Jezebel in Thyatira Revelation 2:18-29
Thyatira (modern Akhisar, Turkey) was famous for its dyeing and indigo trade. It was the home of Lydia, the seller of purple fabrics, who was converted under the ministry of Paul (Acts 16:14). Located in a valley, midway between Pergamum and Sardis, it was originally established as a military base by one of the generals in the army of Alexander the Great. AMP
6. Thyatira’s virtues—
Increasing in (the number of) works—work from the Greek word ergon—work, actions, behavior, deeds, doing, labor*
Love from the Greek word agape—love, affection or benevolence, a love-feast*
Faith from the Greek word pistis—Assurance, Assure, Assuredly, Belief, Believe, Believers, Faith, Fidelity
Love and faith form one pair, as in “faith works by love.” see Galatians 5:6 *
Service from the Greek word diakonia–Ministering, Ministration, Ministry, Relief, Service, Serving* ministering “to the suffering members of the Church, and to all in spiritual or temporal need”**
Patient endurance ESV & NLT (or patient continuance**) from one Greek word hypomonē—Endure, Enduring, Patience, Patient, patiently* This is the same Greek word used in Romans 2:7 translated as well-doing or doing good.
7. A. Like Pergamum,
Thyatira tolerated (or left alone*) someone calling herself a prophetess who taught and misled His “dear servants into Cross-denying, self-indulging religion.” MSG
B. Jezebel’s character—
- She was the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, one of Canaan’s inhabitants God warned them to avoid.
- She easily led and controlled her weak and yielding husband.
- She continued in the worship of Baal and her husband, Ahab king of Israel, followed her.
- She influenced her husband so much that “he did more to provoke the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than any of the other kings is Israel before him.” 1 Kings 16:33 NLT
- She sought to kill all the prophets of Jehovah. 1 Kings 18:13
- She vowed to kill Elijah in revenge for the deaths of Baal’s prophets. 1 Kings 18:40
- She vowed to get Naboth’s field for her pouting husband Ahab, because he coveted it. Naboth, a man of principle, refused to sell his family’s inheritance.
- She forged her husband’s seal, conspired against Naboth and orchestrated his execution by stoning.
- She was even more wicked than her husband. Ahab humbled himself when confronted by Elijah, but Jezebel did not repent.
- Her own servants willingly threw her out of a window.
The false prophetess in Revelation is probably called Jezebel to describe her similar character and influence. She taught and seduced (caused to wander). The word translated as seduced “never means mere error as such, but fundamental departure from the truth.” Vincent Word Studies
C. Outcome for refusing to repent before God’s deadline—
- This Jezebel will be cast into a bed of suffering as in “she made her bed, now she has to lie in it.”
- Those affected by her who “go on with her works” will also suffer a similar outcome–tribulation. Hebrews 12:5-10 describes chastisement of true believers – God’s own children who need Fatherly correction. (If this is speaking of true believers.)
- Her children, however, he will kill her children with death. “A strong Hebraistic mode of expression, meaning that He would certainly destroy them.” (Barnes)
It isn’t obvious to Greek scholars whether “children” means literal children or spiritual children. It does seem obvious they aren’t actually God’s children but her children. In that case, it is difficult to understand why as the ringleader Jezebel isn’t slated for destruction.
This situation sounds like the Nicolaitans mentioned in the warnings to other churches. This heresy may have been a widespread problem among the Asian assemblies. God must deal with it quickly and decisively although He wanted the congregations to deal with it themselves.
8. Relationship between Revelation 2:18 and 2:23
The Father is jealous for our hearts. He cares about our motives and how they affect others.
If I judge myself, humble myself, and seek the counsel, guidance and the help of Holy Spirit within me, I will know the truth and walk in it.
Walking in it is a process. Even Paul said of his own flesh, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” Romans 7:15
These are MY answers to the study questions, not THE answers.