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Revelation 1:11

Revelation 1:11

Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last
These characters, which are repeated here, (See Gill on Revelation 1:8); are left out in the Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions; but are very fitly retained, to point out the person that speaks; to express his dignity, deity, and eternity; to excite the attention of John, and to give weight to what he said:

and, what thou seest, write in a book;
that it might remain, and be read of all men, and be profitable to the churches in the then present age, and in all future ones:

and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia;
from whence it appears, that not only the seven following epistles were sent to the churches, but that after John had written in a book the account of all the visions that he saw, the whole was sent unto them, for their use and benefit; and who are particularly named:

unto Ephesus;
which was a city of Ionia, and which Pliny calls F6 the work of the Amazons, and the light of Asia; it was famous for the temple of Diana, but more so for having a church of Christ in it: hither the Apostle Paul came and preached, and continued for the space of two years; where a very famous church was planted by him, and proper officers appointed, to whom he wrote a very excellent epistle: this is now a miserable desolate place, not a city, but a village; and is called by the Turks, Aiasalik: of this place and church; (See Gill on Acts 18:19), (See Gill on Acts 20:17);

and unto Smyrna;
another city of Ionia, so called from Smyrna, the wife of Theseus F7, the builder of it; or from Smyrna, an Amazon {h}, the relies of whose marble bust are to be seen there to this day: it lies about forty six miles from Ephesus, and is by the Turks now called Esmir, and is still a place famous, not for pompous buildings, but for number of inhabitants, riches, and commerce:

and unto Pergamos;
this was a city of Mysia, situated by the river Caicus, formerly the seat of the kings of Attalia, and was bequeathed by Attalus, their last king, to the Romans: it is famous for being the native place of Galen the physician, and of Apollodorus the rhetorician, master to Augustus Caesar, and for the invention of parchment in it, from whence it seems to have its name: it is now called by the Turks Bergamo, and is almost sixty four miles from Smyrna:

and unto Thyatira;
a city of Lydia, near the river Lycus, formerly called Pelopia, and Euhippia, and now, by the Turks, Ak Hissar, or "the white camp", and is distant from Pergamos about forty eight miles; (See Gill on Acts 16:14);

and unto Sardis;
this was another city of Lydia, situated at the side of Mount Tmolus, it was the metropolis of Lydia, and the seat of King Croesus, and is now called, by the Turks, Sart; and instead of a famous city, it is now an obscure little village, of mean houses, and scarce any other inhabitants in it than shepherds and cow keepers, and is thirty three miles from Thyatira:

and unto Philadelphia;
another city of Lydia, situated at the foot of Mount Tmolus; it had its name from Attalus Philadelphus, the builder of it; it is now called, by the Turks, Alah Shahr, or "the fair city", though there is nothing beautiful or magnificent in it; it is distant from Thyatira about twenty seven miles:

and unto Laodicea;
another city of Lydia, near the river Lycus, first named Diospolis, afterwards Rhoas, and is now, by the Turks, called Eski Hissar, or "the old camp"; and is inhabited by none, unless it be in the night, by wolves, foxes, and jackals, as our countryman Dr. Smith affirms, in his "Notitia" of the seven churches of Asia; from whom I have taken the account of these cities as they now are, and the rest from Pliny and Ptolomy chiefly.


FOOTNOTES:

F6 Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 29.
F7 Herodot. de Vita Homeri. c. 2.
F8 Vid. Hiller. Onomastic. p. 932.
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