Revelation 3
Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Revelation 3:2. [45] ἜΜΕΛΛΟΝ) Thus the Al. And. Pet. 3, the Cov. Areth. and also Uff. read ἔμελλεν: Er. from the comm. of Andreas, μέλλει: Leicestrensis and eight others, and also Comp. Arab. εμελλες (ἈΠΟΘΑΝΕῖΝ being on this account changed into ἈΠΟΒΆΛΛΕΙΝ). This reading of the clause formerly did not displease me, Ἃ ἜΜΕΛΛΕς ἈΠΟΘΑΝΕῖΝ, in this sense: Strengthen that which remains, which, unless you were here admonished, you were about to lose by spiritual death. There is a very similar phrase of Philo, τὸν τῆς ἀρετῆς βίον θνήσκειν; also, ΤΆς ΨΥΧᾺς ΤΕΘΝᾶΣΙ. And of Heraclitus in Philo, ΤΕΘΝΉΚΑΜΕΝ ΤῸΝ ἘΚΕΊΝΩΝ ΒΊΟΝ. But that expression of itself appears more philosophical than prophetical. The simple and genuine sentiment must be that, which the Latin imitates, the things which were about to die;[46] and so the Armen. Copt. Syr[47]

[45] Ver. 1. ὄνομα, name) This (a “name”) does not establish the corresponding reality; ch. Revelation 2:2.—V. g.

[46] AC Vulg. h, Memph. Syr. read ἔμελλον; but B, ἤμελλες. Rec. Text, without good authority, μέλλει.—E.

[47] yr. the Peschito Syriac Version: second cent.: publ. and corrected by Cureton, from MS. of fifth cent.

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Revelation 3:3. Πῶς· ποίαν) Regard to its former character (“how” it once stood) ought to defend the Church of Sardis, that the future hour, whatsoever it shall be, may not be attended with calamity to it.

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
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;
Revelation 3:7. Κλεῖν) Hence the plural κλεῖς, ch. Revelation 1:18.—καὶ κλείει) The article ὅς is contained in ὁ ἀνοίγων, and is to be understood from thence.

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 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.
Revelation 3:9. Τῶν λεγόντων) This depends upon τινὰς, understood.—ποιήσω αὐτοὺς, ἵνα) The same construction occurs, ch. Revelation 13:12; Revelation 13:16.

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Revelation 3:10. [49] ΤΟῪς ΚΑΤΟΙΚΟῦΝΤΑς ἘΠῚ Τῆς Γῆς) Thus the Septuagint often render, when in the Hebrew ישבי הארץ is found: Isaiah 26:21, etc. But the word ΣΚΗΝΟῦΝ is used of the inhabitants of heaven, ch. Revelation 12:12.

[49] σὲ, thee) A most gracious exception in so great a temptation.—V. g.

Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Revelation 3:12. [51] Ναῷ) A recent error has λαῷ.[52] See App. on this passage, Ed. ii.

[51] Bengel is silent, indeed, respecting the pillar, both here and in der Erkl. Offenb. (as S. R. Ernesti admonishes, Bibl. th. Noviss. T. T. p. 708); but I think that it should not be concealed, that he endeavoured to illustrate the phrase in den LX. Reden, p. 155, sq., using these words:—Der Tempel Gottes ist, das Heiligthum Gottes. In demselben eine Säule abgeben, ist eine sehr grosse Ehre. Sie gehöret, ganz in jene Welt, und da ist eine immerwährende Ehre, denn er wird nicht mehr hinauskommen. So lang der Tempel selber steht, wird auch der Pfeiler darinn stehen. Wann einer in der Welt schon etwa viel zu bedeuten hat, ist ein General oder Gesandter, oder Staats-Minister, auf welchem ein Königreich, als auf einer Säule, ruhet; so kann er über eine Weile gesturzet und weggethan werden, dass man kaum weiss, wo er hingekommen ist. Aber ein Pfeiler in Gottes Tempel komnt nimmer hinaus. (Comp. Revelation 22:5, end. See also Galatians 2:9.)—E. B.

[52] Viz. in the Elzev. Rec. Text of 1624.—E.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Revelation 3:16.[53] Μέλλω σὲ ἐμεσαι) This is a milder form of speech than if it were ἘΜΈΣΩ ΣΈ. ΜΈΛΛΩ makes a modal[54] form of speech out of a categorical. [He implies the denial which is about to take place, in the event of their continuing “lukewarm,” before His Father; Psalm 16:4.—V. g.]

[53] Ver. 14. ἡ ἀρχὴ, the Beginning) Proverbs 8:22; Colossians 1:18.—V. g.

[54] See Appendix on Sermo Modalis.

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Revelation 3:17. Ὅσι λέγεις) This ὅτι is not connected with the preceding words, in which their own ὅτι is inserted, ὅτι χλιαρὸς εἶ; but with the following words, as the thing speaks for itself. Thus, ch. Revelation 18:7, followed by ὅτιδιὰ τοῦτο.—πλούσιος) A few read ὅτι πλούσιος. Such a use of the particle ὅτι, for quoting the language of any one, is of frequent occurrence, but not in the Apocalypse.[55] See ch. Revelation 5:12, Revelation 18:7, etc.—πεπλούτηκα) I have used my riches, and with my gold I have provided for myself many things; for instance, garments. So the Septuagint, πεπλούτηκα, Hosea 12:8.

[55] AC Vulg. retain ὅτι before πλούσιος. Bh Cypr. 241, omit it—E.

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Revelation 3:18. Συμβουλεύω, I give counsel) But if the Superior Being in the meantime lays aside His power, that very fact may possibly be the mark of a mind the more estranged, as if the servant is rebuked by his Lord, and the Lord says, I advise you to take heed to yourself. We give advice even to friends, but not while we rebuke them.—ἡ αἰσχύνη) The Hebrew ערוה is sometimes rendered in the Septuagint by αἰσχύνη.—κολλούριον) namely ἀγοράσαι, to buy, for the purpose of anointing. [This is the last thing. Riches with clothing precede.—V. g.] Celsus speaks at largo on eye-salve.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Revelation 3:19. Φιλῶ) In the case of the Philadelphian Church, He (Revelation 3:9) ἠγάπησε (esteemed it): in the case of the Laodicean, He φιλεῖ (loves it). The former, with His judgment: the latter, with gratuitous affection [favour]. Comp. John 21:15, note. In each passage[56] ἀγαπᾷν implies something more than φιλεῖν. In the passage quoted from John, the spiritual tie of relationship is of more value than the judgment of Peter. Here, in the Apocalypse, it is a more blessed thing to flourish [be esteemed] in the judgment of the Lord, than to be chastised through mere gratuitous affection.—ζήλωσον) Both ζεστὸς, Revelation 3:15-16, and ζῆλος, are derived from ζέω.

[56] See footnote, John 21:15.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3:20. Ἰδοὺ—, behold—) The observation respecting retrograde order depends almost entirely upon this very increase of close approach, respecting which see Erkl. Off.

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Gnomon of the New Testament by Johann Bengel

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