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Revelation 2:22

I will cast
A futurist use of the present tense, βαλλω [ballō] , the judgment is imminent as if it had already begun.

sickbed
Although κλίνην [klinēn] may refer to a bed occupied by a sick person (Mtt. Mat. 9:2; Mark Mark 7:30; Luke Luke 5:18; Acts Acts 5:15), it may also refer to a couch used for other purposes (Mark Mark 4:21; Luke Luke 8:16; Luke 17:34). Here, the reference to eating things sacrificed to idols would seem to imply a dining couch. The root from which it is derived, κλινω [klinō] , has the meaning “to cause to lean, make to slope or slant”1 from which we get our word incline. This bed may refer to a couch on which Jezebel and those who followed her teaching would recline during the pagan feasts.2 “Ramsay . . . strongly maintained here a reference to the dining-couch of the guild-feasts. It seems likely enough that there are allusions which escape us here through our ignorance of the inner life of the guilds, but the primary meaning is probably ‘sick-bed’.”3

Her bed of whoredom will be changed into a bed of anguish.4

those who commit adultery
The adultery here referred to may have been literal—in connection with the licentious aspects of the guild feasts—or spiritual.

Τοὺς μοιχεύοντας [Tous moicheuontas] , “those who commit adultery,” “A Hebrew idiom, the word is used of those who at a woman’s solicitation are drawn away to idolatry, i.e. to the eating of things sacrificed to idols”5 (Eze. Eze. 16:37-41). The activity of Jezebel is a type representing the Harlot of Revelation Rev. 17:1+: “With whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (Rev. Rev. 17:2+).

great tribulation
This exact phrase appears both in Matthew’s gospel and later in this book (Mtt. Mat. 24:21; Rev. Rev. 2:22+; Rev. 7:14+). Although in the context of the letter to Thyatira, it seems best to understand the phrase in its non-technical sense as denoting a personal time of great trouble for the unrepentant prophetess,6 there are also reasons to take the phrase in its technical sense:

Since the encouragement to the faithful in Rev. Rev. 2:25-26+ refers to His second advent, the case for a technical eschatological meaning . . . is still stronger. In consideration that the main body of the Apocalypse (Revelation Rev. 4:1+-Rev. 19:1+) includes a detailed description of this future period, it is exegetically sound to conclude that the threat to the followers of Jezebel is that of being thrust into this period of unparalleled misery.7

Even if the Tribulation relates specifically to the woman Jezebel in the church at Thyatira, it does not preclude understanding the passage as a type denoting the fate of the apostate church. The apostate church of the last days, which does not participate in the Rapture, remains on earth to enter the Great Tribulation.8 See Jacob’s Trouble and the Great Tribulation.

unless they repent
She was already given time and did not repent (Rev. Rev. 2:21+). Now God gives one last chance before bringing judgment. Such is the mercy and grace of God. Rom. 2:4; 2Pe. 2Pe. 3:9), if only they would have understood the object and the meaning of it.”9

their deeds
MT and NU texts have εργων αὐτῆς [ergōn autēs] (“deeds of her”) whereas TR has ἐργων αὐτων [ergōn autōn] (“deeds of them”).


Notes

1 Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, and Henry Stuart Jones, A Greek-English Lexicon. With a revised supplement, 1996., With a revised supplement, 1996 (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1996).

2 The word may refer to dining or a dining couch: Eze. 23:41; Mark Mark 4:21; Mark 7:30; Luke Luke 8:16; Luke 17:34; dining couch Mark Mark 7:4.”—Frederick William Danker and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 436.

3 Colin J. Hemer, The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia in Their Local Setting (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989), 121.

4 William R. Newell, Revelation: Chapter by Chapter (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1994,c1935), 57.

5 James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1996), G3431.

6 A technical phrase has the same or similar meaning regardless of context. The meaning of a non-technical phrase varies with context.

7 Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 1-7 (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1992), 221.

8 “This means that unlike the true Church, the Roman Catholic Church will go into the Great Tribulation and will play a role during that time.”—Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of Messiah, rev ed. (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2003), 60.

9 Richard Chenevix Trench, Commentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1861), 141.

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