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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 3 - Verse 10

Verse 10. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience. My word commanding or enjoining patience; that is, thou hast manifested the patience which I require. They had shown this in the trials which they had experienced; he promises now, that in return he will keep them in the future trials that shall come upon the world. One of the highest rewards of patience in one trial is the grace that God gives us to bear another. The fact that we have been patient and submissive may be regarded as proof that he will give us grace that we may be patient and submissive in the trials that are to come. God does not leave those who have shown that they will not leave him.

I also will keep thee. That is, I will so keep you that you shall not sink under the trials which will prove a severe temptation to many. This does not mean that they would be actually kept from calamity of all kinds, but that they would be kept from the temptation of apostasy in calamity. He would give them grace to bear up under trials with a Christian spirit, and in such a manner that their salvation should not be endangered.

From the hour of temptation. The season; the time; the period of temptation. You shall be so kept that that which will prove to be a time of temptation to so many shall not endanger your salvation. Though others fall, you shall not; though you may be afflicted with others, yet you shall have grace to sustain you.

Which shall come upon all the world. The phrase here used—"all the world"—may either denote the whole world; or the whole Roman empire; or a large district of country; or the land of Judaea. See Barnes on "Lu 2:1".

Here, perhaps, all that is implied is, that the trial would be very extensive or general— so much so as to embrace the world, as the word was understood by those to whom the epistle was addressed. It need not be supposed that the whole world literally was included in it, or even all the Roman empire, but what was the world to them—the region which they would embrace in that term. If there were some far-spreading calamity in the country where they resided, it would probably be all that would be fairly embraced in the meaning of the word. It is not known to what trial the speaker refers. It may have been some form of persecution, or it may have been some calamity by disease, earthquake, or famine that was to occur. Tacitus (see Wetstein, in loc.) mentions an earthquake that sank twelve cities in Asia Minor in one night, by which, among others, Philadelphia was deeply affected; and it is possible that there may have been reference here to that overwhelming calamity. But nothing can be determined with certainty in regard to this.

To try them that dwell upon the earth. To test their character. It would rather seem from this that the affliction was some form of persecution as adapted to test the fidelity of those who were affected by it. The persecutions in the Roman empire would furnish abundant occasions for such a trial.

{h} "I also" 2 Pe 2:9

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