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Revelation 2:18-25

Context
To the Church in Thyatira

2:18 “To 1  the angel of the church in Thyatira write the following: 2 

“This is the solemn pronouncement of 3  the Son of God, the one who has eyes like a fiery flame 4  and whose feet are like polished bronze: 5  2:19 ‘I know your deeds: your love, faith, 6  service, and steadfast endurance. 7  In fact, 8  your more recent deeds are greater than your earlier ones. 2:20 But I have this against you: You tolerate that 9  woman 10  Jezebel, 11  who calls herself a prophetess, and by her teaching deceives 12  my servants 13  to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 14  2:21 I 15  have given her time to repent, but 16  she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality. 2:22 Look! I am throwing her onto a bed of violent illness, 17  and those who commit adultery with her into terrible suffering, 18  unless they repent of her deeds. 2:23 Furthermore, I will strike her followers 19  with a deadly disease, 20  and then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts. I will repay 21  each one of you 22  what your deeds deserve. 23  2:24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, all who do not hold to this teaching 24  (who have not learned the so-called “deep secrets 25  of Satan”), to you I say: I do not put any additional burden on you. 2:25 However, hold on to what you have until I come.

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 tn Grk “a flame of fire.” The Greek term πυρός (puros) has been translated as an attributive genitive.

5 tn The precise meaning of the term translated “polished bronze” (χαλκολιβάνῳ, calkolibanw), which appears no where else in Greek literature outside of the book of Revelation (see 1:15), is uncertain. Without question it is some sort of metal. BDAG 1076 s.v. χαλκολίβανον suggests “fine brass/bronze.” L&N 2.57 takes the word to refer to particularly valuable or fine bronze, but notes that the emphasis here and in Rev 1:15 is more on the lustrous quality of the metal.

6 tn Grk “and faith.” Here and before the following term καί (kai) has not been translated because English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the next to last and last terms in a list.

7 tn Or “perseverance.”

8 tn The phrase “In fact” is supplied in the translation to bring out the ascensive quality of the clause. It would also be possible to supply here an understood repetition of the phrase “I know” from the beginning of the verse (so NRSV). Grk “and your last deeds [that are] greater than the first.”

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

10 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.

11 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.

12 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…”

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

14 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.

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

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

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

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

19 tn Grk “her children,” but in this context a reference to this woman’s followers or disciples is more likely meant.

20 tn Grk “I will kill with death.” θάνατος (qanatos) can in particular contexts refer to a manner of death, specifically a contagious disease (see BDAG 443 s.v. 3; L&N 23.158).

21 tn Grk “I will give.” The sense of δίδωμι (didwmi) in this context is more “repay” than “give.”

22 sn This pronoun and the following one are plural in the Greek text.

23 tn Grk “each one of you according to your works.”

24 sn That is, the teaching of Jezebel (v. 20).

25 tn Grk “deep things.” For the translation “deep secrets” see L&N 28.76; cf. NAB, NIV, CEV.



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