We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Select Bible Use this Lookup to open a specific Bible and passage. Start here to select a Bible.
Make selected Bible the default for Lookup tool.
Book: Ch.V. Select book from A-Z list, enter chapter and verse number, and click "Go."
:
OR
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result

The Revelation to John: Chapter 2

Previous
Jump to: Select book from A-Z list, enter chapter and verse number, and click "Go."
Next
Text view alone

1“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands:

2“I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance. I know that you cannot tolerate evildoers; you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false. 3I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary. 4But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6Yet this is to your credit: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers, I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God.

8“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of the first and the last, who was dead and came to life:

9“I know your affliction and your poverty, even though you are rich. I know the slander on the part of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Beware, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Whoever conquers will not be harmed by the second death.

12“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp two‐edged sword:

13“I know where you are living, where Satan's throne is. Yet you are holding fast to my name, and you did not deny your faith in me a Or deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan lives. 14But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the people of Israel, so that they would eat food sacrificed to idols and practice fornication. 15So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and make war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.

18“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze:

19“I know your works—your love, faith, service, and patient endurance. I know that your last works are greater than the first. 20But I have this against you: you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet and is teaching and beguiling my servants b Gk slaves to practice fornication and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her fornication. 22Beware, I am throwing her on a bed, and those who commit adultery with her I am throwing into great distress, unless they repent of her doings; 23and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. 24But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call ‘the deep things of Satan,’ to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden; 25only hold fast to what you have until I come. 26To everyone who conquers and continues to do my works to the end,

I will give authority over the nations; 27 to rule a Or to shepherd them with an iron rod, as when clay pots are shattered—

28even as I also received authority from my Father. To the one who conquers I will also give the morning star. 29Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

Notes:

a Or deny my faith

b Gk slaves

a Or to shepherd

Text Commentary view alone

2.1–3.22 : The messages to the seven churches,

each containing an address, a descriptive phrase referring to the risen Christ, a commendation or condemnation of the church addressed, an admonition, and a concluding promise and exhortation to the faithful. For the locations of the seven churches, see Map on p. 424 NT.

2.1–7 : The first message

is appropriately sent to Ephesus, a seaport city that was the administrative and commercial hub of the Roman province of Asia; Paul had labored here (Acts 19.8–10; 1 Cor 15.32; 16.8; cf. Eph 1.1 ).

1 :

Christ walks among the churches ( 1.20 ).

2 :

Evildoers, compare the warning to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20.29–30; cf. 2 Cor 11.13 .

6 :

To hate evil is the counterpart of the love of what God approves (Isa 61.8; Zech 8.17; 1QS 1.4 ). The Nicolaitans (probably not connected with the Nicolaus of Acts 6.5 , contrary to Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 1.26.3) are also mentioned in the message to the church in Pergamum. It is not known what their works were, or what doctrines they taught, though they must have permitted some accommodation to pagan religious cults.

7 :

What the Spirit is saying, speaking through Christ to John. Conquers, a military term, suggesting continuous vigilance. Tree of life, Gen 2.9; 3.24; cf. Rev 22.2,14 .

2.8–11 : The second message,

sent to Smyrna, commends the church for its perseverance amid affliction and poverty. Smyrna (the modern Izmir) was a port city 50 km (30 mi) north of Ephesus.

8 :

Isa 44.6; 48.12 .

9 :

Rich, in spiritual things. Those who say that they are Jews and are not, i.e., Jews whose anti‐Christian arguments are causing suffering in the church. Synagogue of Satan reflects the tension between Jews and Jewish Christians (cf. Jn 8.44; 1QH 2.22 , which refers to apostate Jews as “a congregation of Belial”).

10 :

Ten days, a limited period of trial (Dan 1.12 ). Crown of life, the reward of eternal life (Jas 1.12; 1 Pet 5.4 ).

11 :

The second death, the final condemnation of the unfaithful ( 20.14 ).

2.12–17 : The third message

is sent to Pergamum, a noted center of the Roman imperial cult ca. 80 km (60 mi) north of Smyrna.

12 :

Sharp two‐edged sword, 1.16n.

13 :

Where Satan's throne is, in contrast to the throne of God in ch 4 , this may be a reference either to the temple of the emperor Augustus or to the monumental altar of Zeus, both at Pergamum. Antipas is otherwise unknown; he is the only martyr named in the book.

14–15 :

The teaching of Balaam, here the author vilifies an opponent by comparing him to the diviner Balaam of Num 22.5–24.25 . After Balaam's oracles, the Israelites engaged in both sexual relations with outsiders and idolatry (see Num 25; 31.16 ). To eat food sacrificed to idols meant either to participate in ritual banquets or to purchase and consume meat that had been sacrificed in the temples of Pergamum (1 Cor 8; 10 ). Practice fornication here is meant metaphorically, with sexual misconduct symbolizing religious infidelity.

15 :

Nicolaitans, see v. 6 n.

17 :

Hidden manna, eschatological nourishment from heaven (Ex 16.33–34; Ps 78.24 ). White, the color symbolizing victory and joy. A new name, Isa 62.2 .

2.18–29 : The fourth message

is sent to Thyatira, a commercial center renowned for its many trade guilds, ca. 110 km (70 mi) north‐northeast of Ephesus. Lydia, one of Paul's converts, was a dealer in purple cloth from Thyatira (Acts 16.14–15 ).

18 :

Dan 10.6 .

20 :

That woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet, John's characterization of a female opponent at Thyatira, here identified contemptuously with the Phoenician wife of King Ahab, the queen who worshiped Baal and who opposed the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 16.31; 19.1–2 ).

22 :

I am throwing her on a bed, punishment with serious sickness is threatened for the Thyatiran Jezebel. Those who commit adultery with her are those who are complicit in her idolatry. In the Hebrew Bible idolatry is often called adultery, with marital infidelity used as a metaphor for worship of other gods than the LORD (Deut 31.16; Judg 2.17; 1 Chr 5.25); see also vv. 14–15n.

23 :

Her children, those who follow her teachings.

24 :

Deep things of Satan, a sarcastic reference to heretical teachings (contrast 1 Cor 2.10 ).

26–27 :

The conquerors will share in Christ's rule (Ps 2.8–9 ).

28 :

The morning star is Christ himself ( 22.16 ).

29 :

Is saying, in this revelation.

  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result
Oxford University Press

© 2021. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice