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“‘“Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the victor[a] I will give the right to eat from the tree of life that is in the garden of God.”’(A)

To Smyrna.[b]

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  1. 2:7 Victor: referring to any Christian individual who holds fast to the faith and does God’s will in the face of persecution. The tree of life that is in the garden of God: this is a reference to the tree in the primeval paradise (Gn 2:9); cf. Rev 22:2, 14, 19. The decree excluding humanity from the tree of life has been revoked by Christ.
  2. 2:8–11 The letter to Smyrna encourages the Christians in this important commercial center by telling them that although they are impoverished, they are nevertheless rich, and calls those Jews who are slandering them members of the assembly of Satan (Rev 2:9). There is no admonition; rather, the Christians are told that they will suffer much, even death, but the time of tribulation will be short compared to their eternal reward (Rev 2:10), and they will thus escape final damnation (Rev 2:11).