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Revelation 2 is the second chapter of the Book of Revelation or the Apocalypse of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The book is traditionally attributed to John the Apostle,[1] but the precise identity of the author remains a point of academic debate.[2] This chapter contains messages to churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum and Thyatira, four of the seven churches of Asia located in modern-day Turkey, with messages for the other three churches appearing in chapter 3.[3]

Revelation 2
Papyrus 98 (Rev 1,13-2.1).JPG
Revelation 1:13-2:1 on the verso side of Papyrus 98 from the second century.
BookBook of Revelation
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part27


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 29 verses.

Textual witnessesEdit

Some of the early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:[a]

The map of West Anatolia (formerly the province of Asia) showing the island of Patmos and the location of the seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

Old Testament referencesEdit

New Testament referencesEdit

The Message to Ephesus (2:1–7)Edit

Verse 1Edit

"To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:"[6]

The Message to Smyrna (2:8–11)Edit

Verse 8Edit

"And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,
'These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:'"[7]

Verse 9Edit

"I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan."[8]

The Message to Pergamum (2:12–17)Edit

Verse 12Edit

"And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:'"[9]

Verse 14Edit

But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.[10]

The instruction Balaam gave to Balak, which is here called his "doctrine", was that Balak should get some of the most beautiful women in his kingdom to ply the men of Israel, and draw them into uncleanness, and so to idolatry; this would provoke God's anger to the Israelites, so Balak might get an advantage over them. Israelites did commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab, eat things sacrificed to idols, and bowed down to Baal Peor, is certain (Numbers 25:1); but that this was brought about through the counsel of Balaam is not so plainly expressed, though it is hinted at in Numbers 31:15; but the Jewish writers are very clear about this matter. Jonathan ben Uzziel, one of the Targumists on Numbers 24:14, has these words of Balaam,

"Come, and I will counsel thee, (speaking to Balak,) go and set up inns, and place in them whorish women, to sell food and drink at a low price: and this people will come and eat and drink, and be drunken, and will lie with them, and deny their God; and they will be quickly delivered into thine hands, and many of them shall fall.

This now was the stumbling block he taught Balak to lay before them. And elsewhere it is said,[11]

"that Balaam, the wicked, gave counsel to Balak, the son of Zippor, to cause the Israelites to fall by the sword; he said to him, the God of this people hates whoredom, cause thy daughters to commit whoredom with them, and ye shall rule over them."

Both Philo [12] and Josephus [13] speak of this counsel of Balaam, much to the same purpose. The Samaritan Chronicle says [14] that this counsel pleased the king, and he sent into the camp of Israel, on a sabbath day, 24,000 young women, by whom the Israelites were so seduced, that they did everything they desired them, which was just the number of those that were slain, Numbers 25:9.[15]

The Message to Thyatira (2:18–29)Edit

Verse 18Edit

"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,
'These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:'"[16]

Verse 20Edit

Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.[17]

The Jerusalem Bible suggests that Jezebel was a "self-styled prophetess of the Nicolaitan sect".[18] Theologian John Gill writes:

"That woman Jezebel" -- or "thy wife Jezebel", as the Complutensian edition and Syriac version read -- the name of King Ahab's wife, who seduced him, in the Hebrew language is "Izebel", but is read by the Septuagint in 1 Kings 16:31, "Jezebel", as here; and by Josephus as "Jezabela";[19] she had her name from "Zebel", "dung", to which Elijah has reference in 2 Kings 9:37; the Ethiopic version calls her "Elzabel". She was the daughter of an Heathen, and as she was the wife of Ahab, and therefore a queen, so the "whore of Babylon" calls herself; and as Jezebel was famous for her paintings, so are her pretensions to religion and holiness, and for the gaudiness of her worship; and as she was remarkable for her idolatry, whoredoms, witchcrafts, and cruel persecution of the prophets of the Lord, and for murder, and innocent blood she shed; and as Jezebel, who stirred up Ahab against good and faithful men, so Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, shall be cast into the sea, and be found no more at all: compare 2 Kings 9:7 with Revelation 17:1.[20]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Book of Revelation is missing from Codex Vaticanus.[4]


  1. ^ Evans, Craig A (2005). Craig A Evans (ed.). Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: John, Hebrews-Revelation. Colorado Springs, Colo.: Victor. ISBN 0781442281.
  2. ^ F. L. Cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 45
  3. ^ Bauckham 2007, p. 1289.
  4. ^ Claremont Coptic Encyclopaedia, Codex Vaticanus, accessed 29 September 2018
  5. ^ a b Kirkpatrick, A. F. (1901). The Book of Psalms: with Introduction and Notes. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Book IV and V: Psalms XC-CL. Cambridge: At the University Press. p. 838. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  6. ^ Revelation 2:1 NKJV
  7. ^ Revelation 2:8 NKJV
  8. ^ Revelation 2:9 NKJV
  9. ^ Revelation 2:12 NKJV
  10. ^ Revelation 2:14 NKJV
  11. ^ T. Hieros. Sanhedrin, fol. 28. 4. & Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 106. 1. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 20. fol. 229. 1. Yalkut, par. 1. fol. 244. 3, 4. & par. 2. fol. 76. 4
  12. ^ Philo. De Vita Mosis, l. 7. p. 647, 648.
  13. ^ Josephus. Antiqu. l. 4. c. 6. sect. 6, 7, 8, 9.
  14. ^ Apud Hottinger. Exercit. Antimorin. p. 109.
  15. ^ John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible - Revelation 2:14
  16. ^ Revelation 2:18 NKJV
  17. ^ Revelation 2:20 NKJV
  18. ^ Jerusalem Bible (1966), footnote at Revelation 2:20
  19. ^ Josephus. Antiqu. l. 8. c. 13. sect. 1. 4, 7.
  20. ^ John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible on Revelation 2:20


  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gill, John. Exposition of the Entire Bible (1746-1763).

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