Revelation 2:27
And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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 shall rule them with a rod of iron - There is an allusion here to Psalm 2:9; "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." There is a slight change in the passage, "he shall rule," instead of "thou shalt break," in order to adapt the language to the purpose of the speaker here. The allusion in the Psalm is to the Messiah as reigning triumphant over the nations, or subduing them under him; and the idea here, as in the previous verse, is, that his redeemed people will be associated with him in this dominion. To rule with a scepter of iron, is not to rule with a harsh and tyrannical sway, but with power that is firm and invincible. It denotes a government of strength, or one that cannot be successfully opposed; one in which the subjects are effectually subdued.

As the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers - The ironic here is that of the vessel of a potter - a fragile vessel of clay - struck with a rod of iron and broken into fragments. That is, as applied to the nations, there would be no power to oppose His rule; the enemies of his government would be destroyed. Instead of remaining firm and compacted together, they would be broken like the clay vessel of a potter when struck with a rod of iron. The speaker does not intimate when this would be; but all that is said here would be applicable to that time when the Son of God will come to judge the world, and when His saints will be associated with him in his triumphs. As, in respect to all the others of the seven epistles to the churches, the rewards promised refer to heaven, and to the happy state of that blessed world, it would seem also that this should have a similar reference, for there is no reason why "to him that overcame" in Thyatira a temporal reward and triumph should be promised more than in the cases of the others. If so, then this passage should not be adduced as having any reference to an imaginary personal reign of the Saviour and of the saints on the earth.

Even as I received of my Father - As he has appointed me, Psalm 2:6-9.

27. From Ps 2:8, 9.

rule—literally, "rule as a shepherd." In Ps 2:9 it is, "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron." The Septuagint, pointing the Hebrew word differently, read as Revelation here. The English Version of Ps 2:9 is doubtless right, as the parallel word, "dash in pieces," proves. But the Spirit in this case sanctions the additional thought as true, that the Lord shall mingle mercy to some, with judgment on others; beginning by destroying His Antichristian foes, He shall reign in love over the rest. "Christ shall rule them with a scepter of iron, to make them capable of being ruled with a scepter of gold; severity first, that grace may come after" (Trench, who thinks we ought to translate "SCEPTER" for "rod," as in Heb 1:8). "Shepherd" is used in Jer 6:3, of hostile rulers; so also in Zec 11:16. As severity here is the primary thought, "rule as a shepherd" seems to me to be used thus: He who would have shepherded them with a pastoral rod, shall, because of their hardened unbelief, shepherd them with a rod of iron.

shall they be broken—So one oldest manuscript, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic Versions read. But two oldest manuscripts, read, "as the vessels of a potter are broken to shivers." A potter's vessel dashed to pieces, because of its failing to answer the design of the maker, is the image to depict God's sovereign power to give reprobates to destruction, not by caprice, but in the exercise of His righteous judgment. The saints shall be in Christ's victorious "armies" when He shall inflict the last decisive blow, and afterwards shall reign with Him. Having by faith "overcome the world," they shall also rule the world.

even as I—"as I also have received of (from) My Father," namely, in Ps 2:7-9. Jesus had refused to receive the kingdom without the cross at Satan's hands; He would receive it from none but the Father, who had appointed the cross as the path to the crown. As the Father has given the authority to Me over the heathen and uttermost parts of the earth, so I impart a share of it to My victorious disciple.

And he shall rule them with a rod of iron: an iron rod either signifies a right rod, that will not be easily bent and made crooked; or a severe rod, which is most probably the sense: see Psalm 2:9 Psalm 12:5. The words by the psalmist are applied to Christ, and to the church, Revelation 12:5: to particular saints here, who rule the nations either in Christ their Head, or with Christ as their Chieftain, with the word of God powerfully convincing the world of sin and righteousness.

As the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers; and all paganism and heathen idolatries shall be broken in pieces. Or, in the day of judgment, the saints that persevere shall sit with Christ, and judge and condemn the world severely; and then they shall be broken in pieces, never again to be sodered or cemented.

Even as I received of my Father; for such a power and authority my Father hath given me, and I will give it to all them. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron,.... Either with the Gospel, which is the rod of Christ's strength, and is the power of God unto salvation, and by which the kingdom of Christ is enlarged, and the power of the church of Christ over the antichristian party is increased; or it may design great strictness and severity, with which the man of sin will be used by the saints of the most High, when they shall take away his dominion from him:

as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers; which may be expressive either of the breaking of rocky hearts in pieces at conversion, and of making souls humble and contrite; or of the irreparable ruin and destruction of antichrist, when the saints shall consume and destroy him:

even as I received of my Father; Christ, as God, has an underived power and government; but, as Mediator, his rule and power over the nations are asked by him, given to him, and received by him, Psalm 2:8. This "as" does not intend equality, but similitude; and denotes the participation the saints will have with Christ in the judgment and destruction of antichrist, and in his kingdom and power.

{22} And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

(22) The brightness of greatest glory and honour nearest approaching to the light of Christ, who is the Son of righteousness, and our head; Mt 4:14,16.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
27. shall rule them] Lit., shall be their shepherd. So the LXX. read the word in Psalm 2:9 which, according to the pronunciation now adopted in the received Hebrew text, will mean “bruise” or “break them.” St John, we have seen, does not follow the LXX. blindly in their deviations from the Hebrew text (see on Revelation 1:6-7): so from this passage and Revelation 12:5, Revelation 19:15 we see that he accepted “rule” as the right reading. Apart from this, shepherd is used in the Old Testament of human and superhuman rulers often enough to suggest its use here. The same metaphor is found in Classical Greek.

shall they be broken] Read, are broken: he is to rule the nations with as absolute a mastery as is expressed in crushing a potsherd.

even as I] Rather, as I also. Of course the meaning is, that Psalm 2:9 is assumed to be the promise of the Father to the Son; as is plain from the eighth verse.Revelation 2:27. Ποιμανεῖ) In the Hebrew it is תרועם, Thou shalt break them in pieces, Psalm 2:9, from רעע he broke in pieces, the verb of cognate meaning following, תנפצם Thou shalt scatter them, συντρίψεις αὐτούς. The Septuagint, as though they had read in the former passage תרעם from רעה he fed, have rendered it ποιμανεῖς (Thou shalt feed). The Apocalypse, not through imitation of the Septuagint translators, but on its own authority, uses that word, which is peculiarly appropriate. And in other places, when it refers to ancient prophecy, it most befittingly preserves the peculiarity of the Hebrew text: ch. Revelation 6:16, Revelation 7:17, Revelation 11:4.[44]

[44] παρὰ τοῦ Πατρός μον, from My Father) Jesus, when He was living on the earth, somewhat more frequently said, My Father which is in heaven; but now, simply, My Father; for He Himself is set in the heaven with His Father—V. g.Verse 27. - The verse is not a parenthesis. He shall rule them. Here; Revelation 12:5; and in Revelation 19:15, the LXX. rendering of Psalm 2:9 is adopted; ποιμανεῖς αὐτούς, "Thou shalt rule them," or more literally, "shalt shepherd them," instead of "shalt break them," which almost certainly is the meaning of the Hebrew. The Hebrew original, trhm without vowel points, may represent either tirhem or terohem; but the latter is required by what follows; "shalt dash them in pieces." Nevertheless, the gentler rendering better suits the requirements of these passages in the Apocalypse. The rule over the nations is to be strong, but it is to be loving also. To those who obey it, it will be a shepherding; only those who resist it will be dashed in pieces. Precisely the same expression is used in Revelation 7:17 of the Lamb shepherding his saints, and in John 21:16 in the charge to St. Peter to shepherd Christ's sheep. It is not easy to determine whether the "rod" (ῤἀβδοσ) is a king's sceptre, as in Hebrews 1:8, or a shepherd's staff, as m 1 Samuel 17:43; Micah 7:14; and Zechariah 11:7. As the vessels of pottery are broken to shivers. The future tense is a false reading; the insertion of "they" - "shall they be broken" - is a false rendering. Συντρίβειν, "to shatter," occurs in a literal sense in Mark 5:4 and John 19:36; and in a figurative sense in Luke 9:39 and Romans 16:20. As I also have received from my Father. The Greek is ὡς κἀγὼ εἴληφα, not καθὼς ἐγὼ ἔλαβον. He shall receive authority from me, as I also have received from my Father (comp. John 17:18; John 20:21; Luke 22:29; Acts 2:33). Shall rule (ποιμανεῖ)

Lit., shall shepherd. A comparison with Revelation 7:17, brings out the terrible irony in this word. Compare Psalm 2:9, Sept., where the same word is used. A.V., break. See on rule, Matthew 2:6; see on feed, Acts 20:28; see on 1 Peter 5:2; see on Jde 1:12.

Rod (ῥάβδῳ)

Commonly rendered staff, once sceptre, Hebrews 1:8. This is its meaning here.

Vessels (σκεύη)

See on goods, Matthew 12:29; see on vessel, 1 Peter 3:7.

Of the potter (κεραμικὰ)

From κέραμος potter's clay.

Shall they be broken to shivers

The A.V. follows the reading συντριβήσεται, the future tense of the verb. The correct reading is συντρίβεται, the present tense. Render therefore, as Rev., "as the vessels of the potter are broken." See on Mark 5:4, and see on bruising, Luke 9:39. The σύν together gives the picture of the fragments collapsing into a heap.

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