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Revelation 3:14-22New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea,[a] write this:

“‘The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God’s creation, says this: 15 “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot.[b] I wish you were either cold or hot. 16 [c]So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 [d]For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire[e] so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent.

20 “‘“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.[f] 21 I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne.

22 “‘“Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

Footnotes:

  1. 3:14 Laodicea: ca. forty miles southeast of Philadelphia and ca. eighty miles east of Ephesus, a wealthy industrial and commercial center, with a renowned medical school. It exported fine woolen garments and was famous for its eye salves. It was so wealthy that it was proudly rebuilt without outside aid after the devastating earthquake of A.D. 60/61. The Amen: this is a divine title (cf. Hebrew text of Is 65:16) applied to Christ; cf. 2 Cor 1:20. Source of God’s creation: literally, “the beginning of God’s creation,” a concept found also in Jn 1:3; Col 1:16–17; Hb 1:2; cf. Prv 8:22–31; Wis 9:1–2.
  2. 3:15–16 Halfhearted commitment to the faith is nauseating to Christ; cf. Rom 12:11.
  3. 3:16 Spit: literally, “vomit.” The image is that of a beverage that should be either hot or cold. Perhaps there is an allusion to the hot springs of Hierapolis across the Lycus river from Laodicea, which would have been lukewarm by the time they reached Laodicea.
  4. 3:17 Economic prosperity occasioned spiritual bankruptcy.
  5. 3:18 Gold…fire: God’s grace. White garments: symbol of an upright life; the city was noted for its violet/purple cloth. Ointment…eyes: to remove spiritual blindness; one of the city’s exports was eye ointment (see note on Rev 3:14).
  6. 3:20 Christ invites all to the messianic banquet in heaven; cf. Is 25:6; Lk 14:15; 22:30.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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