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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Revelation: Chapter 2)



2:1 {In Ephesus} (en Ephes“i). Near the sea on the river Cayster, the foremost city of Asia Minor, the temple-keeper of Artemis and her wonderful temple (Ac 19:35), the home of the magic arts (Ephesian letters, Ac 19:19) and of the mystery-cults, place of Paul's three years' stay (Ac 19:1-10; 20:17-38), where Aquila and Priscilla and Apollos laboured (Ac 18:24-28), where Timothy wrought (I and II Tim.), where the Apostle John preached in his old age. Surely it was a place of great privilege, of great preaching. It was about sixty miles from Patmos and the messenger would reach Ephesus first. It is a free city, a seat of proconsular government (Ac 19:38), the end of the great road from the Euphrates. The port was a place of shifting sands, due to the silting up of the mouth of the Cayster. Ramsay ("Letters to the Seven Churches", p. 210) calls it "the City of Change."
{These things} (tade). This demonstrative seven times here, once with the message to each church (2:1,8,12,18; 2:1,7,14), only once elsewhere in N.T. (Ac 21:11).
{He that holdeth} (ho krat“n). Present active articular participle of krate“, a stronger word than ech“n in 1:16, to which it refers.
{He that walketh} (ho peripat“n). Present active articular participle of peripate“, an allusion to 1:13. These two epithets are drawn from the picture of Christ in 1:13-18, and appropriately to conditions in Ephesus describe Christ's power over the churches as he moves among them.

2:2 {I know} (oida). Rather than gin“sk“ and so "emphasizes better the absolute clearness of mental vision which photographs all the facts of life as they pass" (Swete). So also in 2:9,13,19; 3:1,8,15. For the distinction see Joh 21:17, "where the universal knowledge passes into the field of special observation."
{Works} (erga). The whole life and conduct as in Joh 6:29.
{And thy toil and patience} (kai ton kopon kai tˆn hupomonˆn sou). "Both thy toil and patience," in explanation of erga, and see 1Th 1:3, where all three words (ergon, kopos, hupomonˆ) occur together as here. See 14:13 for sharp distinction between erga (activities) and kopoi (toils, with weariness). Endurance (hupomonˆ) in hard toil (kopos).
{And that} (kai hoti). Further explanation of kopos (hard toil). {Not able} (ou dunˆi). This "Koin‚" form for the Attic dunasai (second person singular indicative middle) occurs also in Mr 9:22; Lu 16:2.
{Bear} (bastasai). First aorist active infinitive of bastaz“, for which verb see Joh 10:31; 12:6; Ga 6:2. These evil men were indeed a heavy burden.
{And didst try} (kai epeirasas). First aorist active indicative of peiraz“, to test, a reference to a recent crisis when these Nicolaitans (verse 6) were condemned. The present tenses (dunˆi, echeis) indicate the continuance of this attitude. Cf. 1Jo 4:1.
{Which call themselves apostles} (tous legontas heautous apostolous). Perhaps itinerant missionaries of these Nicolaitans who posed as equal to or even superior to the original apostles, like the Judaizers so described by Paul (2Co 11:5,13; 12:11). Paul had foretold such false teachers (Gnostics), grievous wolves, in Ac 20:29; in sheep's clothing, Jesus had said (Mt 7:15).
{And they are not} (kai ouk eisin). A parenthesis in Johannine style (Joh 2:9; 3:9; 1Jo 3:1) for kai ouk ontas to correspond to legontas.
{And didst find} (kai heures). Second aorist active indicative of heurisk“. Dropping back to the regular structure parallel with epeirasas.
{False} (pseudeis). Predicate accusative plural of pseudˆs, self-deceived deceivers as in 21:8.

2:3 {Thou hast} (echeis). Continued possession of patience. {Didst bear} (ebastasas). First aorist indicative of bastaz“, repeated reference to the crisis in verse 2.
{And hast not grown weary} (kai ou kekopiakes). Perfect active indicative of kopia“, old verb, to grow weary (Mt 6:28), play on the word kopos, late form in -es, for the regular -as (lelukas). like aphˆkes (verse 4) and pept“kes (verse 5). "Tired in loyalty, not of it. The Ephesian church can bear anything except the presence of impostors in her membership" (Moffatt).

2:4 {This against thee, that} (kata sou hoti). For the phrase "have against" see Mt 5:23. The hoti clause is the object of ech“.
{Thou didst leave} (aphˆkes). First aorist active (kappa aorist, but with -es instead of -as) of aphiˆmi, a definite and sad departure.
{Thy first love} (tˆn agapˆn sou tˆn pr“tˆn). "Thy love the first." This early love, proof of the new life in Christ (1Jo 3:13f.), had cooled off in spite of their doctrinal purity. They had remained orthodox, but had become unloving partly because of the controversies with the Nicolaitans.

2:5 {Remember} (mnˆmoneue). Present active imperative of mnˆmoneu“, "continue mindful" (from mnˆm“n).
{Thou art fallen} (pept“kes). Perfect active indicative of pipt“, state of completion. Down in the valley, look up to the cliff where pure love is and whence thou hast fallen down.
{And repent} (kai metanoˆson). First aorist active imperative of metanoe“, urgent appeal for instant change of attitude and conduct before it is too late.
{And do} (kai poiˆson). First aorist active imperative of poie“, "Do at once."
{The first works} (ta pr“ta erga). Including the first love (Ac 19:20; 20:37; Eph 1:3ff.) which has now grown cold (Mt 24:12).
{Or else} (ei de mˆ). Elliptical condition, the verb not expressed (metanoeis), a common idiom, seen again in verse 16, the condition expressed in full by ean mˆ in this verse and verse 22.
{I come} (erchomai). Futuristic present middle (Joh 14:2f.).
{To thee} (soi). Dative, as in 2:16 also.
{Will move} (kinˆs“). Future active of kine“. In Ignatius' Epistle to Ephesus it appears that the church heeded this warning.
{Except thou repent} (ean mˆ metanoˆsˆis). Condition of third class with ean mˆ instead of ei mˆ above, with the first aorist active subjunctive of metanoe“.

2:6 {That thou hatest} (hoti miseis). Accusative object clause in apposition with touto (this). Trench tells of the words used in ancient Greek for hatred of evil (misoponˆria) and misoponˆros (hater of evil), neither of which occurs in the N.T., but which accurately describe the angel of the church in Ephesus.
{Of the Nicolaitans} (t“n Nikolait“n). Mentioned again in verse 15 and really meant in verse 2. Irenaeus and Hippolytus take this sect to be followers of Nicolaus of Antioch, one of the seven deacons (Ac 6:5), a Jewish proselyte, who is said to have apostatized. There was such a sect in the second century (Tertullian), but whether descended from Nicolaus of Antioch is not certain, though possible (Lightfoot). It is even possible that the Balaamites of verse 14 were a variety of this same sect (verse 15).
{Which I also hate} (ha kag“ mis“). Christ himself hates the teachings and deeds of the Nicolaitans (ha, not hous, deeds, not people), but the church in Pergamum tolerated them.

2:7 {He that hath an ear} (ho ech“n ous). An individualizing note calling on each of the hearers (1:3) to listen (2:7,11,17,28; 3:3,6,13,22) and a reminiscence of the words of Jesus in the Synoptics (Mt 11:15; 13:9,43; Mr 4:9,23; Lu 8:8; 14:35), but not in John's Gospel.
{The spirit} (to pneuma). The Holy Spirit as in 14:13; 22:17. Both Christ and the Holy Spirit deliver this message. "The Spirit of Christ in the prophet is the interpreter of Christ's voice" (Swete).
{To him that overcometh} (t“i nik“nti). Dative of the present (continuous victory) active articular participle of nika“, a common Johannine verb (Joh 16:33; 1Jo 2:13f; 4:4; 5:4f.; Re 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21; 5:5; 12:11; 15:2; 17:14; 21:7). Faith is dominant in Paul, victory in John, faith is victory (1Jo 5:4). So in each promise to these churches.
{I will give} (d“s“). Future active of did“mi as in 2:10,17,23,26,28; 3:8,21; 6:4; 11:3; 21:6.
{To eat} (phagein). Second aorist active infinitive of esthi“.
{Of the tree of life} (ek tou xulou tˆs z“ˆs). Note ek with the ablative with phagein, like our "eat of" (from or part of). From Ge 2:9; 3:22. Again in Re 22:2,14 as here for immortality. This tree is now in the Garden of God. For the water of life see 21:6; 22:17 (Cf. Joh 4:10,13f.).
{Which} (ho). The xulon (tree).
{In the Paradise of God} (en t“i paradeis“i tou theou). Persian word, for which see Lu 23:43; 2Co 12:4. The abode of God and the home of the redeemed with Christ, not a mere intermediate state. It was originally a garden of delight and finally heaven itself (Trench), as here.

2:8 {In Smyrna} (en Smurnˆi). North of Ephesus, on a gulf of the Aegean, one of the great cities of Asia (province), a seat of emperor-worship with temple to Tiberius, with many Jews hostile to Christianity who later join in the martyrdom of Polycarp, poor church (rich in grace) which receives only praise from Christ, scene of the recent massacre of Greeks by the Turks. Ramsay ("op. cit.", p. 251) terms Smyrna "the City of Life." Christianity has held on here better than in any city of Asia.
{The first and the last} (ho pr“tos kai ho eschatos). Repeating the language of 1:17.
{Which was dead} (hos egeneto nekros). Rather, "who became dead" (second aorist middle indicative of ginomai) as in 1:18.
{And lived again} (kai ezˆsen). First aorist (ingressive, came to life) active of za“ (ho z“n in 1:18)
. Emphasis on the resurrection of Christ.

2:9 {Thy tribulation and thy poverty} (sou tˆn thlipsin kai pt“cheian). Separate articles of same gender, emphasizing each item. The tribulation was probably persecution, which helped to intensify the poverty of the Christians (Jas 2:5; 1Co 1:26; 2Co 6:10; 8:2). In contrast with the wealthy church in Laodicea (3:17).
{But thou art rich} (alla plousios ei). Parenthesis to show the spiritual riches of this church in contrast with the spiritual poverty in Laodicea (3:17), this a rich poor church, that a poor rich church. Rich in grace toward God (Lu 12:21) and in good deeds (1Ti 6:18). Perhaps Jews and pagans had pillaged their property (Heb 10:34), poor as they already were. {Blasphemy} (blasphˆmian). Reviling believers in Christ. See Mr 7:22. The precise charge by these Jews is not indicated, but see Ac 13:45.
{Of them which say} (ek t“n legont“n). "From those saying" (ek with the ablative plural of the present active articular participle of leg“).
{They are Jews} (Ioudaious einai heautous). This is the accusative of general reference and the infinitive in indirect discourse after leg“ (Ac 5:36; 8:9) even though legont“n is here ablative (cf. 3:9), common idiom. These are actual Jews and only Jews, not Christians.
{And they are not} (kai ouk eisin). Another parenthesis like that in 2:2. These are Jews in name only, not spiritual Jews (Ga 6:15f., Ro 2:28).
{A synagogue of Satan} (sunag“gˆ tou Satanƒ). In 3:9 again and note 2:13,24, serving the devil (Joh 8:44) instead of the Lord (Nu 16:3; 20:4).

2:10 {Fear not} (mˆ phobou). As in 1:17. Worse things are about to come than poverty and blasphemy, perhaps prison and death, for the devil "is about to cast" (mellei ballein), "is going to cast."
{Some of you} (ex hum“n). Without tinas (some) before ex hum“n, a common idiom as in 3:9; 11:19; Lu 11:49.
{That ye may be tried} (hina peirasthˆte). Purpose clause with hina and the first aorist passive subjunctive of peiraz“. John himself is in exile. Peter and John had often been in prison together. James the brother of John, Paul, and Peter had all suffered martyrdom. In 3:10 a general persecution is outlined by peirasmos.
{Ye shall have} (hexete). Future active, but some MSS. read echˆte (present active subjunctive with hina, "that ye may have").
{Tribulation ten days} (thlipsin hˆmer“n deka). "Tribulation of ten days" (or "within ten days"). It is unwise to seek a literal meaning for ten days. Even ten days of suffering might seem an eternity while they lasted.
{Be thou faithful} (ginou pistos). "Keep on becoming faithful" (present middle imperative of ginomai), "keep on proving faithful unto death" (Heb 12:4) as the martyrs have done (Jesus most of all).
{The crown of life} (ton stephanon tˆs z“ˆs). See this very image in Jas 1:12, a familiar metaphor in the games at Smyrna and elsewhere in which the prize was a garland. See also 3:11. The crown consists in life (2:7). See Paul's use of stephanos in 1Co 9:25; 2Ti 4:8.

2:11 {Shall not be hurt} (ou mˆ adikˆthˆi). Strong double negative with first aorist passive subjunctive of adike“, old verb, to act unjustly (from adikos), here to do harm or wrong to one, old usage as in 6:6; 7:2f.; 9:4,10; 11:5.
{Of the second death} (ek tou thanatou tou deuterou). Ek here used for the agent or instrument as often (3:18; 9:2; 18:1). See 20:6,14; 21:8 where "the second death" is explained as "the lake of fire." The idea is present in Da 12:3; Joh 5:29 and is current in Jewish circles as in the Jerusalem Targum on De 33:6 and in Philo. It is not annihilation. The Christians put to death in the persecution will at least escape this second death (eternal punishment).

2:12 {In Pergamum} (en Pergam“i). In a north-easterly direction from Smyrna in the Caicus Valley, some fifty-five miles away, in Mysia, on a lofty hill, a great political and religious centre. Ramsay ("Op. cit.", p. 281) calls it "the royal city, the city of authority." Eumenes II (B.C. 197-159) extended it and embellished it with many great buildings, including a library with 200,000 volumes, second only to Alexandria. The Kingdom of Pergamum became a Roman province B.C. 130. Pliny termed it the most illustrious city of Asia. Parchment (charta Pergamena) derived its name from Pergamum. It was a rival of Ephesus in the temples to Zeus, Athena, Dionysos, in the great grove Nicephorium (the glory of the city). Next to this was the grove and temple of Asklepios, the god of healing, called the god of Pergamum, with a university for medical study. Pergamum was the first city in Asia (A.D. 29) with a temple for the worship of Augustus (Octavius Caesar). Hence in the Apocalypse Pergamum is a very centre of emperor-worship "where Satan dwells" (2:13). Here also the Nicolaitans flourished (2:15) as in Ephesus (2:6) and in Thyatira (2:20f.). Like Ephesus this city is called temple-sweeper (ne“koros) for the gods.
{The sharp two-edged sword} (tˆn romphaian tˆn distomon tˆn oxeian). This item repeated from 1:16 in the same order of words with the article three times (the sword the two-mouthed the sharp) singling out each point.

2:13 {Where} (pou--hopou). Pou is interrogative adverb used here in an indirect question as in Joh 1:39. Hopou is relative adverb referring to pou. Satan's throne (ho thronos tou Satanƒ). Satan not simply resided in Pergamum, but his "throne" or seat of power of king or judge (Mt 19:28; Lu 1:32,52). The symbol of Asklepios was the serpent as it is of Satan (12:9; 20:2). There was, besides, a great throne altar to Zeus cut on the Acropolis rock, symbol of "rampant paganism" (Swete) and the new Caesar-worship with the recent martyrdom of Antipas made Pergamum indeed a very throne of Satan.
{Holdest fast my name} (krateis to onoma sou). Present active indicative of krate“, "dost keep on holding," as in 2:25, 3:11. This church refused to say Kurios Kaisar ("Martyrd. Polyc". 8f.) and continued to say Kurios Iˆsous (1Co 12:3). They stood true against the emperor-worship.
{Didst not deny} (ouk ˆrnˆs“). First aorist middle second person singular of arneomai. Reference to a specific incident not known to us.
{My faith} (tˆn pistin mou). Objective genitive, "thy faith in me."
{Of Antipas} (Antipas). Indeclinable in this form. It is possible that Antipa (genitive) was really written, though unimportant as the nominative follows in apposition. Nothing is really known of this early martyr in Pergamum before the writing of the Apocalypse. One legend is that he was burnt to death in a brazen bull. Other martyrs followed him at Pergamum (Agathonice, Attalus, Carpus, Polybus).
{My witness} (ho martus mou). Nominative in apposition with a genitive as in 1:5 (with ablative), common solecism in the Apocalypse. "Witness" as Jesus had said they should be (Ac 1:8) and Stephen was (Ac 22:20) and others were (Re 17:6). The word later (by third century) took on the modern meaning of martyr.
{My faithful one} (ho pistos mou). Nominative also, with mou also. Jesus gives Antipas his own title (Swete) as in 1:5; 3:14. Faithful unto death.
{Was killed} (apektanthˆ). First aorist passive indicative of apoktein“, this passive form common in the Apocalypse (?2:13; 6:11; 5:9,13; 13:10,15; 18, 20; 19:21?). {Among you} (par humin). By your side. Proof of the throne of Satan, "where Satan dwells" (hopou ho Satanƒs katoikei), repeated for emphasis.

2:14 {There} (ekei). That is par' humin (among you). A party in the church that resisted emperor-worship, to the death in the case of Antipas, yet were caught in the insidious wiles of the Nicolaitans which the church in Ephesus withstood.
{Some that hold} (kratountas). "Men holding" (present active participle of krate“).
{The teaching of Balaam} (tˆn didachˆn Balaam). Indeclinable substantive Balaam (Nu 25:1-9; 31:15f.). The point of likeness of these heretics with Balaam is here explained. {Taught Balak} (edidasken t“i Balak). Imperfect indicative of didask“, Balaam's habit, "as the prototype of all corrupt teachers" (Charles). These early Gnostics practised licentiousness as a principle since they were not under law, but under grace (Ro 6:15). The use of the dative with didask“ is a colloquialism rather than a Hebraism. Two accusatives often occur with didask“.
{To cast a stumbling-block} (balein skandalon). Second aorist active infinitive (accusative case after edidasken) of ball“, regular use with skandalon (trap) like tithˆmi skandalon in Ro 14:13. Balaam, as Josephus and Philo also say, showed Balak how to set a trap for the Israelites by beguiling them into the double sin of idolatry and fornication, which often went together (and do so still).
{To eat things sacrificed to idols} (phagein eid“lothuta). Second aorist active infinitive of esthi“ and the verbal adjective (from eid“lon and thu“), quoted here from Nu 25:1f., but in inverse order, repeated in other order in verse 20. See Ac 15:29; 21:25; 1Co 8:1ff. for the controversy over the temptation to Gentile Christians to do what in itself was harmless, but which led to evil if it led to participation in the pagan feasts. Perhaps both ideas are involved here. Balaam taught Balak how to lead the Israelites into sin in both ways.

2:15 {So thou also} (hout“s kai su). Thou and the church at Pergamum as Israel had the wiles of Balaam.
{The teaching of the Nicolaitans likewise} (tˆn didachˆn t“n Nikolait“n homoi“s). See on 1:6 for the Nicolaitans. The use of homoi“s (likewise) here shows that they followed Balaam in not obeying the decision of the Conference at Jerusalem (Ac 15:20,29) about idolatry and fornication, with the result that they encouraged a return to pagan laxity of morals (Swete). Some wrongly hold that these Nicolaitans were Pauline Christians in the face of Col 3:5-8; Eph 5:3-6.

2:16 {Repent therefore} (metanoˆson oun). First aorist (tense of urgency) active imperative of metanoe“ with the inferential particle oun (as a result of their sin).
{I come} (erchomai). Futuristic present middle indicative, "I am coming" (imminent), as in 2:5 with tachu as in 3:11; 11:14; 22:7,12,20. As with en tachei (1:1), we do not know how soon "quickly" is meant to be understood. But it is a real threat.
{Against them} (met' aut“n). This proposition with poleme“ rather than kata (against) is common in the LXX, but in the N.T. only in Re 2:16; 12:7; 13:4; 17:14 and the verb itself nowhere else in N.T. except Jas 4:2. "An eternal roll of thunder from the throne" (Renan). "The glorified Christ is in this book a Warrior, who fights with the sharp sword of the word" (Swete).
{With} (en). Instrumental use of en. For the language see 1:16; 2:12; 19:15.

2:17 {Of the hidden manna} (tou manna tou kekrummenou). "Of the manna the hidden" (perfect passive articular participle of krupt“). The partitive genitive, the only N.T. example with did“mi, though Q reads to (accusative) here. For examples of the ablative with apo and ek see Robertson, "Grammar", p. 519. See Joh 6:31,49 for the indeclinable word manna. The golden pot of manna was "laid up before God in the ark" (Ex 16:23). It was believed that Jeremiah hid the ark, before the destruction of Jerusalem, where it would not be discovered till Israel was restored (II Macc. 2:5ff.). Christ is the true bread from heaven (Joh 6:31-33, 48-51) and that may be the idea here. Those faithful to Christ will have transcendent fellowship with him. Swete takes it to be "the life-sustaining power of the Sacred Humanity now hid with Christ in God."
{A white stone} (psˆphon leukˆn). This old word for pebble (from psa“, to rub) was used in courts of justice, black pebbles for condemning, white pebbles for acquitting. The only other use of the word in the N.T. is in Ac 26:10, where Paul speaks of "depositing his pebble" (katˆnegka psˆphon) or casting his vote. The white stone with one's name on it was used to admit one to entertainments and also as an amulet or charm.
{A new name written} (onoma kainon gegrammenon). Perfect passive predicate participle of graph“. Not the man's own name, but that of Christ (Heitmuller, "Im Namen Jˆsu", p. 128-265). See 3:12 for the name of God so written on one. The man himself may be the psˆphos on which the new name is written. "The true Christian has a charmed life" (Moffatt).
{But he that receiveth it} (ei mˆ ho lamban“n). "Except the one receiving it." See Mt 11:27 for like intimate and secret knowledge between the Father and the Son and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal the Father. See also Re 19:12.

2:18 {In Thyatira} (en Thuateirois). Some forty miles south-east of Pergamum, a Lydian city on the edge of Mysia, under Rome since B.C. 190, a centre of trade, especially for the royal purple, home of Lydia of Philippi (Ac 16:14f.), shown by inscriptions to be full of trade guilds, Apollo the chief deity with no emperor-worship, centre of activity by the Nicolaitans with their idolatry and licentiousness under a "prophetess" who defied the church there. Ramsay calls it "Weakness Made Strong" ("op. cit.", p. 316).
{The Son of God} (ho huios tou theou). Here Jesus is represented as calling himself by this title as in Joh 11:4 and as he affirms on oath in Mt 26:63f. "The Word of God" occurs in 19:13.
{His eyes like a flame of fire} (tous ophthalmous autou h“s phloga puros). As in 1:14.
{His feet like burnished brass} (hoi podes autou homoioi chalkoliban“i). As in 1:15.

2:19 {Thy works} (sou ta erga) . As in 2:2 and explained (explanatory use of kai =namely) by what follows. Four items are given, with separate feminine article for each (tˆn agapˆn, tˆn pistin, tˆn diakonian, tˆn hupomonˆn), a longer list of graces than in 2:2 for Ephesus. More praise is given in the case of Ephesus and Thyatira when blame follows than in the case of Smyrna and Philadelphia when no fault is found. Love comes first in this list in true Johannine fashion. Faith (pistin) here may be "faithfulness," and ministry (diakonian) is ministration to needs of others (Ac 11:29; 1Co 16:15).
{And that} (kai). Only kai (and) in the Greek, but doubtless hoti (that) is understood.
{Than the first} (t“n pr“t“n). Ablative after the comparative pleiona (more).

2:20 {Thou sufferest} (apheis). Late vernacular present active indicative second person singular as if from a form aphe“ instead of the usual aphiˆmi forms.
{The woman Jezebel} (tˆn gunaika Iezabel). Symbolical name for some prominent woman in the church in Thyatira, like the infamous wife of Ahab who was guilty of whoredom and witchcraft (1Ki 16:31; 2Ki 9:22) and who sought to drive out the worship of God from Israel. Some MSS. here (A Q 40 min.s) have sou (thy wife, thy woman Ramsay makes it), but surely Aleph C P rightly reject sou. Otherwise she is the pastor's wife! {Which calleth herself a prophetess} (hˆ legousa heautˆn prophˆtin). Nominative articular participle of leg“ in apposition with the accusative gunaika like ho martus in apposition with Antipas in 2:13. Prophˆtis is an old word, feminine form for prophˆtˆs, in N.T. only here and Lu 2:36 (Anna), two extremes surely. See Ac 21:9 for the daughters of Philip who prophesied.
{And she teacheth and seduceth} (kai didaskei kai planƒi). A resolution of the participles (didaskousa kai plan“sa) into finite verbs (present active indicatives) as in 1:5f. This woman was not a real prophetess, but a false one with loud claims and loose living. One is puzzled to know how such a woman had so much shrewdness and sex-appeal as to lead astray the servants of God in that church. The church tolerated the Nicolaitans and this leader whose primary object was sexual immorality (Charles) and became too much involved with her to handle the heresy.

2:21 {I gave her time} (ed“ka autˆi chronon). First aorist active indicative of did“mi, allusion to a definite visit or message of warning to this woman.
{That she should repent} (hina metanoˆsˆi). Sub-final use of hina with first aorist active subjunctive of metanoe“.
{And she willeth not} (kai ou thelei). "And she is not willing." Blunt and final like Mt 23:37.
{To repent of} (metanoˆsai ek). First aorist (ingressive) active infinitive with ek, "to make a change out of," the usual construction with metanoe“ in this book (2:22; 9:20ff.; 16:11), with apo in Ac 8:22. Porneia (fornication) here, but moicheu“ (to commit adultery) in verse 22.

2:22 {I do cast} (ball“). Futuristic present active indicative rather than the future bal“, since judgment is imminent.
{Into a bed} (eis klinˆn). "A bed of sickness in contrast with the bed of adultery" (Beckwith).
{Them that commit adultery with her} (tous moicheuontas met' autˆs). Present active articular participle accusative plural of moicheu“. The actual paramours of the woman Jezebel, guilty of both porneia (fornication, verse 21) and moicheia (adultery), works of Jezebel of old and of this Jezebel. There may be also an allusion to the spiritual adultery (2Co 11:2) towards God and Christ as of old (Jer 3:8; 5:7; Eze 16:22).
{Except they repent} (ean mˆ metanoˆsousin). Condition of first class with ean mˆ and the future active indicative of metanoe“, put in this vivid form rather than the aorist subjunctive (-“sin) third-class condition.
{Of her works} (ek t“n erg“n autˆs). Autˆs (her) correct rather than aut“n (their). Jezebel was chiefly responsible.

2:23 {I will kill with death} (apokten“ en thanat“i). Future (volitive) active of apoktein“ with the tautological (cognate) en thanat“i (in the sense of pestilence) as in Eze 33:27. {Her children} (ta tekna autˆs). Either her actual children, like the fate of Ahab's sons (2Ki 10:7) or "her spiritual progeny" (Swete) who have completely accepted her Nicolaitan practices.
{Shall know} (gn“sontai). Future (ingressive punctiliar) middle of gin“sk“, "shall come to know." "The doom of the offenders was to be known as widely as the scandal had been" (Charles).
{Searcheth} (eraun“n). Present active articular participle of erauna“, to follow up, to track out, late form for ereuna“, from Jer 17:10.
{Reins} (nephrous). Old word for kidneys, here only in N.T., quoted also with kardias from Jer 17:10. See 22:17 for the reward of punishment.

2:24 {To you the rest} (humin tois loipois). Dative case. Those who hold out against Jezebel, not necessarily a minority (9:20; 19:21; 1Th 4:13).
{As many as} (hosoi). Inclusive of all "the rest."
{This teaching} (tˆn didachˆn tautˆn). That of Jezebel. {Which} (hoitines). "Which very ones," generic of the class, explanatory definition as in 1:7.
{Know not} (ouk egn“san). Second aorist (ingressive) active of gin“sk“, "did not come to know by experience."
{The deep things of Satan} (ta bathea tou Satanƒ). The Ophites (worshippers of the serpent) and other later Gnostics (Cainites, Carpocratians, Naassenes) boasted of their knowledge of "the deep things," some claiming this very language about Satan (the serpent) as Paul did of God (1Co 2:10). It is not clear whether the words here quoted are a boast of the Nicolaitans or a reproach on the other Christians for not knowing the depths of sin. Some even claimed that they could indulge in immorality without sinning (1Jo 1:10; 3:10). Perhaps both ideas are involved.
{As they say} (h“s legousin). Probably referring to the heretics who ridicule the piety of the other Christians.
{None other burden} (ou--allo baros). Baros refers to weight (Mt 20:12), phortion, from pher“, to bear, refers to load (Ga 6:5), ogkos to bulk (Heb 12:1). Apparently a reference to the decision of the Jerusalem Conference (Ac 15:28) where the very word baros is used and mention is made about the two items in verse 20 (fornication and idolatry) without mentioning the others about things strangled, etc. See the Pharisaic narrowness in Mt 23:4.

2:25 {Howbeit} (plˆn). Common after ouk allo as a preposition with the ablative (Mr 12:32), but here a conjunction as in Php 1:18.
{Hold fast} (kratˆsate). First aorist active imperative of krate“, either ingressive (get a grip on) or constative (hold on as a single decisive effort). See present imperative kratei in 3:11 (keep on holding).
{Till I come} (achri hou an hˆx“). Indefinite temporal clause with achri hou (until which time) with modal an and either the future active indicative or the first aorist active subjunctive of hˆk“ (usual idiom with achri in Revelation as in 7:3; 15:8; 20:3,5).

2:26 {He that overcometh and he that keepeth} (ho nik“n kai ho tˆr“n). Present active articular participles of nika“ and tˆre“ in the nominative absolute ("nominativus pendens") as in 3:12,21, resumed by the dative aut“i (to him), as in verses 7,17.
{Unto the end} (achri telous). That is, achri hou an hˆxo above.
{Authority over the nations} (exousian epi t“n ethn“n). From Ps 2:8f. The followers of the Messiah will share in his victory over his enemies (1:6; 12:5; 19:15).

2:27 {He shall rule} (poimanei). Future active of poimain“, to shepherd (from poimˆn, shepherd), also from Ps 2:8f. See again Re 7:17; 12:5; 19:15.
{With a rod of iron} (en rabd“i sidˆrƒi). Continuing the quotation. Instrumental use of en. Rabdos (feminine) is the royal sceptre and indicates rigorous rule.
{The vessels of the potter} (ta skeuˆ ta keramika). Old adjective, belonging to a potter (kerameus, keramos), here only in N.T.
{Are broken to shivers} (suntribetai). Present passive indicative of suntrib“, old verb, to rub together, to break in pieces (Mr 14:3).

2:28 {As I also have received} (h“s kag“ eilˆpha). Perfect active indicative of lamban“. Christ still possesses the power from the Father (Ac 2:33; Ps 2:7).
{The morning star} (ton astera ton pr“inon). "The star the morning one." In 22:16 Christ is the bright morning star. The victor will have Christ himself.


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Word Pictures in the New Testament
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