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Revelation 2:12-16

To the Church in Pergamum

2:12 “To 1  the angel of the church in Pergamum write the following: 2 

“This is the solemn pronouncement of 3  the one who has the sharp double-edged sword: 4  2:13 ‘I know 5  where you live – where Satan’s throne is. Yet 6  you continue to cling 7  to my name and you have not denied your 8  faith in me, 9  even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, 10  who was killed in your city 11  where Satan lives. 2:14 But I have a few things against you: You have some people there who follow the teaching of Balaam, 12  who instructed Balak to put a stumbling block 13  before the people 14  of Israel so they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. 15  2:15 In the same way, there are also some among you who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16  2:16 Therefore, 17  repent! If not, I will come against you quickly and make war against those people 18  with the sword of my mouth.

1 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated due to differences between Greek and English style.

2 tn The phrase “the following” after “write” is supplied to clarify that what follows is the content of what is to be written.

3 tn Grk “These things says [the One]…” See the note on the phrase “this is the solemn pronouncement of” in 2:1.

sn The expression This is the solemn pronouncement of reflects an OT idiom. See the note on this phrase in 2:1.

4 sn On the sharp double-edged sword see 1:16.

5 tc The shorter reading adopted here has superior ms support (א A C P 2053 al latt co), while the inclusion of “your works and” (τὰ ἔργα σου καί, ta erga sou kai) before “where you reside” is supported by the Byzantine witnesses and is evidently a secondary attempt to harmonize the passage with 2:2, 19; 3:1, 8, 15.

6 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “Yet” to indicate the contrast between their location and their faithful behavior.

7 tn The present indicative verb κρατεῖς (kratei") has been translated as a progressive present.

8 tn Grk “the faith”; here the Greek article is used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

9 tn Grk “the faith of me” (τὴν πίστιν μου, thn pistin mou) with the genitive “of me” (μου) functioning objectively.

10 tn Or “martyr.” The Greek word μάρτυς can mean either “witness” or “martyr.”

11 tn Grk “killed among you.” The term “city” does not occur in the Greek text of course, but the expression παρ᾿ ὑμῖν, ὅπου ὁ σατανᾶς κατοικεῖ (parJumin, {opou Jo satana" katoikei) seems to indicate that this is what is meant. See G. B. Caird, Revelation (HNTC), 36-38.

12 sn See Num 22-24; 31:16.

13 tn That is, a cause for sinning. An alternate translation is “who instructed Balak to cause the people of Israel to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols…”

14 tn Grk “sons,” but the expression υἱοὶ ᾿Ισραήλ (Juioi Israhl) is an idiom for the people of Israel as an ethnic entity (see L&N 11.58).

15 tn Due to the actual events in the OT (Num 22-24; 31:16), πορνεῦσαι (porneusai) is taken to mean “sexual immorality.” BDAG 854 s.v. πορνεύω 1 states, “engage in illicit sex, to fornicate, to whore…W. φαγεῖν εἰδωλόθυτα ‘eat meat offered to idols’ Rv 2:14, 20.”

16 tn The term ὁμοίως (Jomoiws, “likewise”) is left untranslated because it is quite redundant.

sn See the note on the term Nicolaitans in 2:6.

17 tc The “therefore” (οὖν, oun) is not found in א 2053 2329 2351 ÏA or the Latin mss. It is, however, included in impressive witnesses such as {A C 046 1006 1611 syp,h co}. Though the conjunction looks at first glance like a scribal clarification, its omission may be explained on the basis of its similarity to the last three letters of the verb “repent” (μετανόησον, metanohson; since οὖν is a postpositive conjunction in Greek, the final three letters of the verb [-σον, -son] would have been immediately followed by ουν). A scribe could have simply passed over the conjunction in his copy when he saw the last three letters of the imperative verb. A decision is difficult, however, because of the motivation to add to the text and the quality of witnesses that lack the conjunction.

18 tn Grk “with them”; the referent (those people who follow the teaching of Balaam and the Nicolaitans) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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