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Revelation 2:8 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These things saith the first and the last, who was dead, and lived [again]:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And to the angel of the church in Smyrna, write; These things saith the first and the last, who was dead, and is alive;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And to the angel of the assembly in Smyrna write: These things says the first and the last, who became dead, and lived:
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And, unto the messenger of the assembly, in Smyrna, write:—These things, saith the first and the last, who became dead, and lived:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 'And to the messenger of the assembly of the Smyrneans write: These things saith the First and the Last, who did become dead and did live;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And to the angel of the church of Smyrna write: These things saith the First and the Last, who was dead and is alive:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And vnto the Angel of the Church in Smyrna, write, These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is aliue,
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— And to the angel of the church which is in Smurna, write: These saith the First and the Last, who was dead, and liveth.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And to the angel of the church which is at Smyrna, write: These things saith the First and the Last, he who was dead, and liveth.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
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).
in Smyrna 4668
{4668} Prime
Σμυρναῖος
Smurnaios
{smoor-nah'-yos}
From G4667; a Smyrnaean.
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
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).
first 4413
{4413} Prime
πρῶτος
protos
{pro'-tos}
Contracted superlative of G4253; foremost (in time, place, order or importance).
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
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).
last, 2078
{2078} Prime
ἔσχατος
eschatos
{es'-khat-os}
A superlative probably from G2192 (in the sense of contiguity); farthest, final (of place or time).
which 3739
{3739} Prime
ὅς
hos
{hos}
Probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article G3588); the relative (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that.
was 1096
{1096} Prime
γίνομαι
ginomai
{ghin'-om-ahee}
A prolonged and middle form of a primary verb; to cause to be ('gen' -erate), that is, (reflexively) to become (come into being), used with great latitude (literally, figuratively, intensively, etc.).
z5633
<5633> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Middle Deponent (See G5788)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 260
dead, 3498
{3498} Prime
νεκρός
nekros
{nek-ros'}
From an apparently primary word νέκυς [[nekus]] (a corpse); dead (literally or figuratively; also as noun).
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
is alive; 2198
{2198} Prime
ζάω
zao
{dzah'-o}
A primary verb; to live (literally or figuratively).
z5656
<5656> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2319
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Revelation 2:8

_ _ Smyrna — in Ionia, a little to the north of Ephesus. Polycarp, martyred in a.d. 168, eighty-six years after his conversion, was bishop, and probably “the angel of the Church in Smyrna” meant here. The allusions to persecutions and faithfulness unto death accord with this view. Ignatius [The Martyrdom of Ignatius 3], on his way to martyrdom in Rome, wrote to Polycarp, then (a.d. 108) bishop of Smyrna; if his bishopric commenced ten or twelve years earlier, the dates will harmonize. Tertullian [The Prescription against Heretics, 32], and Irenaeus, who had talked with Polycarp in youth, tell us Polycarp was consecrated bishop of Smyrna by St. John.

_ _ the first ... the last ... was dead ... is alive — The attributes of Christ most calculated to comfort the Church of Smyrna under its persecutions; resumed from Revelation 1:17, Revelation 1:18. As death was to Him but the gate to life eternal, so it is to be to them (Revelation 2:10, Revelation 2:11).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Revelation 2:8-11

_ _ We now proceed to the second epistle sent to another of the Asian churches, where, as before, observe,

_ _ I. The preface or inscription in both parts. 1. The superscription, telling us to whom it was more expressly and immediately directed: To the angel of the church in Smyrna, a place well known at this day by our merchants, a city of great trade and wealth, perhaps the only city of all the seven that is still known by the same name, now however no longer distinguished for its Christian church being overrun by Mahomedism. 2. The subscription, containing another of the glorious titles of our Lord Jesus, the first and the last, he that was dead and is alive, taken out of Revelation 1:17, Revelation 1:18. (1.) Jesus Christ is the first and the last. It is but a little scantling of time that is allowed to us in this world, but our Redeemer is the first and the last. He is the first, for by him all things were made, and he was before all things with God and was God himself. he is the last, for all things are made for him, and he will be the Judge of all. This surely is the title of God, from everlasting and to everlasting, and it is the title of one that is an unchangeable Mediator between God and man, Jesus, the same yesterday, today, and for ever. He was the first, for by him the foundation of the church was laid in the patriarchal state; and he is the last, for by him the top-stone will be brought forth and laid in the end of time. (2.) He was dead and is alive. He was dead, and died for our sins; he is alive, for he rose again for our justification, and he ever lives to make intercession for us. He was dead, and by dying purchased salvation for us; he is alive, and by his life applies this salvation to us. And if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled by his death, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. His death we commemorate every sacrament day; his resurrection and life every sabbath day.

_ _ II. The subject-matter of this epistle to Smyrna, where, after the common declaration of Christ's omniscience, and the perfect cognizance he has of all the works of men and especially of his churches, he takes notice,

_ _ 1. Of the improvement they had made in their spiritual state. This comes in in a short parentheses; yet it is very emphatic: But thou art rich (Revelation 2:10), poor in temporals, but rich in spirituals — poor in spirit, and yet rich in grace. Their spiritual riches are set off by their outward poverty. Many who are rich in temporals are poor in spirituals. Thus it was with the church of Laodicea. Some who are poor outwardly are inwardly rich, rich in faith and in good works, rich in privileges, rich in bonds and deeds of gift, rich in hope, rich in reversion. Spiritual riches are usually the reward of great diligence; the diligent hand makes rich. Where there is spiritual plenty, outward poverty may be better borne; and when God's people are impoverished in temporals, for the sake of Christ and a good conscience, he makes all up to them in spiritual riches, which are much more satisfying and enduring.

_ _ 2. Of their sufferings: I know thy tribulation and thy poverty — the persecution they underwent, even to the spoiling of their goods. Those who will be faithful to Christ must expect to go through many tribulations; but Jesus Christ takes particular notice of all their troubles. In all their afflictions, he is afflicted, and he will recompense tribulation to those who trouble them, but to those that are troubled rest with himself.

_ _ 3. He knows the wickedness and the falsehood of their enemies: I know the blasphemy of those that say they are Jews, but are not; that is, of those who pretend to be the only peculiar covenant-people of God, as the Jews boasted themselves to be, even after God had rejected them; or of those who would be setting up the Jewish rites and ceremonies, which were now not only antiquated, but abrogated; these may say that they only are the church of God in the world, when indeed they are the synagogue of Satan. Observe, (1.) As Christ has a church in the world, the spiritual Israel of God, so the devil has his synagogue. Those assemblies which are set up in opposition to the truths of the gospel, and which promote and propagate damnable errors, — those which are set up in opposition to the purity and spirituality of gospel worship, and which promote and propagate the vain inventions of men and rites and ceremonies which never entered into the thoughts of God, — these are all synagogues of Satan: he presides over them, he works in them, his interests are served by them, and he receives a horrid homage and honour from them. (2.) For the synagogues of Satan to give themselves out to be the church or Israel of God is no less than blasphemy. God is greatly dishonoured when his name is made use of to promote and patronize the interests of Satan; and he has a high resentment of this blasphemy, and will take a just revenge on those who persist in it.

_ _ 4. He foreknows the future trials of his people, and forewarns them of them, and fore-arms them against them. (1.) He forewarns them of future trials: The devil shall cast some of you into prison, and you shall have tribulation, Revelation 2:10. The people of God must look for a series and succession of troubles in this world, and their troubles usually rise higher. They had been impoverished by their tribulations before; now they must be imprisoned. Observe, It is the devil that stirs up his instruments, wicked men, to persecute the people of God; tyrants and persecutors are the devil's tools, though they gratify their own sinful malignity, and know not that they are actuated by a diabolical malice. (2.) Christ fore-arms them against these approaching troubles, [1.] By his counsel: Fear none of these things. This is not only a word of command, but of efficacy, no, only forbidding slavish fear, but subduing it and furnishing the soul with strength and courage. [2.] By showing them how their sufferings would be alleviated and limited. First, They should not be universal. It would be some of them, not all, who should be cast into prison, those who were best able to bear it and might expect to be visited and comforted by the rest. Secondly, They were not to be perpetual, but for a set time, and a short time: Ten days. It should not be everlasting tribulation, the time should be shortened for the elect's sake. Thirdly, It should be to try them, not to destroy them, that their faith, and patience, and courage, might be proved and improved, and be found to honour and glory. [3.] By proposing and promising a glorious reward to their fidelity: Be thou faithful to death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Observe, First, The sureness of the reward: I will give thee. He has said it that is able to do it; and he has undertaken that he will do it. They shall have the reward from his own hand, and none of their enemies shall be able to wrest it out of his hand, or to pull it from their heads. Secondly, The suitableness of it. 1. A crown, to reward their poverty, their fidelity, and their conflict. 2. A crown of life, to reward those who are faithful even unto death, who are faithful till they die, and who part with life itself in fidelity to Christ. The life so worn out in his service, or laid down in his cause, shall be rewarded with another and a much better life that shall be eternal.

_ _ III. The conclusion of this message, and that, as before, 1. With a call to universal attention, that all men, all the world, should hear what passes between Christ and his churches — how he commends them, how he comforts them, how he reproves their failures, how he rewards their fidelity. It concerns all the inhabitants of the world to observe God's dealings with his own people; all the world may learn instruction and wisdom thereby. 2. With a gracious promise to the conquering Christian: He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death, Revelation 2:11. Observe, (1.) There is not only a first, but a second death, a death after the body is dead. (2.) This second death is unspeakably worse than the first death, both in the dying pangs and agonies of it (which are the agonies of the soul, without any mixture of support) and in the duration; it is eternal death, dying the death, to die and to be always dying. This is hurtful indeed, fatally hurtful, to all who fall under it. (3.) From this hurtful, this destructive death, Christ will save all his faithful servants; the second death shall have no power over those who are partakers of the first resurrection: the first death shall not hurt them, and the second death shall have no power over them.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Revelation 2:8

These things saith the first and the last, who was dead and is alive — How directly does this description tend to confirm him against the fear of death! Revelation 2:10-11. Even with the comfort wherewith St. John himself was comforted, Revelation 1:17-18, shall the angel of this church be comforted.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Revelation 2:8

(6) And unto the angel of the church in (c) Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

(6) The second passage is to the pastors of the church of the Smyrnians. The introduction is taken out of (Revelation 1:17-18).

(c) Smyrna was one of the cities of Ionia in Asia.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the angel:

Revelation 2:1 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;

the first:

Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
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.
Revelation 1:17-18 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: ... I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
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Rv 1:8, 11, 17; 2:1.

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