Matthew Henry Complete

Commentary on The Revelation

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Chapter 2

The apostle John, having in the foregoing chapter written the things which he had seen, now proceeds to write the things that are, according to the command of God (ch. 1:19), that is, the present state of the seven churches of Asia, with which he had a particular acquaintance, and for which he had a tender concern. He was directed to write to every one of them according to their present state and circumstances, and to inscribe every letter to the angel of that church, to the minister or rather ministry of that church, called angels because they are the messengers of God to mankind. In this chapter we have,

  1. The message sent to Ephesus (v. 1-7).
  2. To Smyrna (v. 8?11).
  3. To Pergamos (v. 12?17).
  4. To Thyatira (v. 18, etc.).

Verses 1-7 We have here,

I. The inscription, where observe,

II. The contents of the epistle, in which, as in most of those that follow, we have,

1. The commendation Christ gave this church, ministers and members, which he always brings in by declaring that he knows their works, and therefore both his commendation and reprehension are to be strictly regarded; for he does not in either speak at a venture: he knows what he says. Now the church of Ephesus is commended,

III. We have the conclusion of this epistle, in which, as in those that follow, we have,

Verses 8-11 We now proceed to the second epistle sent to another of the Asian churches, where, as before, observe,

I. The preface or inscription in both parts.

II. The subject-matter of this epistle to Smyrna, where, after the common declaration of Christ’s omniscience, and the perfect cognizance he has of all the works of men and especially of his churches, he takes notice,

III. The conclusion of this message, and that, as before,

Verses 12-17 Here also we are to consider,

I. The inscription of this message.

II. From the inscription we proceed to the contents of the epistle, in which the method is much the same as is observed in the rest. Here,

III. We have the conclusion of this epistle, where, after the usual demand of universal attention, there is the promise of great favour to those that overcome. They shall eat of the hidden manna, and have the new name, and the white stone, which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it, v. 17.

Verses 18-29 The form of each epistle is very much the same; and in this, as the rest, we have to consider the inscription, contents, and conclusion.

I. The inscription, telling us,

II. The contents or subject-matter of this epistle, which, as the rest, includes,

III. We now come to the conclusion of this message, v. 26,29. Here we have,

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