Poole on Revelation 3:11: The Love of Christ's Appearing

Verse 11:[1] Behold, (Phil. 4:5; Rev. 1:3; 22:7, 12, 20) I come quickly: (Rev. 3:3; 2:25) hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take (Rev. 2:10) thy crown.


[Behold, I come (that is, I will come [Piscator]) quickly[2]] Either, 1. to send in that persecution against the Churches (Grotius); or, 2. to punish the guilty (Gomar), to destroy enemies (Pareus); or, 3. as about to help thee (Menochius, Tirinus, Lapide, thus Gagnæus), as about to carry thee away from the threatening danger (Tirinus), as about to crown thee (Menochius, thus Hammond); or, 4. for the final judgment (certain interpreters in Pareus, similarly Durham). He says quickly, 1. in comparison with eternity: 2. because this advent will be unexpected by enemies, and timely for His friends: 3. because He now makes haste concerning those things which precede His advent, etc. (Durham).


Behold, I come quickly; ταχύ, which certainly is the same with ἐν τάχει; and it might be as well concluded, that the day of judgment should come by that time Rome pagan should cease, as that all things written in this book had their accomplishment in that time, because Christ told John they should come to pass ἐν τάχει, Revelation 1:1;[3] 22:6.[4] No other coming of Christ, but his coming to the last judgment, can be here meant.



[Hold (that is, bravely preserve the thing apprehended [Ribera, similarly Menochius], hold fast constantly [Tirinus, Lapide]) what thou hast] That is, doctrine (Piscator), faith and a good conscience, according to 1 Timothy 1:19 (Pareus, similarly Cluverus), thy fortitude and patience (Ribera, Menochius, thus Lapide); proceed as thou didst begin, and yield to no terrors of persecutions (Ribera, Menochius). Hold fast thy faith and profession. I will preserve thee in life: See thou that thou failest not on account of fear. No one has accomplished so much that he ought not to watch himself, 1 Corinthians 9:27 (Grotius).


Hold that fast which thou hast; κράτει, hold with a strong hand the doctrine of faith, which thou yet hast, pure, and thy pure worship, and discipline, and a pure conscience.



[That no one take (that is, seize or carry off [Tirinus, thus Menochius, Ribera], snatch away or misappropriate [Piscator]) thy crown] Not that he might have it, but so that thou mightest not, or so that thou mightest lose it, as in Proverbs 5:9, Lest he give his honor to stangers, not which the strangers were going to have, but which by, and because of, them the young man was going to lose (Estius). Thy crown, that is, which was determined for thee (Piscator), and for the obtaining of which it is necessary that thou legitimately strive and overcome (Piscator, similarly Durham, Pareus). Lest another be substituted in thy place, another that would withdraw the crown that I had prepared for thee (Menochius). Lest thou lose the honor of perseverance, with others taking it. The loss of dignity burns more vehemently, if we are not only deprived of it, but we see that another gains possession of it, Job 34:24; Matthew 25:28 (Grotius). When one falls, God erects another in his place (Ribera, Pererius). But daily experience teaches that this is not perpetual (Tirinus). It is a metaphor from ancient contests (Gomar, similarly Durham), in which, someone running well in the beginning, another gets ahead and seizes first the palm (Durham). He exhorts, therefore, to constancy and perseverance (Pererius), for even those that are of advanced strength and near to the palm are yet able to be deprived of it (Ribera, similarly Lapide, Menochius, Lapide), if they should relax and not make provision. Hence those admonitions, Romans 11:20; 1 Corinthians 10:12 (Pareus).


That no man take thy crown; that thou mayest not lose that reward which shall be the portion of those that persevere to the end, and of those only.

[1] Greek: ἰδού, ἔρχομαι ταχύ· κράτει ὃ ἔχεις, ἵνα μηδεὶς λάβῃ τὸν στέφανόν σου. [2] Greek: ἰδού, ἔρχομαι ταχύ. [3] Revelation 1:1a: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly (ἐν τάχει) come to pass…” [4] Revelation 22:6: “And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly (ἐν τάχει) be done.”

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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