Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 3:18

I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Anointing;   Backsliders;   Church;   Colors;   Commandments;   Faith;   Garment;   Jesus Continued;   Laodicea;   Pride;   Riches;   Salvation;   Self-Righteousness;   Wicked (People);   Scofield Reference Index - Kingdom;   Thompson Chain Reference - Adorning;   Anointing;   Church;   Clothing;   Counsel;   Divine;   God;   Investments, Spiritual;   Oil;   Poverty-Riches;   Raiment, White;   Spiritual;   Traffic, Spiritual, Exhortations;   Treasures, Spiritual;   White;   Wise;   The Topic Concordance - Chastisement;   Coming;   Government;   Hearing;   Jesus Christ;   Love;   Rebuke;   Throne;   Victory/overcoming;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Anointing;   Blindness, Spiritual;   Emblems of the Holy Spirit, the;   Eye, the;   Fire;   Garments;   Gold;   Riches;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Laodicea;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Baptism of Fire;   Shame;   Easton Bible Dictionary - White;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Anoint;   Archippus;   Fuller;   Laodicea;   Philadelphia;   Revelation of John, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Asia Minor, Cities of;   Laodicea;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Archippus;   Asia;   Eye;   Laodicea;   Magi;   Medicine;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Anointing;   Anointing (2);   Colours;   Gold ;   Laodicea;   Lukewarm;   Nakedness ;   Ointment ;   Shame ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Gold;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Counsellor;   Garment;   Naked;   Sepharvaim;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Laodice'a;   Ointment;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Buy;   Eye salve;   Fire;   Old - golden;   Name;   Raiment;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Appear;   Blindness;   Color;   Colossians, Epistle to the;   Eyesalve;   Gold;   Laodicea;   Manifest;   Refiner;   Revelation of John:;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I counsel thee - O fallen and deceived soul, hear Jesus! Thy case is not hopeless. Buy of me.

Gold tried in the fire - Come and receive from me, without money and without price, faith that shall stand in every trial: so gold tried in the fire is here understood. But it may mean pure and undefiled religion, or that grace or Divine influence which produces it, which is more valuable to the soul than the purest gold to the body. They had before imaginary riches; this alone can make them truly rich.

White raiment - Holiness of heart and life.

Anoint thine eyes - Pray for, that ye may receive, the enlightening influences of my Spirit, that ye may be convinced of your true state, and see where your help lies.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire - Pure gold; such as has been subjected to the action of heat to purify it from dross. See the notes on 1 Peter 1:7. Gold here is emblematic of religion - as being the most precious of the metals, and the most valued by human beings. They professed to be rich, but were not; and he counsels them to obtain from him what would make them truly rich.

That thou mayest be rich - In the true and proper sense of the word. With true religion; with the favor and friendship of the Redeemer, they would have all that they really needed, and would never be in want.

And white raiment - The emblem of purity and salvation. See the notes on Revelation 3:4. This is said in reference to the fact Revelation 3:17 that they were then naked.

That thou mayest be clothed - With the garments of salvation. This refers, also, to true religion, meaning that what the Redeemer furnishes will answer the same purpose in respect to the soul which clothing does in reference to the body. Of course it cannot be understood literally, nor should the language be pressed too closely, as if there was too strict a resemblance.

And that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear - We clothe the body as well for decency as for protection against cold, and storm, and heat. The soul is to be clothed that the “shame” of its sinfulness may not be exhibited, and that it may not be offensive and repellent in the sight.

And anoint thine eyes with eye-salve - In allusion to the fact that they were blind, Revelation 3:17. The word “eye-salve” - κολλούριον kollourion- occurs no where else in the New Testament. It is a diminutive from κολλύρα kollura- collyra - a coarse bread or cake, and means properly a small cake or cracknel. It is applied to eye-salve as resembling such a cake, and refers to a medicament prepared for sore or weak eyes. It was compounded of various substances supposed to have a healing quality. See Wetstein, in loco. The reference here is to a spiritual healing - meaning that, ill respect to their spiritual vision, what he would furnish would produce the same effect as the collyrium or eye-salve would in diseased eyes. The idea is, that the grace of the gospel enables people who were before blind to see clearly the character of God, the beauty of the way of salvation, the loveliness of the person and work of Christ, etc. See the notes on Ephesians 1:18.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-3.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

I counsel thee to buy of me gold refined by fire, that thou mayest become rich; and white garments, that thou mayest clothe thyself, and that the shame of thy nakedness be not made manifest; and eye-salve to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see.

It is evident that the lack of the Laodiceans was precisely in those areas where they fancied they were the strongest. The allusion to Laodicean wealth, their garment industry, and their "Phrygian eye-salve" is evident.

Buy of me gold refined by fire ... This is a metaphor of true fidelity in Christ Jesus, as suggested by 1 Peter 1:7; but the expression, "Buy of me" is particularly interesting. "the of me is emphatic,"[67] indicating that the true wealth is procurable only from the Son of God. Neither the banks of Laodicea nor the gold mines of Pangaeus can supply the blessed "riches in Christ" without which all mankind is miserable and poor and blind and naked. Furthermore, the very fact of a purchase being required in this command raises the question of what shall be tendered in order to receive the gold refined by fire? Lenski quoted Isaiah 55:1 in this context:

Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price (Isaiah 55:1).

Lenski's comment on this is: "Buy for nothing! This is the strange wonderful gospel buying."[68] With due deference, how ever, to the respected Lenski, the riches in Christ are not avail able "for nothing," but without money, there being a world of difference in the two propositions. The very thing wrong at Laodicea was that they were proposing to enjoy true riches of Christ for nothing. The same is true of a great deal of the current religious world around us today. Among the things that "in a sense" must be exchanged for the true riches are an obedient faith in Jesus Christ. However, it is only "in a sense" that such may be called "buying." There is no quid pro quo that may be tendered in order to receive salvation; and it was probably this that Lenski intended.

And white garments that thou mayest be clothed ... Like the buying, above, this represents something which to some degree, at least, must be provided by the wearer, Christ, of course, being the only source. The apostles commanded that one should keep himself "unspotted from the world" (James 1:27). White garments of righteousness are supplied by the Lord to the baptized believer; but there is no promise of any such thing to the believer or unbeliever who will not be baptized. Thus, people are here commanded to "buy" white garments.

And eye-salve to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see ... This demanded purchase, like the others, may not be had for money; but that does not mean that it is available upon any other terms than the one laid down in Scripture. "The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes" (Psalms 19:8). The only eye-salve, therefore, that will do spiritual blindness any good is the word of the Lord; and it was precisely this that the Laodiceans needed. How could they "buy it"? Through study and attention given to the word of God. Is this "for nothing"? Indeed no; but it is without money.

[67] Ibid., p. 127.

[68] R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. John's Revelation (Minneapolis, Minn.: Augsburg Publishing House, 1943), p. 158.

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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 3:18". "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

I counsel thee,.... Christ is a Counsellor, and is every way fit to be one, for he is the all wise God, the Ancient of days, and the Father of his people, and, as Mediator, the Wisdom of God; and he was concerned in the council of peace from everlasting; and when he was here on earth he gave counsel in person, and now he gives it by his Spirit, and by his word and ministers; and the substance of it is, to come to him for grace, life, and salvation; for pardon, peace, and righteousness; for spiritual light and knowledge, and every supply of grace; and his advice is always wholesome, good, and suitable, is hearty, sincere, and faithful, and is freely given, and is wise and prudent; and, being taken, infallibly succeeds; the counsel here given follows:

to buy of me gold tried in the fire; by which is meant either a more pure and glorious state of the church, such as was in the former period, or greater; or a larger measure of light and knowledge in the Gospel, which is better than fine gold; or some particular graces, and a comfortable exercise of them, as fervent love and strong faith, which is much more precious than gold; or rather, all spiritual riches in general, which are in Christ, and are unsearchable, solid, substantial and satisfying; are lasting and durable, precious, excellent, and incorruptible: and the buying of this gold is not to be understood in a proper sense, by giving a valuable consideration for it, for no such is to be given, but in an improper sense; it is a buying without money and without price; Christ and his grace are given freely; Christ of whom it is to be had and of him only, does not sell it, but he gives it to those that come to him for it, and desire to have it, and are willing to part with all, so they may but enjoy it; for that it is to be understood in such a sense, is clear from the character of the persons who are advised to buy, who were poor, or beggars, Revelation 3:17; the end of it is,

that thou mayest be rich; for though this church was rich, yet not in spirituals; and though she was rich in her own conceit, yet not really so: persons are not to be accounted truly rich who have only this world's goods; none are rich but those who have an interest in Christ and his grace; and they who are poor in this world, and yet have grace, are really rich: the next thing advised to is,

and white raiment; that is, and buy white raiment, by which some understand the heavenly glory, robes of immortality, a being clothed upon with the house which is from heaven; this may be compared to raiment, for it is a glory, an immortality, an incorruption to be put on; and fitly enough to white raiment, for the purity and spotlessness of it; and being clothed with this, no nakedness, or shame of it will appear; and this is to be had from Christ, and in the same way as gold is to be bought of him; the design of this advice may be to quicken the desires of the church after heavenly things; though it rather seems to respect something suitable to her in this present state: wherefore others think that by it are meant good works, holiness of life and conversation; but these are never called white raiment, but even rags, yea, filthy ones, in the best; and whatever cover they may be from nakedness in the sight of men, they are no cover from it in the sight of God, nor do they preserve from shame and blushing: rather then by it is meant the righteousness of Christ, which may be compared to raiment; it is upon the saints, and is put upon them as such; it covers as a garment does, protects from injuries, keeps warm, beautifies and adorns, as raiment does; and it may be compared to white raiment for its purity and perfection; now this is to be bought of Christ, it is to be had of him, and is to be had of him freely, without money and without price; it is a free gift of grace; and even faith itself, which receives it, is the gift of God: the ends of giving this advice are,

that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; the soul may be naked when the body is well clothed; and notwithstanding a man's moral righteousness, he may not be clothed; they, and they only are clothed, who have on the righteousness of Christ; nakedness arises from want of, righteousness, which is only covered by the righteousness of Christ; and from hence also springs shame, which Christ's righteousness hides:

and anoint thine eyes with eye salve; by which may be meant the word of God, particularly the Gospel; and anointing with it is making use of it for the gaining of light and knowledge: all without this divine revelation are in darkness, and such who reject the authority of it go astray; the Scriptures are the only directory, and rule of faith and practice; the law is a means of enlightening persons to see their sin and misery, and the danger they are in; and the Gospel is a light, whereby is beheld the glory of Christ, of his person and office, of his grace and righteousness, and of salvation by him; and this is the Gospel of Christ, and is to be had of him freely, even the saving knowledge of it. The Jews have adopted the very Greek word here used into their language, and apply it to the law; says R. ChijaF5Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 96. 3. Debarim Rabba, sect. 8. fol. 243. 3. & Vajikra Rabba, sect. 12. fol. 155. 3. , speaking of the law,

"Nyel tyrwlyq, "it is a salve for the eye", a plaster for a wound, &c. it is a salve for the eyes, as is written Psalm 19:8.

or else the illumination of the Spirit is meant, by which the eyes of the understanding being enlightened, men see themselves, the impurity of their hearts and nature, the imperfection of their righteousness, their impotency to all that is spiritually good, and that they are lost and undone in themselves; and by which they see Christ and salvation by him, that it is in him, and in no other, and that it is full and suitable, and for the chief of sinners, and that it is all of free grace, and that they have an interest in it; by this they have light into the doctrines of the Gospel, and have some glimpse of the glories of another world; and this is to be had of Christ, who gives his Spirit freely, and an understanding to know spiritual things: and the end of the advice is,

that thou mayest see; who, notwithstanding the conceit she had of herself, was blind; persons may have much human prudence, much knowledge in things moral, yea, in things evangelical, notionally, and yet be blind as to true spiritual light and experience; they only see spiritually and savingly who have the Spirit of God,

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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 3:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-3.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

without money and price.”

of me — the source of “unsearchable riches” (Ephesians 3:8). Laodicea was a city of extensive money transactions [Cicero].

gold tried in, etc. — literally, “fired (and fresh) from the fire,” that is, just fresh from the furnace which has proved its purity, and retaining its bright gloss. Sterling spiritual wealth, as contrasted with its counterfeit, in which Laodicea boasted itself. Having bought this gold she will be no longer poor (Revelation 3:17).

mayest be richGreek, “mayest be enriched.”

white raiment — “garments.” Laodicea‘s wools were famous. Christ offers infinitely whiter raiment. As “gold tried in the fire” expresses faith tested by fiery trials: so “white raiment,” Christ‘s righteousness imputed to the believer in justification and imparted in sanctification.

appearGreek, “be manifested,” namely, at the last day, when everyone without the wedding garment shall be discovered. To strip one, is in the East the image of putting to open shame. So also to clothe one with fine apparel is the image of doing him honor. Man can discover his shame, God alone can cover it, so that his nakedness shall not be manifested at last (Colossians 3:10-14). Blessed is he whose sin is so covered. The hypocrite‘s shame may be manifested now; it must be so at last.

anoint  …  with eye-salve — The oldest manuscripts read, “(buy of Me) eye-salve (collyrium, a roll of ointment), to anoint thine eyes.” Christ has for Laodicea an ointment far more precious than all the costly unguents of the East. The eye is here the conscience or inner light of the mind. According as it is sound and “single” (Greek, “{haplous},” “simple”), or otherwise, the man sees aright spiritually, or does not. The Holy Spirit‘s unction, like the ancient eye-salve‘s, first smarts with conviction of sin, then heals. He opens our eyes first to ourselves in our wretchedness, then to the Savior in His preciousness. Trench notices that the most sunken churches of the seven, namely, Sardis and Laodicea, are the ones in which alone are specified no opponents from without, nor heresies from within. The Church owes much to God‘s overruling Providence which has made so often internal and external foes, in spite of themselves, to promote His cause by calling forth her energies in contending for the faith once delivered to the saints. Peace is dearly bought at the cost of spiritual stagnation, where there is not interest enough felt in religion to contend about it at all.

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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 3:18". "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 counsel (συμβουλευωsumbouleuō). Present active indicative, old compound from συμβουλοςsumboulos counsellor (Romans 11:34), as in John 18:14. Almost ironical in tone.

To buy (αγορασαιagorasai). First aorist active infinitive of αγοραζωagorazō (from αγοραagora market-place), rich as they think themselves to be.

From me (παρ εμουpar' emou). From my side, emphatic.

Refined by fire (πεπυρωμενον εκ πυροςpepurōmenon ek puros). Perfect passive participle of πυροωpuroō (as in Revelation 1:15) and the metaphor carried on by εκ πυροςek puros “fired by fire.” Purity by removing dross (Psalm 66:10) like 1 Peter 1:7.

That thou mayest become rich (ινα πλουτησηιςhina ploutēsēis). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the ingressive first aorist active of πλουτεωplouteō spiritual riches.

That thou mayest clothe thyself (ινα περιβαληιhina peribalēi). Purpose clause with ιναhina and second aorist middle (direct) subjunctive of περιβαλλωperiballō to fling round one as in Revelation 3:5.

Be not made manifest (μη πανερωτηιmē phanerōthēi). Continued purpose clause with negative μηmē and first aorist passive subjunctive of πανεροωphaneroō (γυμνοτητοςgumnotētos). Late and rare word from γυμνοςgumnos naked, in N.T. only here, 2 Corinthians 11:27; Romans 8:35. Cf. Revelation 16:15; Revelation 20:13; 2 Corinthians 5:2.

Eye-salve (κολλουριονkollourion). Diminutive of κολλυραkollura (coarse bread of cylindrical shape), object of αγορασαιagorasai name for a famous Phrygian powder for the eyes made in Laodicea (Charles), Latin collyrium (used for eye-salve by Horace and Juvenal).

To anoint (εγχρισαιegchrisai). First aorist active infinitive (epexegetic) of εγχριωegchriō late compound (εν χριωenινα βλεπηιςchriō Strabo, Epictetus), to rub in, here only in N.T.

That thou mayest see (ιναhina blepēis). Another purpose clause with hina and the present active subjunctive (keep on seeing).

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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 3:18". "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

I counsel ( συμβουλεύω )

With a certain irony. Though He might command, yet He advises those who are, in their own estimation, supplied with everything.

To buy

Compare Isaiah 4:1; Matthew 13:44, Matthew 13:46. Those who think themselves rich, and yet have just been called beggars by the Lord, are advised by Him to buy. The irony, however, covers a sincere and gracious invitation. The goods of Christ are freely given, yet they have their price - renunciation of self and of the world.

Gold ( χρυσίον )

Often of gold money or ornaments. So 1 Peter 1:18; Acts 3:6; 1 Peter 3:3. Also of native gold and gold which has been smelted and wrought (Hebrews 9:4). There may very properly be a reference to the extensive money transactions of Laodicea.

Tried in the fire ( πεπυρωμένον ἐκ πορὸς )

The verb means to burn, to be on fire: in the perfect passive, as here, kindled, made to glow; thence melted by fire, and so refined. Rev., refined by, fire. By fire is, literally, out of the fire ( ἐκ ; see on Revelation 2:7).

White raiment

Rev., garments. See on Revelation 3:4.

Mayest be clothed ( περιβάλῃ )

Rev., more literally, mayest clothe thyself. See on Revelation 3:5.

Do not appear ( μὴ φανερωθῇ )

Rev., more literally, be not made manifest. See on John 21:1. Stripping and exposure is a frequent method of putting to open shame. See 2 Samuel 10:4; Isaiah 20:4; Isaiah 47:2-3; Ezekiel 16:37. Compare also Matthew 22:11-13; Colossians 3:10-14.

Anoint thine eyes with eye-salve ( κολλούριον ἔγχρισον τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς σου )

The correct reading is ἔγχρισαι , the infinitive, to anoint, instead of the imperative. So Rev., eye-salve to anoint thine eyes. Κολλούριον , of which the Latin collyrium is a transcript, is a diminutive of κολλύρα aroll of coarse bread. See 1 Kings 14:3, Sept.; A.V., cracknels. Here applied to a roll or stick of ointment for the eyes. Horace, describing his Brundisian journey, relates how, at one point, he was troubled with inflamed eyes, and anointed them with black eye-salve (nigra collyria. Sat., i., v., 30). Juvenal, describing a superstitious woman, says: “If the corner of her eye itches when rubbed, she consults her horoscope before calling for salve ” (collyria; vi., 577). The figure sets forth the spiritual anointing by which the spiritual vision is purged. Compare Augustine, “Confessions,” vii., 7,8. “Through my own swelling was I separated from Thee; yea, my pride-swollen face closed up mine eyes … . It was pleasing in Thy sight to reform my deformities; and by inward goads didst Thou rouse me, that I should be ill at ease until Thou wert manifested to my inward sight. Thus, by the secret hand of Thy medicining, was my swelling abated, and the troubled and bedimmed eyesight of my mind, by the smarting anointings of healthful sorrows, was from day to day healed.” Compare 1 John 2:20, 1 John 2:27.

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Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "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

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

I counsel thee — who art poor, and blind, and naked.

To buy of me — Without money or price.

Gold purified in the fire — True, living faith, which is purified in the furnace of affliction.

And white raiment — True holiness.

And eyesalve — Spiritual illumination; the "unction of the Holy One," which teacheth all things.

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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 3:18". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-3.html. 1765.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE DIVINE MERCHANTMAN*

‘I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.’

Revelation 3:18

No doubt the scene depicted in these words was suggested by the market-place or bazaar of some great Eastern city. There appears in the market-place the Divine Merchantman, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. It is His own description. Not even did He leave it to an Apostle to so describe Him. Notice what His wares are.

I. The offer of gold.—The first that He offers to you and me is gold. Gold is the symbol of power. Why do men care for gold? It is simply because it gives them power, and it gives position, and it gives influence. No man, except the mere money-grubber, the mere miser, cares for gold simply to finger it. So Christ says, ‘You want power. I am prepared to give you power. I am prepared to give you a power greater and mightier in its influence than the gold of Ophir.’ ‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.’ Christ is made unto us not only wisdom and righteousness, but He is made unto us power; and so we read of the Christ being the power of God, and the Apostle Paul, who was face to face with the greatest world-power of the age, the Roman world-power—St. Paul preached to the Roman people and to the people subject to them that the power of the Christ is the power of God, and the gospel is the mightiest power that the world has ever seen.

II. The offer of purity.—But the second thing He offers to us is purity. ‘White raiment, that the shame of thy nakedness [thy moral nakedness] be not manifest.’ Men want what God knows all men have lost—purity. You remember how Sir Galahad, the knight of purity of Arthur’s Round Table, how Tennyson sings of him that his strength was as the strength of ten because his heart was pure. Power and purity linked together. Christ offers you not only pardon for sin but what we want besides, and that is innate purity; the cleansing of the very centres of our moral life. ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ Ah! the strength of purity, and the strength that comes to a man when he feels that God has put away the sin and created in him a clean heart. The joy of it, instead of having to fight with this evil beast, this wild passion, to be able to stand and feel that God has actually purified the heart.

III. The offer of penetration.—And then He offers us penetration. ‘Eyesalve that our eyes may be opened.’ What a strange thing for sharp, keen-witted men to be wanting their eyes opened! You are very keen and shrewd and clear-sighted as regards business, and yet blind as regards the most important business transaction of life—your eternal salvation. ‘What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?’ Think of that kind of profit and loss. Where is your keenness? You need eye-salve that your eyes may be opened; the anointing of the Holy Ghost that you may see straight and clear. The one great important thing in life is to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Yes, and we are putting God second, if we are putting Him anywhere at all. Self first, business first; God nowhere at all. Oh, that your eyes might be opened!

IV. ‘Buy of Me.’—‘Buy of Me.’ What does it mean? A business transaction, a definite transaction. Have you been to Christ for a definite business transaction with Him about your soul? ‘Buy of Me.’ It means an exchange. That was the old custom of buying: an exchange of property for property. So is this buying. I give myself to Christ; He gives Himself to me. Wondrous exchange! A poor sinner, blind, miserable, naked, impure, with powers weakened and sinful, I give myself to Him. He wants me, just as I am. ‘Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy Cross I cling.’ And He gives me Himself. ‘I will come in to him,’ we read in the twentieth verse of this very chapter, ‘and you shall have My power, My purity, My own anointing’ that shall open our eyes that we may see what God has for us as men redeemed in Christ.

—Archdeacon Madden.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/revelation-3.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Ver. 18. I counsel thee] Having first convinced thee, Revelation 3:17, who before wert uncounselable; the Gibeonites sent not for Joshua till besieged; the Gileadites sought not after Jephthah till distressed; nor will men hearken after Christ till driven out of themselves.

To buy of me] "Buy the truth and sell it not." Make a thorough sale of sin and all (with the wise merchant) to purchase Christ the pearl of price, for whom St Paul (that great trader both by sea and land, 2 Corinthians 11:23; 2 Corinthians 11:25-26) counted all but dung and dog’s meat, Philippians 3:7-8. Diogenes taxed the folly of the men of his times (may not we the men of ours?) quod res pretiosas minimo emerent, venderentque vilissimas plurimo, that they undervalued the best things, but overvalued the worst.

Gold tried in the fire] Precious faith, 1 Peter 1:7.

White raiment] The righteousnesses of the saints, that of justification, and the other of sanctification.

And that the shame of thy nakedness] But be covered as the priest’s nakedness was by his linen breeches. Nature teacheth us to cover our nakedness; therefore when a man hath committed a sin, he blusheth; the blood as it were would cover the sin. Aaron by making the golden calf had made the people naked unto their shame among their enemies, Exodus 32:25. Maximilian the emperor, when he yielded up the ghost, gave charge that none should see his dead body naked. Erat enim omnium mortalium verecundissimus, saith mine author. Buy we this white raiment of Christ; so shall our sins never shame us.

Eyesalve] That unction, 1 John 2:20. Light and sight, the saving, knowledge of heavenly mysteries.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-3.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 3:18. I counsel thee, &c.— "I counsel thee, that, with a humble sense of thy condition, so extremely unhappy, thou apply to him, who alone is capable of helping thee: and as I require no price or equivalent for my treasures, but only a conviction of such an incapacity to make an adequate return for them; I advise thee in that way to buyof me a full supply for all thy necessities; blessingsmore desirable than gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest, indeed be rich before God in holiness and good works; white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed; adorned with every Christian grace and virtue, which can render thee lovely in the sight ofGod; putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. And whereas thou art blinded with such unhappy self-conceit, come, and anoint thy eyes with my sovereign eye-salve, that thou mayest see; for the illuminating grace of my Spirit will bring thee to right sentiments of thyself and of thy state, and teach thee to judge of objects according to their real worth."

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-3.html. 1801-1803.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 3:18. συμβουλεύω, I give counsel) But if the Superior Being in the meantime lays aside His power, that very fact may possibly be the mark of a mind the more estranged, as if the servant is rebuked by his Lord, and the Lord says, I advise you to take heed to yourself. We give advice even to friends, but not while we rebuke them.— αἰσχύνη) The Hebrew ערוה is sometimes rendered in the Septuagint by αἰσχύνη.— κολλούριον) namely ἀγοράσαι, to buy, for the purpose of anointing. [This is the last thing. Riches with clothing precede.—V. g.] Celsus speaks at largo on eye-salve.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". 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

Buying being the usual way amongst men to procure what they want, it is not to be wondered at, that the procuring of that spiritual blessing here mentioned is expressed under this notion; though our buying of God spiritual good things be (as the prophet expresseth it, Isaiah 55:1) without money and without price. It is not to be doubted, but that which is here propounded to be bought (that is, obtained, and procured by such ways and means as God hath directed) is Christ himself, with all his benefits, in whom there is a sufficient spiritual supply for all our spiritual wants; that which to the soul will answer whatever gold serveth the body for; and which to the soul answereth what clothing is to the body, viz. righteousness, wherein a soul may stand before God; and that which will answer what salves are to the body for the cure of its wounds, viz. consolation, and healing of all spiritual wounds and infirmities; in short, whatever thou hast need of, considered either as poor, wretched, and miserable, or as blind and naked.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-3.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

золото... белую одеждуглазной мазью См. пояснение к ст. 4. Он предлагал им действительные духовные ценности – замены их основных производств. Каждый предмет указывал на путь истинного спасения.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-3.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Gold-white raiment-eye-salve; representing the rich spiritual blessings which Christ will give to those who look to him. Isaiah 45:22. The more cold and formal men are in religion, the more self-confident they are-the less they feel their need of Christ and his salvation; and without a great change, they will never obtain the blessings of his favor.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire that you may become rich, and white clothes so that you may clothe yourself and so that the shame of your nakedness should not be revealed, and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.’

They were famed for buying expensive goods. Let them therefore now take notice and ‘buy’ what is of worth. The purchases mentioned here are like the purchases made from the water-seller in Isaiah 55:1, ‘without money and without price’. Jesus is advising them to obtain them from Him, bought at the cost of His own blood. They consist of:

· the true gold, refined by fire, referring to purified lives lived in obedience to God, refined by tribulation and endurance;

· pure white clothing, the righteousness of Christ which will cover them before God and hide their nakedness before the angels, and the resulting righteousness of good lives which is the result;

· the truly valuable eye salve of the Spirit that they might see and understand the truth.

In Zechariah 13:7-9, when the shepherd has been smitten and the sheep have been scattered God promised to restore one third of the people, saying ‘I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried, they shall call on my name and I will hear them. I will say it is my people, and they shall say the Lord is my God’. And again in Malachi 3:3 he says of the Lord’s messenger, ‘who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when he appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire --- he will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, and they shall offer unto the Lord offerings in righteousness’ See also Proverbs 22:1. So the idea of refined gold is of people who have truly turned from sin to the Lord and offer Him righteous offerings, which in the New Testament sense means righteous prayers with thanksgiving and full dedication (Romans 12:1; Hebrews 13:15; compare Revelation 5:8).

White clothing is regularly what heavenly beings are seen as wearing, suggesting purity, righteousness and acceptability to God. In the Old Testament God’s people are made white by God’s forgiveness (Isaiah 1:18); and by tribulation and martyrdom (Daniel 11:35; Daniel 12:10). In Revelation 19:8 the fine clothing of Christ’s bride the church is ‘the righteous acts of the holy ones’, God’s people, for receiving the imputed righteousness of Christ necessarily results in righteous actions, but the clothing there is not specifically said to be white.

Those who are redeemed to God are given white clothing (Revelation 6:11) as will be overcomers (Revelation 3:4-5). And the gathering in Heaven of the people of God is in white clothing, because they have gone through great tribulation and have washed their clothes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:9; Revelation 7:13-14).

So the buying of white clothing refers (1) to the obtaining of cleansing and imputed righteousness through the cross of Christ, (2) to the resulting lives lived in purity, producing good thoughts, attitudes and actions, (3) to the enduring of tribulation for Christ’s sake, and (4) to the goodness of God in the provision of such clothing to the redeemed. There is a subtle suggestion that, while they pride themselves in the black clothing they produce, they need to consider their need for white clothing.

They boast about their eye salve so let them truly anoint their eyes with the true eye salve. To anoint their eyes with eye salve is to pray to God that He will open their eyes through the Spirit so that the eyes of their understanding may be enlightened (Ephesians 1:18), and they may understand His truth (Isaiah 35:5), and so that their eyes may not be dim, which will result from looking to the King Who reigns in righteousness (Isaiah 32:3). Thus they should look to their Maker with eyes that have respect to the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 17:7).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "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 3:18. The counsel follows. I counsel thee to buy of me gold refined out of fire, not that gold which cannot stand the fire of the great day, but the true gold of My kingdom, purified by being burnt in the furnace of trial, that thus thou mayest be rich; and white garments, that thou mayest appear clothed when I come; and eye-salve to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see (comp. John 9:6). The three things mentioned are in obvious contrast with those spoken of in Revelation 3:17, although they are not mentioned in the same order. For ‘buy’ comp. Isaiah 55:1.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "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

buy. The members of the church of this dispensation have nothing to buy and nothing to pay with; our salvation is the free-grace gift of God.

the. Omit.

fire. Compare Haggai 2:8. Zechariah 13:9. Malachi 3:3.

be clothed = clothe thyself.

do not appear = be not (App-105) made manifest (App-106). Compare Revelation 16:15.

see. App-133.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "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

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Gentle, loving irony. Take my advice, thou who fanciest thou 'needest none.' Not only art thou not in need of nothing, but in need of the commonest necessaries. He graciously stoops to their modes of thought. Thou art ready to listen to any counsel how to buy to advantage: then, listen to mine (for I am "Counsellor," Isaiah 9:6), "buy of ME" (in whom, according to Paul's letter to the neighbouring Colosse, intended for the Laodiceans also, Colossians 2:1; Colossians 2:3; Colossians 4:16, are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge). "Buy:" not that we can, by any merit of ours, purchase God's free gift; nay, the purchase money consists in renouncing all self-righteousness (Revelation 3:17). "Buy" at the cost of thy self-sufficiency (so Philippians 3:7-8), and of all things, however dear, that would prevent receiving Christ's salvation as a free gift-e.g., self and worldly desires. Compare Isaiah 55:1.

Of me - the source of "unsearchable riches" (Ephesians 3:8). Laodicea had extensive money transactions (Cicero).

Gold tried in, [ pepuroomenon (Greek #4448)] - 'fired from the fire;' i:e., fresh from the furnace which proved its purity; retaining its glens. Sterling spiritual wealth, contrasted with its counterfeit, in which Laodicea boasted. Having this gold, she will be no longer poor (Revelation 3:17).

Mayest be rich - `enriched.'

White raiment - `garments.' Laodicea's wools were famous. Christ offers infinitely whiter raiments. As "gold tried in the fire" expresses faith tested by fiery trials, so "white raiment" Christ's righteousness imputed to the believer in justification, imparted in sanctification.

Appear - `be manifested' at the day when everyone without the wedding garment shall be discovered. To strip, in the East, implies putting to open shame. So to clothe with fine apparel is the image of doing honour. Man can discover his shame; God alone can cover it, so that his nakedness shall not be manifested at last (Genesis 3:7; Genesis 3:21; Colossians 3:10-14). Blessed is he whose sin is so covered (Psalms 32:1). The hypocrite's shame may be manifested now, it must be so then.

Anoint ... with eye-salve. 'Aleph (') A C [ engchrisai (Greek #1472)], '(buy of me) eye-salve (collyrium, a roll of ointment) to anoint thine eyes.' Christ, the Anointed, has for Laodicea an ointment far more precious than all the costly unguents of the East (John 9:6; 1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27). The eye is the conscience or inner light of the mind. According as it is sound and 'single' [ haplous (Greek #573), 'simple'], or otherwise, the man sees spiritually, or does not (Matthew 6:22). The Holy Spirit's unction, like ancient eye-salves, first smarts with conviction of sin, then heals: He opens our eyes first to our wretchedness, then to the Saviour's preciousness. The most sunken churches of the seven, Sardis and Laodicea, are those in which were no opponents from without nor heresies from within. The Church owes much to God's providence, which makes internal and external foes, in spite of themselves, to promote His cause, by calling forth her energies in contending for the faith once delivered to the saints. Peace is dearly bought at the cost of spiritual stagnation, where there is not interest enough felt in religion to contend about it at all.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "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

(18) I counsel thee to buy.—There is, perhaps, a touch of irony here. How could the poor and naked buy? But the irony has no sting, for the counsel but recalled the invitation of the prophet to buy “without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1).

Gold—i.e., golden coin, “tried,” or, fired out of fire, and so free from alloy or dross. Trench suggests that “gold” here stands for faith. Does not, however, the self-deceiving state of this Church rather point to love as the missing grace? The Laodiceans were as those who had many graces in appearance; they were not unlike one who had gifts, tongues, understanding, liberality, but lacked that fervent love without which all was as nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3); or, to use Trench’s own image, they were lacking in the only grace accepted as currency in the kingdom of God.

“O merchantman at heaven’s mart for heavenly ware,

Love is the only coin which passes there.”

But the possession of this love would bring their zeal out of the tepid into the fervent state. Such love, pure and fervent, could only spring from God, who would shed abroad His love in their hearts (Romans 5:5).

White raiment.—The putting on of apparel and the stripping of it off were tokens of honour and humiliation. (See 2 Samuel 10:1; Isa. 67:2,3; Hosea 2:3; Hosea 2:9; Zechariah 3:3-5; Revelation 16:15; Luke 15:22.) The wedding-feast was at hand. The unclad would then be put to shame (Matthew 22:11-13). Let them be prepared against this by putting on Christ (Colossians 3:10-14) and His righteousness (Philippians 3:9), that the shame of their nakedness do not appear—or, much better, be not made manifest.

Eyesalve.—They were blind; they were proud of their intellectual wealth; they boasted of their enlightenment. (Comp. Colossians 2:8.) Self-deceived, they thought, like the Pharisees, that they saw. (Comp. John 9:40-41.) Better would it be for them that they should receive the anointing of the Holy One (1 John 2:20), which would teach them all things, and especially reveal to them their self-ignorance. This anointing might be painful, but “the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened” (such is the remarkably parallel thought in the Epistle to the Ephesians), and they would be enabled to see and appreciate things spiritual. (Comp. John 9:7; John 9:25; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 5:19.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
counsel
Psalms 16:7; 32:8; 73:24; 107:11; Proverbs 1:25,30; 19:20; Ecclesiastes 8:2
buy
Proverbs 23:23; Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 13:44; 25:9
gold
Malachi 3:3; 1 Corinthians 3:12,13; 1 Peter 1:7
that thou
2:9; Luke 12:21; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 1 Timothy 6:18; James 2:5
white
4,5; 7:13; 16:15; 19:8; 2 Corinthians 5:3
the shame
16:15; Isaiah 47:3; Jeremiah 13:26; Daniel 12:2; Micah 1:11; Nahum 3:5
anoint
John 9:6-11; 1 John 2:20-27
Reciprocal: Genesis 3:10 - because;  Genesis 9:21 - and he;  Exodus 28:42 - breeches;  Exodus 32:25 - naked;  Numbers 31:23 - abide;  2 Chronicles 28:19 - made Judah;  Psalm 45:13 - clothing;  Psalm 72:12 - For;  Psalm 119:18 - Open;  Proverbs 3:14 - GeneralProverbs 8:5 - GeneralProverbs 8:18 - durable;  Proverbs 9:4 - GeneralIsaiah 20:4 - shame;  Isaiah 29:18 - the deaf;  Isaiah 42:7 - open;  Isaiah 42:18 - ye deaf;  Isaiah 46:12 - Hearken;  Isaiah 59:6 - neither;  Isaiah 64:6 - all our;  Jeremiah 2:23 - How canst;  Lamentations 1:8 - they;  Ezekiel 16:7 - whereas;  Ezekiel 16:36 - and thy;  Daniel 12:10 - shall be;  Matthew 6:23 - If;  Matthew 7:7 - and it;  Matthew 9:12 - They that be whole;  Matthew 22:11 - which;  Mark 8:23 - spit;  Mark 10:30 - an hundredfold;  Luke 1:53 - and;  Luke 6:42 - see;  Luke 12:44 - that he will;  Luke 15:22 - the best;  Luke 16:11 - true;  John 4:10 - thou wouldest;  Acts 8:22 - pray;  Acts 11:26 - were;  Romans 2:19 - art confident;  Romans 10:3 - to establish;  1 Corinthians 3:15 - work;  1 Corinthians 10:12 - General2 Corinthians 1:21 - anointed;  Ephesians 3:8 - unsearchable;  Hebrews 11:26 - greater;  1 John 1:6 - If;  Revelation 7:9 - clothed

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-3.html.

Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation

The Heavenly Merchant and His Goods.

Revelation 3:18.

Christ"s love is here beyond all doubt—His profound compassion for the sinner; for the worse of sinners; for the sinner of Laodicea. Each word is full of meaning and of grace.

1. "I"It is the Master Himself who speaks; speaks the very truth of God; speaks in deep sincerity; speaks as the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God. The words that followed are meant to embody and express all these attributes, these parts of His name, these features of His character.

2. I counsel.The word is a peculiar one, and resembles the prophets expression, "Let us reason together" (Isaiah 1:18). I would unite with you regarding such counsel as the following. It is the invitation to joint counsel that makes the expression so condescending and so touching. It is not, "I command"—but "I counsel". What greatness of love is here! What a desire to disarm all opposition, to prevent irritation, and to win the heart! Oh that you would take my advice! He says to the self-sufficient Laodicean, whose estimate of himself was so widely different from that of God concerning him.

3. You.The lukewarm Church; the worse of the seven; just about to be rejected with loathing. God has ever spoken His most gracious words to His people in their worst estate, as Jesus wept over Jerusalem when she was about to reject and crucify Him. For His is love to the uttermost—love that many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown. The most loving words in all these seven epistles are spoken to the worst of the seven Churches. What sinner, what backslider, then shall say—There is not enough of love in Christ for me!

4. To buy.For Christ, as we shall see, speaks here as a merchant, offering His heavenly merchandise for sale. And yet not for sale—for all is free! He speaks of buying, that those who come might know that they get His goods in an honest and righteous way, and that they have them as securely as if they had paid the full price. "Buy," He said in the Old Testament (Isaiah 55:1,3), where He also publishes the advertisement of His goods. "Buy," He says to Laodicea. "Buy," He says to us still. Buy of me! Of me—in whom is all fullness.

The words of our text are the words of a merchant; yet not of a merchant "seeking goodly pearls," but offering His merchandise for sale in a wondrous market—and at a wondrous price. Yet He does not speak as one wishing to make gain by His goods—He speaks in sympathy and love. But He evidently has to do with men who care neither for Him nor for His goods—who have made choice of another merchant, and set their hearts on other merchandise. He has to press Himself and His goods upon unwilling buyers, who do not appreciate His wares. It is for their own profit, not His, that He is thus urgent. Unlike other dealers in the market, He wants to make His customers rich—not Himself.

Here, then, we have the seller and the buyer. Who are they? For they appear so unlike other buyers and sellers—the seller so anxious to make the buyer rich—and the buyer so reluctant to be enriched.

The selleror merchant is the Son of God, in whom are unsearchable riches. The buyeris a sinner of Adam"s impoverished family; a Laodicean sinner; one of the poorest and emptiest of men; all the more poor and empty, because ignorant of his great necessities, and complacently fancying himself rich and full, increased in goods, and needing nothing. It is upon this needy one that the rich merchant presses His wares—spreading them out before his eyes, and proclaiming both their sufficiency and suitableness. It is not often that loveand wealthare thus combined—but here we have them both in blessed fullness—wealth sufficient to supply the needs of the neediest—and love, unselfish, generous-hearted love, urging on the needy the acceptance of its boundless treasures. It is not often that povertyand prideare thus conjoined; but here we have the extreme of poverty accompanied with the resolution to remain poor rather than accept the merchant"s offer.

This heavenly merchant no doubt speaks of a price; for He says, "Buy of me." May not then the rejection of His goods be on account of their being too high in price? That this is not the case is plain from the three following things—

(1) There is in these Laodiceans a manifest dislike of both the merchant and His goods, quite irrespective of the terms.

(2) The merchant means obviously to intimate to them that they did not need more to buy His articles with, than they were now buying the articles of others with, and that therefore price could be no stumbling block.

(3) He is manifestly, by His mode of speech, referring them to another of His advertisements or announcements, in which His terms are explicitly given, "Without money and without price" (Isaiah 55:1). It cannot then be the price of His goods that is frightening away buyers. He knows this, and He continues to press His merchandise upon their acceptance, as something which they truly needed, more—something without which they would be absolutely and utterly poor. It is love, divine love, love to the needy, that makes Him so importunate; for He knows the extent of their poverty, their total inability to help themselves, and His own boundless treasures—the least fragment of which would enrich a world for eternity!

What then are the wares of this divine merchant? They are manifold, more—unsearchable. But there are three which He singles out as specially suited to the case of those Laodiceans—

(1.) Gold

(2.) Clothing

(3.) Eye-salve.

These were the articles which they thought they needed least—but which He knew they needed most. The possession of these would be to them the abundance of blessing. Without them they would be wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

I. Gold.He offers gold for sale—gold not only of the finest kind, but which had passed through the fire, and been purged from all its dross. It is better than gold of Ophir, than temple-gold, than palace-gold—it is gold the like of which earth does not contain anywhere—the very gold of heaven! As gold is the chief medium of currency, by means of which men obtain in the market all they need—so we may say that the name of Christ is that by which we obtain all we require, in the heavenly market. His name avails the sinner for the purchase of everything. Making use of that name, he may demand anything and everything. Is he not then rich? What gold, in value and in efficacy, is equal to the name of Jesus? For thus it is written, "Whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do" (John 14:13); and again, "Whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, He will give to you" (John 16:23). With gold such as this, it seems impossible to be poor. All Christ"s unsearchable riches pass over to us—and we use them as if they were our own! They are our "currency," our "circulating medium," in the heavenly market. Nor is there anything which by means of them we may not obtain. Thus are we "rich toward God;" and though having nothing in ourselves—"yet we possess all things!"

II. Clothing.Clothing was the first thing which man felt his need of, after he had sinned. Before he sinned, he was naked, yet needed no covering. After he sinned, he felt his nakedness, and blushed. He tried the fig leaves, but they would not do. He was still ashamed. He tried the thick trees, but neither would they do—he was both afraid and ashamed. At last God covered him. He took the skins of the sacrifices, and clothed him. That sufficed. The shame of his nakedness no longer appeared.

It is thus that God deals with the sinner still. It is from the slain Lamb that the true clothing comes. Nothing else will do. This does. The Laodicean sinner is so vain and so ignorant, that he feels as Adam did before he fell. He is naked, yet not ashamed. Hence the sharp words of the Lord, "You know not that you are naked!" A sinner, yet ignorant of his sin! Naked, yet unconscious of his shame! To many a sinner now, may the Lord"s words be pointed—"you are naked, and know it not!" But whether conscious or unconscious of your shame, here is clothing, fine clothing, that you may be clothed. "Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him," are the words of paternal grace. It is the best robe; for it is divine. It is fine clothing; for it is the very clothing of the Son of God. It is His righteousness that is to cover you. Then shall you be no more ashamed. You shall be able to stand before men and angels, more, before God—without a blush!

III. Eye-salve."Blindness," not in part, but in whole, is the sinner"s lot. He is blind from his mother"s womb—"born blind." Yet he thinks he sees! Strange delusion! "Are we blind also?" he says with the Pharisees. Ignorant blindness! What a calamity! "You know not that you are blind." But whether you know or not, here is eye-salve—heavenly eye-salve—better eye-salve than that with which Christ anointed the blind eyes of the body. Here it is—in Christ"s own hand. Here it is, all ready for you. Let Him anoint you with it, and immediately you shall see. Consent to take His eye-salve, and your vision is restored. With that restoration, what a world of glory opens upon your eye!

Here then are the merchant"s three articles—gold, clothing, eye-salve—riches, clothing, knowledge! He presents them all to you. And though He says "Buy," He asks no exorbitant price for His divine wares. His terms are wonderful—"without money and without price!"

Every day comes the heavenly merchant to our earthly market, with His goodly but despised merchandise. Patiently, lovingly He carries them about, presenting them to all He meets; seeking not to enrich Himself, but us; not to amass a fortune for Himself, but to provide one for us. Ah, this is love! Love that seeks another"s welfare, not its own. "I counsel you to buy," he says. Yet who takes His counsel? Who buys?

After having gone through the market-place, amid the crowds of earth, and found but little custom for His precious wares, He goes to the houses of those who have been refusing all His offers. He knocks and knocks, presenting not only His goods—but Himself also, as the blessed guest! There He stands, knocking and knocking! Not because He needs shelter or food, but because they need His company. The house and the table will be poor without Him. He knows this—though they know it not. Therefore He asks admission, that He may come in and bless them with His divine fellowship and love!

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Bonar, Horatius. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bch/revelation-3.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

LAODICEA'S THREEFOLD CONDITION AND THE LORD'S THREEFOLD GRACE.

Revelation 3:18. — "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold purified by fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white garments, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not be made manifest; and eye salve to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see." The three main characteristic features of Laodicea were their poverty, their nakedness, and their blindness; and these are what the Lord, ever gracious, here offers to meet. He might have commanded, but no, He counsels, "buy of Me gold purified by fire." "Buy" need present no difficulty. Christ has the treasures of grace, the wealth of Heaven at His disposal. He fixes the terms on which He sells: "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price" (Isaiah 55:1). Your title to come, to buy, is your need and poverty. "Gold" purified or refined by fire points to divine righteousness, tested and tried; without it, oh, how poor! with it, how rich! "White garments" are declared to be the righteousness of saints, i.e., their righteous deeds (Revelation 19:8), which would cover their moral nakedness and the shame of it as well. "Eye salve" is for spiritual discernment.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "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

Gold tried in the fire is a figurative name for faith ( 1 Peter 1:7.) White raiment consists of the righteousness of the Lord"s people ( Revelation 19:8), and the people could have such raiment. to wear if they would follow a life of righteous conduct. Against thine eyes.. In 2 Peter 1:9 the man who lacked the qualities named in that chapter is said to be "blind," and on that basis the church at Laorlicea needed to use the anointment of‘ those virtues to remove the cataract from their eyes.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". 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 3:18

Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire.

As there was a depth of hypocrisy and formality in this Church, so here is a greater depth of mercy and mystery in her cure, which Jesus Christ propounded by his gracious council unto them; and the excellent commodities which Christ here offers them, and counsels them to buy of him. Christ is the most wise and best counsellor, Isaiah 9:6 and we may buy all his spiritual commodities without money, and without price, Isaiah 55:1-3.

Buy of me,

that Isaiah, accept what I offer you, and take it freely, Revelation 22:17.

The spiritual commodities, which Christ offered this Church, her ministers and members, are three, tried gold, white raiment, and eye-salve. These are metaphorical and mystical expressions: By

Gold tried in the fire,

we are to understand precious faith, 2 Peter 1:1 and all the graces, gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, John 1:14 which God the Father gives freely and abundantly to all that are poor in spirit, Ephesians 4:7.

And white raiment,

that Isaiah, the robe of Christ's righteousness, and the garments of his salvation, Isaiah 61:10 and Revelation 19:7-8.

And anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.

Christ's eye-salve is the unction of the Holy ONE, 1 John 2:20-27, that Isaiah, of the holy Spirit of God; whereby, the eyes of their understanding are enlightened to see, &c as Ephesians 1:17-20.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-3.html.

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

Revelation 3:18. I counsel thee, to buy of me gold, that has been purified in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white clothing, that thou mayest put on, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear; and eye-salve, to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see. The buying is from Isaiah 55:1. The merchandise consists in giving up the imagination of their own excellence, of the already accomplished aim, which had not attained to a knowledge of the coldness, and therefore could not come to a possession of the warmth, in having a heartfelt desire, zealous endeavours, fighting and striving, and all with the conviction, that in one's own strength nothing is done. The gold, which is purified with fire, signifies tried faith. This is also in 1 Peter 1:7 compared with gold, that has been purified in the fire; and the former explanation is to be obtained by viewing it in connection with that passage—comp also James 1:3, where likewise faith appears as an object for trial and purification. We are not to think of the riches, which may be found in the service of the Redeemer, nor generally upon any objective spiritual good; for that the discourse is of a subjective property is plain from the expression: purified in the fire. It was in faith, too, that the Laodiceans placed the chief part of their imaginary wealth. But their faith was not of such a kind, as that it could go through a period of trial. It was rather a faith of the fancy than a heart-faith. The white garments are the Christian virtues, which can only be found in fellowship with Christ—comp on Revelation 3:4. The third thing is true spiritual knowledge, as contrasted with a superficial show-knowledge. The eye-salve is the illuminating grace of the Holy Spirit.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-3.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

18.In view of their boasts of temporal wealth the Lord gives them counsel to secure eternal goods.

Buy—They are rich by material trade; suppose they now “buy the truth and sell it not.” In view of their poor, blind, and naked condition, let them secure gold, eyesalve, and white raiment. Trench, though interpreting Revelation 3:17 as boasting of spiritual goods, has here an excellent note, which clearly shows that he ought to have interpreted it of the temporal. “To the merchants and factors of this wealthy mercantile city he addresses himself in their own dialect. Laodicea was a city of extensive money transactions; Cicero, journeying to or from his province, proposes to take up money there. (Ep. ad Div. Revelation 2:17; Revelation 3:5.) Christ here invites to dealings with him. He has gold so fine that none will reject it. The wools of Laodicea, of raven blackness, were famous throughout the world; but he has raiment of dazzling white for those who will put it on. There were ointments for which certainly many of the Asiatic cities were famous; but he, as he will presently announce, has eyesalve more precious than them (they?) all.” All this shows that the passage contrasts a spiritual wealth, in Revelation 3:18, with a boast of temporal wealth, in Revelation 3:17.

Gold tried in the fire—Rather, from the fire, as if just withdrawn from the fire, and so fresh and brilliant.

White raiment—Note on Revelation 3:5.

Shame of thy nakedness—Vivid image of the “shame and everlasting contempt” of the great moral exposures at the judgment day.

The images of spiritual wealth here are susceptible of specific application. The pure, well tried gold may represent faith, the condition of all salvation, and which, when pure and well tried by experience, becomes a fidelity, and a saving perseverance and ripening for heaven. The white raiment is the divine justification from faith, the robe of righteousness, which approves itself as white before men—as pure and right—and before God as acceptable for eternal life. The eyesalve is the spirit of discernment, the blended gift of the Spirit and of personal experience, by which things are seen as they truly are in the light of eternity.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-3.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 3:18. The counsel is conveyed in the dialect of the local situation. in the poor man’s market (Isaiah 55:1, cf.Matthew 6:19-20), significant words as addressed to the financial centre of the district. “From me,” is emphatic; the real life is due to man’s relation with Christ, not to independent efforts upon his own part. Local Christians needed to be made sensitive to their need of Christ; in Laodicea evidently, as in Bunyan’s Mansoul, Mr. Desires-awake dwelt in a very mean cottage. “Refined” = genuine and fresh, as opposed to counterfeit and traditional (cf. Plato, Rep. iii. 413 e, 416 e). For wrought upon the people of God by a divine Davidic king whose words are , see Ps. Sol. 17:47, 48.— . Laodicea was a famous manufacturing centre, whose trade largely consisted of tunics and cloth for garments. The allusion is (cf. below, on Revelation 3:20 and Revelation 16:15) to careless Christians caught off their guard by the suddenness of the second advent. or (cf. the account of a blind soldier’s cure by a god [Aesculapius?] who bade him , Dittenberger’s Sylloge Inscript. Graec. 807, 15 f.), an eye-salve for tender eyes: an allusion to the “Phrygian powder” used by oculists of the famous medical school at Laodicea (C. B. P. i. 52). To the Christian Jesus supplies that enlightenment which the Jews found in the law (Psalms 19:8); “uerba legis corona sunt capitis, collyrium oculis” (Tract. Siphra fol. 143, 2); “uerba legis corona sunt capitis, torques collo, collyrium oculis” (Vajikra R., fol. 156, 1). True self-knowledge can be gained only by the help of Christ, i.e., in the present case mediated by Christian prophecy. Like Victor., Lightfoot (Colossians, p. 44) interprets this allusion by the light of Ephesians 1:8, Colossians 1:27, as a rebuke to the vaunted intellectual resources of the Church; but there is no need thus to narrow the reference. It is to be observed that John does not threaten Laodicea with the loss of material wealth (cf. Pirke Aboth, cited above on Revelation 2:9) in order to have her spiritual life revived.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-3.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

18. I advise you. A call to turn to Christ! Gold. Symbolic of true wisdom (Colossians 2:3). White clothing. Symbolic of union with Christ (Matthew 22:11-13; Galatians 3:27). Medicine. Symbolic of being able to “see” the truth (1 John 2:20), and of “removing blindness.”

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 3:18". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.