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Revelation 2:13: In Difficult Circumstances

Verse 13:[1] (Rev. 2:2) I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even (Rev. 2:9) where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

I know thy works, and where thou dwellest; God knows all his people’s circumstances, where they dwell, as well as what they do, and how they behave themselves in their habitations.

[Where the seat (or, throne [Beza, Piscator]) of Satan is] That is, Where Satan reigns, or rules (Menochius, Grotius, similarly Camerarius, Drusius), through the Nicolaitans (Menochius, Tirinus), through the Gentiles (Menochius), through idolatrous tyrants (Tirinus), in the idol of Æsculapius.[2] See Papinius[3] in “The Hair of Earinus”,[4] and Aristides’[5] Concerning the Well of Æsculapius[6] (Grotius). In a place most depraved (Cotterius), and completely devoted to idols (Cluverus, thus Grotius out of Arethas, Gagnæus), where the Roman Prætor resides, who upholds idolatry by the murder of my confessors (Piscator, similarly Cluverus): Among my professed enemies, Jewish and Gentile (Ribera): where impiety was triumphing, even in the courts, where persecution and profanity were sanctioned as if by Law (Durham).

Even where Satan’s seat is; where the devil rules by his pagan deputies and antichrist’s officers.

[And, etc., καὶ κρατεῖς, etc.] And (or, for [Piscator], or, and that [Beza]) thou holdest (or, holdest fast [Beza], or, dost grasp, or, holdest fast firmly [Camerarius]: Although thou dwellest in a principal seat of pagan superstition, nevertheless thou hast held fast: Κρατεῖν is to hold fast, not to permit to slip away, as in Revelation 2:25;[7] 3:11[8] [Grotius]: Thus in a proverb in Galen,[9] a saying concerning a vain profession and pursuit, λάβη μηδὲν, καὶ κράτει καλῶς, let him grasp nothing, and hold on strenuously [Camerarius]) my name (that is, the profession of the doctrine delivered by me, as in Acts 21:13 and elsewhere [Grotius, similarly Durham]), and thou hast not denied (He repeats the same thing [Gagnæus]) my faith (Montanus, etc.), that is, the doctrine of faith in me (Durham), or, the doctrine delivered by me (Piscator): Thou hast not denied, either by words or by deeds, thyself to be a Christian, as in Revelation 3:8 (Grotius), but thou hast professed this openly and publicly (Durham). It is a great thing for a man to show himself good among wicked men: Philippians 2:15; 2 Peter 2:7 (Grotius).

And thou holdest fast my name; the word of my truth, by which I am known, as a man by his name. And hast not denied my faith; neither by the words of thy mouth, nor by any apostacy from this profession, notwithstanding the temptations thou hast had from seducers and from persecutors, and the sight of those who have been put to death for their profession.

[And, etc., καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐν αἷς Ἀντίπας ὃς ἀπεκτάνθη παρ᾽ ὑμῖν] In a manuscript it is καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Ἀντίπας—ὃς, etc.,[10] in the days of Antipas, etc., neither does the Latin read otherwise. Now, it is ἐλλειπτικὴ, an elliptical, construction together with a Trajection, which sort is, the city which I establish is yours,[11] in the place of, The city, which city I establish, is yours.[12] So this is the sense, ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Ἀντίπα, ὃς Ἀντίπας ὁ μάρτυς μου, ὁ πιστός μου, ἀπεκτάνθη (Grotius), even in the days in which (understand, was, or lived [Camerarius, Beza, Zegers, Piscator, Ribera]) Antipas the martyr (or, witness [Piscator]), that faithful one of me, who was butchered among you (Beza, Piscator). Concerning Antipas I find nothing in the Ecclesiastical histories (Ribera, thus Cotterius), which is remarkable. Perhaps this was done deliberately, so that we might know that pious men, although obscure, are known to God (Cotterius). He was the Pastor or Bishop of this Church under Domitian, a mighty champion of the faith, and on account of this he was burned in a brazen ox[13] (Arethas in Pareus, similarly Hammond, certain interpreters in Ribera); as relate Symeon Metaphrastes,[14] and the Roman Martyrology[15] (Ribera). But, that according to the order of the Calendars of the Greeks[16] he is said to have suffered under Domitian, it is worthy of no more credit than that he is said to have been cast into a brazen ox: which sort of punishment was unknown among the laws of the Romans, which also were prevailing in Pergamos. Therefore, it ought to be held as a truth that this Antipas was killed by a mob agitated by the priests of Æsculapius: Paul often underwent the dangers of this sort of death. It is significant that he was not frightened by a death so savage (Grotius).

Even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr: it is much no ecclesiastical history makes mention of this martyr Antipas, which argueth him to have been a person but of an obscure note in the world; but Christ seeth and taketh notice of those little ones who belong to him, though the world overlooks them. Our being able from no history to give an account of this martyr, hath inclined some to think this epistle wholly prophetical, and that Antipas signifieth not any particular person, but all those that have opposed the pope, as if it were Antipapa. But certainly there was such a martyr as Antipas belonging to the church at Smyrna at that time, who suffered for the truth, though we do not allow this church to have been typical of all the gospel churches for many years.

[1] Greek: Οἶδα τὰ ἔργα σου καὶ ποῦ κατοικεῖς, ὅπου ὁ θρόνος τοῦ Σατανᾶ· καὶ κρατεῖς τὸ ὄνομά μου, καὶ οὐκ ἠρνήσω τὴν πίστιν μου καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐν αἷς Ἀντίπας ὁ μάρτυς μου, ὁ πιστός, ὃς ἀπεκτάνθη παρ᾽ ὑμῖν, ὅπου κατοικεῖ ὁ Σατανᾶς.

[2] Æsculapius was the son of Apollo and Coronis, celebrated for his skill in medicine. He was worshipped in the form of a living serpent at his temple in Pergamos.

[3] Publius Papinius Statius (c. 45-96) was a Roman poet.

[4] Silvæ 3, “Coma Earini”.

[5] Publius Ælius Aristides was a second century Greek rhetorician.

[6] De Puteo Æsculapii. Aristides suffered health problems; he visited the temple of Æsculapius at Pergamos seeking relief.

[7] Revelation 2:25: “But that which ye have already hold fast (κρατήσατε) till I come.”

[8] Revelation 3:11: “Behold, I come quickly: hold fast (κράτει) what thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”

[9] Claudius Galenus of Pergamum (129-200 AD) was an innovative Greek physician.

[10] Codex Alexandrinus.

[11] Æneid 1. Latin: Urbem quam statuo vestra est. Note that urbem/city, which is the subject of the sentence has taken the accusative case because of its usage in the relative clause.

[12] Latin: Urbs, quam urbem statuo, vestra est.

[13] The Brazen Ox was an instrument of torture and execution used by the ancient Greeks. It would be heated with fire, and the victim would be cast into it.

[14] Symeon Metaphrastes (thought to have lived in the tenth century, although opinions range from the ninth to the fourteenth centuries) was a Byzantine historian. He published a collection of saints’ lives.

[15] The Roman Martyrology is the official martyrology of the Roman Catholic Church, first published in 1583 by Pope Gregory XIII.

[16] The Greek Church produced multiple martyrologies, calendars, and collections of saints’ lives.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
26 mar 2020

Dr. Dilday's Sermon: "In Difficult Circumstance"

1) Introduction

2) Analysis

a) Introduction

i) Recipient

ii) Amanuensis

iii) Author

b) Verse 13

i) “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is

ii) “And thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth”

3) Doctrine: The circumstances under which we labor are taken into account in the Lord’s evaluation of our labors.

a) Proof and elaboration of doctrine

b) Applications

i) For our children

ii) For those laboring in difficult circumstances

iii) For our church

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
16 ene 2019

Thank you for bringing up Bunyan. This world is indeed ever hostile to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; I suppose that it is merely a matter of how overt that hostility is at any given time.

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16 ene 2019

Listening to the Revelation 2:13-14 lesson I was reminded of John Bunyan's history as an English Pastor, who spent a full 25% of his life in prison for the preaching.....I found this quote:

"To go free, all John Bunyan had to do was make one promise. He must agree not to preach publicly anymore. Bunyan's reply: "If I was out of prison today, I would preach the gospel again tomorrow by the help of God.""

From your story of the reformed street preacher it seems times have not changed all that much. It was of course this way from the beginning.

Acts 4:18-19 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
01 ene 2019

Thomas Manton's "Wisdom Is Justified of Her Children": 'Because there is more true grace in being dead to the temptation, than to retreat from the temptation. A Christian is not to go out of the world, neither by a voluntary death, John 17:15, nor by an unnecessary sequestration of ourselves from business and the affairs which God calleth us to, 1 Corinthians 7:20, "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called;" but to be crucified to the world, Galatians 6:14,—that is, grace to withdraw our hearts from the world, while we converse in it and with it. Many real Christians, when they hear us press mortification and deadness to the world, think they must leave thei…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
01 ene 2019

William Gurnall's Christian in Complete Armour: 'Doctrine. That Satan is a great prince. Christ himself styles him the "prince of this world," John 14:30. Princes have their thrones where they sit in state; Satan hath his—Thou dwellest where Satan hath his throne, Revelation 2:13; and that such a one, as no earthly princes may compare [with]. Few kings are enthroned in the hearts of their subjects; they rule their bodies and command their purses, but how oft in a day are they pulled out of their thrones by the wishes of their discontented subjects. But Satan hath the heart of all his subjects. Princes have their homage and peculiar honour done to them. Satan is served upon the knee o…

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