|New International Version (©2011)|
Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
New Living Translation (©2007)
Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don't repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place-- unless you repent.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent.
International Standard Version (©2012)
Therefore, remember how far you have fallen. Repent and go back to what you were doing at first. If you don't, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place—unless you repent.
NET Bible (©2006)
Therefore, remember from what high state you have fallen and repent! Do the deeds you did at the first; if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place--that is, if you do not repent.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
“Remember from where you have come out and do the former works; but if not, I will come against you and I will remove your menorah, unless you repent.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Remember how far you have fallen. Return to me and change the way you think and act, and do what you did at first. I will come to you and take your lamp stand from its place if you don't change.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your lampstand out of its place, except you repent.
American King James Version
Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his place, except you repent.
American Standard Version
Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.
Be mindful therefore from whence thou art fallen: and do penance, and do the first works. Or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou do penance.
Darby Bible Translation
Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works: but if not, I am coming to thee, and I will remove thy lamp out of its place, except thou shalt repent.
English Revised Version
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.
Webster's Bible Translation
Remember therefore from whence thou hast fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.
Weymouth New Testament
Be mindful, therefore, of the height from which you have fallen. Repent at once, and act as you did at first, or else I will surely come and remove your lampstand out of its place--unless you repent.
World English Bible
Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent.
Young's Literal Translation
remember, then, whence thou hast fallen, and reform, and the first works do; and if not, I come to thee quickly, and will remove thy lamp-stand from its place -- if thou mayest not reform;
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-7 These churches were in such different states as to purity of doctrine and the power of godliness, that the words of Christ to them will always suit the cases of other churches, and professors. Christ knows and observes their state; though in heaven, yet he walks in the midst of his churches on earth, observing what is wrong in them, and what they want. The church of Ephesus is commended for diligence in duty. Christ keeps an account of every hour's work his servants do for him, and their labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. But it is not enough that we are diligent; there must be bearing patience, and there must be waiting patience. And though we must show all meekness to all men, yet we must show just zeal against their sins. The sin Christ charged this church with, is, not the having left and forsaken the object of love, but having lost the fervent degree of it that at first appeared. Christ is displeased with his people, when he sees them grow remiss and cold toward him. Surely this mention in Scripture, of Christians forsaking their first love, reproves those who speak of it with carelessness, and thus try to excuse indifference and sloth in themselves and others; our Saviour considers this indifference as sinful. They must repent: they must be grieved and ashamed for their sinful declining, and humbly confess it in the sight of God. They must endeavour to recover their first zeal, tenderness, and seriousness, and must pray as earnestly, and watch as diligently, as when they first set out in the ways of God. If the presence of Christ's grace and Spirit is slighted, we may expect the presence of his displeasure. Encouraging mention is made of what was good among them. Indifference as to truth and error, good and evil, may be called charity and meekness, but it is not so; and it is displeasing to Christ. The Christian life is a warfare against sin, Satan, the world, and the flesh. We must never yield to our spiritual enemies, and then we shall have a glorious triumph and reward. All who persevere, shall derive from Christ, as the Tree of life, perfection and confirmation in holiness and happiness, not in the earthly paradise, but in the heavenly. This is a figurative expression, taken from the account of the garden of Eden, denoting the pure, satisfactory, and eternal joys of heaven; and the looking forward to them in this world, by faith, communion with Christ, and the consolations of the Holy Spirit. Believers, take your wrestling life here, and expect and look for a quiet life hereafter; but not till then: the word of God never promises quietness and complete freedom from conflict here.
Verse 5. - The exhortation and threat are clear as trumpet notes: "Remember, repent, and return, or I will return and remove thee." A modern heathen philosophy teaches us that in this world to be happy is to forget. That is not the teaching of Christ. The past is both an encouragement and a warning to us; therefore "remember." Some have to remember heights from which they have fallen; others, depths from which they have been raised; others again, both. Cicero ('Ad. Att.,' 4:16) would remember the one and forget the other. Non recorder unde ceciderim, sed unde resurrexerim. The present imperative here shows that the remembering is to continue; on the other hand, the repentance (aor. imp.) is a thing to be done immediately, once for all. "The first works" means "the fruits of thy first love." Christ will have works, not feelings. I come to thee. There is no "quickly" in the true text; and the verb is present, not future (comp. John 14:18). The coming, of course, refers to a special visitation, not to the second advent. The removing of the candlestick is not the deposition of the bishop, but the dethroning of the Church, cancelling its claim to the kingdom, severing its union with Christ. Compare "The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" (Matthew 22:43). The warning would seem to have been heeded at first, judging from the account of Ephesus in the Ignatian Epistles. But the Church has long since ceased to exist. Ephesus itself is a heap of ruins. Except thou repent. This repetition drives home the charge given above; repentance is the thing absolutely necessary, and at once. This shows that what Christ has against them cannot be a mere "somewhat" (Authorized Version in ver. 4). It is nothing less than this - that with all their discernment of evil, and zeal against it, they lacked reality. Their light still burned, but in a dull, lifeless way; their service had become mechanical.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,.... Believers cannot totally and finally fall away from the grace which they have received; but they may fall into sin, and from a degree of grace, and the exercise of it, as these first and pure churches did, from some degree of their love to God, and Christ, and one another; and therefore are called upon to remember, mind, and observe from what degree of it they were fallen; in order to bring them under a conviction and acknowledgment of their evil, and a sense of their present state, and to quicken their desires after a restoration to their former one:
and repent; of their coldness and lukewarmness, of the remissness of their love, and of those evils which brought it upon them:
and do the first works; of faith and love, with the like zeal and fervour, which will show the repentance to be sincere and genuine; so the Arabic version reads, "and exercise the former works, to wit, charity" or "love". The Jews have a saying (b),
"if a man repents, do not say to him, "remember" , "thy first works";
which they seem to understand of evil works; but former good works are to be remembered and done, to show the truth of repentance for evil ones,
Or else I will come unto thee quickly; not in a spiritual way, to pay a love visit, nor in a judicial way, to take vengeance or inflict punishment, but in a providential way, to rebuke and chastise:
and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent; or thee out of the candlestick, the pastor from the church, either by persecution or by death; or else the church, and church state itself, signified by a candlestick; See Gill on Revelation 1:12; and may design a shaking and an unsettling of it, which is sometimes done by violent persecutions, and by false teachers and their doctrines, and by the divisions and contentions of saints among themselves; and by the former particularly was there a change made in the state of this apostolic church, when it passed into the Smyrnean one, which was a period of great persecution and distress; for this cannot be understood of the total removing of the church state itself quickly, no, not of Ephesus itself; for though there is not now indeed, nor has there been for many hundred years, a church of Christ in that place, yet there was one till the times of Constantine, when there was none in any of the other seven cities, and a long time after; See Gill on Acts 20:17; which shows, that this was not a commination or threatening of divine vengence to that church literally, but to the state of the church, which that represented; nor does it intend the utter abolition of that church, for the apostolic church still continued, though it ceased to be in the circumstances it was before,
(b) Misn. Bava Metzia, c. 4. sect. 10.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. whence—from what a height.
do the first works—the works which flowed from thy first love. Not merely "feel thy first feelings," but do works flowing from the same principle as formerly, "faith which worketh by love."
I will come—Greek, "I am coming" in special judgment on thee.
quickly—omitted in two oldest manuscripts, Vulgate and Coptic versions: supported by one oldest manuscript.
remove thy candlestick out of his place—I will take away the Church from Ephesus and remove it elsewhere. "It is removal of the candlestick, not extinction of the candle, which is threatened here; judgment for some, but that very judgment the occasion of mercy for others. So it has been. The seat of the Church has been changed, but the Church itself survives. What the East has lost, the West has gained. One who lately visited Ephesus found only three Christians there, and these so ignorant as scarcely to have heard the names of St. Paul or St. John" [Trench].
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