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Revelation 2:20-23

As we have already dealt with this woman in the portion dealing with named women of the Bible (see Jezebel No. 2), all we need to do at this point is to briefly remind the reader of the way this sinister female is dealt with. Some writers adopt the reading, “thy wife Jezebel” and so regard her as an actual person, a false prophetess who sought to seduce the saints in the church in Thyatira. Other commentators regard the name Jezebel not as one belonging to an individual, but one representative of an apostate faction in the church. “It seems best to view the name as symbolical,” says Ellicott, “always remembering that the Jezebel spirit of proud, self-constituted authority, vaunting claims of superior holiness, or higher knowledge, linked with a disregard of—and perhaps a proud contempt for—‘legalism,’ and followed by open immorality, has again and again run riot in the churches of God.”

In this longest of the letters to the seven churches, Christ utters a solemn warning to those who persistently indulge in spiritual harlotry. If they refuse to repent, then they must share the condemnation of Jezebel. How gracious the Lord is, even to the worst of evil-doers—“I gave her space to repent.”

To those in Thyatira who had not been influenced by Jezebel and her fornications and demoniac depths (verse 24) there was promised a share in the rule of Christ (verse 26). Works based on love play a prominent part in this letter (2:19, 26). Deeds and depths belong to Satan (2:22, 24). The Morning Star is Christ and all overcomers are fully to possess Him. What a future awaits all those who shun Jezebel and her evil ways and who have Christ in the heart as the Harbinger of the coming glorious day!

Devotional content drawn from All the Women of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer. Used with permission.

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