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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Revelation 3

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

In Sardis (εν Σαρδεσινen Sardesin). Some thirty miles south-east of Thyatira, old capital of Lydia, wealthy and the home of Croesus, conquered by Cyrus and then by Alexander the Great, in b.c. 214 by Antiochus the Great, at the crossing of Roman roads, in a plain watered by the river Pactolus, according to Pliny the place where the dyeing of wool was discovered, seat of the licentious worship of Cybele and the ruins of the temple still there, called by Ramsay (op. cit., p. 354) “the city of Death,” city of softness and luxury, of apathy and immorality, “a contrast of past splendour and present unresting decline” (Charles). Along with Laodicea it was blamed most of all the seven churches.

That hath the seven Spirits of God (ο εχων τα επτα πνευματα του τεουho echōn ta hepta pneumata tou theou). For which picture of the Holy Spirit see Revelation 1:4.

And the seven stars (και τους επτα αστεραςkai tous hepta asteras). As in Revelation 1:16, Revelation 1:20.

A name that thou livest (ονομα οτι ζηιςonoma hoti zēis). A name in contrast with reality. The οτιhoti clause in apposition with ονομαonoma thou art dead (και νεκρος ειkai nekros ei). “The paradox of death under the name of life” (Swete). Not complete (a nucleus of life) death (Revelation 3:2), but rapidly dying. See the picture in James 2:17; 2 Corinthians 6:9; 2 Timothy 3:5.


Verse 2

Be thou watchful (γινου γρηγορωνginou grēgorōn). Periphrastic imperative with present middle of γινομαιginomai (keep on becoming) and present active participle of γρηγορεωgrēgoreō (late present from perfect εγρηγοραegrēgora and that from εγειρωegeirō as in Matthew 24:42) and see Revelation 16:15 for γρηγορεωgrēgoreō also. He does not say “Arise from the dead” (Ephesians 5:14), for there are vestiges of life. Those still alive are addressed through the angel of the church.

Stablish the things that remain (στηρισον τα λοιπαstērison ta loipa). First aorist active imperative of στηριζωstērizō to make stable. Those not actually dead, but in grave peril. See a like command to Titus in Crete (Titus 1:5). Every new pastor faces such a problem.

Which were ready to die (α εμελλον αποτανεινha emellon apothanein). Imperfect active plural because the individuals, though neuter plural, are regarded as living realities. The imperfect looking on the situation “with a delicate optimism” (Swete) as having passed the crisis, a sort of epistolary imperfect.

For I have found no works of thine (ου γαρ ευρηκα σου εργαou gar heurēka sou erga). “For I have not found any works of thine.” Perfect active indicative of ευρισκωheuriskō The church as a whole represented by σουsou (thy).

Fulfilled (πεπληρωμεναpeplērōmena). Perfect passive predicate participle of πληροωplēroō Their works have not measured up to God‘s standard (ενωπιον του τεου μουenōpion tou theou mou).


Verse 3

Remember (μνημονευεmnēmoneue). “Keep in mind,” as in Revelation 2:5.

Therefore (ουνoun). Resumptive and coordinating as in Revelation 1:19; Revelation 2:5.

Thou hast received (ειληπαςeilēphas). Perfect active indicative of λαμβανωlambanō “as a permanent deposit” (Vincent).

Didst hear (ηκουσαςēkousas). First aorist active indicative, the act of hearing at the time.

And keep it (και τηρειkai tērei). Present active imperative of τηρεωtēreō “hold on to what thou hast.”

And repent (και μετανοησονkai metanoēson). First aorist active imperative of μετανοεωmetanoeō “Turn at once.”

If therefore thou shalt not watch (εαν ουν μη γρηγορησηιςean oun mē grēgorēsēis). Condition of third class with εαν μηean mē and the first aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive of γρηγορεωgrēgoreō “if then thou do not wake up.”

I will come (ηχωhēxō). Certainly future active here, though probably aorist subjunctive in Revelation 2:25.

As a thief (ως κλεπτηςhōs kleptēs). As Jesus had already said (Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39), as Paul had said (1 Thessalonians 5:2), as Peter had said (2 Peter 3:10), as Jesus will say again (Revelation 16:15).

Thou shalt not know (ου μη γνωιςou mē gnōis). Strong double negative ου μηou mē with second aorist active subjunctive of γινωσκωginōskō though some MSS. have the future middle indicative γνωσηιgnōsēi hour (ποιαν ωρανpoian hōran). A rare classical idiom (accusative) surviving in the Koiné rather than the genitive of time, somewhat like John 4:52; Acts 20:16 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 470f.). Indirect question with ποιανpoian f0).


Verse 4

A few names (ολιγα ονοματαoliga onomata). This use of ονομαonoma for persons is seen in the Koiné (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 196f.) as in Acts 1:15; Revelation 11:13.

Did not defile (ουκ εμολυνανouk emolunan). First aorist active indicative of μολυνωmolunō (1 Corinthians 8:7; 1 Peter 1:4), pollution.

They shall walk (περιπατησουσινperipatēsousin). Future active of περιπατεωperipateō promise of fellowship with Christ (μετ εμουmet' emou with me) “in white” (εν λευκοιςen leukois), as symbols of purity (Revelation 7:9, Revelation 7:13) like the angel (Matthew 28:3), with possibly a reference to Enoch (Genesis 5:22). For they are worthy (οτι αχιοι εισινhoti axioi eisin). To walk with Christ, not worthy in the same sense as God and Christ (Revelation 4:11; Revelation 5:9), but in a relative sense. See Revelation 16:6 for bad sense of αχιοςaxios f0).


Verse 5

Shall be arrayed (περιβαλειταιperibaleitai). Future middle indicative of περιβαλλωperiballō to fling around one, here and in Revelation 4:4 with ενen and the locative, but usually in this book with the accusative of the thing, retained in the passive or with the middle (Revelation 7:9, Revelation 7:13; Revelation 10:1; Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:1; Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:16; Revelation 19:8, Revelation 19:13).

In white garments (εν ιματιοις λευκοιςen himatiois leukois). Apparently the spiritual bodies in the risen life as in 2 Corinthians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 5:4 and often in Revelation (Revelation 3:4, Revelation 3:5; Revelation 6:11; Revelation 7:9, Revelation 7:13.; Revelation 19:8).

I will in no wise blot out (ου μη εχαλειπσωou mē exaleipsō). Strong double negative ου μηou mē and the first aorist active (or future) of εχαλειπωexaleiphō old word, to wipe out (Acts 3:19).

Of the book of life (εκ της βιβλου της ζωηςek tēs biblou tēs zōēs). Ablative case with εκek This divine register first occurs in Exodus 32:32. and often in the O.T. See Luke 10:20; Philemon 4:3; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 20:15; Revelation 21:27. The book is in Christ‘s hands (Revelation 13:8; Revelation 21:27).

His name (το ονομα αυτουto onoma autou). The name of the one who overcomes (ο νικωνho nikōn). Clear reminiscence of the words of Christ about confessing to the Father those who confess him here (Matthew 10:32; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; Luke 12:8). Whether John knew the Synoptic Gospels (and why not?) he certainly knew such sayings of Jesus.


Verse 7

In Philadelphia (εν Πιλαδελπιαιen Philadelphiāi). Some twenty-eight miles south-east of Sardis, in Lydia, subject to earthquakes, rebuilt by Tiberius after the great earthquake of a.d. 17, for a time called in coins Neo-Caesarea, in wine-growing district with Bacchus (Dionysos) as the chief deity, on fine Roman roads and of commercial importance, though not a large city, called by Ramsay (op. cit., p. 392) “the Missionary City” to promote the spread of the Graeco-Roman civilization and then of Christianity, later offering stubborn resistance to the Turks (1379-90 a.d.) and now called Ala-Sheher (reddish city, Charles, from the red hills behind it). The chief opposition to the faithful little church is from the Jews (cf. Rom 9-11). There are some 1,000 Christians there today.

The holy, he that is true (ο αγιοσ ο αλητινοςho hagiosο αγιοςho alēthinos). Separate articles (four in all) for each item in this description. “The holy, the genuine.” Asyndeton in the Greek. Latin Vulgate, Sanctus et Verus. αγιοςHosea hagios is ascribed to God in Revelation 4:8; Revelation 6:10 (both αλητινοςhagios and αλητινοςalēthinos as here), but to Christ in Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34; John 6:69; Acts 4:27, Acts 4:30; 1 John 2:20, a recognized title of the Messiah as the consecrated one set apart. Swete notes that αλητηςalēthinos is verus as distinguished from verax (ο εχων την κλειν Δαυειδalēthēs). So it is applied to God in Revelation 6:10 and to Christ in Revelation 3:14; Revelation 19:11 as in John 1:9; John 6:32; John 15:1.

He that hath the key of David (και ουδεις κλεισειho echōn tēn klein Daueid). This epithet comes from Isaiah 22:22, where Eliakim as the chief steward of the royal household holds the keys of power. Christ as the Messiah (Revelation 5:5; Revelation 22:16) has exclusive power in heaven, on earth, and in Hades (Matthew 16:19; Matthew 28:18; Romans 14:9; Philemon 2:9.; Revelation 1:18). Christ has power to admit and exclude of his own will (Matthew 25:10.; Ephesians 1:22; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 19:11-16; Revelation 20:4; Revelation 22:16).

And none shall shut (κλειωkai oudeis kleisei). Charles calls the structure Hebrew (future active indicative of ο ανοιγωνkleiō), and not Greek because it does not correspond to the present articular participle just before και ουδεις ανοιγειho anoigōn (the one opening), but it occurs often in this book as in the very next clause, “and none openeth” (κλειωνkai oudeis anoigei) over against κλειειkleiōn (present active participle, opening) though here some MSS. read kleiei (present active indicative, open).


Verse 8

I have set (δεδωκαdedōka). Perfect active indicative of διδωμιdidōmi “I have given” (a gift of Christ, this open door). See Luke 12:51 for a like use of διδωμιdidōmi door opened (τυραν ηνεωιγμενηνthuran ēneōigmenēn). Perfect (triple reduplication) passive predicate participle of ανοιγωanoigō (Revelation 3:7) accusative feminine singular. The metaphor of the open door was a common one (John 10:7-9; Acts 14:27; 1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12; Colossians 4:3; Revelation 3:20; Revelation 4:1). Probably it means here a good opportunity for missionary effort in spite of the Jewish hostility.

Which (ηναυτηνhēn- αυτηνautēn). Pleonastic vernacular and Hebrew repetition of the personal pronoun ηνautēn (it) after the relative οτιhēn (which). Direct reference to the statement in Revelation 3:7.

That (οιδα σου τα εργαhoti). This conjunction resumes the construction of ιδουαυτηνoida sou ta erga (I know thy works) after the parenthesis (μικραν δυναμινidou- και ετηρησαςautēn Behold - shut).

A little power (καιmikran dunamin). Probably “little power,” little influence or weight in Philadelphia, the members probably from the lower classes (1 Corinthians 1:26.).

And didst keep (τηρεωkai etērēsas). “And yet (adversative use of ουκ ηρνησωkai) didst keep” (first aorist active indicative of αρνεομαιtēreō) my word in some crisis of trial. See John 17:6 for the phrase “keeping the word.”

Didst not deny (ouk ērnēsō). First aorist middle indicative second person singular of arneomai The issue was probably forced by the Jews (cf. Revelation 2:9), but they stood true.


Verse 9

I give (διδωdidō). Late omega form for διδωμιdidōmi but the μι̇mi form in Revelation 17:13 (διδοασινdidoasin). These Jewish converts are a gift from Christ. For this use of διδωμιdidōmi see Acts 2:27; Acts 10:40; Acts 14:3. There is ellipse of τιναςtinas before εκek as in Revelation 2:10 (εχ υμωνex humōn) and see Revelation 2:9 for “the synagogue of Satan.”

Of them which say (των λεγοντωνtōn legontōn). Ablative plural in apposition with συναγωγηςsunagōgēs On the construction of εαυτους Ιουδαιους ειναιheautous Ioudaious einai see note on Revelation 2:9 (Ιουδαιους ειναι εαυτουςIoudaious einai heautous the order of words being immaterial).

But do lie (αλλα πσευδονταιalla pseudontai). Present middle indicative of πσευδομαιpseudomai explanatory positive, addition here to και ουκ εισινkai ouk eisin of Revelation 2:9, in contrast also with ο αλητινοςho alēthinos of Revelation 3:7 and in Johannine style (John 8:44; 1 John 1:10; 1 John 2:4).

I will make them (ποιησω αυτουςpoiēsō autous). Future active indicative of ποιεωpoieō resuming the prophecy after the parenthesis (τωνπσευδονταιtōn- ινα ηχουσιν και προσκυνησουσινpseudontai which say - but do lie).

To come and worship (ιναhina hēxousin kai proskunēsousin). “That they come and worship” (final clause, like facio ut in Latin, with ηκωhina and the future active of προσκυνεωhēkō and και γνωσινproskuneō). The language is based on Isaiah 45:14; Isaiah 60:14. The Jews expected homage (not worship in the strict sense) from the Gentiles, but it will come to the Christians at last (1 Corinthians 14:24). Later Ignatius (Philad. 6) warns this church against Judaizing Christians, perhaps one result of an influx of Jews.

And to know (ιναkai gnōsin). Continuation of the purpose clause with ιναhina but with the second aorist active subjunctive rather than the less usual future indicative. See both constructions also with εγω ηγαπησα σεhina in Revelation 22:14. Probably a reminiscence of Isaiah 43:4 in egō ēgapēsa se (I loved thee), first aorist active indicative.


Verse 10

Patience (υπομενηςhupomenēs). “Endurance” as in Revelation 13:10; Revelation 14:12 as also in 2 Thessalonians 3:5.

Thou didst keep (ετηρησαςetērēsas) - I also will keep (καγω τηρησωkagō tērēsō). Aorist active indicative and future active corresponding to each other. For a like play on the tenses of this verb by Christ see John 17:6 (τετηρηκανtetērēkan), John 17:11 (τηρησονtērēson), John 17:12 (ετηρουνetēroun).

From the hour of trial (εκ της ωρας του πειρασμουek tēs hōras tou peirasmou). This use of εκek after τηρεωtēreō in John 17:15, αποapo in James 1:27. Trial brings temptation often (James 1:2, James 1:13). Jesus endured (Hebrews 12:1.) and he will help them. There is still a church in Philadelphia in spite of the Turks.

Which is to come (της μελλουσης ερχεσταιtēs mellousēs erchesthai). Agreeing with ωραςhōras (feminine), not with πειρασμουpeirasmou (masculine).

Upon the whole world (επι της εποικουμενης οληςepi tēs epoikoumenēs holēs). The inhabited earth (γηςgēs) as in Revelation 12:9; Luke 2:1; Acts 16:6, etc.), not the physical earth, but the world of men as explained by the next clause.

To try (πειρασαιpeirasai). First aorist active infinitive of purpose from πειραζωpeirazō probably to tempt (cf. the demons in 9:1-21), not merely to afflict (Revelation 2:10).

That dwell upon the earth (τους κατοικουντας επι της γηςtous katoikountas epi tēs gēs). Present active articular participle of κατοικεωkatoikeō explaining “the whole world” just before.


Verse 11

I come quickly (ερχομαι ταχυerchomai tachu). As in Revelation 2:16; Revelation 22:7, Revelation 22:12, Revelation 22:20. “The keynote of the book” (Beckwith). But allow the author‘s own meaning of “quickly.”

Hold fast that which thou hast (κρατει ο εχειςkratei ho echeis). Sort of motto for each church (Revelation 2:25).

That no one take (ινα μηδεις λαβηιhina mēdeis labēi). Purpose clause with ιναhina and second aorist active subjunctive of λαμβανωlambanō Here to take away “thy crown” (Revelation 2:10) which will be thine if really won and not forfeited by failure (2 Timothy 4:8). In that case it will go to another (Matthew 25:28; Romans 11:17.).


Verse 12

He that overcometh (ο νικωνho nikōn). Nominative absolute as in Revelation 2:26, resumed by the accusative αυτονauton (him).

A pillar (στυλονstulon). Old word for column, in N.T. only here, Revelation 10:1; Galatians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:15. Metaphorical and personal use with a double significance of being firmly fixed and giving stability to the building. Philadelphia was a city of earthquakes. “Temple” (ναοςnaos) here is also metaphorical (Revelation 7:15), as in 1 Timothy 3:15 for the people of God. In Revelation 21:22 we read that there is no temple in the heavenly Jerusalem (21:10-22:5) descending as the new Jerusalem with God himself as the temple, though the metaphorical temple is mentioned in Revelation 7:15.

He shall go out thence no more (εχω ου μη ελτηιexō ou mē elthēi). Strong double negative ου μηou mē with the second aorist active subjunctive of ερχομαιerchomai The subject is ο νικωνho nikōn (the one overcoming). “Fixity of character is at last achieved” (Charles). He, like the στυλοςstulos (pillar), remains in place.

Upon him (επ αυτονep' auton). Upon ο νικωνho nikōn (the victor), not upon the pillar (στυλοςstulos). He receives this triple name (of God, of the city of God, of Christ) on his forehead (Revelation 14:1; Revelation 7:3; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 22:4) just as the high-priest wore the name of Jehovah upon his forehead (Exodus 28:36, Exodus 28:38), the new name (Revelation 2:17), without any magical or talismanic power, but as proof of ownership by God, as a citizen of the New Jerusalem, with the new symbol of the glorious personality of Christ (Revelation 19:12), in contrast with the mark of the beast on others (Revelation 13:17; Revelation 14:17). For citizenship in God‘s city see Galatians 4:26; Philemon 3:20; Hebrews 11:10; Hebrews 12:22; Hebrews 13:14.

The new Jerusalem (της καινης Ιερουσαλημtēs kainēs Ierousalēm). Not νεαςneas (young), but καινηςkainēs (fresh). See also Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10 and already Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 12:22. Charles distinguishes between the Jerusalem before the final judgment and this new Jerusalem after that event. Perhaps so! In the Apocalypse always this form ΙερουσαλημIerousalēm (Revelation 3:12; Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10), but in John‘s Gospel ιεροσολυμαHierosoluma (Revelation 1:19, etc.).

Which cometh down (η καταβαινουσαhē katabainousa). Nominative case in apposition with the preceding genitive πολεωςpoleōs as in Revelation 1:5; Revelation 2:20, etc.

Mine own new name (το ονομα μου το καινονto onoma mou to kainon). For which see Revelation 2:17; Revelation 19:12, Revelation 19:16. Christ himself will receive a new name along with all else in the future world (Gressmann).


Verse 14

In Laodicea (εν Λαοδικιαιen Laodikiāi). Forty miles south-east of Philadelphia and some forty miles east of Ephesus, the last of the seven churches addressed with special messages, on the river Lycus on the border of Phrygia, near Colossae and Hierapolis, recipient of two letters by Paul (Colossians 4:16), on the great trade-route from Ephesus to the east and seat of large manufacturing and banking operations (especially of woollen carpets and clothing, Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, p. 40ff.), centre of the worship of Asklepios and seat of a medical school and also of a provincial court where Cicero lived and wrote many of his letters, home of many Jews, called by Ramsay (op. cit., p. 413) “the City of Compromise,” the church here founded apparently by Epaphras (Colossians 1:7; Colossians 4:12.), now a deserted ruin, one of six cities with this name (meaning justice of the people). No praise is bestowed on this church, but only blame for its lukewarmness.

The Amen (ο Αμηνho Amēn). Personal (masculine article) name here alone, though in Isaiah 65:16 we have “the God of Amen” understood in the lxx as “the God of truth” (τον τεον τον αλητινονton theon ton alēthinon). Here applied to Christ. See Revelation 1:5 for ο μαρτυς ο πιστοςho martus ho pistos (the faithful witness) and Revelation 3:7 for ο αλητινοςho alēthinos (the genuine), “whose testimony never falls short of the truth” (Swete).

The beginning of the creation of God (η αρχη της κτισεως του τεουhē archē tēs ktiseōs tou theou). Not the first of creatures as the Arians held and Unitarians do now, but the originating source of creation through whom God works (Colossians 1:15, Colossians 1:18, a passage probably known to the Laodiceans, John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2, as is made clear by Revelation 1:18; Revelation 2:8; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 5:13).


Verse 15

Neither cold (ουτε πσυχροςoute psuchros). Old word from πσυχωpsuchō to grow cold (Matthew 24:12), in N.T. only Matthew 10:42 and this passage.

Nor hot (ουτε ζεστοςoute zestos). Late verbal from ζεωzeō to boil, (Romans 12:11), boiling hot, here only in N.T.

I would thou wert (οπελον ηςophelon ēs). Wish about the present with οπελονophelon (really ωπελονōphelon second aorist active indicative of οπειλωopheilō without augment) with the imperfect ηςēs (instead of the infinitive) as in 2 Corinthians 11:1, when the old Greek used ειτεeithe or ει γαρei gar See 1 Corinthians 4:8 for the aorist indicative and Galatians 5:12 for the future.


Verse 16

Lukewarm (χλιαροςchliaros). Tepid. Old adjective from χλιωchliō to liquefy, to melt, here alone in N.T.

I will (μελλωmellō). “I am about to,” on the point of.

Spew thee (σε εμεσαιse emesai). First aorist active infinitive of εμεωemeō old verb to vomit, to reject with extreme disgust, here alone in N.T.


Verse 17

I am rich (οτι πλουσιος ειμιhoti plousios eimi). Recitative οτιhoti like quotation marks before direct quotation. Old adjective from πλουτοςploutos riches, wealth. Laodicea was a wealthy city and the church “carried the pride of wealth into its spiritual life” (Swete).

Have gotten riches (πεπλουτηκαpeploutēka). Perfect active indicative of πλουτεωplouteō old verb from πλουτοςploutos used here of imagined spiritual riches which the church did not possess, just the opposite of church in Smyrna (poor in wealth, rich in grace). This church was in a rich city and was rich in pride and conceit, but poor in grace and ignorant of its spiritual poverty (ουκ οιδαςouk oidas knowest not).

The wretched one (ο ταλαιπωροςho talaipōros). Old adjective from τλαωtlaō to endure, and πωροςpōros a callus, afflicted, in N.T. only here and Romans 7:24. Note the one article in the predicate with all these five adjectives unifying the picture of sharp emphasis on “thou” (συsu), “thou that boastest.”

Miserable (ελεεινοςeleeinos). Pitiable as in 1 Corinthians 15:19.

Poor (πτωχοςptōchos). See Revelation 2:9 for spiritual poverty. Perhaps some local example of self-complacency is in mind.

Blind (τυπλοςtuphlos). Spiritual blindness as often (Matthew 23:17), and note “eye-salve” in Revelation 3:18.

Naked (γυμνοςgumnos). “The figure completes the picture of actual poverty” (Beckwith). See Revelation 3:15, Revelation 3:16.


Verse 18

I counsel (συμβουλευωsumbouleuō). Present active indicative, old compound from συμβουλοςsumboulos counsellor (Romans 11:34), as in John 18:14. Almost ironical in tone.

To buy (αγορασαιagorasai). First aorist active infinitive of αγοραζωagorazō (from αγοραagora market-place), rich as they think themselves to be.

From me (παρ εμουpar' emou). From my side, emphatic.

Refined by fire (πεπυρωμενον εκ πυροςpepurōmenon ek puros). Perfect passive participle of πυροωpuroō (as in Revelation 1:15) and the metaphor carried on by εκ πυροςek puros “fired by fire.” Purity by removing dross (Psalm 66:10) like 1 Peter 1:7.

That thou mayest become rich (ινα πλουτησηιςhina ploutēsēis). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the ingressive first aorist active of πλουτεωplouteō spiritual riches.

That thou mayest clothe thyself (ινα περιβαληιhina peribalēi). Purpose clause with ιναhina and second aorist middle (direct) subjunctive of περιβαλλωperiballō to fling round one as in Revelation 3:5.

Be not made manifest (μη πανερωτηιmē phanerōthēi). Continued purpose clause with negative μηmē and first aorist passive subjunctive of πανεροωphaneroō (γυμνοτητοςgumnotētos). Late and rare word from γυμνοςgumnos naked, in N.T. only here, 2 Corinthians 11:27; Romans 8:35. Cf. Revelation 16:15; Revelation 20:13; 2 Corinthians 5:2.

Eye-salve (κολλουριονkollourion). Diminutive of κολλυραkollura (coarse bread of cylindrical shape), object of αγορασαιagorasai name for a famous Phrygian powder for the eyes made in Laodicea (Charles), Latin collyrium (used for eye-salve by Horace and Juvenal).

To anoint (εγχρισαιegchrisai). First aorist active infinitive (epexegetic) of εγχριωegchriō late compound (εν χριωenινα βλεπηιςchriō Strabo, Epictetus), to rub in, here only in N.T.

That thou mayest see (ιναhina blepēis). Another purpose clause with hina and the present active subjunctive (keep on seeing).


Verse 19

Free rendering of Proverbs 3:12 (in Hebrews 12:6), but with ους εανhous ean (indefinite relative plural) for ονhon (definite relative singular), with πιλωphilō instead of αγαπαιagapāi and with the first person παιδευωpaideuō for παιδευειpaideuei (the Lord chastens, from παιςpais child, training a child) and with ελεγχωelegchō (reprove) added.

Be zealous (ζηλευεzēleue). Present active imperative of ζηλευωzēleuō in good sense (from ζηλοσ ζεωzēlosζηλοωzeō to boil), in opposition to their lukewarmness, here only in N.T. (elsewhere μετανοησονzēloō), “keep on being zealous.”

Repent (μετανοεωmetanoēson). Ingressive first aorist active imperative of metanoeō f0).


Verse 20

I stand at the door (εστηκα επι την τυρανhestēka epi tēn thuran). Perfect active of ιστημιhistēmi (intransitive). Picture of the Lord‘s advent as in Matthew 24:33; James 5:9, but true also of the individual response to Christ‘s call (Luke 12:36) as shown in Holman Hunt‘s great picture. Some see a use also of So James 5:2.

If any man hear - and open (εαν τις ακουσηι και ανοιχηιean tis akousēi kai anoixēi). Condition of third class with εανean and first aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive of ακουωakouō and ανοιγωanoigō See John 10:3; John 18:37. See the picture reversed (Swete) in Luke 13:25; Matthew 25:10.

I will come in to him (εισελευσομαιeiseleusomai). Future middle of εισερχομαιeiserchomai See Mark 15:43; Acts 11:3 for εισερχομαι προςeiserchomai pros to go into a man‘s house. Cf. John 14:23.

Will sup (δειπνησωdeipnēsō). Future active of δειπνεωdeipneō old verb, from δειπνονdeipnon (supper), as in Luke 17:8. Fellowship in the Messianic kingdom (Luke 22:30; Mark 14:25; Matthew 26:29). Purely metaphorical, as is plain from 1 Corinthians 6:13.


Verse 21

He that overcometh (ο νικωνho nikōn). Absolute nominative again as in Revelation 3:12, but resumed this time by the dative αυτωιautōi as in Revelation 2:26.

To sit (κατισαιkathisai). First aorist active infinitive of κατιζωkathizō This promise grows out of the prophecy that the saints will share in the Messiah‘s rule, made to the twelve (Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:29.), repeated by Paul (1 Corinthians 6:2.), enlarged in Revelation 22:1-5 (to last forever, 2 Timothy 2:11.). James and John took this hope and promise literally (Mark 10:40) not metaphorically.

As I also overcame (ως καγω ενικησαhōs kagō enikēsa). First aorist active indicative of νικαωnikaō looking back on the victory as over in the past. In John 16:33 before the Cross Jesus says Εγω νενικηκα τον κοσμονEgō nenikēka ton kosmon (perfect active), emphasizing the abiding effect of the victory.

Sat down (εκατισαekathisa). “I took my seat” (Hebrews 1:3) where Christ is now (Revelation 22:3; Colossians 3:1). Cf. 1 John 5:4; Revelation 2:27. Each of these seven messages begins alike and ends alike. Each is the message of the Christ and of the Holy Spirit to the angel of the church. Each has a special message suited to the actual condition of each church. In each case the individual who overcomes has a promise of blessing. Christ the Shepherd knows his sheep and lays bare the particular peril in each case.

 


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 3:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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