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Revelation 2:20-22

Context
2:20 But I have this against you: You tolerate that 1  woman 2  Jezebel, 3  who calls herself a prophetess, and by her teaching deceives 4  my servants 5  to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 6  2:21 I 7  have given her time to repent, but 8  she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality. 2:22 Look! I am throwing her onto a bed of violent illness, 9  and those who commit adultery with her into terrible suffering, 10  unless they repent of her deeds.

1 tn The Greek article has been translated here with demonstrative force.

2 tc The ms evidence for γυναῖκα (gunaika, “woman”) alone includes {א C P 1611 2053 pc lat}. The ms evidence for the addition of “your” (σου, sou) includes A 1006 2351 ÏK pc sy. With the pronoun, the text reads “your wife, Jezebel” instead of “that woman, Jezebel.” In Revelation, A C are the most important mss, along with א Ì47 (which only reads in portions of chapters 9-17) 1006 1611 2053; in this instance, the external evidence slightly favors the shorter reading. But internally, it gains strength. The longer reading implies the idea that the angel in 2:18 is the bishop or leader of the church in Thyatira. The pronoun “your” (σου) is used four times in vv. 19-20 and may have been the cause for the scribe copying it again. Further, once the monarchical episcopate was in vogue (beginning in the 2nd century) scribes might have been prone to add “your” here.

3 sn Jezebel was the name of King Ahab’s idolatrous and wicked queen in 1 Kgs 16:31; 18:1-5; 19:1-3; 21:5-24. It is probable that the individual named here was analogous to her prototype in idolatry and immoral behavior, since those are the items singled out for mention.

4 tn Grk “teaches and deceives” (διδάσκει καὶ πλανᾷ, didaskei kai plana), a construction in which the first verb appears to specify the means by which the second is accomplished: “by her teaching, deceives…”

5 tn See the note on the word “servants” in 1:1.

6 sn To commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. Note the conclusions of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15:29, which specifically prohibits Gentile Christians from engaging in these activities.

7 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and contemporary English style.

8 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to bring out the contrast present in this woman’s obstinate refusal to repent.

9 tn Grk “onto a bed,” in this context an idiom for severe illness (L&N 23.152).

10 tn Or “into great distress.” The suffering here is not specified as physical or emotional, and could involve persecution.



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