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The Address to the Church in Philadelphia.
CHAP. iii. ver. 7-13.
7 Και τα αγέλω της 7 And unto the Angel
έν Φιλαδελφεία εκ- of the Church in Phiκλησίας γράψον" ladelphia, write: Thus Τάδε λέγει ο άγι®, saith He that is holy; ο αληθινός, ο έχων He that is true; He την κλειδα το Δα- who hath the key of Gido ó ávoicywy, ry David; He who openΑδεις κλείει» και
eth and no one shut. κλείει, και έδεις ανοί
teth, and shutteth and 8 yx Oidá os te
one openeth : 1 igaz idė, didasca
know thy works; beενώπιόν σε θύραν hold, I have set before aveguémy, wo edels
thee an opened door, δύναται κλείσαι αυ
which no one can shut: την ότι μικράν έ
because thou hast little χεις δύναμιν, και ετή
strength, and hast kept ρησάς με τον λόγον, ,
my word, and hast και έκ ηρνήσω το όνο
not denied my name, 9 má tz. 'lds, didaps 9 Behold, I give unto
έκ της συναγωγής thee those of the syniaτο σατανά τδνλε
gogue of Satan, (who yorlov (autes It
say of themselves that δαίες είναι, και εκεί
they are Jews, and are σιν, αλλά ψεύδονίαι:
not, but speak falsely, ιδέ, τσοιήσω αυτές,
behold, I will make inz MENTI w goce
them) to come and xurNowory kvÁT109
worship before thy TW wodwy
feet, and to know that päev, őri ya na
I have loved thee. 10 γάπησά σε: “Ότι
10 Because thou hast ετήρησας τον λόγον
kept the word of my της υπομονής με,
patience, I also will καγώ σε τηρήσω εκ
keep thee from the
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: 8 I know thy works:
behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied
my 9 name. Behold, I will
make them of the synagogue of Satan (which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie); behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that
I have loved thee. 10 Because thou hast
kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation,
της ώρας το σειεασμα της μελλέσης έρχεσθαι επι της οικεμένης έλης, πειράσαι τες καλοι
κονίας επί της γης. . 11 "Έρχομαι ταχύ
κράτει και έχας, ίνα
μηδεις λάβη τον τε12 φανόν σε. Ο νικών,
σοιήσω αυτον σύλoν εν τω ναώ τα Θεά με, και έξω και μη εξέλθη έτι και γράψω επ' αυτόν όνομα τ8 Θεέ με, και το όνομα της πόλεως τ8 Θε8 με, της καινής Ιερεσαλήμ, η καταβαίνεσα εκ τα έραν από το Θεέ με, και το όνο
μά με το καινόν. . 18 ο έχων ές, ακεσάTW,
τί το πνεύμα λέγει ταϊς εκκλησίαις. .
hour of trial, which is
which shall come upon about to come upon
all the world, to try the whole region, to
them that dwell upon try those who dwell 11 the earth, Behold, 11 upon the earth. I am I come quickly: hold
coming soon; hold fast that fast which thou that which thou hast, hast, that no man take
that no one take thy 12 thy crown. Him that 12 crown. He that over- overcometh, will I
cometh, him will I make a pillar in the make a column in the Temple of my God, Temple of my God;
and he shall go no and out of it he shall
more out; and I will more depart; write upon him the and I will write upon
name of my God, and him a name of my God, the name of the city of and the name of the my God, which is new city of my God; of Jerusalem, which cothe new Jerusalem, meth down out of hea. which cometh down ven from my God: out of heaven from my and I will write upon
God; even my new 13 him my new name. He 13 name. He that hath an that hath an ear, let
ear, let him hear what him hear what the the Spirit saith unto Spirit saith unto the the Churches.
Ver. 7. Philadelphia.] This city, in the times of Strabo, that is, not long before the date of this vision, had been so often shaken by earthquakes, that it was in a great measure deserted by its inhabitants; which may in some degree account for the poverty of its Church, as described in this Epistle. And its poverty may also in some degree account for its virtue, which is so highly commended* Melito, an eminent Bishop of this see, and a Christian apologist in the second cen
• Strabo, ii. lib. xii,
tury, appears to have written on the Apocalypse *. That such a man, in such a situation, so near to the time when the Apocalypse was published, should acknowledge it as divine, by commenting upon it, is a strong argument for its authenticity. Unfortunately this work of bis is lost.
Philadelphia appears to have resisted the attacks of the Turks in 1312, with more success than the other cities t; but at length it fell under their domination. It still contains (probably as being the last which was subdued) more Christian families than most of the others. Modern travellers represent four Christian Churches standing in this place, and above 200 houses inhabited by Christians.
Ib. He that is holy.] This epithet belongs appropriately to the Deity. He alone is holy f: the Holy One. But, by communication, the same epithet descends to the only begotten Son, who, as such, partaking the nature of the Father, is styled the Holy One ş.
Ib. He that is true.] This epithet, like the preceding, is applicable only to the Father, who is novos ad noivos eos, the only true God (John xviii. 3.); but descends also to the Son, “ the express image of the “ Father,” “ the Truth and the Lifell." He is the true bread, the true vine, the true light, and is emphatically denominated The True One [.
Ib. Key of David.] See note, ch. i. 18.
Ver. 8. Opened door.] Our Lord has rendered the everlasting glories of his kingdom of easy access to the faithful and repentant: 1st, Because he has made atonement for those sins which would otherwise preclude their entrance. 2dly, By granting to them spiritual assistance. 3dly, By supplying them with rules and directions, which he has illustrated by his own perfect example. Hence he has called himself the Way, the Door, no one entereth but through him. And against those who faithfully and diligently attempt an entrance through him, the powers of Hell shall not prevail. In Acts xiv. 27, it is called, the “ door of
* Euseb. Hist. Eccl. p. 147. + Gibbon, vi. 314.
Psalm xvi, 10. Mark i. 24. Luke iv. 34. Acts iï. 14.
I 1 John v. 20.
faith,” and is described as open to the Gentiles, through the mercies of God.
Ver. 9. Jews.] See note, ch. ii. 9. A complete triumph over these pretended saints is promised to this humble Church; and probably it took place in those early times, of which so little history remains. But as this week and faithful Church is a type and resemblance of the pure Church of Christ; so, to that universal Church, when it shall appear in its purity, after this type, the conversion of the whole body of the Jews seems promised; which has been vainly, though often attempted by violence and persecution.
Ver. 10. I will keep thee from the hour of trial.] This promise, in favour of the Church of Philadelphia, was probably fulfilled in some subsequent persecution, of which we have no special account.
Ver. 11. I am coming soon.] See notes, ch. i. 3, iii. 16.
Ib. Crown.] See note, ch. ii. 15.
Ver. 12. Column.] The ancient nations were ac, customed to erect columns in honourable memorial of heroes. Such, in idea at least, were the columns of Hercules. Absalom, “having no son to keep his !! name in remembrance,” built a column to be called
by by his name*. The Christian conqueror is here promised such an honourable memorial in God's temple, in his everlasting temple in heaven. Agreeably to this figurative language, the Apostles James and Peter are accounted columns of the Church (oTURI, Gal. ii. 9.) And the Alexandrian martyrs of the third century are called GTUROL T8 ©£8, and also Attalus of Pergamos, in the account of the martyrs at Lyons and Vienne in the second century t.
Ib. New Jerusalem.] The numerous prophecies, foretelling great and everlasting glory to Jerusalem, have not been fulfilled in the literal Jerusalem ; nor can be so fulfilled, without contradicting other predictions, especially those of our Lord, which have denounced its ruin. They remain therefore to be fulfilled in a spiritual sense; in that sense which Saint Paul points out to us, when, in opposition to “ Jeru“salem that now is, and is in bondage with her chil“ dren,” he presents to our view “ Jerusalem which is “ above, which is free, which is the mother of us all.” This is the city which “Abraham looked to; a building “not made with hands, whose builder and maker is “God ;" even the heavenly Jerusalem, whose splendour will be displayed in the concluding chapters of this book.
* 2 Sam. xviii, 18.
Gal. iv. 24–27. Heb. xi. 10-16. xii. 22-24. xiii. 14.