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Revelation 2:20

    Revelation 2:20 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But I have this against thee, that thou sufferest the woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess; and she teacheth and seduceth my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But I have this against you, that you let the woman Jezebel say she is a prophet and give false teaching, making my servants go after the desires of the flesh and take food offered to false gods.

    Webster's Revision

    But I have this against thee, that thou sufferest the woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess; and she teacheth and seduceth my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

    World English Bible

    But I have this against you, that you tolerate your woman, Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. She teaches and seduces my servants to commit sexual immorality, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But I have this against thee, that thou sufferest the woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess; and she teacheth and seduceth my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

    Definitions for Revelation 2:20

    Fornication - Sexual immorality.

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 2:20

    That woman Jezebel - There is an allusion here to the history of Ahab and Jezebel, as given in 2 Kings 9:1-10:36; and although we do not know who this Jezebel was, yet from the allusion we may take it for granted she was a woman of power and influence in Thyatira, who corrupted the true religion, and harassed the followers of God in that city, as Jezebel did in Israel. Instead of that woman Jezebel, την γυναικα Ιεζαβηλ, many excellent MSS., and almost all the ancient versions, read την γυναικα σου Ιεζαβηλ, Thy Wife Jezebel; which intimates, indeed asserts, that this bad woman was the wife of the bishop of the Church, and his criminality in suffering her was therefore the greater. This reading Griesbach has received into the text. She called herself a prophetess, i.e., set up for a teacher; taught the Christians that fornication, and eating things offered to idols, were matters of indifference, and thus they were seduced from the truth. But it is probable that by fornication here is meant idolatry merely, which is often its meaning in the Scriptures. It is too gross to suppose that the wife of the bishop of this Church could teach fornication literally. The messenger or bishop of this Church, probably her husband, suffered this: he had power to have cast her and her party out of the Church, or, as his wife, to have restrained her; but he did not do it, and thus she had every opportunity of seducing the faithful. This is what Christ had against the messenger of this Church.

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 2:20

    Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee - Compare notes on Revelation 2:4.

    Because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel - Thou dost tolerate, or countenance her. Compare the notes on Revelation 2:14. Who the individual here referred to by the name Jezebel was, is not known. It is by no means probable that this was her real name, but seems to have been given to her as expressive of her character and influence. Jezebel was the wife of Ahab; a woman of vast influence over her husband - an influence which was uniformly exerted for evil. She was a daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre and Sidon, and lived about 918 years before Christ. She was an idolater, and induced her weak husband not only to connive at her introducing the worship of her native idols, but to become an idolater himself, and to use all the means in his power to establish the worship of idols instead of the worship of the true God. She was highly gifted, persuasive, and artful; was resolute in the accomplishment of her purposes; ambitious of extending and perpetuating her power, and unscrupulous in the means which she employed to execute her designs. See 1 Kings 16:31 ff.

    The kind of character, therefore, which would be designated by the term as used here, would be that of a woman who was artful and persuasive in her manner; who was capable of exerting a wide influence over others; who had talents of a high order; who was a thorough advocate of error; who was unscrupulous in the means which she employed for accomplishing her ends; and the tendency of whose influence was to lead the people into the abominable practices of idolatry. The opinions which she held, and the practices into which she led others, appear to have been the same which are referred to in Revelation 2:6 and Revelation 2:14-15 of this chapter. The difference was, that the teacher in this case was a woman - a circumstance which by no means lessened the enormity of the offence; for, besides the fact that it was contrary to the whole genius of Christianity that a woman should be a public teacher, there was a special incongruity that she should be an advocate of such abominable opinions and practices. Every sentiment of our nature makes us feel that it is right to expect that if a woman teaches at all in a public manner, she should inculcate only what is true and holy - she should be an advocate of a pure life. We are shocked; we feel that there is a violation of every principle of our nature, and an insult done to our common humanity, if it is otherwise. We have in a manner become accustomed to the fact that man should be a teacher of pollution and error, so that we do not shrink from it with horror; we never can be reconciled to the fact that a woman should.

    Which calleth herself a prophetess - Many persons set up the claim to be prophets in the times when the gospel was first preached, and it is not improbable that many females would lay claim to such a character, after the example of Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, etc.

    To teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication - Compare Revelation 2:14. Whether she herself practiced what she taught is not expressly affirmed, but seems to be implied in Revelation 2:22. It is not often that persons teach these doctrines without practicing what they teach; and the fact that they desire and design to live in this manner will commonly account for the fact that they inculcate such views.

    And to eat things sacrificed unto idols - See the notes on Revelation 2:14. The custom of attending on the festivals of idols led commonly to licentiousness, and they who were gross and sensual in their lives were fit subjects to be persuaded to attend on idol feasts - for nowhere else would they find more unlimited toleration for the indulgence of their passions.

    Wesley's Notes on Revelation 2:20

    2:20 But thou sufferest that woman Jezebel - who ought not to teach at all, 1Tim 2:12. To teach and seduce my servants - At Pergamos were many followers of Balaam; at Thyatira, one grand deceiver. Many of the ancients have delivered, that this was the wife of the pastor himself. Jezebel of old led the people of God to open idolatry. This Jezebel, fitly called by her name, from the resemblance between their works, led them to partake in the idolatry of the heathens. This she seems to have done by first enticing them to fornication, just as Balaam did: whereas at Pergamos they were first enticed to idolatry, and afterwards to fornication.