is not the style of lukewarmness over its spiritual wealth, for the very idea of lukewarmness is indifference to spiritual things. So Stuart wisely and conclusively says, “There are, and have been, indeed, many spiritual boasters in the world; but then they are for the most part men of an enthusiastic turn of mind, and commonly have much fervor, such as it is; whereas the Laodicean Church are plainly characterized as worldling-Christians; grown lukewarm as to divine things.” To say that this Church was indifferent to spiritual things and yet thus fervently boasted of its spiritual goods, is a contradiction. Enthusiastic boasting and indifference are opposites. 3. It is evident that Laodicea was a flourishing city, growing rich under the munificence of the Roman emperors. There can be little doubt that the tide of wealth poured into the pockets and coffers of the Church: the natural danger, without great caution, would be to make her pecuniarily rich and spiritually poor. How easy it was to be liberal in feeling to the liberal paganism by which it was patronized, and to slide into doubt about the importance of being Christians! Quite as easy would it be to exult over the rich incomes flowing into their purses and filling their homes with luxury.

Rich’ increased with goods’ need of nothing—A glowing and towering climax.

Knowest not—Realizest not that, though in pocket a millionaire, in soul thou art a pauper! Our Lord demolishes the proud climax with a series of humiliating adjectives.

Wretched— Intrinsically miserable.

Miserable—The object of pity from others. By the best readings the first of these two adjectives, and perhaps the second, should have the article before it. The meaning then would be, thou art the wretched and pitiable one. Then the last three adjectives would follow as characterizing that one. Then the three poor, blind, naked, would balance against the previous rich, increased, and need of nothing.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-3.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 3:17. Priding herself not merely on the fact but (as is implied) on the means by which it had been secured (viz., personal skill, merit) and finally on the independent self-reliant position thus attained: a profuse certificate of merit, selfassigned. To conceit and self-deception the prophet wrathfully ascribes the religious indifference at Laodicea. “No one,” says Philo (Fragm. p. 649, Mang.), “is enriched by secular things, even though he possessed all the mines in the world; the witless are all paupers.” The reference is to spiritual possessions and advantages. It is irrelevant to connect the saying with the material wealth and resources of Laodicea, as exemplified in the fact that it was rebuilt by its citizens after the earthquake in 60–61 A.D. without help from the imperial authorities (Tacit. Ann. xiv. 27). For one thing, the incident is too far back; for another, the Apocalypse is concerned not with the cities but with the Christian churches. Such an allusion may have been in the writer’s mind, especially if the church included in its membership prosperous and influential citizens, since complacency and self-satisfaction are fostered by material comfort. “If wealthily then happily,” in Laodicea as in Padua. Still, these weeds spring from other soils as well. An inefficient ministry (cf.Colossians 4:17) and absence of persecution or of special difficulties at Laodicea probably helped to account for the church’s languid state. As John suggests, the church which is truly rich in spiritual and moral qualities does not plume itself upon them (Revelation 2:9). , cf. the echo of this in Oxyrhynchite Logia, i. 3: [ , ] (?), where blindness and poverty and unconsciousness of both occur. , emphatic; , “needing pity” rather than (as Daniel 9:23; Daniel 10:11, LXX) “finding pity”; . (cf. with Revelation 3:19, Sap. iii. 11: ), only here and Romans 7:24 in N. T., two passages representing the extremes of misery—unconscious and conscious. . . . = “the embodiment of”.

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-3.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

17. I am rich and well off. They had lots of money and a very high standard of living. But they had mistakenly substituted this for spiritual wealth. [They were a success by the world’s standards.] You are poor, naked, and blind. This was how God saw them.

 

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 3:17". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.