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Ver. 11. He that hath an ear,] See note, ch. ii. 7.
Ib. Second death.] For an explanation of the expression, "he who overcometh,” see note, ch. ii. 7. To the spiritual conqueror, in that passage, immortal life is promised; but it is here inferred that he must not expect to approach to it otherwise than through the passage of death, which is the common lot of man by the divine sentence*; and by which the “Captain of Salvation, the Lord of Life,” himself passed to victory. This is the first death. But beyond the grave, (where death, in the common acceptation of the word, can no more prevail,) is the second death; not only a total extinction of all our pleasurable feelings, aud of all our hopes of happiness, but an ever-during sense of this extinction, “ where the worm dieth not, and the “ fire is not quenched.” To death, in this secondary sense, our Saviour frequently alludes. “He that " believeth in me shall never die, o un atobavy ELS TOV QWV4, shall pot die for ever t; John xi. 26; see also John viii, 51, x, 28: in which passages it is clear from the context, that our Lord did never intend to exempt his followers from the first death, or common passage through the grave 1. For, this kind of death, by the victory of our Lord, being disarmed of its sting; being deprived of the power of retaining “the soul in hell;” being to the good Christian only a short passage to immortality ;-is expressed by the gentle term sleep. “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth.” And again, “ The "maid is not dead, but sļeepeth S.” And we are exhorted by our Saviour not to be afraid of this first death, “ of them that kill the body,” but of Him who can inflict the second death, “who is able to destroy " both soul and body in hell;" in that very lake of fire which is described as the second death in Rev. xx. 14, and xxi. 8. which two passages will be found to elucidate the sense of this expression, “ the second “death,” as used in the Apocalypse *
* Gen. iii. 19.
+ So translated by Dr. Clarke, 1 John xii. 25. Matt. x. 28.
§ Matt. ix. 24. John xi. 11, 13. 1 Cor. xi. 30. xv. 6, 18, 51, 1 Thess. iv. 14, 15, Rom. iv. 17. Matt. xxvii. 52. Luke xx. 36, 37, 38, This metaphorical application of the word sleep, so useful to divest
death of its terrors, continued long in popular use with the Christian world. Prudentius, speaking of the Christian bodies deposited in graves, says,
_"non mortua, sed data somno;"
not dead, but sleeping. And so says Tertullian : Neque ipsi mortui sumus, qui Deo vivimus, neque mortuos sepelimus, quia et illi vivunt in Christo. (Tertull. de Monog. cap. vii. ad fin.) Hence the place of Christian burial was called xorpeningios, cæmeterium, sleeping-place. The lofty heathen writers, who could promise to their readers no such resurrection of the body, called the death of the good itgov Tivor (Homer); which noble expression probably gave rise to that beautiful epitaph, ascribed to Callimachus :
Τηδε Σαων και Δικωνος Ακανθιος Γερον υπνου
In sleep :—for who shall say the good are dead? * Irenæus, one of the earliest commentators on the Apocalypse, explains “ the second death” to mean the Gehenna, or eternal fire. Iren. lib. v. c. 35. This distinction between the two deaths may be read to advantage in the sublime Poet, who, speaking in the person of Adam, says :
how gladly would I meet
- - - - yet one doubt
Before we leave this passage, let us remark how appropriately the reward of escaping the second death is holden forth to the good Smyrnæans, when called to martyrdom, and how consistently our Lord represents himself to these martyrs, as “ He who was dead, and " is alive!”
Lest that pure breath of life, the spirit of man,
Paradise Lost, book x. 775—788.
CHAP. ii. VER. 12–17.'
12 Kai tā aryaw tas | 12 And to the Angel of | 12 And to the Angel of
έν Περγάμο εκκλη 1 the Church in Perga the Church in Pergaσίας γράψον Τάδε mos, write; Thus saith mos,write,These things héyu ó inwr thing he who holdeth the two saith he, which hath
popapalar thy diso- 13 edged sharp sword: I the sharp sword with 13 for this očesar 01 know thy works, and 13 two edges. I know thy δα τα έρία σε, και where thou dwellest, 1 works, and where thou që naloxeis, ővé even where the throne dwellest, eten where Saθρόνος το σατανά: of Satan is; and thou tan's seat is : and thou και κραθείς το όνομά holdest fast my name, holdest fast my name, Mi, xai &x nprnow and hast not denied and bast not denied The nigov uby [s] my faith ; (even) in my faith, even in those εν ταϊς ημέραις, εν
the days in which An days wherein Antipas αις 'Αλίπας ο μάρ tipas my faithful wit was my faithful martyr, TUS ME ó aisòs, os
ness was, who was slain who was slain among απεικιάνθη σαρ' υμ δν,
among you, where Sa- you,where Satan dwellömrå gatavās sa- | 14 tan dwelletb. But I | 14 eth. But I have a few 14 Toxi. 'An' i'w have against thee a few things against thee, be
xalà oë óráya, őtt things, that thou hast cause thou hast there έχεις εκεί κραινίας there those who hold them that hold the Thy didagno Bar the doctrine of Balaam, doctrine of Balaam, azer, os ididQOHEN who taught Balak to who taught Balak to τα Βαλάκι βαλεϊν cast a stumbling-block cast a stumbling-block σκάνδαλον ενώπιον before the children of before the children of Tūv viūr 'lopaña,
Israel; to eat things Israel, to eat things φαγείν ειδωλόθυτα, sacrificed to idols, and sacrificed unto idols, 15 xj wogtūrxi, 06 to commit fornication: and to commit forni
TWS ÉXAS OÙ ugą- 15 So hast thou also those 15 cation. So hast thou τέντας την διδαχήν who hold the doctrines also them that hold the
Tão Noxonaitwró of the Nicolaitans in doctrine of the Nico16 zdolws. Metavón- 16 like manner. Repent, laitanes, which thing I
cov si dè ven, ie 1 therefore, or else I am 16 hate. Repent; or else χομαί σοι ταχύ,
coming unto thee soon, 1 I will come unto thee και πολεμήσω μετ'
and I will war against quickly; and will fight zútür lv rin sozua them with the sword against them with the Paige Tő sólalós fu8. | 17 of my mouth. He sword of my mouth. 17'0 1xwv cùs, á xova
that hath an ear, let 17 He that hath an ear, σάτω τί το πνεύμα
him hear what the let him hear what the λέγει ταϊς εκκλησί
Spirit saith unto the Spirit saith unto the αισ' τη νικώντι δώ
Churches: To him who Churches: To him that Owaúrõ méve to
overcometh, to him overcometh, will I give κεκρυμμένε, και δώσω
will I give of the hid to eat of the hidden aütü tacos deuxhin,
den manna; and I will manna; and I will give xai ini tho tñpor
give him a white stone, him a white stone, and õvou.x xazuvòo polecenas
and upon the stone a in the stone a new name pérov, édeis odev
new name written, written, which no nian si din ó najbarwy.
which none knoweth knoweth, saving he that but he who receivethit. receiveth it.
Ver. 12. Pergamos.] A city of great account, enriched and adorned by a long succession of the Attalian Kings. The last of these, Attalus Philometer, bequeathed his dominions to the Romans, and it then became the residence of a Roman pro
consul. Pliny the elder, who wrote but a short time before the date of this Revelation, describes it as the most famous city in Asia*. A heathen metropolis would naturally become a central seat of corruptive doctrines and morals; and in this sense it might be called “the throne of Satan.” It might also acquire this appellation from being the seat of the pagan persecuting government, whence issued the edicts and instruments of persecution; and it appears that Antipas, the faithful martyr, was slain heret. It was also a grand seat of heathen learning, because its famous library of 200,000 volumes would neces. sarily attract the residence of the learned; whence also from this place would probably be derived that “philosophy and vain deceit,” against which, as corruptive of Christianity, the apostle warns his disciples F. And the Bæði, or depths of Gnostical learning, are ascribed to Satan, in the address to the Church of Thyatira g. So, in more senses than one, Pergamos may have been styled the “ Throne or of Satan.” It is described by modern travellers as containing at present from two to three thousand Turks, who have converted its best churches into mosques. Yet there are some few Christians remaining, to whom a priest sent from Smyrna, occasionally officiates.
Ib. Two-edged sharp sword.] With this instrument of power our Lord has been already described, in ch. i. 16, where see the note. The description is peculiarly proper in this place, because the supreme Head of the Church now appears against the “ Throne of
+ Ver. 13.
* Nat. Hist. lib. v. c. xxx.
Coloss. ii. 8.
Ś Ver. 24.