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Revelation 2 Expanded Bible (EXB)

To the Church in Ephesus

“Write this to the ·angel [or messenger; see 1:20] of the church in Ephesus [C an important city in western Asia Minor]:

“The One who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands [C the resurrected Jesus; 1:16, 20] says ·this [L these things]: I know ·what you do [L your works], ·how you work hard [L your toil] and ·never give up [L your perseverence/endurance]. I know you do not put up with ·the false teachings of evil people [L evildoers; or evil]. You have tested those who say they are apostles but really are not, and you found they are ·liars [or false]. You have ·patience [perseverance; endurance] and have ·suffered troubles [endured much] for my name and have not ·given up [L grown weary].

“But I have this against you: You have ·left [abandoned] ·the love you had in the beginning [or your first love]. So ·remember [consider] ·where you were before you fell [L how far you have fallen]. ·Change your hearts [Repent] and do ·what [L the works] you did at first. If you do not ·change [repent], I will come to you and will take away your lampstand from its place. But ·there is something you do that is right [L this you have]: You hate what the Nicolaitans do [C we know little about this heresy, which possibly entailed false worship and immorality], as much as I.

“Every person who has ears should ·listen to [hear; obey] what the Spirit says to the churches. To those who ·win the victory [overcome; conquer] I will give the right to eat the fruit from the ·tree of life, which is in the ·garden [or paradise] of God [22:2; Gen. 2:9].

To the Church in Smyrna

“Write this to the ·angel [or messenger; see 1:20] of the church in Smyrna [C a major city in western Asia Minor, identified with present-day Izmir, Turkey]:

“The One who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again [C the resurrected Jesus; 1:17–18], says ·this [L these things]: I know your ·troubles [persecution; affliction] and that you are poor, but really you are rich! I know the ·bad things [slander; blasphemy] some people say about you. They say they are Jews, but they are not true Jews. They are a synagogue ·that belongs to [L of] Satan. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will ·suffer [be persecuted/afflicted] for ten days [C perhaps a symbolic number meaning a significant and definite time]. But be faithful, even if you have to die, and I will give you the ·crown [C a wreath worn to indicate high status or as a reward] of life.

11 “Everyone who has ears should ·listen to [hear; obey] what the Spirit says to the churches. Those who ·win the victory [overcome; conquer] will not be hurt by the second death [C the spiritual death after physical death; 20:6, 14; 21:8].

To the Church in Pergamum

12 “Write this to the ·angel [messenger; see 1:20] of the church in Pergamum [C a rich city in western Asia Minor]:

“The One who has the sharp, double-edged sword [C the resurrected Jesus; 1:16] says this [L these things]: 13 I know where you live. It is where Satan has his throne [C a reference to false worship; Pergamum was a center of emperor worship]. But you ·are true to me [L hold fast to my name]. You did not ·refuse to tell about [deny] your faith in me even during the time of Antipas, my faithful witness who was killed ·in your city [L among you; C we know nothing further about Antipas], where Satan lives.

14 “But I have a few things against you: You have some there who follow the teaching of Balaam. He taught Balak how to ·cause the people of Israel to sin [L put a stumbling block before the children of Israel] by eating food offered to idols and by taking part in sexual sins [Num. 22—24; 31:8; Deut. 23:4–5; 2 Pet. 2:15; Jude 11]. 15 You also have some who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans [see 2:6]. 16 So ·change your hearts and lives [repent]. If you do not, I will come to you quickly and ·fight [make war] against them with the sword that comes out of my mouth [C the judgment he enacts by merely speaking; 1:16].

17 “Everyone who has ears should ·listen to [hear; obey] what the Spirit says to the churches.

“I will give some of the hidden manna [C perhaps alluding to a Jewish tradition that the manna placed in the ark is hidden until the messianic age; ultimately referring to the spiritual life Christ provides; John 6:32–35] to everyone who ·wins the victory [overcomes; conquers]. I will also give to each one who ·wins the victory [overcomes; conquers] a white stone with a new name written on it [C an unknown cultural image, which, along with the manna, points to salvation in Christ]. No one knows this new name except the one who receives it [C the name could be God’s or Christ’s, but more likely refers to a new name given to the people of God].

To the Church in Thyatira

18 “Write this to the ·angel [messenger; see 1:20] of the church in ·Thyatira [C a small city in western Asia Minor]:

“The Son of God, who has eyes that blaze like fire [1:14] and feet like shining bronze [1:15; C the resurrected Jesus], says ·this [L these things]: 19 I know ·what you do [your works]. I know about your love, your faith, your service, and your ·patience [endurance; perseverance]. I know that ·you are doing more now than you did at first [L your last works are greater than the first].

20 “But I have this against you: You ·let that woman Jezebel spread false teachings [L tolerate the woman Jezebel; C probably the leader of the Nicolaitans, here given the name of the notorious Baal-worshiping queen; 1 Kin. 16:31–34; 21:25–26; 2 Kin. 9:22]. She ·says she is [calls herself] a prophetess, but ·by her teaching she leads [teaches and misleads/deceives] my ·people [L servants] to take part in sexual sins and to eat food that is offered to idols. 21 I have given her time to ·change her heart and turn away from her sin [repent of her sexual immorality], but she does not want to ·change [repent]. 22 ·So [L Look!] I will throw her on ·a bed of suffering [or a sickbed; C the bed used for sexual sin is now a bed of suffering]. And all those who take part in adultery with her will suffer greatly if they do not ·turn away from the wrongs she does [repent of her works/deeds]. 23 I will also kill her ·followers [L children]. Then all the churches will know I am the One who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you for ·what you have done [your works/deeds].

24 “But ·others [the rest] of you in Thyatira have not followed her teaching and have not learned what some call Satan’s deep secrets. I say to you that I will not put any other ·load [burden] on you. 25 Only ·continue in your loyalty [L hold fast to what you have] until I come.

26 “I will give ·power [authority] over the nations to everyone who ·wins the victory [overcomes; conquers] and ·continues to be obedient to me [or keeps working for me; L keeps/obeys my works] until the end.

27 ‘·You [L he; C the one who overcomes] will ·rule over [L shepherd] them with an iron ·rod [or scepter],
    ·as when pottery is broken into pieces [or and will break them into pieces like pottery; Ps. 2:9].’

28 This is the same ·power [authority] I received from my Father. I will also give him the morning star [C usually the planet Venus as seen before sunrise, but here symbolically Christ at his return; 22:16; Num. 24:17; 2 Pet. 1:19]. 29 Everyone who has ears should ·listen to [hear; obey] what the Spirit says to the churches.

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Revelation 2 New International Version (NIV)

To the Church in Ephesus

“To the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

To the Church in Smyrna

“To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

11 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.

To the Church in Pergamum

12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:

These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.

14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. 15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

17 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

To the Church in Thyatira

18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, 25 except to hold on to what you have until I come.’

26 To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations 27 that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’[b]—just as I have received authority from my Father. 28 I will also give that one the morning star. 29 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 2:1 Or messenger; also in verses 8, 12 and 18
  2. Revelation 2:27 Psalm 2:9
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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