Revelation Chapter 2
From The Open Bible Project
2:1 "To the angel of the assembly in Ephesus write: "He who holds the seven stars in his right hand, he who walks among the seven golden lampstands says these things:
- (1) The former part of this book is comprised in a narration of those things which then were, as John taught us, in (Revelation 1:19) it belongs wholly to instruction, and in these two next chapters, contains seven places, according to the number and condition of those churches which were named before in (Revelation 1:11) shown in (Revelation 1:12) and distributed most aptly into their pastors and flocks, (Revelation 1:10) which verse of that chapter is a passage to the first part. Every one of these seven passages has three principal parts, an introduction taken from the person of the reprehension of that which is evil: an instruction, containing either an exhortation alone, or a dissuasion opposite to it, and a conclusion stirring to attention, by divine promises. This first passage is to the pastors of the church of Ephesus. (2) The introduction in which are contained the special prayers of Christ Jesus the author of this prophecy out of (Revelation 1:6,13).
2:2 "I know your works, and your toil and perseverance, and that you can't tolerate evil men, and have tested those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and found them false.
- (3) The proposition first condemning the pastor of this church (Revelation 2:2,3) then reproving him (Revelation 2:4) after informing him, and threatening that he will move the church to another place (Revelation 2:5). This threat of divine vengeance Christ mitigates by a type of correction, calling to mind the particular virtue and piety of the Church, which God never leaves without recompense (Revelation 2:6). Concerning the Nicolaitans, see (Revelation 2:15).
2:3 You have perseverance and have endured for my name's sake, and have not grown weary.
2:4 But I have this against you, that you left your first love.
2:5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent.
2:6 But this you have, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
- (a) To deal with you for.
2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of my God.
- (4) The conclusion containing a commandment of attention, and a promise of everlasting life, shown in a figure; (Genesis 2:9). * (5) That is, in paradise after the manner of the Hebrew phrase.
- (b) Thus Christ speaks as he is mediator.
2:8 "To the angel of the assembly in Smyrna write: "The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life says these things:
- (6) The second passage is to the pastors of the church of the Smyrnians. The introduction is taken out of (Revelation 1:17,18).
- (c) Smyrna was one of the cities of Ionia in Asia.
2:9 "I know your works, oppression, and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
- (7) The proposition of praise is in this verse, and of exhortation joined with a promise, is in (Revelation 2:10).
2:10 Don't be afraid of the things which you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you will have oppression for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life.
- (8) That is, of ten years. For so commonly both in this book and in Daniel, years are signified by days: that God by this might declare, that the space of time is appointed by him and the same very short. Now because John wrote this book in the end of Domitian the Emperor’s reign, as Justinus and Ireneus do witness, it is altogether necessary that this should be referred to that persecution which was done by the authority of the emperor Trajan: who began to make havock of the Christian church in the tenth year of his reign, as the historians do write: and his bloody persecution continued until Adrian the emperor had succeeded in his stead: The space of which time is precisely ten years, which are here mentioned.
2:11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. He who overcomes won't be harmed by the second death.
2:12 "To the angel of the assembly in Pergamum write: "He who has the sharp two-edged sword says these things:
- (11) The third passage is to the pastors of Pergamos. The introduction is taken from (Revelation 1:16).
- (d) Pergamos was the name of a famous city of old in Asia, where the kings of the Attalians were always resident.
2:13 "I know your works and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. You hold firmly to my name, and didn't deny my faith in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
- (12) The proposition of praise is in this verse, of reprehension in the two following, and of exhortation joined with a conditional threat (Revelation 2:16). Now this Antipas was the angel or minister of the church of Pergamos, as Aretas writes.
- (e) The faith of those at Pergamos is so much the more highly commended, because they remained constant even in the very heat of persecution.
2:14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to throw a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.
- (f) That which is here spoken of things offered to idols, is meant of the same type which Paul speaks of in (1 Corinthians 10:14).
2:15 So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans likewise.
- (13) Which follow the footsteps of Balaam, and such as are abandoned to all filthiness, as he showed in the verse before, and is here signified by a note of similarity, and thus also must (Revelation 2:6) be understood. For this matter especially Ireneus must be consulted as well.
2:16 Repent therefore, or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth.
2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden  manna, [See Revelation Footnotes 12] and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows but he who receives it.
- (14) The conclusion, by way of exhortation as before, and of promise.
- (15) The bread of life, invisible, spiritual, and heavenly, which is kept secretly with God, from before all eternity.
- (g) He alludes to (Psalms 105:40; John 6:26-59).
- (h) Arethas writes that such a stone was given to wrestlers at games, or else that such stones did in old time witness the leaving of a man.
- (16) Which is a sign and witness of forgiveness and remission of sins, of righteousness and true holiness, and of purity uncorrupted after the sin nature is destroyed.
- (17) A sign and testimony of newness of life in righteousness and true holiness, by putting on the new man, whom no one inwardly knows, but the spirit of man which is in him, which is not praised by men, but by God; (Romans 2:28).
2:18 "To the angel of the assembly in Thyatira write: "The Son of God, who has his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like burnished brass, says these things:
- (18) The fourth passage is to the pastors of Thyatira. The introduction is taken from (Revelation 1:14,15).
2:19 "I know your works, your love, faith, service, patient endurance, and that your last works are more than the first.
- (19) The note of praise is in this verse, and in (Revelation 2:20) reprehension, for they tolerated with them the doctrine of unrighteousness and ungodliness. In (Revelation 2:21), though they were called back to God, they did not repent. To this he adds even stronger threats and in (Revelation 3:2-5) he gives a conditional promise and an exhortation to hold fast the truth
- (i) So he calls those offices of charity which are done to the saints.
2:20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate  your [See Revelation Footnotes 13] woman, Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. She teaches and seduces my servants to commit sexual immorality, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.
- (k) Often in the scripture, by fornication they mean idolatry.
2:21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.
2:22 Behold, I will throw her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great oppression, unless they repent of her works.
2:23 I will kill her children with Death, and all the assemblies will know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.
2:24 But to you I say, to the rest who are in Thyatira, as many as don't have this teaching, who don't know what some call 'the deep things of Satan,' to you I say, I am not putting any other burden on you.
- (l) He points out the bragging of certain men, who boasted of their deep, that is, plentiful and common knowledge, which nonetheless is devilish.
- (m) I will speak no worse thing against you, being content to have showed you what I require to be in you.
2:25 Nevertheless, hold that which you have firmly until I come.
2:26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps my works to the end, to him I will give authority over the nations.
- (20) The conclusion, in which Christ assures to his servants the communion of his kingdom and glory, in this verse, and that following: and commands a holy attention in the last verse (Revelation 2:29).
- (21) That is, I will make him a king, by communion with me, and my fellow heir, as it is promised; (Matthew 19:28,25:34) (Romans 8:17; 1 Corinthians 6:3; Ephesians 2:6; 2 Timothy 2:12).
2:27 He will rule them with a rod of iron, shattering them like clay pots; as I also have received of my Father:
- (22) The brightness of greatest glory and honour nearest approaching to the light of Christ, who is the Son of righteousness, and our head; (Matthew 4:14,16).
2:28 and I will give him the morning star.
2:29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.