Revelation 2:26
And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
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(26, 27) Power (or, authority) over the nations: and he shall rule them (or, shepherd them) with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers.—The promise is of authority (“the might of right, not the right of might”) to share in the shepherd-like sovereignty of the anointed King. (Comp. the Messianic prophecy of Psalms 2) Those who refused to stoop to the customs around them, and to gain influence by crushing or ignoring their convictions—those who, like their Master, refused to win power by doing homage to wrong (Matthew 4:8-10), would share the nobler sway which He now established. Wherever the Church has illegitimately grasped at power, she has lost it. “The wretched power which she had wrenched and stolen from the nations has been turned against her; she has been obliged to crouch to them, and beg their help, and they have justly spurned her. She has chosen to exalt herself like Lucifer, and she has fallen like Lucifer. If she had trusted her Lord, He would have given her the morning star. She would have derived from Him what she claimed independently of Him. She would have dispensed light to the world.”



Revelation 2:26-28.

This promise to the victors in Thyatira differs from the preceding ones in several remarkable respects. If you will observe, the summons to give ear to ‘what the Spirit saith to the churches’ precedes the promises in the previous letters; here it follows that promise, and that order is observed in the three subsequent epistles. Now the structure of all these letters is too careful and artistic to allow of the supposition that the change is arbitrary or accidental. There must be some significance in it, but I do not profess to be ready with the explanation, and I prefer acknowledging perplexity to pretending enlightenment.

Then there is another remarkable peculiarity of this letter, viz., the expansion which is given to the designation of the victor as ‘He that overcometh and keepeth My works unto the end.’ Probably not unconnected with that expansion is the other peculiarity of the promise here, as compared with its precursors, viz., that they all regard simply the individual victor and promise to him ‘partaking of the tree of life’; a ‘crown of life’; immunity from ‘the second death’; ‘the hidden manna’; the ‘white stone’; and the ‘new name written’; which, like all the rest of the promises there, belonged to Himself alone; but here the field is widened, and we have others brought in on whom the victor is to exercise an influence. So, then, we enter upon a new phase of conceptions of that future life in these words, which not only dwell upon the sustenance, the repose, the glory that belong to the man himself, but look upon him as still an instrument in Christ’s hands, and an organ for carrying out, by His activities, Christ’s purposes in the world. So, then, I want you to look with me very simply at the ideas suggested by these words.

I. We have the victor’s authority.

Now the promise in my text is moulded by a remembrance of the great words of the second psalm. That psalm stands at the beginning of the Psalter as a kind of prelude; and in conjunction with its companion psalm, the first, is a summing up of the two great factors in the religious life of the Hebrews, viz., the blessedness in the keeping of the law, and the brightness of the hope of the Messiah. The psalm in question deals with that Messianic hope under the symbols of an earthly conquering monarch, and sets forth His dominion as established throughout the whole earth. And our letter brings this marvellous thought, that the spirits of just men made perfect are, somehow or other, associated with Him in that campaign of conquest.

Now, there is much in these words which, of course, it is idle for us to attempt to expand or expound. We can only wait, as we gaze upon the dim brightness, for experience to unlock the mystery. But there is also much which, if we will reverently ponder it, may stimulate us to brave conflict and persistent diligence in keeping Christ’s commandments. I, for my part, believe that Scripture is the only source of such knowledge as we have of the future life; and I believe, too, that the knowledge, such as it is, which we derive from Scripture is knowledge, and can be absolutely trusted. And so, though I abjure all attempts at rhetorical setting forth of the details of this mysterious symbol, I would lay it upon our hearts. It is not the less powerful because it is largely inconceivable; and the mystery, the darkness, the dimness, may be, and are part of the revelation and of the light. ‘There was the hiding of His power.’

And so, notice that whatever may be the specific contents of such a promise as this, the general form of it is in full harmony with the words of our Lord whilst He was on earth. Twice over, according to the gospel narratives - once in connection with Peter’s foolish question, What shall we have therefore? ‘and once in a still more sacred connection, at the table on the eve of Calvary - our Lord gave His trembling disciples this great promise:’ In the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’ Make all allowance that you like for the vesture of symbolism, the reality that lies beneath is that Jesus Christ, the truth, has pledged Himself to this, that His servants shall be associated with Him in the activity of His royalty. And the same great thought, which we only spoil when we try to tear apart the petals which remain closed until the sun shall open them, underlies the twin parables of the pounds and the talents, in regard to each of which we have, ‘Thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things’; and, linked along with the promise of authority, the assurance of union with the Master, ‘Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ So this book of the Revelation is only following in the footsteps and expanding the hints of Christ’s own teaching when it triumphs in the thought that we are made kings and priests to God; when it points onwards to a future wherein - we know not how, but we know, if we believe Him when He speaks, that it shall be so - they shall reign with Him for ever and ever.

My text adds further the image of a conquering campaign, of a sceptre of iron crushing down antagonism, of banded opposition broken into shivers, ‘as a potter’s vessel’ dashed upon a pavement of marble. And it says that in that final conflict and final conquest they that have passed into the rest of God, and have dwelt with Christ, shall be with Him, the armies of heaven following Him, clad in white raiment pure and glistening, and with Him subduing, ay! and converting into loyal love the antagonisms of earth. I abjure all attempts at millenarian prophecy, but I point to this, that all the New Testament teaching converges upon this one point, that the Christ who came to die shall come again to reign, and that He shall reign, and His servants with Him. That is enough; and that is all. For all the rest is conjecture and fancy and sometimes folly; and details minimize, and do not magnify, the great, undetailed, magnificent fact.

But all the other promises deal not with something in the remoter future, but with something that begins to take effect the moment the dust, and confusion, and garments rolled in blood, of the battlefield are swept away. At one instant the victors are fighting, at the next they are partaking of the Tree of Life, and on their locks lies the crown, and their happy lips are feeding upon ‘the hidden manna.’ And so, I think, that though, no doubt, the main stress of the promise of authority here points onwards, as our Lord Himself has taught us, to the time of ‘the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory,’ the incidence of the promise is not to be exclusively confined thereto. There must be something in the present for the blessed dead, as well as for them in the future. And this is, that they are united with Jesus Christ in His present activities, and through Him, and in Him, and with Him, are even now serving Him. The servant, when he dies, and has been fitted for it, enters at once on his government of the ten cities.

Thus this promise of my text, in its deepest meaning, corresponds with the deepest needs of a man’s nature. For we can never be at rest unless we are at work; and a heaven of doing nothing is a heaven of ennui and weariness. Whatever sneers may have been cast at the Christian conception of the future, which find vindication, one is sorry to say, in many popular representations and sickly bits of hymns, the New Testament notion of what that future life is to be is noble with all energy, and fruitful with all activity, and strenuous with all service. This promise of my text comes in to supplement the three preceding. They were addressed to the legitimate, wearied longings for rest and fullness of satisfaction for oneself. This is addressed to the deeper and nobler longing for larger service. And the words of my text, whatever dim glory they may partially reveal, as accruing to the victor in the future, do declare that, when he passes beyond the grave, there will be waiting for him nobler work to do than any that he ever has done here.

But let us not forget that all this access of power and enlargement of opportunity are a consequence of Christ’s royalty and Christ’s conquering rule. That is to say, whatever we have in the future we have because we are knit to Him, and all our service there, as all our blessedness here, flows from our union with that Lord. So when He says, as in the words that I have already quoted, that His servants shall sit on thrones, He presents Himself as on the central throne. The authority of the steward over the ten cities is but a consequence of the servant’s entrance into the joy of the Lord. "Whatever there lies in the heavens, the germ of it all is this, that we are as Christ, so closely identified with Him that we are like Him, and share in all His possessions. He says to each of us, ‘All Mine is thine.’ He has taken part of our flesh and blood that we may share in His Spirit. The bride is endowed with the wealth of the bridegroom, and the crowns that are placed on the heads of the redeemed are the crown which Christ Himself has received as the reward of His Cross - ‘even as I have received of My Father.’

II. Note the victor’s starry splendor.

The second symbol of my text is difficult of interpretation, like the first: ‘I will give him the morning star.’ Now, no doubt, throughout Scripture a star is a symbol of royal dominion; and many would propose so to interpret it in the present case. But it seems to me that whilst that explanation - which makes the second part of our promise simply identical with the former, though under a different garb- does justice to one part of the symbol, it entirely omits the other. For the emphasis is here laid on ‘morning’ rather than on ‘star.’ It is ‘the morning star,’ not any star that blazes in the heavens, that is set forth here as a symbolical representation of the victor’s condition. Then another false scent, as it were, on which interpretations have gone, seems to me to be that, taking into account the fact that in the last chapter of the Revelation our Lord is Himself described as ‘the bright and morning star,’ they bring this promise down simply to mean, ‘I will give him Myself.’ Now though it is quite true that, in the deepest of all views, Jesus Christ Himself is the gift as well as the giver of all these sevenfold promises, yet the propriety of representation seems to me to forbid that He should here say, I will give them Myself!’ So I think we must fall back upon what any touch of poetic imagination would at once suggest to be the meaning of the promise, that it is the dawning splendor of that planet of hope and morning, the harbinger of day, which we are to lay hold of. Hebrew prophets, long before, had spoken of Lucifer, ‘light bringer’ ‘the son of the morning.’ Many a poet sang of it before Milton with his

‘Hesperus, that led the starry host, Rode brightest.’

So that I think we are just to lay hold of the thought that the starry splendor, the beauty and the lustre that will be poured upon the victor is that which is expressed by this symbol here. What that lustre will consist in it becomes us not to say. That future keeps its secret well, but that it shall be the perfecting of human nature up to the most exquisite and consummate height of which it is capable, and the enlargement of it beyond all that human experience here can conceive, we may peaceably anticipate and quietly trust.

Only, note the advance here on the previous promises is as conspicuous as in the former part of this great promise. There the Christian man’s influence and authority were set forth under the emblem of regal dominion. Here they are set forth under the emblem of lustrous splendor. It is the spectators that see the glory of the beam that comes from the star. And this promise, like the former, implies that in that future there will be a sphere in which perfected spirits may ray out their light, and where they may gladden and draw some eyes by their beams. I have no word to say as to the sky in which the rays of that star may shine, but I do feel that the very essence of this great representation is that Christian souls in the future, as in the present, will stand forth as the visible embodiments of the glory and lustre of the unseen God.

Further, remember that this image, like the former, traces up the lustre, as that traced the royalty, to communion with Christ, and to impartation from Him. ‘I will give him the morning star.’ We shall shine as the ‘brightness of the firmament, and as the stars for ever,’ as Daniel said - not by inherent but by reflected light. We are not suns, but planets, that move round the Sun of Righteousness, and flash with His beauty.

III. Lastly, mark the condition of the authority and of the lustre.

Here I would say a word about the remarkable expansion of the designation of the victor, to which I have already referred: ‘He that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end.’ We do not know why that expansion was put in, in reference to Thyatira only, but if you will glance over the letter you will see that there is more than usual about works - works to be repented of, or works which make the material of a final retribution and judgment.

Whatever may be the explanation of the expanded designation here, the lesson that it reads to us is a very significant and a very important one. Bring the metaphor of a victor down to the plain, hard, prose fact of doing Christ’s work right away to the end of life. Strip off the rhetoric of the fight, and it comes down to this - dogged, persistent obedience to Christ’s commandments. ‘He that keepeth My works’ does not appeal to the imagination as ‘He that overcometh’ does. But it is the explanation of the victory, and one that we all need to lay to heart.

‘My works ‘: that means the works that He enjoins. No doubt; but look at a verse before my text: ‘I will give unto every one of you according to your works.’ That is, the works that you do, and Christ’s works are not only those which He enjoys, but those of which He Himself set the pattern. He will ‘give according to works’; He will give authority; give the morning star. That is to say, the life which has been moulded according to Christ’s pattern and shaped in obedience to Christ’s commandments is the life which is capable of being granted participation in His dominion, and invested with reflected lustre. If here we do His work we shall be able to do it more fully yonder. ‘The works that I do shall he do also.’ That is the law for life - ay and it is the promise for heaven. ‘And greater works than these shall he do, because I go to My Father.’ When we have come to partial conformity with Him here we may hope - and only then have we the right to hope - for entire assimilation to Him hereafter. If here, from this dim spot which men call earth, and amid the confusion and dust and distances of this present life, we look to Him, and with unveiled faces behold Him, and here, in degree and part, are being changed from glory to glory, there He will turn His face upon us, and, beholding it, in righteousness, ‘we shall be satisfied when we awake with His likeness.’

Brethren, it is for us to choose whether we shall share in Christ’s dominion or be crushed by His iron sceptre. It is for us to choose whether, molding our lives after His will and pattern, we shall hereafter be made like Him in completeness. It is for us to choose whether, seeing Him here, we shall, when the brightness of His coming draws near, be flooded with gladness, or whether we shall call upon the rocks and the hills to cover us from the face of Him that sitteth on the Throne. Time is the mother of Eternity. To-day moulds to-morrow, and when all the to-days and to-morrows have become yesterdays, they will have determined our destiny, because they will have settled our characters. Let us keep Christ’s commandments, and we shall be invested with dignity and illuminated with glory, and entrusted to work, far beyond anything that we can conceive here, though, in their farthest reach and most dazzling brightness, these are but the continuation and the perfecting and the feeble beginnings of earthly conflict and service. Revelation 2:26-29. And he that overcometh — That holds fast faith and a good conscience, notwithstanding the efforts of the enemies of my gospel to wrest them from him; and keepeth my works — Those which I have commanded to be done; unto the end — Of his time and trials; to him will I give power over the nations — That is, I will give him to share with me in that glorious victory which the Father hath promised me over all the nations which as yet resist me, Psalm 2:8-9. This, says Doddridge, appears to be intended of that “final triumph of Christ over his enemies in the last day, when he shall crush them all to utter and irrecoverable ruin, and when all his saints, raised from the dead, and clothed with robes of glory, shall sit down with them on his throne, and constitute that illustrious body which in and with their exalted Head, shall subdue every opposing power.” And he shall rule them — That is, shall share with me when I do this; with a rod of iron — With irresistible power, employed on those only who will not otherwise submit; who will hereby be dashed in pieces, totally conquered. And I will give him the morning-star — Thou, O Jesus, art the Morning-Star! O give thyself to me! Then will I desire no sun, only thee, who art the sun also. He whom this Star enlightens, has always morning and no evening. The duties and promises here answer each other: the valiant conqueror has power over the stubborn nations. And he that, after having conquered his enemies, keeps the words of Christ to the end, shall have the morning-star — an unspeakable brightness and peaceable dominion in him. 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.And he that overcometh - notes on Revelation 2:7.

And keepeth my works unto the end - The works that I command and that I require, to the end of his life. Compare John 13:1.

To him will I give power over the nations - The evident meaning of what is said here, and in the next verse, is, that in accordance with the uniform promise made to the redeemed in the New Testament, they would partake of the final triumph and glory of the Saviour, and be associated with him. It is not said that they would have exclusive power over the nations, or that they would hold offices of trust under him during a personal reign on the earth; but the meaning is, that they would be associated with him in his future glory. Compare the Romans 8:17 note; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 notes.

26. And—implying the close connection of the promise to the conqueror that follows, with the preceding exhortation, Re 2:25.

and keepeth—Greek, "and he that keepeth." Compare the same word in the passage already alluded to by the Lord, Ac 15:28, 29, end.

my works—in contrast to "her (English Version, 'their') works" (Re 2:22). The works which I command and which are the fruit of My Spirit.

unto the end—(Mt 24:13). The image is perhaps from the race, wherein it is not enough to enter the lists, but the runner must persevere to the end.

give power—Greek, "authority."

over the nations—at Christ's coming the saints shall possess the kingdom "under the whole heaven"; therefore over this earth; compare Lu 19:17, "have thou authority [the same word as here] over ten cities."

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end: See Poole on "Revelation 2:7", See Poole on "Revelation 2:11", See Poole on "Revelation 2:17". Overcoming is here expounded by keeping Christ’s works; that is, either the works by him commanded, or walking as he walked, and persevering therein to the end of his or their lives.

To him will I give power over the nations; either to judge those who live heathenish lives; or to convert nations to the faith; or, which is most probable, he shall sit with me upon a throne in the day of judgment, Matthew 19:28, and judge the world, 1 Corinthians 6:2. And he that overcometh,.... Jezebel and her idolatries, her children, and all that commit adultery with her; such as are not drawn into the same evil practices with them, but bravely stand their ground against the Romish antichrist and his followers, and bear their testimony against his impious doctrines and idolatrous practices:

and keepeth my works unto the end; either of life, or of this church state, or of time, when Christ will personally appear, even at the end of the world; and by his works are meant, not the works which were done by him, as his miracles and works of mercy to the souls and bodies of men, and works of righteousness in obedience to the law, and the work of redemption and salvation; though these are works to be observed, and kept in view, and to be preserved in memory, and for the encouragement of faith and hope; but the works which are commanded, and required by Christ to be done by his people; as the public work of the ministry, by the preachers of the Gospel; and every private work, both internal and external, as the work of faith, the labour of love, and every act of obedience, which is constantly to be discharged. The Arabic version reads, "and keepeth my words and my works"; things both relating to doctrine and practice:

to him will I give power over the nations; or Gentiles, the Papists; so called because of the Pagan notions and worship introduced by them; and because they consist of many nations, tongues, and people, who are deceived, and drawn into idolatry by them: and this power over them may be understood in a spiritual sense, through the preaching of the Gospel, which being attended with the power of God, is the means of converting sinners, and so of weakening the kingdom of Satan, and of antichrist; and which had its fulfilment, at least in part, at the time of the Reformation, and onward, and will have still a greater accomplishment in the spiritual reign of Christ and his people, under the Philadelphian church state; and it may also design the temporal power which the saints shall have over antichrist, when they shall take away his dominion, and consume and destroy it, and the kingdom and the dominion under the whole heaven shall be given to the saints of the most High; Daniel 7:25.

{20} And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give {21} power over the nations:

(20) The conclusion, in which Christ assures to his servants the communion of his kingdom and glory, in this verse, and that following: and commands a holy attention in the last verse Re 2:29.

(21) That is, I will make him a king, by communion with me, and my fellow heir, as it is promised; Mt 19:28,25:34, Ro 8:17, 1Co 6:3, Eph 2:6, 2Ti 2:12.

Revelation 2:26-28. The promise to the victor.

The combination with Revelation 2:25, indicated by the καὶ,[1279] lies in the fact that the victory is won by the τηρεῖν ἄχρι τέλους τὰ ἕργα μου, which in meaning is nothing else than the κρατεῖν commanded in Revelation 2:25. With respect to the form of the expression, the τηρεῖν corresponds to the κρατεῖν, the ἄχρι τέλους to the ἄχρι οὗ ἂν ἥξω. The τὰ ἔργα μου find their explanation partly in opposition to the works of Jezebel,[1280] and partly in combination with Revelation 2:25; they are such works as the Lord requires by the commandment which he imposes. Incorrectly, Grotius: Metonymy, for ἔργα are said to be precepts concerning works.

Concerning the broken construction of the sentence, Revelation 2:26, as the αὐτῷ refers back to absolute preceding nominative ὁ νικῶν, κ.τ.λ., cf. Winer, pp. 170, 533.

The substantial sense of the promise δώσω

πατρός μου is that the victor is to share in the work of establishing the βασιλεία[1281] at the coming of the Lord. For just as the Son has already received (εἰλ.) from the Father power over the heathen, that he breaks them like earthen vessels with a rod of iron,[1282] so also will they who believe in Jesus Christ be raised by him, their Mediator, through whom they have already at the present time the kingdom,[1283] to participation in the glory which then becomes manifest.[1284] The coming of the Lord completely and actually effects the victory over all that is hostile; and he who remains faithful until that coming will then receive as a reward the royal glory in its fuller development, whose possession in faith has already conditioned the victory over all temptations or persecutions on the part of the world. Incorrectly Grot., on ἐξουσ. ἐπὶ τ. ἐθν.: “I will raise him to the grade of presbyter, that he may judge concerning those who live not in a Christian but a heathen way;” and Revelation 2:27 of excommunication.[1285] The conversion of the heathen, also, we must regard neither alone,[1286] nor with the addition of the idea of the future royal dominion.[1287]

ΠΟΙΜΑΝΕῖ[1288] according to the LXX., Psalm 2:9, for תְּרֹעֵם (break), is interchanged with תִּרְעְת (feed).

In the epistle to the church at Thyatira, this promise has its reference to the opposition to the heathen libertinism of Jezebel and her party.

Κ. ΔΏΣΩ ΑὐΤῷ ΤῸΝ ἈΣΤ. Τ. ΠΡ., Revelation 2:28, cannot be like ΘΉΣΩ ΑὐΤΌΝ, Κ.Τ.Λ.[1289] That the morning star which Christ will give to the victor is “the glorious body refulgent with the endowment of brilliancy,”[1290] is an entirely arbitrary assumption of exegetical helplessness; while still others have advanced the idea, with allusion to Isaiah 14:12, that by the morning star the Devil is to be understood,[1291] or the Babylonian, i.e., the most powerful king of the world.[1292] According to Revelation 22:16, to understand Christ himself[1293] is impossible because of the ΔΏΣΩ, which makes us expect[1294] a gift of the Lord. According to the analogy of Daniel 12:3, Matthew 13:43, 1 Corinthians 15:40 sqq., the expression in general designates the bright glory,[1295] the heavenly ΔΌΞΑ,[1296] with which the victor is to be endowed, without regarding ἈΣΤΉΡ itself as used[1297] of nothing else than “brilliancy and rays of the star.”[1298] Yet it is difficult for the discourse to be in reference to a domination of the star, similar to that in what precedes.[1299] The bold poetical idea appears rather to be, that the victor beams in the brilliancy of the morning star, because he has the morning star in his possession, just as a precious stone adds its effulgence to those who wear it. [See Note XXXIV., p. 157.]

[1279] Cf. Bengel, De Wette, Hengstenb.

[1280] Revelation 2:22. Eichh., Heinr., Ewald, etc.

[1281] Cf. Revelation 19:15, Revelation 12:5.

[1282] Cf. Psalm 2:8-9.

[1283] Revelation 1:6; Revelation 1:9.

[1284] Revelation 3:21, Revelation 20:6.

[1285] ῥαβδ. σιδ. ═ word of God, a part of which is excommunication.

[1286] Cf. Primas, Beda, Alcas., who immediately regard the iron rod as a designation of the bishop’s crosier.

[1287] Cf. Ebrard.

[1288] Cf. Revelation 12:5, Revelation 19:15.

[1289] Eichh. Cf. also Heinr.

[1290] N. de Lyra. Cf. Revelation 2:17.

[1291] Cf. Romans 16:20. Andr., Areth.

[1292] Züll.

[1293] Primas, Beda, Alcas., C. a Lap., Calov., Vitr., Wolf, Beng., Stern, Ebrard, Klief.

[1294] Revelation 2:17; Revelation 2:10.

[1295] Aretius.

[1296] De, Wette. Cf. also Hengstenb.

[1297] Ew. ii. wishes to insert the entire promise of Revelation 2:28 into Revelation 3:5, and then to interpret ἀστ. according to Revelation 1:20.

[1298] Revelation 12:1. Heinr., Ewald.

[1299] Cf. De Wette.


XXXIV. Revelation 2:28Revelation 2:26. Triumph here consists in unflagging attention to the duties of a Christian vocation. The ἔργα are (Revelation 14:12, Revelation 19:8) the normal activities of this calling, viewed as the outcome of a personal relation to Jesus; they are “his,” as commanded by him and executed in his strength. The general idea of this and the following verse is that the only irresistible force is the force of a life which is able to resist seduction and compromise, because it holds to faith and purity. The promise of reward, preceding (as in Revelation 3:5; Revelation 3:12; Revelation 3:21) the appeal for attention, is couched in terms of messianic conquest (from Psalm 2:8-9). In a more or less figurative form, the rule of the saints, a cherished hope of Jewish eschatology, had its own attraction for some circles of early Christianity (see on Revelation 5:10 and 1 Corinthians 6:3; and for ῥάβδῳ, the well-known flail wielded by Horus, the Egyptian god of requital or warfare): evidently it appealed to their eagerness for a righting of present wrongs and a reversal of the immoral sway of captain ill over captive good. The ἐξουσία ἐπὶ τῶν ἐθνῶν (by which they are not governed but shivered in irreparable ruin; cf. Isaiah 30:14, Jeremiah 19:11) is defined with ferocious detail in 27; the whole description is modelled on a traditionally messianic application of (LXX) Psalm 2:8-9. For the shepherd’s staff as a royal sceptre see E. Bi. 4317. ὡς κἀγὼ κ.τ.λ., God, Christ, and the individual Christian as in Revelation 3:21 (John 17:16-22). “Illud ὡς aliquam similitudinem, non paritatem significat” (Rosenmüller). John 21:15-17 is not “a deliberate correction of this terrible sentence” (Selwyn, 195), but the mature expression of Christian solicitude in a different province, from which messianic incongruities have been wholly purged.26. And he that overcometh, &c.] Literally, And he that overcometh, and he that keepeth, &c.

my works] “Such works as I do” is rather the sense than “such as I approve.” Cf. John 14:12, “The works that I do shall he do also.”Revelation 2:26. Ὁ νικῶιδώσω αὐτῷ) The things which you may suppose not to sound so well in Greek, will sound well when cast in Hebrew mould of thought. See instances, ch. Revelation 6:8, Revelation 7:2, Revelation 9:12 (where the feminine is put for the neuter), 14, Revelation 20:8. There is a very similar construction, Κύριος, ἐν οὐρανῷ ὁ θρόνος αὐτοῦ, Psalm 11:4; and so Psalm 57:5 (4), Psalm 103:15.—ἐπὶ τῶν ἐθνῶν) Psalm 2:8-9, αἴτησαι παρʼ ἐμοῦ, καὶ δώσω σοὶ ἔθνη τὴν κληρονομίαν σου, καὶ τὴν κατάσχεσίν σου τὰ πέρατα τῆς γῆς· ποιμανεῖς αὐτοὺς ἐν ῥάβδῳ σιδηρᾷ, ὡς σκεύη κεραμέως συντρίψεις αὐτούς.Verse 26. - And he that overcometh. The usual promise (vers. 7, 11, 17; Revelation 3:5, 12, 21) is here closely connected with the charge which immediately precedes. In this and in the remaining three epistles the proclamation, "He that hath an ear," etc., follows instead of preceding the promise. Keepeth my works. This is a phrase thoroughly characteristic of St. John's style; compare for this use of "keep," Revelation 1:3; Revelation 3:3, 8, 10, etc.; John 8:51, 52, 55; John 9:16; John 14:15, 21, 23, 24, etc.; 1 John 2:3, 4, 5; 1 John 3:22, 24, etc.; and for "works," in the sense of works which Christ does or approves, comp. Revelation 15:3; John 6:28, 29; John 7:3, 21; John 11:3, 4, etc. "My works" here are in marked contrast to "her works" in ver. 22. "He that overcometh, and he that keepeth" is a nominativus pendens; and such constructions are specially frequent in St. John (comp. Revelation 3:12, 21; John 6:39; John 7:38; John 15:2; John 17:2; 1 John 2:24, 27). Links of connexion between the Revelation and the Gospel or Epistles of St. John should be carefully noted. The phrase for "unto the end" (ἄχριτέλους) occurs only here and Hebrews 6:11; but comp. Hebrews 3:6, 14; 1 Corinthians 1:8. "Unto the end" (εἰς τέλος) in John 13. I probably means "to the uttermost," not "to the end of life." Authority over the nations. "Authority" is better than "power" for ἐξουσία, not merely as implying that the power is rightly held and exercised, but also to mark the parallel with "Have thou authority over ten cities" (Luke 19:17; comp. Matthew 21:23, 24, 27; Acts 9:14; Acts 26:10). Keepeth my works (τηρῶν τὰ ἔργα μου)

The phrase occurs only here in the New Testament. The works are those which Christ commands, which He does, and which are the fruits of His Spsrit. See on John 4:47.

Power (ἐξουσίαν)

See on John 1:12. Rev., better, authority.

Nations (ἐθνῶν)

See on Matthew 25:32, and see on Gentiles, Luke 2:32. Properly, here, the Gentiles, as opposed to the true Israel of God.

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