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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 2 - Verse 10

Verse 10. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. He did not promise them exemption from suffering. He saw that they were about to suffer, and he specifies the manner in which their affliction would occur. But he entreats and commands them not to be afraid. They were to look to the "crown of life," and to be comforted with the assurance that if they were faithful unto death, that would be theirs. We need not dread suffering if we can hear the voice of the Redeemer encouraging us, and if he assures us that in a little while we shall have the crown of life.

Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison. Or, shall cause some of you to be cast into prison. He had just said that their persecutors were of the "synagogue of Satan." He here represents Satan, or the devil—another name of the same being—as about to throw them into prison. This would be done undoubtedly by the hands of men, but still Satan was the prime mover, or the instigator in doing it. It was common to cast those who were persecuted into prison. See Ac 12:3-4; 16:23. It is not said on what pretence, or by what authority, this would be done; but, as John had been banished to Patmos from Ephesus, it is probable that this persecution was raging in the adjacent places, and there is no improbability in supposing that many might be thrown into prison.

That ye may be tried. That the reality of your faith may be subjected to a test to show whether it is genuine. The design in the case is that of the Saviour, though Satan is allowed to do it. It was common in the early periods of the church to suffer religion to be subjected to trial amidst persecutions, in order to show that it was of heavenly origin, and to demonstrate its value in view of the world. This is, indeed, one of the designs of trial at all times, but this seemed eminently desirable when a new system of religion was about to be given to mankind. Compare Barnes on "1 Pe 1:6-7".

 

And ye shall have tribulation ten days. A short time; a brief period; a few days. It is possible, indeed, that this might have meant literally ten days, but it is much more in accordance with the general character of this book, in regard to numbers, to suppose that the word ten here is used to denote a few. Compare Ge 24:55; 1 Sa 25:38; Da 1:12,14.

We are wholly ignorant how long the trial actually lasted; but the assurance was that it would not be long, and they were to allow this thought to cheer and sustain them in their sorrows. Why should not the same thought encourage us now? Affliction in this life, however severe, can be but brief; and in the hope that it will soon end, why should we not bear it without murmuring or repining?

Be thou faithful unto death. Implying, perhaps, that though, in regard to the church, the affliction would be brief, yet that it might be fatal to some of them, and they who were thus about to die should remain faithful to their Saviour until the hour of death. In relation to all, whether they were to suffer a violent death or not, the same injunction and the same promise was applicable. It is true of every one who is a Christian, in whatever manner he is to die, that if he is faithful unto death, a crown of life awaits him. Compare See Barnes "2 Ti 4:8".

 

And I will give thee a crown of life. See Barnes "Jas 1:12".

Compare 1 Pe 5:4; 1 Co 9:24-27. The promise here is somewhat different from that which was made to the faithful in Ephesus, (Re 2:7,) but the same thing substantially is promised theme happiness hereafter, or an admission into heaven. In the former case it is the peaceful image of those admitted into the scenes of paradise; here it is the triumph of the crowned martyr.

{b} "faithful" Mt 10:22 {c} "crown" Jas 1:12

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