Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 3:9

Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church;   Hypocrisy;   Jesus, the Christ;   Philadelphia;   Satan;   Synagogue;   Scofield Reference Index - Kingdom;   Thompson Chain Reference - Missions, World-Wide;   Universal;   Worship;   The Topic Concordance - Love;   Obedience;   Trial;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Love of Christ, the;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Philadelphia;   Satan;   Synagogue;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Philadelphia;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Nebuchadnezzar;   Philadelphia;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Jews in the New Testament;   Keys of the Kingdom;   Letter Form and Function;   Persecution in the Bible;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asia;   Magi;   Philadelphia;   Synagogue;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Church;   Devil ;   Divination;   Feet;   Jew, Jewess;   Jezebel;   Love;   Philadelphia ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jew;   Synagogue;   13 To Worship, Serve;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Sepharvaim;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Philadelphia;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Philadel'phia,;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Synagogue;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Gnosticism;   Make;   Revelation of John:;   Satan, Synagogue of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I will make them - Show them to be, of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews, pretending thereby to be of the synagogue of God, and consequently his true and peculiar children.

I will make them to come and worship - I will so dispose of matters in the course of my providence, that the Jews shall be obliged to seek unto the Christians for toleration, support, and protection, which they shall be obliged to sue for in the most humble and abject manner.

To know that I have loved thee - That the love which was formerly fixed on the Jews is now removed, and transferred to the Gentiles.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold, I will make - Greek, “I give” - δίδωμι didōmithat is, I will arrange matters so that this shall occur. The word implies that he had power to do this, and consequently proves that he has power over the heart of man, and Call secure such a result as he chooses.

Them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews - Who profess to be Jews, but are really of the synagogue of Satan. See the notes on Revelation 2:9. The meaning is, that, though they were of Jewish extraction, and boasted much of being Jews, yet they were really under the influence of Satan, and their assemblages deserved to be called his “synagogue.”

And are not, but do lie - It is a false profession altogether. Compare notes on 1 John 1:6.

Behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet - The word rendered “worship” here, means, properly, to full prostrate; and then to do homage, or to worship in the proper sense, as this was commonly done by falling prostrate. See the notes on Matthew 2:2. So far as the word is concerned, it may refer either to spiritual homage, that is, the worship of God; or it may mean respect as shown to superiors. If it is used here in the sense of divine worship properly so called, it means that they would be constrained to come and worship “before them,” or in their very presence; if it is used in the more general signification, it means that they would be constrained to show them honor and respect. The latter is the probable meaning; that is, that they would be constrained to acknowledge that they were the children of God, or that God regarded them with his favor. It does not mean necessarily that they would themselves be converted to Christ, but that, as they had been accustomed to revile and oppose those who were true Christians, they would be constrained to come and render them the respect due to those who were sincerely endeavoring to serve their Maker. The truth taught here is, that it is in the power of the Lord Jesus so to turn the hearts of all the enemies of religion that they shall be brought to show respect to it; so to incline the minds of all people that they shall honor the church, or be at least outwardly its friends. Such homage the world shall yet be constrained to pay to it.

And to know that I have loved thee - This explains what he had just said, and shows that he means that the enemies of his church will yet be constrained to acknowledge that it enjoys the smiles of God, and that instead of being persecuted and reviled, it should be respected and loved.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-3.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

This verse is not to be understood in the literal sense at all. Christians would not be honored by having anyone worship before their feet, nor could God be pleased by such a thing. What is done here is to take the ancient Scriptures regarding the Gentiles "bending before" Israel (Isaiah 60:14) and to state that the reverse is true now. The Jews were once God's chosen people, an honor forfeited by them in their rejection of the Son of God. "These words echo the words of the prophets telling of the coming of the Gentiles to do homage to the people of Israel, and of bowing themselves down before the soles of their feet."[41] The fulfillment of this came when the Gentiles bowed them selves before the feet of Christ, the true Israel; and the fulfillment of Jesus' words as given by John here will occur when Jews are converted and bow themselves before Christ, with whom Christians are identified as being his spiritual body on earth. It is wrong to read this as if it declared any wholesale conversion of Jews at some future time. Throughout the ages, many faithful Jews have received Christ, and they are still doing so; and in this the prophecy is continually being fulfilled. Thus, in what Moffatt calls "the grim irony of providence,"[42] "what the Jews fondly expected of the Gentiles, they them selves will give to the Gentiles. They will play the role of the heathen and acknowledge that the church is the true Israel of God."[43] After the Babylonian captivity, many Jews were settled in the district where these seven cities lay, and in time many of them became wealthy and powerful. "They were proud of their national privileges (which, by inference, they still enjoyed), and powerful in numbers and wealth, no doubt despising the Jewish Christians as traitors."[44]

[41] Isbon T. Beckwith, The Apocalypse of John (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1919), p. 481.

[42] James Moffatt, op. cit., p. 367.

[43] Robert H. Mounce, op. cit., p. 118.

[44] J. R. Dummelow, op. cit., p. 1976.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "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

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan,.... Which may be understood either of the Papists, the followers of the man of sin, whose coming was after the working of Satan, and whose doctrines are the doctrines of devils, many of whom will now be converted, and brought to the true church; or rather of the Jews, who had, and have, and will have till this time, their synagogues for religious worship in their way; but they are no other than synagogues of Satan; the men that assemble in them are of their father the devil, and do his works, and will do them:

which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; they are Jews by name and nation; they are. Jews outwardly, but not inwardly and spiritually, Romans 2:28; they are carnal wicked men, under the influence of Satan, though they pretend to be religious men, and worshippers of God:

behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet; the conversion of the Jews is here intended. The worship here spoken of is not either a religious or civil worship of the church, for the church is not the object of worship; only before whom, and at whose feet, this worship shall be given to God in the most humble and hearty manner: the sense is, that the convinced and converted Jews shall come to the church, and in the most lowly and contrite manner acknowledge their former blindness, furious zeal, and violent hatred of the Christians, and shall profess their faith in Christ; shall join themselves to the church, and partake of the ordinances of the Gospel with them; and shall worship God and Jesus Christ, their Lord and King, in their presence, and at their feet:

and to know that I have loved thee; the Gentile church, and the members of it, in assuming human nature, and dying for, and redeeming them, as well as the Jews; in sending his Gospel to them, and calling them by his grace, and planting them into Gospel churches; giving them a place, and a name in his house, better than that of sons and daughters.

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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
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Behold, I will make them f of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come 8 and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

(f) I will bring them to that case. {(8)} That is, fall down and worship either you civilly, or Christ religiously at thy feet (this is how I would rather take it) whether here in the Church (which seems more proper to the argument here) or there in the world to come, for Christ shall truly fulfil his word.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

I will makeGreek present, “I make,” literally, “I give” (see on Revelation 3:8). The promise to Philadelphia is larger than that to Smyrna. To Smyrna the promise was that “the synagogue of Satan” should not prevail against the faithful in her: to Philadelphia, that she should even win over some of “the synagogue of Satan” to fall on their faces and confess God is in her of a truth. Translate, “(some) of the synagogue.” For until Christ shall come, and all Israel then be saved, there is but “a remnant” being gathered out of the Jews “according to the election of grace.” This is an instance of how Christ set before her an “open door,” some of her greatest adversaries, the Jews, being brought to the obedience of the faith. Their worshipping before her feet expresses the convert‘s willingness to take the very lowest place in the Church, doing servile honor to those whom once they persecuted, rather than dwell with the ungodly. So the Philippian jailer before Paul.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "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 give (διδωdidō). Late omega form for διδωμιdidōmi but the μι̇mi form in Revelation 17:13 (διδοασινdidoasin). These Jewish converts are a gift from Christ. For this use of διδωμιdidōmi see Acts 2:27; Acts 10:40; Acts 14:3. There is ellipse of τιναςtinas before εκek as in Revelation 2:10 (εχ υμωνex humōn) and see Revelation 2:9 for “the synagogue of Satan.”

Of them which say (των λεγοντωνtōn legontōn). Ablative plural in apposition with συναγωγηςsunagōgēs On the construction of εαυτους Ιουδαιους ειναιheautous Ioudaious einai see note on Revelation 2:9 (Ιουδαιους ειναι εαυτουςIoudaious einai heautous the order of words being immaterial).

But do lie (αλλα πσευδονταιalla pseudontai). Present middle indicative of πσευδομαιpseudomai explanatory positive, addition here to και ουκ εισινkai ouk eisin of Revelation 2:9, in contrast also with ο αλητινοςho alēthinos of Revelation 3:7 and in Johannine style (John 8:44; 1 John 1:10; 1 John 2:4).

I will make them (ποιησω αυτουςpoiēsō autous). Future active indicative of ποιεωpoieō resuming the prophecy after the parenthesis (τωνπσευδονταιtōn- ινα ηχουσιν και προσκυνησουσινpseudontai which say - but do lie).

To come and worship (ιναhina hēxousin kai proskunēsousin). “That they come and worship” (final clause, like facio ut in Latin, with ηκωhina and the future active of προσκυνεωhēkō and και γνωσινproskuneō). The language is based on Isaiah 45:14; Isaiah 60:14. The Jews expected homage (not worship in the strict sense) from the Gentiles, but it will come to the Christians at last (1 Corinthians 14:24). Later Ignatius (Philad. 6) warns this church against Judaizing Christians, perhaps one result of an influx of Jews.

And to know (ιναkai gnōsin). Continuation of the purpose clause with ιναhina but with the second aorist active subjunctive rather than the less usual future indicative. See both constructions also with εγω ηγαπησα σεhina in Revelation 22:14. Probably a reminiscence of Isaiah 43:4 in egō ēgapēsa se (I loved thee), first aorist active indicative.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "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 will make ( δίδωμι )

Rev., rightly, I give. See on Revelation 3:8. The sense is broken off there and resumed here.

Of the synagogue ( ἐκ τῆς συναγωγῆς )

Certain ones of the synagogue. Most interpreters refer to the Jews. Others explain more generally, of the bowing down of the Church's enemies at her feet. Trench refers to a passage in the Epistle of Ignatius to this Philadelphian church, implying the actual presence in the midst of it of converts from Judaism, who preached the faith which they once persecuted.

Of Satan

See on Revelation 2:9.

I will make them to come ( ποιήσω αὐτοὺς ἵνα ἥξωσιν )

Lit., I will make them that they shall come.

Worship before thy feet

Compare Isaiah 60:14; Isaiah 49:23.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "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

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Behold, I — who have all power; and they must then comply.

I will make them come and bow down before thy feet — Pay thee the lowest homage.

And know — At length, that all depends on my love, and that thou hast a place therein. O how often does the judgment of the people turn quite round, when the Lord looketh upon them! Job 42:7, etc.

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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.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "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 will make them of the synagogue of Satan; deliver them up to the companionship and power of Satan.--Which say they are Jews, and are not; that is, whose professions of reverence for God are insincere. They say they are Jews, and not Christians, but by refusing to receive Jesus as the Messiah, they show that they are not honest believers in the Scriptures and have not really the spirit of Abraham. "He is not a Jew that is one outwardly," &c. (Romans 2:28,29.)--Worship before thy feet; join themselves humbly and reverently to the church of Christ.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-3.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Ver. 9. I will make them] The conversion of the Jews shall be the wonder of the Gentiles.

Which say they are Jews, and are not] The perverse Jews at this day pretend (but maliciously) that those few Jews that turn Christians are not of them, but poor Christians hired from other places to personate their part. (Blount’s Voyage, p. 112.)

That I have loved thee] The Church is την ψυχην την ηγαπημενην, the "dearly beloved of God’s soul," Jeremiah 12:7, or (as the Septuagint render it) his beloved soul.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-3.html. 1865-1868.

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

Revelation 3:9. διδῶ, not “I will suffer,” as Wolf recommends. Hengstenb also incorrectly: “I give thee, or the Christian Church, and therefore also thee.” The διδῶ, to which as object the partitive gen. τῶν λεγόντων belongs,(1444) is again taken up in the formally (fut.) more definitely fixed ποιήσω, as then the σὐτούς also recurs to the just-mentioned object τῶν λεγόντων, κ. τ. λ. The words ἐκ τῆς συναγωγῆς τοῦ σατανᾶ designate the persons meant, with respect to their origin. They are not false Christians,(1445) but(1446) Jews who just because of their enmity to the true Messiah (Revelation 3:7) are not true Jews, but the synagogue of Satan. Yet also in that the Lord brings some from this synagogue, and causes them to come humbly and believingly to his church, he shows that he is the one who has the key of David.

ποιήσω αὐτοὺς, ἵνα ἥξουσι, κ. τ. λ. Concerning the attraction αὐτούς, cf. Winer, p. 282; concerning ἵνα, also John 11:37, after ποιεῖν, with the ind. fut., cf. Revelation 6:11, Revelation 22:14; 1 Peter 3:1; Mark 3:2; Winer, p. 272.

The ποιήσω marks the still entirely future result which the Lord will work;(1447) the inner relation to διδῶ and δέδωκα (Revelation 3:8) is this, that the δέδωκα (perf.) extends to the present, and continues in its operation, while the διδῶ is present in its work, and will proceed to the ποιήσω. The opened door still stands open, and the Lord will work that a multitude of still unbelieving Jews may enter.

Both the ἥξουσι and the προσκυνήσουσι ἐνώποιν τῶν ποδῶν δου are explained in connection with the O. T. prophecies of the conversion of the heathen, by the fact that for unbelieving Jews, as they have just been described, the Church of Jesus Christ, viz., of him who has the key of David, Revelation 3:7, is the true Zion, in which they, no less than the heathen, must seek and will find the truth of God, and the fellowship of salvation. Thus, so far as the expressions are concerned, such prophecies as Isaiah 60:14; Isaiah 49:23; Isaiah 2:3; Psalms 72:9; Zach. 8:20 sqq., are in full harmony with what is here stated. The προσκυνεῖν, κ. τ. λ., especially as an expression of homage,(1448) has its complete justification in the fact that the Church of Jesus Christ stands there as beloved of the Lord ( κ. γνῶσιν, ὅτι ἠγάπησά σε), and as the mediator of the divine salvation. Yet the Catholic interpretation without any ground has: “The highest devotion of believers, and reverence and submission to the Church and its prelates, are signified. For this adoration proceeds from the apprehension of an excellence of prelates that is more than human, and less than divine.”(1449)

καὶ γνῶσιν, ὅτι ἠγαπησά δε. On the one hand, the aorist form ἠγάπησα,(1450) and on the other the connection and allusion to Revelation 3:7, furnish the reference to the definite proof of the Lord’s love, in that he has died for his Church. Just this must the unbelieving Jews acknowledge who now still reject and blaspheme the Lord as a crucified evil-doer.(1451) Incorrect reference of the ἠγαπ. in N. de Lyra: “By advancing thee not only to the catholic faith, but also to the episcopal dignity; “in Ew., to Revelation 3:10, or(1452) to Isaiah 63:4; Isaiah 66:24. De Wette too, indefinitely: “That I have acknowledged thee as a faithful church, and furnished thee with my gifts and power.”

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 3:9. τῶν λεγόντων) This depends upon τινὰς, understood.— ποιήσω αὐτοὺς, ἵνα) The same construction occurs, ch. Revelation 13:12; Revelation 13:16.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". 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

Them of the synagogue of Satan; so he calleth all Jews that opposed Christianity, or all pretended but not real professors.

Which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie: For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is of the flesh; but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly, & c., Romans 2:28,29. By this term also he may mean all false and hypocritical professors, who would make themselves the church, the only church of God, but are far enough from it, hating, maligning, and opposing those who would keep stricter to the rule of the gospel.

Behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet; I will by my providence so order it, that these men shall come and honour thee, paying a civil respect and homage to thee.

And to know that I have loved thee; and to know that I have a greater kindness for thee than for them.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". 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

сатанинского сборища См. пояснение к 2:9 о тех, кто говорит, что они иудеи.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-3.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Synagogue of Satan-say they are Jews; see note to chap Revelation 2:9.

Worship before thy feet; humble themselves before thee. God can at any time humble the most bitter persecutors of his people, and make them their cordial friends, or utterly destroy them.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Behold I give to you those of the synagogue of Satan, of those who say they are Jews but are not and do lie, behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.’

Once again we have reference to those Jews who deliberately sought to cause trouble with the authorities for the Christian church (compare on Revelation 2:9). Though they claim to be Jews, says Jesus, they are not really true Jews, for they do not obey the Law or show mercy (Matthew 23:23), or love Him as required by their God (John 8:39-45). They are simply liars like their father Satan, who is the chief adversary. They demonstrate that really they belong to his synagogue, and not God’s.

But one day they will be made to acknowledge their error. In the words of Isaiah 60:14, ‘the sons of those who afflicted you will come bending to you, and all those who despised you will bow themselves down at the souls of your feet, and they will call you the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel’, and they will enter ‘the gates which are open continually’ (Isaiah 60:11). So these false Jews will have to admit that these Christians whom they hate and despise are the true children of ‘the One Who is holy’, and that they are the new Jerusalem, beloved of the Lord. Once again we have the interchange of thought between the Lord God and the Lord Christ. In the Greek ‘thatIhave lovedyou’ is emphatic.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-3.html. 2013.

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

3. "I will make them to come and worship before thy feet"- -3:9.

This statement refers to the Judaizers, who were of "the synagogue of Satan," and who in claiming to be Jews were false pretenders in that they were not true Jews in the Lord's sight. "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh, but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not men, but of God." (Romans 2:28-29) These outward Jews had been the chief enemies of the church, and had instigated the persecutions against Christians, who were God's Jews inwardly (spiritually); but these false Jews, the enemies of Christ, would go down in defeat by the persecutions which they themselves had instigated; and in the metaphor of verse 9, they would bow before the Cause upheld by the Philadelphian church. It meant that Judaism would be crushed, and would kneel before the door which no man could shut.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-3.html. 1966.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 3:9. The two parts of this verse each beginning with ‘Behold’ must be taken together, for the second ‘behold’ is the repetition of the first. Those referred to are described as in chap. Revelation 2:9 (see note there). Commentators generally imagine that we have here a promise of the conversion of the Jews literally understood, not indeed of the whole nation, but of that ‘remnant’ which, as we learn from other passages of Scripture, still remained, amidst the general obstinacy of the nation, susceptible to the influences of the Christian faith. It is impossible to take such a view, for not only do the prophecies upon which the language before us rests, if it be a prophecy (Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 49:21-23; Isaiah 60:14-16; Zechariah 8:20-23), refer to the coming in of the Gentiles rather than of the Jews; but there is nothing in the words in the least degree resembling a promise of conversion. They speak only of constrained submission to a Church which has been hitherto disowned, and of acknowledging what has been hitherto denied,—that Christians are the object of God’s love (comp. John 14:31). It ought further to be observed, that in the language employed by the Lord it is not some of these Jews that are thought of, but all. There is no mention of the ‘remnant’ alluded to by St. Paul in Romans 9:27. We are therefore entitled to conclude that in this verse nothing is said of a calling in of the Jews, whether in whole or in part. What we read of is simply the bowing down of the Church’s enemies before her feet. The outward progress of the Church, as illustrated by the case of Philadelphia, is again worthy of notice. At chap. Revelation 2:9 these enemies of the faith were only not to be feared: now they bow in submission before her whom they had persecuted. Nor is the inward progress of the Church less perceptible. For the first time in these Epistles we see her bearing witness to Christ in word, opening her lips to speak the Word of God, herself, in short, a continuation of The Word.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "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

will make = give.

synagogue, &c. See Revelation 2:9.

Satan. App-19, and See Revelation 2:9.

Jews. See Revelation 2:9.

make. i.e. compel.

worship. Greek. proskuneo. App-137. Occurs twenty-four times (App-10) in Rev. Twelve times connected with worship of God, eleven times with worship of Satan and the beast, and here.

have. Omit.

loved. App-135.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "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

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

I will make - present, 'I make;' 'I give' (note, Revelation 3:8). The promise to Philadelphia is larger than to Smyrna. To Smyrna it was that "the synagogue of Satan" should not prevail against the faithful in her; to Philadelphia, that she should even win over some of "the synagogue of Satan" to fall on their faces and confess God is in her of a truth (1 Corinthians 14:25). Translate, '(some) of the synagogue.' For until Christ shall come, when all Israel shall be saved, there is but "a remnant" being gathered out of her "according to the election of grace" (Romans 11:5). This shows how Christ set before her an "open door" - some of her greatest adversaries, the Jews, being brought to the obedience of faith. Their worshipping before her feet expresses the converts' willingness to take the lowest place in the Church, doing servile honour to those whom once they persecuted, rather than dwell with the ungodly (Psalms 84:10). So the Philippian gaoler before Paul.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "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

(9) Behold, I will make.—Better, Behold, I give some. There is no word to express this in the original, but as a word must be supplied to complete the sense, it is better to adopt “some” than the “them” of the Authorised version, as it is not a promise that all of the synagogue of Satan should come.

Of the synagogue of Satan.—We have here a re-appearance of the same troubles which afflicted the Church of Smyrna: the fixed and contemptuous exclusiveness of the Judaising party was their trial. But there was a time coming (perhaps the hour of temptation spoken of in the next verse) when these faithful ones, now abused and excommunicated by the fanatical synagogue, would be courted, acknowledged—nay, their aid invoked.

I will make them to come and worship before my feet, and to know that I have loved thee.—Some see in this a hint that the power of a large-hearted party to protect the Judaisers would be derived from the influence of the Gentiles, whose presence in the Church had been a stumbling-block to the Jewish party. This may have been, and doubtless was, often the case. But the promise seems to have a higher fulfilment. The course of events would show that the so-called latitudinarian was the nearest to Christ; time would transform the suspected into the respected. The Amorites would come, and the disinherited Jephthahs would be brought to be head of Gilead. In days of such trouble their strongest opponents would become their warmest supporters. An illustration of this will occur to the mind of the reader in the marvellous support which has been given to the growth of Christianity by Jews with the tongue, with the pen, with the harp and organ. Let the names of Neander, Rossini, and Mendelssohn stand for hundreds more.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
the synagogue
2:9
I will make them to
Exodus 11:8; 12:30-32; 1 Samuel 2:36; Esther 8:17; Job 42:8-10; Isaiah 49:23; 60:14; Zechariah 8:20-23; Acts 16:37-39
Reciprocal: Genesis 21:22 - God;  Genesis 26:27 - seeing;  Genesis 39:3 - saw that;  Genesis 42:6 - bowed;  Exodus 8:25 - GeneralExodus 11:3 - Moses;  Numbers 12:11 - I beseech thee;  Deuteronomy 2:25 - GeneralDeuteronomy 28:10 - and they shall;  Judges 5:13 - he made;  Judges 11:7 - Did not ye hate;  1 Samuel 18:28 - General1 Samuel 30:3 - burned;  2 Samuel 1:2 - he fell;  2 Samuel 19:18 - fell down;  1 Kings 13:6 - now;  2 Kings 1:13 - besought;  2 Kings 3:12 - Israel;  Esther 6:11 - took Haman;  Esther 7:7 - Haman;  Job 11:19 - many;  Proverbs 14:19 - GeneralIsaiah 14:2 - whose captives they were;  Isaiah 26:6 - GeneralIsaiah 26:11 - be;  Isaiah 41:11 - all they;  Isaiah 43:4 - I Have;  Isaiah 45:14 - they shall fall;  Isaiah 48:1 - which are;  Daniel 5:11 - light;  Micah 7:17 - lick;  Matthew 25:8 - Give;  Matthew 28:9 - and held;  Luke 14:10 - then;  John 6:70 - and one;  John 8:55 - shall;  John 16:27 - the Father;  Acts 16:29 - and fell;  Acts 16:39 - came;  Romans 2:17 - thou art;  1 Corinthians 8:3 - is;  2 Corinthians 6:8 - evil;  Philippians 2:15 - rebuke;  Philippians 3:2 - the;  2 Thessalonians 2:16 - which;  1 John 2:22 - Who;  Revelation 2:13 - Satan's;  Revelation 12:9 - and Satan

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-3.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

CONDEMNATION OF MODERN JUDAISM

Revelation 3:9. — "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews, and are not, but lie; behold, I will cause that they shall come and shall do homage before thy feet, and shall know that I have loved thee." We meet with the same party here as in the address to Smyrna. The character of the opposition may not be the same in both Church periods, for the tactics of Satan are varied, but in both the opposition is termed a "synagogue of Satan." The company seems more formed and consolidated at the Philadelphian epoch of the Church; thus "the synagogue of Satan." Those here referred to are necessarily of Jewish nationality, but just as the Jews claimed to be God's people on earth, and that to the exclusion of all others, so here a traditional, successional Church order and position are assumed. Its true character is exposed by the Lord of the churches. It is a gathering under Satan, and all the more wicked that it has tacked on to it the Name of the holy and true. The pretension to be the Church, to be the people of God, is a false one, a "lie." Our souls and consciences have got somewhat blunted to the solemn state of things around us in which so many true saints are mixed up. The Church-state associations of the day are simply developed Judaism, with certain Christian rites and doctrines added thereto. The saved and unsaved are together addressed as "brethren." The charge could be readily and abundantly proved. We have only to read the New Testament and contrast its teachings with Protestantism as a whole, and then ask: Have we not in our midst and around us a huge system of Judaism in its principles, traditions, practices, and character? Modern Judaism here meets the Lord's withering condemnation. Popularity, numbers, wealth, and influence are on their side. Philadelphian saints are few, feeble, and of no account. Confronted on every hand with a spurious character of Christianity, which adapts itself to every variety of taste and temperament, the special danger is lest the separate position be surrendered, that an easier path be sought at the expense of a deviation from truth and holiness. A large and increasing party in the professing Church is here termed "the synagogue of Satan." What is it if not that? There never was a moment when human charity was so in the ascendant, and surely never a moment when divine love is so needed. The former says "Union is strength," the latter says "Union in obedience is strength." But the relative positions of those composing "the synagogue of Satan" and the Philadelphian Church are soon to be reversed. The former are to be humbled; the latter exalted. What a reversal of the present order of things! But, more, these Church pretenders shall know that those whom they had despised are special objects of divine love. They "shall know that I have loved thee."

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "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

Synagogue of Satan is commented upon at Revelation 2:9; say they are Jews and are not is explained at the same place. Worship. This term comes from about12different Greek words and has a variety of meanings. A complete extract from the lexicon on the subject may be seen at Matthew 2:2 in the first volume of the New Testament Commentary. At our present passage the word refers to an act of courtesy or admiring respect, as if to congratulate another over some favor that has been granted him. That favor is expressed by the words to know that I have loved thee.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". 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 3:9

Revelation 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

This verse contains one encouragement unto this Angel and Church, her ministers and members, against the reproaches and persecutions which they suffered by the Synagogue of the Jews in this City,

[Idou didwmi ek thv sunagwghv tou satana &c.] Behold, I will give (some) of the Synagogue of Satan which is expounded [ina pipsw aupuv, &c.] Behold, I will cause them or make them, to wit of the Synagogue of Satan; the sense is the same, and the meaning of both expressions Isaiah, that Christ would give them his Grace, and having called them effectually by his grace, and given them His Holy Spirit as a fruit of this angels ministry, Christ would also cause them, and make them join unto this Church in Philadelphia, as members thereof, and worship God with them most humbly, or before the angels and Churches feet. Compare Deuteronomy 33:29 and Isaiah 60:14-15 with 1 Corinthians 14:25 and this should be as a signal testimony of Christ's love to this church and Angel in Philadelphia, which those converted Jews shall. acknowledge.

[Behold I will make them to come and worship before thy feet and to know I have loved thee.] See KNOLLYS: Revelation 2:9

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-3.html.

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

Revelation 3:9. Behold, I give out of Satan's school of those that say, they are Jews and are not, but lie. Behold I will make them, that they shall come and supplicate before thy feet, and know that I have loved thee. To that which God has already given, and which no one can cause to return again, there is here subjoined what he gives: to the proper participation of Christians in the kingdom of God, a humble and express recognition of the church of Christ, as the true and only church of the Lord, on the part of those who proudly raised themselves above it, and denied it any part in the Lord. From this respect in the "I give," to the "I have given," it is clear that here also the discourse is of a gift of the Lord: Behold I give (to thee; or to the Christian church, and so to thee also) some of Satan's school,[Note: See, in reference to the common omission of the tome before the מן in Heb., Gesenius's Thes., p. 800.]&c.; that the giving does not stand in the sense of making, so that "I will make," might be considered as a resumption of the "I give." The kind of giving is certainly determined more accurately by what follows. It is clear from this, that they were in so far to be given to the church as their hostility was to be changed into reverential love. It is carefully to be observed, that it is not said: I give the synagogue of Satan, but that it is only members of this that are spoken of—those in it who should give to the Lord a seeing eye and a hearing ear, recognising the vanity of their own pretensions and the worth of that salvation which was presented to them in the church. This serves as a limitation of what Paul says regarding the conversion of "all Israel," Romans 11:26; shews that thereby the remaining of a sediment behind, the continuance of a synagogue of Satan even to the last, is not excluded. Nor indeed could it be otherwise, unless one were to give up human freedom, and fall into the unscriptural doctrine of the restoration.

Just as the present: I give, connecting itself with the time then being, refers to a purpose presently fulfilled, so: I will make, points to the execution as what was to take place in the future. That we are not to overlook the distinction of the three tenses, is obvious from the corresponding thrice Behold. This second half of the verse rests upon Isaiah 60:14, "And there come bending to thee the sons of thy oppressors, and all thy despisers throw themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they call thee the city of the Lord, Zion of the holy Israel." The reason of such lowly prostration there, and hence also here, may be learned, not only from the name by which they called her, but also from Isaiah 45:14, "And they shall throw themselves down before thee, shall supplicate to thee: only in thee is God, and there is no God besides." They prostrate themselves before the church, because they acknowledge that the Lord is in the midst of her, that in her is the only source of salvation, and in connection with her the only true blessing. We are led here also to the same result by the words, "and know that I have loved thee," and hence that only in fellowship with thee there is salvation for those who now think thee excluded from the kingdom of God. The Jews were wont to refer those old promises to the synagogue; but a good part of them, as many as were ordained to salvation, would acknowledge that they belonged to the church. They shall therefore renounce the claim of homage from others, and come themselves willingly and cheerfully to do homage. But why should we be troubled at the scornful pride of those of whom we know that they are soon to be found lying at our feet?

We must not complain, that in regard to the fulfilment of the prophecy we are left without the light of history. As most of the blessings of Jacob in Genesis 49 and of Moses in Deuteronomy 33, which have respect to the particular tribes only in so far as they were part of the whole people, so what is written here is only an application of what belongs to the whole Christian church, to a particular section of it. The fulfilment would have taken place, even if in Philadelphia itself there had been no remarkable transition from Judaism to Christianity. What belongs to the whole is shared in also by the part. That the church of Christ is the true church of the Lord, has been proved to be the case by the attractive power she has exerted over the members of the synagogue, while Judaism has lost all attractive influence since the period of Christ's appearance. We are to regard the thought, As surely as I am the holy, I am also the true, as pervading the whole verse. On this solid foundation the promise is raised.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-3.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9.Behold—In view of this little strength, the hast kept, and the not denied; therefore I will give them a royal triumph in the New Jerusalem, to which the open door admits them. The triumph is expressed in an image drawn from Isaiah 60:14. “All they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” When the developments of the judgment day are unfolded, how will the despisers of the now humble Church acknowledge, with profound abasement, its true glory as the real city of God! The Jewish troublers of the Philadelphian Church are selected as the very present specimens of such “despisers,” who are bound to “wonder and perish.”

Say they are Jews—And are so “after the flesh;” the which is now a nullity; but are not the spiritual Israel, which is now the only true Israel.

Worship before thy feet—Of course no literal fact, but imaging the severe and final humiliation of all evil in presence of the truly good. In the judgment-day development the atheist will learn there is a God; the impenitent Jew will confess a true Jesus the Christ; the scorner will find there is a hell; and the haughty despiser of the weak and humble, yet pure Church, like our Philadelphians, will discover, to the sad reversal of his pride, that they were heirs of an eternal crown. When a great lady once spoke with contempt of Lady Huntingdon’s associating with her conventicle of saints, one replied to her, “Madam, in the day of judgment you may be glad to grasp hold of Lady Huntingdon’s skirts to draw you into heaven.”

That I have loved—They will recognise not only the loved in its true glory, but they will truly learn and know also this great I, whose love is the bliss of the heavenly world, as it makes the poor Philadelphian Church “the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One.” The interpretation of Alford, which makes the open door an opening for missionary enterprise for propagating the gospel, and which holds Revelation 3:9 to describe the resulting conversion of their bitter Jewish opponents, seems inapplicable. It has, indeed, Paul’s open door, 1 Corinthians 16:9, 2 Corinthians 2:12, as an apparent precedent: but the opening and shutting of Revelation 3:7 clearly refer to the lordship of Christ over the entrance into heaven, the New Jerusalem, (22,) and Revelation 3:8 can be no description of the happy conversion, but of the penal humiliation, in the final day, upon the incorrigible. And Revelation 3:10-12, continue the same line of thought, describing the rich final reward of Philadelphian faithfulness. Revelation 3:10 promises preservation in the great day of the final trial; Revelation 3:11 describes the speed of its approach; Revelation 3:12 promises eternal security within the domain of heaven, beyond the day of trial.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-3.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 3:9. (partit. gen., the construction being dropped and resumed in a rather harsh anacolouthon, . . .). The absence of before . does not prevent it from being interpreted as in apposition to rather than as directly dependent on . On the forms of in Apocalypse see Jannaris’ Hist.Gk. Gramm. 996, 51; the wide usage of the verb is carried on through the LXX from the equally extended employment of the Hebrew equivalent in the later stages of O.T. literature. The Jewish synagogue is denounced as Satanic, owing to its persecuting habits (Satan being regarded as the final source of persecution as of error, cf. above Revelation 3:8 and on Revelation 2:9). Ignatius corroborates the malign activity of Jews at Philadelphia, who were in the habit of molesting the church (ad Philad. 6); he also refers them to the malicious cunning of Satan. Apparently Judaizing tendencies were rife among Christians of Gentile birth at Philadelphia. As in writing to Smyrna, the prophet thereforeclaimed the ancestral title “Jew” for the Christian church. Faith in Christ, not mere nationality, constituted true Judaism; the succession had passed to Christianity. The prominence assigned to this phase of polemic is characteristic of the eriod, though already presaged by Paul (in Romans 9:6-7; Romans 2:28-29). The supercilious contempt of these churchmen for all Christian dissenters from Judaism was to be changed one day into humble respect. The former would find out their grievous mistake when it was too late. , . . ., in the spirit and realistic language of post-exilic Judaism (see reff.), denoting abject submission and homage before the glory of the church in the future messianic reign (slightly otherwise in 1 Corinthians 14:25). What they fondly expected from the Gentiles, they were themselves to render to Christians—such would be the grim irony of providence. Compare with what follows, the earlier expectation of Jub. i. 25: “and they shall all be called children of the living God, and every angel and spirit will know, yea they will know that these are my children, and that I love them”. , . . ., still Isaianic in colouring (from Isaiah 43:4, Isaiah 49:23). Christ’s love to his church ( . = “I have loved”) will be proved by her triumphant survival of perils. Her final position, when the conditions of earth are reversed, will throw light upon the divine affection which underlay her previous perseverance, and which meantime is a secret save to those who experience it. The promise of dominion over the Jews here corresponds to that of authority over the Gentiles in Revelation 2:26-27, except that the latter is definitely eschatological. The Jews tardily awaken to the privileges of the church as to the claims of Jesus (see on Revelation 1:7). Probably they scoffed at the claim of the Philadelphian Christians to be objects of the true God’s love. The answer is that faith in Jesus means a revelation of Divine love (the revelation of it), apart from which no Christian life can be accounted for.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-3.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

9. Listen! As for that group. Bitter opposition from those who claim to be Jews. (See note on Revelation 2:9.)I will make them come. Victory over the opposition. Also, some of these who fight against them will come to Christ and join in praising him.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 3:9". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.