Revelation 2:24
But to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put on you none other burden.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) But unto you I say (omit “and unto”) the rest, &c.

The depths.—Or, the deep things. These teachers, as was the case with the Gnostics, professed to have a deeper insight into mysteries, the deep things of God. They may have garnished their speech with this very phrase, borrowed—in sound though not in sense—from 1Corinthians 2:10, and may have even boasted of their knowledge of Satan. But such knowledge was purchased too dearly. Better off were they who were simple concerning evil; they have a burden, but it is not the burden of judicial tribulation: it is the burden only of resisting the evils of those troublers of the Church. The allusion may be to the decree of Acts 15:28; the same word for “burden” is used. They must not abandon their duty of witnessing for purity, and so for Christ; this burden they must take up, and hold fast till He come.

Revelation 2:24-25. But unto you I say, who have not this doctrine — Of Jezebel; and to the rest — Who have kept themselves from being led astray by these delusions; and have not known — O happy ignorance! the depths of Satan — The deep arts of deceit and error practised in his kingdom, to bring in all sorts of corruption, by teaching men to account things as indifferent and innocent that are wicked and abominable; as they speak

It seems they were continually boasting of the deep things which they taught. Our Lord owns they were deep, even deep as hell; for they were the very depths of Satan. I will put upon you none other burden — Than that you have already suffered from Jezebel and her adherents. Or, I will lay no new restraints or injunctions upon you; but will only confirm the laws of truth, righteousness, and goodness, given to make you free from the dominion of sin, the truest and most important liberty. But that which ye — Both the pastor and the church; have already received through my gospel, as essential to true religion, and necessary in order to your pleasing God, hold fast — In principle and practice, in faith, love, and obedience; till I come — To put an end to your time of trial, and receive you to the heavenly paradise.2:18-29 Even when the Lord knows the works of his people to be wrought in love, faith, zeal, and patience; yet if his eyes, which are as a flame of fire, observe them committing or allowing what is evil, he will rebuke, correct, or punish them. Here is praise of the ministry and people of Thyatira, by One who knew the principles from which they acted. They grew wiser and better. All Christians should earnestly desire that their last works may be their best works. Yet this church connived at some wicked seducers. God is known by the judgments he executes; and by this upon seducers, he shows his certain knowledge of the hearts of men, of their principles, designs, frame, and temper. Encouragement is given to those who kept themselves pure and undefiled. It is dangerous to despise the mystery of God, and as dangerous to receive the mysteries of Satan. Let us beware of the depths of Satan, of which those who know the least are the most happy. How tender Christ is of his faithful servants! He lays nothing upon his servants but what is for their good. There is promise of an ample reward to the persevering, victorious believer; also knowledge and wisdom, suitable to their power and dominion. Christ brings day with him into the soul, the light of grace and of glory, in the presence and enjoyment of him their Lord and Saviour. After every victory let us follow up our advantage against the enemy, that we may overcome and keep the works of Christ to the end.But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira - The word - "and" - καὶ kai - is omitted in many mss. and versions, and in the critical editions of Griesbach, Tittmann, and Hahn, and the connection demands that it should be omitted. As it stands in the received text, it would seem that what he here says was addressed to those who had received that doctrine, and to all others as well as to them; whereas the declaration here made pertains manifestly to those who had not received the doctrine. With that particle omitted the passage will read, as rendered by Prof. Stuart, "But I say unto you, the remainder in Thyatira, so many as hold not this doctrine," etc. That is, he addresses now all the members of the church who were not involved in the charges already made. He does not say how large a portion of the church had escaped the contaminating influence of those opinions, but to that portion, whether great or small, he addresses only words of exhortation and comfort.

As many as have not this doctrine - To all who have not embraced it, or been contaminated with it. It may be presumed that there was a considerable portion of the church which had not.

And which have not known the depths of Satan - The deep art and designs of Satan. Deep things are those which are hidden from view - as of things which are far underground; and hence the word is used to denote mysteries, or profound designs and purposes. The allusion here is not to any trials or sufferings that Satan might bring upon anyone, or to any temptations of which he might be the author, but to his profound art in inculcating error and leading people astray. There are doctrines of error, and arguments for sin, to originate which seems to lie beyond the power of people, and which would appear almost to have exhausted the talent of Satan himself. They evince such a profound knowledge of man; of the divine government; of the course of events on earth; and of what our race needs; and they are defended with so much eloquence, skill, learning, and subtlety of argumentation, that they appear to lie beyond the compass of the human powers.

As they speak - This cannot mean that the defenders of these errors themselves called their doctrines "the depths of Satan," for no teachers would choose so to designate their opinions; but it must mean, either that they who were opposed to those errors characterized them as "the depths of Satan," or that they who opposed them said that they had not known "the depths of Satan." Prof. Stuart understands it in the latter sense. A somewhat more natural interpretation, it seems to me, however, is to refer it to what the opposers of these heretics said of these errors. They called them "the depths of Satan," and they professed not to have known anything of them. The meaning, perhaps, would be expressed by the familiar words, "as they say," or "as they call them," in the following manner: "As many as have not known the depths of Satan, as they say," or, "to use their own language." Doddridge paraphrases it, "as they proverbially speak." Tyndale encloses it in a parenthesis.

I will put upon you none other burden - That is, no other than that which you now experience from having these persons with you, and that which must attend the effort to purify the church. He had not approved their conduct for suffering these persons to remain in the church, and he threatens to punish all those who had become contaminated with these pernicious doctrines. He evidently designed to say that there was some token of his displeasure proper in the case, but he was not disposed to bring upon them any other expression of his displeasure than what grew naturally and necessarily out of the fact that they had been tolerated among them, and those troubles and toils which must attend the effort to deliver the church from these errors. Under any circumstances the church must suffer. It would suffer in reputation. It would suffer in respect to its internal tranquility. Perhaps, also, there were those who were implicated in these errors, and who would be implicated in the punishment, who had friends and kindred in the church; and the judgments which were to come upon the advocates of these errors must, therefore, come in a measure upon the church.

A kind Saviour says, that he would bring upon them no other and no weightier burden, than must arise from his purpose to inflict appropriate vengeance on the guilty themselves. The trouble which would grow out of that would be a sufficient expression of his displeasure. This is, in fact, often now all that is necessary as a punishment on a church for harboring the advocates of error and of sin. The church has trouble enough ultimately in getting rid of them; and the injury which such persons do to its piety, peace, and reputation, and the disorders of which they are the cause, constitute a sufficient punishment for having tolerated them in its bosom. Often the most severe punishment that God can bring upon people is to "lay upon them no other burden" than to leave them to the inevitable consequences of their own folly, or to the trouble and vexation incident to the effort to free themselves from what they had for a long time tolerated or practiced.

24. you … and … the rest—The three oldest manuscripts omit "and"; translate then, "Unto you, the rest."

as many as have not—not only do not hold, but are free from contact with.

and which—The oldest manuscripts omit "and"; translate, "whosoever."

the depths—These false prophets boasted peculiarly of their knowledge of mysteries and the deep things of God; pretensions subsequently expressed by their arrogant title, Gnostics ("full of knowledge"). The Spirit here declares their so-called "depths," (namely, of knowledge of divine things) to be really "depths of Satan"; just as in Re 2:9, He says, instead of "the synagogue of God," "the synagogue of Satan." Hengstenberg thinks the teachers themselves professed to fathom the depths of Satan, giving loose rein to fleshly lusts, without being hurt thereby. They who thus think to fight Satan with his own weapons always find him more than a match for them. The words, "as they speak," that is, "as they call them," coming after not only "depths," but "depths of Satan," seem to favor this latter view; otherwise I should prefer the former, in which case, "as they speak," or "call them," must refer to "depths" only, not also "depths of Satan." The original sin of Adam was a desire to know EVIL as well as good, so in Hengstenberg's view, those who professed to know "the depths of Satan." It is the prerogative of God alone to know evil fully, without being hurt or defiled by it.

I will put—Two oldest manuscripts have "I put," or "cast." One oldest manuscript reads as English Version.

none other burden—save abstinence from, and protestation against, these abominations; no "depths" beyond your reach, such as they teach, no new doctrine, but the old faith and rule of practice once for all delivered to the saints. Exaggerating and perfecting Paul's doctrine of grace without the law as the source of justification and sanctification, these false prophets rejected the law as a rule of life, as though it were an intolerable "burden." But it is a "light" burden. In Ac 15:28, 29, the very term "burden," as here, is used of abstinence from fornication and idol-meats; to this the Lord here refers.

But unto you I say; you that are the ministers, for they are distinguished from the rest in Thyatira. The word again is plural, which lets us know these epistles were directed to no single persons.

And unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine; the rest of the members of the church in Thyatira, who have not embraced this doctrine of the Nicolaitanes published by Jezebel, &c.

As they speak; those seducers call their doctrine deep things, great mysteries revealed to them; as there are the deep things of God, 1 Corinthians 2:10, so these seducers would pretend their doctrines also were deep things: Christ calls them the devil’s mysteries, deep things of Satan.

I will put upon you none other burden; I will lay no other burden of trials and afflictions. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira,.... The copulative and is left out in the Alexandrian copy and Complutensian edition, and if retained, it may be rendered thus, "even unto the rest"; the persons spoken to are the same, the pastor of this church, with his colleagues, and all the rest of the faithful in it; which shows that this epistle, and so the rest, were not written to the pastors only, but to the churches; and that the pastor and his colleagues, with others, were free from the abominable errors and corruptions before spoken of; and that, in the worst of times, God does, and will reserve a people for himself, who are described as follows:

as many as have not this doctrine; who had not given into, and embraced this doctrine of the antichristian church of Rome, concerning infallibility, the worshipping of images, transubstantiation, &c. the Arabic version reads, "this new doctrine"; for notwithstanding the large pretensions of the Romish church to antiquity, her doctrine is but a novel doctrine:

and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; that is, had not approved of the doctrines of antichrist, which though his followers called deep things and mysteries of their holy religion, such as transubstantiation, &c. yet, to speak in the language of the pure and faithful professors of the Gospel, they are no other than the depths of Satan, or doctrines of devils; or else the sense is, as Jezebel and her followers say, to the contempt of the faithful, arrogating knowledge to themselves, and upbraiding them with simplicity and ignorance, as not knowing Satan's devices, nor how to rescue souls out of them, as they did; but the former sense seems best:

I will put upon you none other burden; meaning not any affliction or tribulation than the present one; nor any other errors and heresies than what were broached; but no other precept or command than what follows; see 2 Kings 9:25.

But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the {l} depths of Satan, as they speak; I will {m} put upon you none other burden.

(l) He points out the bragging of certain men, who boasted of their deep, that is, plentiful and common knowledge, which nonetheless is devilish.

(m) I will speak no worse thing against you, being content to have showed you what I require to be in you.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 2:24-25. In opposition (δὲ) to the Nicolaitans spoken of at the close of Revelation 2:23, the Lord now addresses that part of the church not infected by such false doctrines; by the words οἵτινες, κ.τ.λ., the rest are then expressly characterized as such as had not received this doctrine, this not godly, but satanic, gnosis. The reference to the so-called gnosis of the Nicolaitans is here clearly indicated by the expression τὰ βαθέα, even apart from the controverted formula ὡς λέγουσιν; for to become acquainted with the depths (of divinity) was an essential pretence of the Gnostics.[1269] But it is a matter of controversy, whether the expression τ. βαθέα τ. σατ. should be conceived of as a self-chosen designation of Gnostic erroneous doctrine concerning the “rest,”[1270] so that οὐκ ἔγνωσαν and ὡς λέγουσιν have the same subject, or whether the Nicolaitan Gnostics are to be regarded as the subject to ὡς λέγουσιν, so that the expression τὰ βαθέα τ. σατ. is used either entirely as it sounds in the sense of these Gnostics,[1271] or according to the analogy of the designation συναγωγὴ τοῦ σατανᾶ, Revelation 2:9, as a sarcastic transformation of the Gnostic expression concerning the depths; viz., as they say, of the Deity, but as it is rather in fact meant, of Satan.[1272] But if, in the former sense, the entire formula τὰ βαθέα τοῦ σατανᾶ were to be understood as one in itself peculiar to the Gnostics (ὡς κεγ.), it must also be shown how it was used by them; but this does not occur. Hence the view commends itself, that the expression τὰ βαθέα τ. σατ. is to be conceived of from the Christian standpoint. At the same time it appears far more forcible if the Gnostics themselves be regarded as the subject to ὡς λέγουσιν with respect to the chief idea τὰ βαθέα, while the further determination of τοῦ σατανᾶ is made prominent, in that the question in fact is not concerning divine depths,[1273] nor divine mysteries,[1274] but the depths of Satan, as if this judgment were put in the mouths of believers at Thyatira who remained faithful, and they therefore are regarded as the subject to the ὡς λέγουσιν.

To the rest at Thyatira the Lord now says, οὐ βάλλω

ἥξω. The expression ἄλλο βάρος has been understood in two chief respects, but with very different modifications of exposition; viz., either of the burden of suffering and punishment, or of the burden of a law. The norm furnished by the context, for the explanation of an expression in itself ambiguous, lies in the words πλὴν ὃ εχ., κ.τ.λ., which in no way contain the condition of the promise οὐ βάλλω ἐρʼ ὑμ. ἄλλο βάρ[1275] but a certain limitation (πλήν) of the preceding promise, as the πλήν is correlate to ἄλλο. If now in the words Revelation 2:25, the manifestation of Christian steadfastness in faith is required, and therefore a certain incessant legal determination is made or established, the result is that every ἄλλο βάρος must likewise be a burden of the law, which, just because it reaches farther than the limitation indicated in the closing words (Revelation 2:25), should not be laid upon believers. If now it be considered that the question at issue was with respect to fornication and the eating of sacrifices made to idols, and that just in respect to this the ancient church at the Synod of Jerusalem, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, made a definite decision, but declined all going beyond this as an intolerable burden,[1276] we could not recognize hence a clear allusion to that decree; and accordingly explain the ἄλλο βάρος of any sort of legal limitation of the holy freedom of believers, which proceeds beyond the commandment hitherto faithfully preserved by them.[1277] The ὃ ἔχετε, nevertheless, is not directly the formerly recognized and still faithfully observed prohibition to avoid fornication and the eating of what is sacrificed to idols; but the expression in its indefinite extent includes the idea that because believers have been faithful in opposition to the Nicolaitans, just in their obedience they have also had their reward, viz., the blessing of eternal life, and therefore should hold fast to this treasure,[1278] while they bear still further the burden of that commandment which was hitherto borne. If the ἄλλο βάρος, therefore, be understood of the burden of suffering, it can be explained only, with De Wette: “No other sorrow than you bear or have borne already.” For we must infer from the mention of the ὑπομονή, Revelation 2:19, that suffering was already borne; while, in case this reference were to ἂλλο βάρος, a more definite allusion to suffering previously endured would be expected. Incorrectly, Heinr.: “Punishment because of another’s fault.” Incorrectly, Grot.: “They boast of the knowledge of many things; this I do not exact of you,” as though the gnosis were the ἄλλο βάρος. Incorrectly, Beng. (whom Klief. follows): “As they had borne the burden of Jezebel and her followers sufficiently.”

[1269] “If, in good faith, you ask them a question, they answer, with stern look and contracted brow, that ‘it is deep.’ ” Tertull., Adv. Valent., i.—“Who say that they have come to the depths of the depth.” Iren., Adv. Haer., ii. 38, 1. Pref.: βαθέα μυστήρια, “deep mysteries.”

[1270] Andr., Areth., Heinr., Züllig, Stern, Ebrard.

[1271] Neander, Apost. Zeitalt, 3d ed. ii. p. 532. Hengstenb., Gebhardt, Klief.

[1272] So Vitr.: “The ὡς λέγουσιν is to be referred absolutely to the τὰ βαθέα.” The word “of Satan” is added by the Lord himself.

[1273] Cf. 1 Corinthians 2:10; Romans 11:33.

[1274] Iren., Adv. Haer., i. 1, ii. 39, 48.

[1275] Ebrard.

[1276] Acts 15:28.

[1277] Cf. Primas, N. de Lyra, C. a Lap., Stern, Hengstenb. Cf. also Ew. ii.

[1278] Cf. Revelation 3:11.Revelation 2:24. To know “the depths” of the divine being and counsel was a characteristic claim of the Ophites and the later Gnostics; cf. Iren. adv. Haer. ii. 22, 1 (qui profunda bythi adinuenisse se dicunt; cf. 3), and Tertullian’s sarcastic description (adv. Vàlent. 1), “Eleusinia Ualentiniana fecerunt lenocinia. sancta silentio magno, sola taciturnitate coelestia. Si bona fide quaeris, concreto uultu, suspenso supercilio Altum est aiunt.” “The depth of knowledge” was a phrase of Herakleitus, the famous Ephesian philosopher, and in the creed of the Dukhobortsui, a sect in modern Russia, the Holy Spirit is Depth, the Father being Height and the Son Breadth. Since ὡς λέγουσιν refers to the errorists themselves, the quoted phrase about “knowing the depths of Satan” may (1.) contain an indignant and sarcastic retort; “depths of—Satan,” not “God,” as they boast (τοῦς. being substituted for τοῦ θεοῦ); such teaching and principles are simply infernal. Or (2.) as is more probable the words may voice the actual claim of the errorists, who considered that some accommodation to pagan practices gave them a necessary acquaintance with the meaning of evil (so e.g., Spitta, Pfleiderer, Zahn, Jülicher, Bousset). Their higher standing gave them immunity from any risks. They could fathom securely what the immature orthodox called immorality. Devil-study, or even devil-worship (Revelation 13:4 is quite different) was not uncommon in some of the Gnostic sects throughout Asia Minor, e.g., the Cainites, the Naassenes, and the Ophites (the earliest Gnostics, φάσκοντες μόνοι τὰ βάθη γινώσκειν, Hipp. adv. Haer. Revelation 2:6). The idea was that as the principle of evil would ultimately be redeemed, it might be used meantime for the advantage of the initiated. Compare Mansel’s Gnostic Heresies, pp. 73, 96, 105. In En. lxv. 6 the unrighteous are punished for their acquaintance with “all the secrets of the angels and all the violence of the Satans and all their hidden power and all the power of those that practise sorcery, and the power of witchcraft.” The influence of a movement like Gnosticism, whose motto was eritis sicut deus scientes bonum et malum, gave wide opportunities to immorality, in its more popular applications. It produced the same sort of union between subtlety and sensualism which can sometimes be traced within Hinduism. In contrast to this unwholesome temper of speculation, the prophet substitutes for speculative flights the obedience of the normal Christian praxis (cf. Parad. Lost, viii. 170–197, xii. 561–589), with a plain allusion to the Jerusalem concordat of the early church which is recommended tacitly as a safe, wise rule of conduct. In the case of the βαθέα τοῦ σατανᾶ, ignorance is bliss. John is totally unsympathetic to the local liberals. He does not combat the theoretical principles at the root of their movement. Like the prophets who wrote Jude and 2 Peter, he attacks instead of arguing, quite content to judge it by its moral fruits of libertinism. He bitterly declares that such occasional results are the deliberate object of the party. The strange collocation of this error with the habit of partaking of sacrificial food is probably due to the prophet’s stern conviction that the latter, with its friendly and liberal attitude to pagan customs, fostered the former, in the case of people who took an ultra-spiritual view of Paul’s principle of Christian freedom.24. unto you] The form of address to the Angel of the Church is dropped, and the Church addressed directly. And should be omitted: the sense is “to the rest of you in Thyatira,” or more literally, “to you, namely to the rest.”

have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak] The heretics condemned in the preceding verses were doubtless a sect of those who called themselves Gnostics, probably at this time, certainly in the next generation. They contrasted their knowledge of “the depths” or “deep things of God” (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:10), with the faith of the orthodox in the plain simple doctrines that were openly preached to the world: the Lord answers, that the depths of knowledge that they attained were depths, not of God, but of Satan. It is uncertain how far the quotation of their own language marked by ‘as they speak’ extends, it is hardly possible that they themselves actually gloried in a knowledge of the depths of Satan (yet cf. 2 Corinthians 2:11); but it is to be remembered that the Gnostic systems of the second century, and probably those of the first also, included a strange mythology of half-personified abstractions; and it may be that the Lord rather identifies one of these with Satan than substitutes the name of Satan for that of God. It appears from Irenaeus that the Gnostics of his time talked of “the deep things of Depth” as well as “the deep things of God.” It is curious that the phrase “the depths of knowledge” is quoted from the great Ephesian philosopher Heraclitus: possibly it was owing to his influence, that such notions found a congenial home in Asia Minor.

I will put] Right in sense, as “I will cast” in Revelation 2:22, though here the true text has a present tense, as there.

none other burden] viz., than abstinence from fornication and things offered to idols, Acts 15:28 sq. The A. V. rightly avoids exaggerating the verbal resemblance between the two passages, but a reference here to that phrase, adopted solemnly by the whole Church, is not impossible. Yet it is a question whether we may not understand the sentence as if the construction were “I will put on you no other burden than to hold fast that which ye have till I come.”Revelation 2:24. [43] Ὅσοι οὐκ ἔχουσιοὐκ ἔγνωσαν) The third person for the second. See Vorst. de Hebraism, c. 26.—οὐκ ἔγνωσαν) they were not Gnostics.—τὰ βάθεα) In Daniel 2:22, it is used in a good sense, αὐτὸς ἀποκαλύπτει βαθέα καὶ ἀπόκρυφα.

[43] ὁ ἐρευνῶνδώσω, He that searcheth—I will give) Both are joined together Proverbs 24:12; Jeremiah 17:10.—V. g.Verse 24. - But to you I say, to the rest in Thyatira. The "and" after "I say" in the Authorized Version is a false reading, which it shares with the Vulgate and Luther: "to you" and "to the rest" are in apposition. Which know not the deep things of Satan, as they say. Two questions confront us here, and it is not possible to answer either with certainty:

(1) Who is it who say something?

(2) What is it that they say?

(1) Note that "say" (Revised Version), not "speak" (Authorized Version), is right; the Greek is λέγουσιν, not λαλοῦσιν. The nominative to "say" may be either the faithful in Thyatira, "who have not this doctrine," and who show their detestation of it by calling it "the deep things of Satan;" or the holders of this doctrine, who profess to be in the possession of profound knowledge of a mysterious kind. Of these two the former is rather tame in meaning. Moreover, we should have expected "as ye say" to harmonize with "to you I say." Therefore we may suppose that it is those who have this doctrine who are indicated in "as they say."

(2) What, then, did they say? Did they call their doctrine "deep things," which the Lord here enlarges into "deep things of Satan," in order to declare its true character? Or did they themselves call their knowledge "the deep things of Satan," which they fathomed in order to prove their mastery over them? The former seems better. It is improbable that any sect, nominally Christian, would in so many words claim special knowledge of "the deep things of Satan." Rather, he who condemns the "synagogue of Satan" (ver. 9) at Smyrna, and the "throne of Satan" (ver. 13) at Pergamum, here condemns the "deep things of Satan" at Thyatim. In any case, "deep things" is the prominent thought. It is some early form of Gnosticism that is indicated, and we know from various sources that "deep" was a favourite expression of theirs with regard to the knowledge which they professed. "The Valen-tinians have formed Eleusinian orgies, consecrated by a mighty silence, having nothing heavenly in them but their mystery. If, in good faith, you ask questions with contracted forehead and frowning brow, they say, 'It is profound'" (Tert., 'Adv. Valent.,' 1.). Similarly, Irenaeus states that they claimed to have found out the "deep things of Bythos" - "profunda Bythi adinvenisse se dicunt" (II. 22:1). Βυθός (equivalent to "depth") is the primary being or god of the Valentinian system, another name for which is Αρρητος (equivalent to "unspeakable "). Hence elsewhere, for profunda Bythi, Irenaeus uses the expression profunda Dei in speaking of these Gnostic claims (II. 22:3). Similarly, Hippolytus ('Refut.,' V. 6:1) states that the Naassenes called themselves Gnostics, saying that they alone knew the depths - τὰ βάθη γινώσκειν, which is singularly close to what we have here. Note, however; that here the true reading is τὰ βαθέα, neuter plural of the adjective βαθύς, not (as in 1 Corinthians 2:10) τὰ βάθη, plural of the substantive βάθος. See also the fragment of a letter of Valentinus, preserved in Epiphanius ('Contra Haer. adv. Valent.,' 1:31). I cast upon you none other burden. An obvious echo of the decision of the Council of Jerusalem respecting these very sins, fornication and idolatry, in reference to Christian liberty (Acts 15:28, 29), where the very same word (βάρος) is used for "burden." In Matthew 11:30; Matthew 23:4; Luke 11:46; Galatians 6:5, the word for "burden" is φορτίον, whereas βάρος is used in Matthew 20:12; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Galatians 6:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:6. Here, as in ver. 22, the true text gives βάλλω, not βαλῶ; and obviously the word should be rendered in the same way in both verses, not "cast" in one place and "put" in another. "None other" means none other than a more determined opposition to these specious abominations. Hold fast your own doctrine, and denounce the false. Others, much less probably, interpret "none other burden" than the sufferings in which they exhibit the "patience" for which they are praised (ver. 19). This gives a very poor meaning, and, moreover, breaks the connexion with what follows: they are certainly not told to hold fast their sufferings, but Christ's precepts as to faith and conduct. And unto the rest

Omit and, and render, as Rev., to you I say, to the rest, etc.

And which (καὶ οἵτινες)

Omit καὶ and. The compound relative, which, classifies; which are of those who know not, etc.

The depths of Satan (τὰ βάθη τοῦ Σατανᾶ)

The reference is, most probably, to the Gnostic sect of the Ophites (ὄφις a serpent), or, in Hebrew, Naasenes (naash a serpent), serpent-worshippers, a sect the origin of which is unknown, but which existed as late as the sixth century; since, in 530, Justinian passed laws against it. "The veneration of the serpent was but the logical development of a theory, the germ of which is common to many of the Gnostic sects. Proceeding on the assumption that the creator of the world is to be regarded as an evil power, a thing in hostility to the supreme God, it follows as a natural consequence that the fall of man through disobedience to the command of his maker must be regarded, not as a transgression against the will of the supreme God, but as an emancipation from the authority of an evil being. The serpent, therefore, who tempted mankind to sin, is no longer their destroyer but their benefactor. He is the symbol of intellect, by whose means the first human pair were raised to the knowledge of the existence of higher beings than their creator. This conception, consistently carried out, would have resulted in a direct inversion of the whole teaching of scripture; in calling evil good and good evil; in converting Satan into God and God into Satan. The majority of the Ophite sects, however, seem to have shrunk from this portentous blasphemy. While acknowledging the fall of man as, in some manner, a deliverance from evil and an exaltation of human nature, they hesitated to carry out their principle by investing the evil spirit with the attributes of deity. A kind of compromise was made between scripture and philosophy. The serpent was, notwithstanding his service to mankind, represented as a being of evil nature and au enemy to man, though his work was overruled to man's good, and he himself was, beyond his intention, the instrument of a higher wisdom. Rut in one sect at least of the Ophites, the more logical and thoroughly blasphemous consequences of the first principles were exhibited openly and unblushingly" (Mansel, "Gnostic Heresies"). The characteristic boast of the Gnostics was their knowledge of the depths of divine things. In this they were probably perverting and caricaturing the words of Paul (Romans 11:33; 1 Corinthians 2:10).

As they speak

Rev., as they say. The questions are, 1st. What is the phrase alluded to? Is it the familiar formula of these heretics, "the depths," or "the depths of God," the depths of Satan being added by the Lord himself in ironical contrast with the depths of divine knowledge, - or is it the depths of Satan? 2nd. Does as they say refer to Christians, describing the depths of the Gnostics as depths of Satan, or does it refer to the heretics themselves, calling their own mysteries depths of Satan?

The majority of commentators regard as they say as referring to the heretics, and as applying only to the word depths; of Satan being added by the Lord in indignation. Alford says that no such formula as depths of Satan, or any resembling it, is found as used by the ancient Gnostic heretics.

Other burden (ἄλλο βάτος)

The words for burden in the New Testament are ὄγκος (only in Hebrews 12:1), βάρος (Matthew 20:12; Galatians 6:2), and φορτίον (Matthew 11:30; Matthew 23:4; Galatians 6:5). ὄγκος refers to bulk, βάρος to weight, φορτίον to a burden so far as it is born (φέρω). Thus in Hebrews 12:1, "lay aside every weight (ὄγκος)," the figure being that of runners in the race-course, and the word appropriate as denoting the bulky robes and the accoutrements of the ordinary dress which might impede the freedom of the limbs. In Matthew 20:12, "the burden (βάρος) and heat of the day," the idea is that of heavy toil pressing like a weight. So Galatians 6:2, "Bear ye one another's burdens." But in Galatians 6:5, the emphasis is on the act of bearing; and therefore φορτίον is used: "Every man shall bear his own burden;" i.e., every man shall carry that which it is appointed him to bear. The reference in that passage is probably to the prohibition enjoined by the apostolic council of Jerusalem, which concerned the very things which are rebuked here - fornication and abstinence from idol-meats. In the narrative of that council the phrase occurs "to lay upon you no greater burden" (Acts 15:28). The meaning accordingly will be, "I put upon you no other burden than abstinence from and protest against these abominations."

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