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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 2 - Verse 3

Verse 3. And hast borne. Hast borne up under trials; or hast borne with, the evils with which you have been assailed. That is, you have not given way to murmuring or complaints in trial; you have not abandoned the principles of truth and yielded to the prevalence of error.

And hast patience. That is, in this connexion, hast shown that thou canst bear up under these things with patience. This is a repetition of what is said in Re 2:2, but in a somewhat different connexion. There it rather refers to the trouble which they had experienced on account of the pretensions of false apostles, and the patient, persevering, and enduring spirit which they had shown in that form of trial; here the expression is more general, denoting a patient spirit in regard to all forms of trial.

And for my name's sake hast laboured. On account of me, and in my cause. That is, the labour here referred to, whatever it was, was to advance the cause of the Redeemer. In the word rendered "hast laboured" —ekopiasav—there is a reference to the word used in the previous verse— "thy labour"—kopon sou; and the design is to show that the "labour," or trouble there referred to, was on account of him.

And hast not fainted. Hast not become exhausted, or wearied out, so as to give over. The word here used (kamnw) occurs in only three places in the New Testament: Heb 12:3, "Lest ye be wearied, and faint; Jas 5:15, "the prayer of faith shall save the sick;" and in the passage before us. It means properly to become weary and faint from toil, etc.; and the idea here is, that they had not become so wearied out as to give over from exhaustion. The sense of the whole passage is thus rendered by Professor Stuart: "Thou canst not bear with false teachers, but thou canst bear with troubles and perplexities on account of me; thou hast undergone wearisome toil, but thou art not wearied out thereby." The state of mind, considered as the state of mind appropriate to a Christian, here represented, is, that we should not tolerate error and sin, but that we should bear up under the trials which they may incidentally occasion us; that we should have such a repugnance to evil that we cannot endure it, as evil, but that we should have such love to the Saviour and his cause as to be willing to bear anything, even in relation to that, or springing from that, that we may be called to suffer in that cause; that while we may be weary in his work—for our bodily strength may become exhausted (compare Mt 26:41) —we should not be weary of it; and that though we may have many perplexities, and may meet with much opposition, yet we should not relax our zeal, but should persevere with an ardour that never faints, until our Saviour calls us to our reward.

{a} "fainted" Ga 6:9

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