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Revelation 2:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, he that walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— To the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— To the angel of the assembly in Ephesus write: These things says he that holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lamps:
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Unto the messenger of the assembly, in Ephesus, write:—These things, saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, he that walketh in the midst of the seven lamps of gold:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 'To the messenger of the Ephesian assembly write: These things saith he who is holding the seven stars in his right hand, who is walking in the midst of the seven lamp-stands—the golden:
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These things saith he who holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Vnto the Angel of the church of Ephesus, write, These things saith he that holdeth the seuen starres in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seuen golden Candlesticks:
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— To the angel of the church which is in Ephesos, write: These saith the Holder of all, and of the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven candlesticks of gold.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— To the angel of the church which is at Ephesus write: These things saith he who holdeth all things, and the seven stars, in his right hand; he that walketh in the midst of the seven candlesticks of gold;

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Unto the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
angel 32
{0032} Prime
ἄγγελος
aggelos
{ang'-el-os}
From ἀγγέλλω [[aggello]] (probably derived from G0071; compare G0034; to bring tidings); a messenger; especially an 'angel'; by implication a pastor.
of the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
church 1577
{1577} Prime
ἐκκλησία
ekklesia
{ek-klay-see'-ah}
From a compound of G1537 and a derivative of G2564; a calling out, that is, (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both).
of Ephesus 2179
{2179} Prime
Ἐφεσῖνος
Ephesinos
{ef-es-ee'-nos}
From G2181; Ephesine, or situated at Ephesus.
write; 1125
{1125} Prime
γράφω
grapho
{graf'-o}
A primary verb; to 'grave', especially to write; figuratively to describe.
z5657
<5657> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Imperative (See G5794)
Count - 376
These things 3592
{3592} Prime
ὅδε
hode
{hod'-eh}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms. From G3588 and G1161; the same, that is, this or that one (plural these or those); often used as personal pronoun.
saith 3004
{3004} Prime
λέγω
lego
{leg'-o}
A primary verb; properly to 'lay' forth, that is, (figuratively) relate (in words [usually of systematic or set discourse; whereas G2036 and G5346 generally refer to an individual expression or speech respectively; while G4483 is properly to break silence merely, and G2980 means an extended or random harangue]); by implication to mean.
z5719
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
he that holdeth 2902
{2902} Prime
κρατέω
krateo
{krat-eh'-o}
From G2904; to use strength, that is, seize or retain (literally or figuratively).
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
seven 2033
{2033} Prime
ἑπτά
hepta
{hep-tah'}
A primary number; seven.
stars 792
{0792} Prime
ἀστήρ
aster
{as-tare'}
Probably from the base of G4766; a star (as strown over the sky), literally or figuratively.
in 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
his y846
[0846] Standard
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
x848
(0848) Complement
αὑτοῦ
hautou
{how-too'}
Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation).
right hand, 1188
{1188} Prime
δεξιός
dexios
{dex-ee-os'}
From G1209; the right side or (feminine) hand (as that which usually takes).
who y3588
[3588] Standard

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
walketh 4043
{4043} Prime
περιπατέω
peripateo
{per-ee-pat-eh'-o}
From G4012 and G3961; to tread all around, that is, walk at large (especially as proof of ability); figuratively to live, deport oneself, follow (as a companion or votary).
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
in 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
the midst 3319
{3319} Prime
μέσος
mesos
{mes'-os}
From G3326; middle (as adjective or [neuter] noun).
of the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
seven 2033
{2033} Prime
ἑπτά
hepta
{hep-tah'}
A primary number; seven.
golden 5552
{5552} Prime
χρύσεος
chruseos
{khroo'-seh-os}
From G5557; made of gold.
candlesticks; 3087
{3087} Prime
λυχνία
luchnia
{lookh-nee'-ah}
From G3088; a lamp stand (literally or figuratively).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Revelation 2:1

_ _ Revelation 2:1-29. Epistles to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira.

_ _ Each of the seven epistles in this and the third chapter, commences with, “I know thy works.” Each contains a promise from Christ, “To him that overcometh.” Each ends with, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” The title of our Lord in each case accords with the nature of the address, and is mainly taken from the imagery of the vision, Revelation 1:12-16. Each address has a threat or a promise, and most of the addresses have both. Their order seems to be ecclesiastical, civil, and geographical: Ephesus first, as being the Asiatic metropolis (termed “the light of Asia,” and “first city of Asia”), the nearest to Patmos, where John received the epistle to the seven churches, and also as being that Church with which John was especially connected; then the churches on the west coast of Asia; then those in the interior. Smyrna and Philadelphia alone receive unmixed praise. Sardis and Laodicea receive almost solely censure. In Ephesus, Pergamos, and Thyatira, there are some things to praise, others to condemn, the latter element preponderating in one case (Ephesus), the former in the two others (Pergamos and Thyatira). Thus the main characteristics of the different states of different churches, in all times and places, are portrayed, and they are suitably encouraged or warned.

_ _ Ephesus — famed for the temple of Diana, one of the seven wonders of the world. For three years Paul labored there. He subsequently ordained Timothy superintending overseer or bishop there: probably his charge was but of a temporary nature. John, towards the close of his life, took it as the center from which he superintended the province.

_ _ holdethGreek, “holdeth fast,” as in Revelation 2:25; Revelation 3:11; compare John 10:28, John 10:29. The title of Christ here as “holding fast the seven stars (from Revelation 1:16 : only that, for having is substituted holding fast in His grasp), and walking in the midst of the seven candlesticks,” accords with the beginning of His address to the seven churches representing the universal Church. Walking expresses His unwearied activity in the Church, guarding her from internal and external evils, as the high priest moved to and fro in the sanctuary.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Revelation 2:1-7

_ _ We have here,

_ _ I. The inscription, where observe, 1. To whom the first of these epistles is directed: To the church of Ephesus, a famous church planted by the apostle Paul (Acts 19), and afterwards watered and governed by John, who had his residence very much there. We can hardly think that Timothy was the angel, or sole pastor and bishop, of this church at this time, — that he who was of a very excellent spirit, and naturally cared for the good state of the souls of the people, should become so remiss as to deserve the rebukes given to the ministry of this church. Observe, 2. From whom this epistle to Ephesus was sent; and here we have one of those titles that were given to Christ in his appearance to John in the chapter foregoing: He that holds the seven stars in his right hand, and walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, Revelation 1:13, Revelation 1:16. This title consists of two parts: — (1.) He that holds the stars in his right hand. The ministers of Christ are under his special care and protection. It is the honour of God that he knows the number of the stars, calls them by their names, binds the sweet influences of Pleiades and looses the bands of Orion; and it is the honour of the Lord Jesus Christ that the ministers of the gospel, who are greater blessings to the church than the stars are to the world, are in his hand. He directs all their motions; he disposes of them into their several orbs; he fills them with light and influence; he supports them, or else they would soon be falling stars; they are instruments in his hand, and all the good they do is done by his hand with them. (2.) He walks in the midst of the golden candlesticks. This intimates his relation to his churches, as the other his relation to his ministers. Christ is in an intimate manner present and conversant with his churches; he knows and observes their state; he takes pleasure in them, as a man does to walk in his garden. Though Christ is in heaven, he walks in the midst of his churches on earth, observing what is amiss in them and what it is that they want. This is a great encouragement to those who have the care of the churches, that the Lord Jesus has graven them upon the palms of his hands.

_ _ II. The contents of the epistle, in which, as in most of those that follow, we have,

_ _ 1. The commendation Christ gave this church, ministers and members, which he always brings in by declaring that he knows their works, and therefore both his commendation and reprehension are to be strictly regarded; for he does not in either speak at a venture: he knows what he says. Now the church of Ephesus is commended, (1.) For their diligence in duty: I know thy works, and thy labour, Revelation 2:2. This may more immediately relate to the ministry of this church, which had been laborious and diligent. Dignity calls for duty. Those that are stars in Christ's hand had need to be always in motion, dispensing light to all about them. For my name's sake thou hast laboured, and hast not fainted, Revelation 2:3. Christ keeps an account of every day's work, and every hour's work, his servants do for him, and their labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. (2.) For their patience in suffering: Thy labour and thy patience, Revelation 2:2. It is not enough that we be diligent, but we must be patient, and endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ. Ministers must have and exercise great patience, and no Christian can be without it. There must be bearing patience, to endure the injuries of men and the rebukes of Providence; and there must be waiting patience, that, when they have done the will of God, they may receive the promise: Thou hast borne, and hast patience, Revelation 2:3. We shall meet with such difficulties in our way and work as require patience to go on and finish well. (3.) For their zeal against what was evil: Thou canst not bear those that are evil, Revelation 2:2. It consists very well with Christian patience not to dispense with sin, much less allow it; though we must show all meekness to men, yet we must show a just zeal against their sins. This their zeal was the more to be commended because it was according to knowledge, a discreet zeal upon a previous trial made of the pretences, practices, and tenets of evil men: Thou hast tried those that say they are apostles and are not, and hast found them liars. True zeal proceeds with discretion; none should be cast off till they be tried. Some had risen up in this church that pretended to be not ordinary ministers, but apostles; and their pretensions had been examined but found to be vain and false. Those that impartially search after truth may come to the knowledge of it.

_ _ 2. The rebuke given to this church: Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, Revelation 2:4. Those that have much good in them may have something much amiss in them, and our Lord Jesus, as an impartial Master and Judge, takes notice of both; though he first observes what is good, and is most ready to mention this, yet he also observes what is amiss, and will faithfully reprove them for it. The sin that Christ charged this church with was their decay and declension in holy love and zeal: Thou hast left thy first love; not left and forsaken the object of it, but lost the fervent degree of it that at first appeared. Observe, (1.) The first affections of men towards Christ, and holiness, and heaven, are usually lively and warm. God remembered the love of Israel's espousals, when she would follow him withersoever he went. (2.) These lively affections will abate and cool if great care be not taken, and diligence used, to preserve them in constant exercise. (3.) Christ is grieved and displeased with his people when he sees them grow remiss and cold towards him, and he will one way or other make them sensible that he does not take it well from them.

_ _ 3. The advice and counsel given them from Christ: Remember therefore whence thou hast fallen, and repent, etc. (1.) Those that have lost their first love must remember whence they have fallen; they must compare their present with their former state, and consider how much better it was with them then than now, how much peace, strength, purity, and pleasure they have lost, by leaving their first love, — how much more comfortably they could lie down and sleep at night, — how much more cheerfully they could awake in the morning, — how much better they could bear afflictions, and how much more becomingly they could enjoy the favours of Providence, — how much easier the thoughts of death were to them, and how much stronger their desires and hopes of heaven. (2.) They must repent. They must be inwardly grieved and ashamed for their sinful declension; they must blame themselves, and shame themselves, for it, and humbly confess it in the sight of God, and judge and condemn themselves for it. (3.) They must return and do their first works. They must as it were begin again, go back step by step, till they come to the place where they took the first false step; they must endeavour to revive and recover their first zeal, tenderness, and seriousness, and must pray as earnestly, and watch as diligently, as they did when they first set out in the ways of God.

_ _ 4. This good advice is enforced and urged, (1.) By a severe threatening, if it should be neglected: I will come unto thee quickly, and remove thy candlestick out of its place. If the presence of Christ's grace and Spirit be slighted, we may expect the presence of his displeasure. He will come in a way of judgment, and that suddenly and surprisingly, upon impenitent churches and sinners; he will unchurch them, take away his gospel, his ministers, and his ordinances from them, and what will the churches or the angels of the churches do when the gospel is removed? (2.) By an encouraging mention that is made of what was yet good among them: This thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate, Revelation 2:6. “Though thou hast declined in thy love to what is good, yet thou retainest thy hatred to what is evil, especially to what is grossly so.” The Nicolaitans were a loose sect who sheltered themselves under the name of Christianity. They held hateful doctrines, and they were guilty of hateful deeds, hateful to Christ and to all true Christians; and it is mentioned to the praise of the church of Ephesus that they had a just zeal and abhorrence of those wicked doctrines and practices. An indifference of spirit between truth and error, good and evil, may be called charity and meekness, but it is not pleasing to Christ. Our Saviour subjoins this kind commendation to his severe threatening, to make the advice more effectual.

_ _ III. We have the conclusion of this epistle, in which, as in those that follow, we have,

_ _ 1. A call to attention: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Observe, (1.) What is written in the scriptures is spoken by the Spirit of God. (2.) What is said to one church concerns all the churches, in every place and age. (3.) We can never employ our faculty of hearing better than in hearkening to the word of God: and we deserve to lose it if we do not employ it to this purpose. Those who will not hear the call of God now will wish at length they had never had a capacity of hearing any thing at all.

_ _ 2. A promise of great mercy to those who overcome. The Christian life is a warfare against sin, Satan, the world, and the flesh. It is not enough that we engage in this warfare, but we must pursue it to the end, we must never yield to our spiritual enemies, but fight the good fight, till we gain the victory, as all persevering Christians shall do; and the warfare and victory shall have a glorious triumph and reward. That which is here promised to the victors is that they shall eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God. They shall have that perfection of holiness, and that confirmation therein, which Adam would have had if he had gone well through the course of his trial: he would then have eaten of the tree of life which was in the midst of paradise, and this would have been the sacrament of confirmation to him in his holy and happy state; so all who persevere in their Christian trial and warfare shall derive from Christ, as the tree of life, perfection and confirmation in holiness and happiness in the paradise of God; not in the earthly paradise, but the heavenly, Revelation 22:1, Revelation 22:2.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Revelation 2:1

Write — So Christ dictated to him every word. These things saith he who holdeth the seven stars in his right hand — Such is his mighty power! Such his favour to them and care over them, that they may indeed shine as stars, both by purity of doctrine and holiness of life! Who walketh — According to his promise, "I am with you always, even to the end of the world." In the midst of the golden candlesticks — Beholding all their works and thoughts, and ready to "remove the candlestick out of its place," if any, being warned, will not repent. Perhaps here is likewise an allusion to the office of the priests in dressing the lamps, which was to keep them always burning before the Lord.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Revelation 2:1

Unto (1) the angel of the church of Ephesus write; (2) These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

(1) The former part of this book is comprised in a narration of those things which then were, as John taught us, in (Revelation 1:19) it belongs wholly to instruction, and in these two next chapters, contains seven places, according to the number and condition of those churches which were named before in (Revelation 1:11) shown in (Revelation 1:12) and distributed most aptly into their pastors and flocks, (Revelation 1:10) which verse of that chapter is a passage to the first part. Every one of these seven passages has three principal parts, an introduction taken from the person of the reprehension of that which is evil: an instruction, containing either an exhortation alone, or a dissuasion opposite to it, and a conclusion stirring to attention, by divine promises. This first passage is to the pastors of the church of Ephesus. (2) The introduction in which are contained the special prayers of Christ Jesus the author of this prophecy out of (Revelation 1:6, Revelation 1:13).

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the angel:

Revelation 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
Revelation 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
Revelation 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet [are] like fine brass;
Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

church:

Revelation 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

holdeth:

Revelation 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength.
Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Revelation 8:10-12 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; ... And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
John 5:35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

walketh:

Revelation 1:12-13 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; ... And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
Ezekiel 28:13-14 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. ... Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.
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Ezk 28:13. Mt 18:20; 28:20. Jn 5:35. Rv 1:11, 12, 16, 20; 2:8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14; 8:10; 12:1.

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