Revelation 2:4

4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.

Revelation 2:4 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
English Standard Version (ESV)
4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
New Living Translation (NLT)
4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!
The Message Bible (MSG)
4 "But you walked away from your first love - why? What's going on with you, anyway?
American Standard Version (ASV)
4 But I have [this] against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love.
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
4 However, I have this against you: The love you had at first is gone.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
4 But I have this against you: you have abandoned the love [you had] at first.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
4 'But here is something I hold against you. You don't have as much love as you had at first.

Revelation 2:4 Meaning and Commentary

Revelation 2:4

Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee
So the Jews represent God saying, concerning their fathers, "Abraham" (Mhyle yl vy) , "I have something against them" F1. Christ has nothing against his people, his faithful ministers, and true churches, in a judicial way, or to their condemnation, for there is none to them that are in him; but he has often many things to complain of in them, and to rebuke and chastise them for, in a way of providence: and what he had against the church at Ephesus, and against the churches in the period which that represents, follows,

because thou hast left thy first love:
by which is meant, not hospitality to strangers, or an affectionate care of the poor of the church, or a zealous concern to feed the flock, and maintain church discipline; but the love of the saints to God, and Christ, and one another, which appeared at the beginning of this church state, when they were all of one heart and one soul, as generally at first conversion love is the warmest; and so it was at the first planting of Gospel churches, and therefore here called first love. Now this, though it was not lost, for the true grace of love can never be lost, yet it was left; it abated in its heat and fervour; there was a remissness in the exercise of it; what our Lord had foretold should be before the destruction of Jerusalem was fulfilled in this period of time, the love of many waxed cold, ( Matthew 24:12 ) ; through the prevalence of corruption in some; and through an over love to the world, as in Demas, and others; and through a desire of ease and freedom from reproach and persecution; and through the introduction of errors, which damp the heat of love, and spirit of religion; and through the contentions and divisions among themselves, as at Corinth, Galatia, and elsewhere, which greatly weakened their love to one another, and to divine things; and which was very displeasing to Christ, who, for the restoring of them, gives the following advice. Compare with this ( 2 Timothy 1:15 ) .


F1 Pesikta Rabbati apud Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 60. 4.

Revelation 2:4 In-Context

2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.
3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.
5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Jeremiah 2:2; Matthew 24:12
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.