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will fight against them with the of the hidden manna, and will sword of my mouth.
give him a white stone, and in 17 He that hath an ear, let the stone a new name written, him hear what the Spirit saith which no man knoweth, saving unto the churches : To him that he that receiveth it. overcometh will I give to eat 18 And unto the angel of the
the Hebrews employs a comparison let. It was a sign of worth and instead of a metaphor. “For the purity. The figure perhaps was word of God is quick, and power- drawn from the breast-plate of the ful, and sharper than any two-edged high priest, which had four rows of sword, piercing even to the dividing precious stones, three in each row, asunder of soul and spirit, and of the and on each stone was engraved the joints and marrow, and is a discerner name of one of the tribes. In this of the thoughts and intents of the way Aaron bore the names of the heart;" Heb. iv. 12. The word of children of Israel in the breast-plate God being the sword, is said to be the of judgment upon his heart, when he sword of the mouth. By that word went in before the Lord. He thus they would be condemned, if they did presented them justified in God's not reform.
sight; Exod. xxviii. 29, 30. God 17. He that hath an ear. - See threatened the Jews who showed signs the remarks on verses 7 and 11 of of idolatry, that he would destroy this chapter. | Hidden manna. - The them, “and blot out their name from manna was that food from heaven by under heaven;" Deut. ix. 14. Here which the children of Israel were sus. are the opposites. Those who fortained in their forty years' journey sook the true God, and turned to idolthrough the wilderness. It was a atry, were to have their names blotted favorite custom of the apostle John to out; while those who were faithful to represent the gospel under the figure the end, and kept themselves free of food. He learned it of his Master. and uncontaminated by the idolatry Jesus called himself the bread of God, by which they were surrounded, that came down from heaven to give should have a new name, a more life to the world. It was the same honored name, which, like the names style of metaphor to represent the of the tribes on the breast-plate of gospel by manna, --hidden, not visi- judgment, should be engraved on a ble manna. This may have refer- stone, white as a sign of purity and ence to the manna being kept in a honor. And this name should be a pot in the temple; or it may mean pass-word to glory, and distinction. spiritual manna, such as is not visible None should know it, except him to the outward sense of sight. In who received it. It could not, there. ver. 7 we read that he who overcame fore, be counterfeited ; and it was a should “eat of the tree of life, which sure security to the individual who is in the midst of the paradise of possessed it that his honors should God.” The hidden manna is another never be lost. metaphor to describe the same thing. The intention was, to signify that the EPISTLE TO THE CHURCH AT THYATIRA. Christians who were faithful under 18. Thyatıra. - This was a considthe trials described in the Apocalypse, erable city, not a great distance from should be entitled to, and should Pergamos, and in the way from the enjoy, the bighest delights of the gos- latter place to Sardis. It is menpel. White stone. - This was a tioned in Acts xvi. 14, where we are mark of bonor. The stone here told that the pious Lydia, who rereferred to was a beautiful white tab- Iceived Paul and Silas at Philippi,
church in Thyatira write; These and thy patience, and thy works; things saith the Son of God, and the last to be more than the who hath his eyes like unto a first : flame of fire, and his feet are 20 Notwithstanding, I have like fine brass ;
a few things against thee, be19 I know thy works, and cause thou sufferest that woman charity, and service, and faith, Jezebel, which calleth herself a belonged to Thyatira. The modern was an excellent commendation, and name of it is Akhissar. Smith and was the reverse of what was said to Dwight, the American missionaries the church at Ephesus, verses 4, 5. at Armenia, state that its aspect is Still the church at Thyatira was not poor and mean, that it has of late perfect. Their last state, on the been built up of wood, and that it whole, was better than the first, but it probably has not more than five was not wholly without fault. Thousand inhabitants, of whom fifteen 20. That woman Jezebel. - The Jezhundred may be Greeks. Mr. Elli- ebel, by way of distinction, was the ott, in his Travels, gives a more wife of Ahab, mentioned in the 1st favorable account, and represents the and 20 books of Kings. She led inhabitants to be nearly double the her husband into idolatry, slew the number given above. Perhaps, says prophets of the true God, entertained McCulloch, the truth may lie between the prophets of Baal, in great num. these conflicting statements. |Son bers, at her own table, and at last of God. – This is the only instance came to a miserable death. She was of this phrase in the Apocalypse. a woman of great impurities. The We find the expression in all the New name Jezebel occurs only once in the Testament; but no writer employs it Apocalypse. It is not probable there so often as John ; see Gos. i. 34; iii. was a person at Thyatira by that 18; v. 25; ix. 35 ; x. 36; xi. 4 ; xix. name; but it is used metaphorically, 7, xx. 31; 1 Epis. iii. 8; iv. 15; v. either for some corrupt woman who 5, 10, 13, 20. By the use of this had so great an influence in the phrase in the case before us, we are church that she could not be expelled, distinctly told that the glorious per- or for a body of false teachers. As sonage mentioned in chapter i. as the Jezebel mentioned by the revebeing like the Son of man,” was lator is said to have claimed to be “a the Lord Jesus Christ. Compare i. prophetess," she was probably some 14, 15, with ii. 18. This will verify influential female, called by that the fact completely. In both cases name, because her character and bis eyes are said to be as flames of influence were like those of Jezebe! fire, and his feet as fine brass. of olden time, exceedingly bad. She
19. I know thy works. - It will be seduced God's servants to commit seen that works are twice referred to fornication, which may be understood in this verse. We think the sense literally or metaphorically, for unof the verse is this: “I know thy faithfulness to God, and impurity in works in general, – thy charity, thine the matter of faith. Eat things administering to others, thy faith, sacrificed unto idols. — Among other thy patience, - these are thy works. vices she seduced God's servants to
And the last more than the first. – eat things sacrificed unto idols. This Two seasons are here referred to, has been before mentioned as one of viz., the season before, and the season the errors of Balaam ; see ver. 14. during, tribulation. In the last, the When the early Christians became church at Thyatira appeared to more convinced that it was the purpose of advantage than in the first. This God to receive the Gentiles into the
prophetess, to teach and to seduce tribulation, except they repent my servants to commit fornica- of their deeds. tion, and to eat things sacrificed 23 And I will kill her chil. 1 unto idols.
dren with death; and all the 21 And I
her space to churches shall know that I am repent of her fornication, and he which searcheth the reins she repented not.
and hearts: and I will give 22 Behold, I will cast her unto every one of you accordinto a bed, and them that com- ing to your works. mit adultery with her into great
24 But unto you
and church, the first among the duties being coupled as it is with eating impressed upon them seems to have "things sacrificed unto idols.” been, that they should vi abstain from 21. She repented not. — She was for. meats offered to idols;" Acts xv. 20, borne with, but she reformed not her 29. This prohibition was not given, life; and she deserved, therefore, seprobably, because the church sup- vere punishment. posed the food was in itself rendered 22. Will cast her into a bed. - A injurious, but because the reception bed of affliction is intended, as the and constant use of it would lessen parallellism shows, to wit, « into the horror of idolatry, which all the great tribulation.” The style of the holy men of old had sedulously sought metaphor is kept up. Fornication to preserve in God's people. The was used metaphorically for heathenhope of redeeming the world from ish practices, and casting into a bed idolatry was vested in them. Every is put for being thrown into great barrier, therefore, to the ingress of tribulation. Nothing would save her that species of false religion was kept from this but a thorough reformation up. The influence of the Gentiles, at of life. their admission into the church, was 23. And I will kill her children with feared on these accounts. They were death. - Children seems here put for required, therefore, as a matter of followers. To kill with death is a great importance, that they should Hebraism, signifying utter, thorough not eat the food that had been con- death. Her name shall rot; her fol. nected with idolatrous sacrifices; see lowers shall die; and her punishment Acts xxi. 25. Paul did not regard shall be so signal and remarkable the eating of this food as vicious in that “all the churches shall know itself, but the influence of it was deci- that I am he which searcheth the dedly bad; see the whole eighth chap- reins and hearts; and I will give ter of the 1st Epistle to the Corin- unto every one of you according to thians; see also same Epis. X. 19, your works.” Such was to be her 28. The influence of Jezebel, then, fate. | According to her works. was decidedly heathenish. The for- This is the principle on which divine nication mentioned was perhaps that retribution is inflicted, as we shall which was metaphorically so called ; take occasion to show in another for when the Jews worshipped the place, if our limits will allow ; see, idols of the heathen, they were said for our present purpose, Psa. Ixii. 12 to go a whoring after other gods; Jer. 1. 29; Hos. xii. 2; Matt. xvi. 27; Exod. xxxiv. 15, 16; Lev. xx. 5, 6; Rom. ii. 6; 2 Cor. xi. 15;
Rev. xx. Deut. xxxi. 16 ; Psa. Ixxiii. 27; Ezek. 12. Thus we see that the principle vi. 9. We are inclined to think this referred to is recognized both in the is the sense in which fornication is to Old Testament and the New. be understood in the case before us, 24. This doctrine. — Viz., the doc
unto the rest in Thyatira, As 26 And he that overcometh, many as have not this doctrine, and keepeth my works unto the and which have not known the end, to him will I give power depths of Satan, as they speak; over the nations: I will put upon you none other 27 (And he shall rule them burden :
with a rod of iron; as the ves25 But that which ye have sels of a potter shall they be already, hold fast till I come. broken to shivers :) even as I
trine of Jezebel, which she had taught. as referring to the coming of Christ They had suffered her to teach her for the destruction of the Jews, and errors, ver. 20, by which she had the judging of the nations according seduced God's servants to spiritual to their works, fornication, and led them to eat things 26. He that overcometh, to him mill sacrificed to idols. Upon those in I give power over the natjons. - You Thyatira who had not this doctrine, shall go out and propagate the gosGod would put no other burden than pel, and reign spiritually in the hearts that which he had already enjoined of men. upon them, viz., that of rooting the 27. Rod of iron. - The power of influence of Jezebel out of the church. the gospel shall break them in pieces, Depths of Satan, as they speak. like a potter's vessel. This is evi, They, of course, did not acknowledge dently a quotation from the 21 Psalm, them to be depths of Satan; but they where it is said of Jesus that he shall called them depths, i. e., profound break the nations with a rod of iron, matters. The Greek word for depths (or iron sceptre,) and dash them in is not of very frequent occurrence pieces like a potter's vessel ; and in the New Testament. It may be hence it is said in Revelation," He found, Matt. xiii. 5; Mark iv. 5; shall rule them with a rod of iron; Luke v. 4; Rom. viii. 39; xi. 33. as the vessels of a potter shall they In 1 Cor. ii. 10, it is put for “the be broken to shivers.” [Even as I deep things of God.” See also 2 Cor. received of my Father. - Is not this a viii. 2; Eph. iii. 18. The heathen direct reference to the authority given boasted much of their deep mysteries, him in that Psalm ? Wherein docs wbich were connected with their idol- Jesus rule the nations and dash them atrous practices, and to this boasting in pieces? Not as an earthly mon. it seems probable the revelator refers. arch, but as a spiritual ruler. How
25. But that rohich ye have already. are the kingdoms of this world to - Viz., those things which had been become the kingdoms of our Lord and commended in them, - their works, his Christ? In what sense is Jesus their charity, their service, faith and to reign forever and ever? Not as an patience; ver. 19. They were di- outward prince. He reigned when in rected to hold these fast until the his flesh, in all his humility; he coming of the Son of man. Till I reigned even on the cross ; yes, when come. - This is the language Christ dying, he reigned with greater power employed to denote his coming at the than at any other time. His followdestruction of Jerusalem; John xxi. ers shall reign with him; the saints 22, 23.
· The time was not far dis- shall judge the world, and overturn tant when they might expect this.” the ancient order of things, until Jesus
-(Prof. Stuart.) See also the long shall be everywhere acknowledged. and valuable note of Dr. Hammond 28. The morning-star. - To get the on this place, who defines the end, sense here, observe that the Son of (ver. 26,) and the coming, (ver. 25,) God was encouraging the faithful
A hurento inhe sames of the
EPISTLE TO THE CHURCH IN SARDIS.
received of my Father.
CHAPTER III. 28 And I will give him the morning-star.
29 He that hath an ear, let church in Sardis write ; him hear what the Spirit saith These things saith he that hath unto the churches.
the seven Spirits of God, and Christians at Thyatira with the prom- xxii. 16. But even this glory he was ise that they should share the glories willing to share with his followers. and honors belonging to himself. He “I will give him that overcometh and shared the glories and honors of the keepeth my works unto the end,” i.e., Father, and they should share the unto the time when I come, “the glories and honors of the Son. Jesus morning-star.” “ He shall share my said, when on earth, “And now, full glory, the glory which I had with O Father, glorify thou me with thine thee before the world was. I will own self, with the glory which I had clothe him with radiance like that of with thee before the world was ;' the morning-star." John xvii. 5. This primitive glory 29. He that hath an ear. See the inight be called the glory of the morn-notes on verses 7, 11, 17. ing stars, because it was when the foundations of the earth were laid,
CHAPTER III. that “the morning-stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy ;' Job xxxviii. 6, 7. The same 1. Angel.— The angel of the church glory was to be shared by Christ's was its minister, or presiding officer. faithful followers. “Father, I will See the notes on ii. 1, 8, 12, 18. Paul that they also whom thou hast given was an angel of God; Gal. iv. 14. me be with me where I am ; that Sardis. - In the Scriptures we find they may behold my glory which thou Sardis mentioned only by the reve. hast given me: for thou lovedst me lator; i. 11; in. 1, 4. It was an before the foundation of the world ;” ancient city of Lydia, the capital of John xvii. 24. " And the glory which the monarch of the country. It was thou gavest me, I have given them; situated at the foot of Mt. Tmolus, that they may be one, even as we are on the river Pactolus, which run one;" Idem. 22. Hence Jesus prom. through the place. It was a city of ised to his followers, that they should great wealth, Cræsus the rich being reign with him in his kingdom, and one of the Lydian kings; and the like him sway the nations with an influences which were exerted here iron sceptre. Their glory should be were almost altogether unfavorable like his glory. Daniel, whose style to the prosperity of Christianity. A the revelator closely imitates, had miserable village called Sart is now said, “They that be wise, shall shine found on the site of this once famous as the brightness of the firmament; city. The seat of royalty, of wealth, and they that turn many to righteous- of human greatness, we ought not to ness, as the stars forever and ever;" be surprised to learn that the gospel xii. 3. In chap. i. 16, it had been declined more rapidly here than in said of the Son of man, "his coun. either of the seven churches. | Seven tenance was as the sun shineth in spirits of God. - We have largely his strength.” The Christians were considered this form of expression called “ the light of the world ;” Matt. under ch. i. 4, to which we refer. It v. 14. Jesus, being preěminently the is not designed to represent God as light of the church, called himself septiform ; but the figure is drawn "the bright and morning-star;" Rev, l from the customs of ancient mon.