Revelation 2:12

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,.... Of the city of Pergamos, See Gill on "Revelation 1:11". In it was a church of Christ, but when it begun, and how long it lasted, is not certain. Antipas, who is mentioned, Revelation 2:13; is thought, by some, to have been the pastor of it. Though, according to the Apostolical Constitutions {s}, Caius was the first bishop of it; and it appears, that in the "second" century there were several in this place that suffered martyrdom for Christ, as Carpus, Papulus, and a woman whose name was Agathonice {t}. Attalus, the martyr, who suffered in the same century, was also a native of this place {u}. In the "fifth" century there was a bishop of Pergamos in the council at Ephesus; and in the "sixth" century, there was one in the "fifth" synod at Constantinople; and in the "seventh" century, Theodorus, bishop of the church here, was in the sixth synod held at the same place; and in the "eighth" century one Pastilas was bishop of Pergamos; and in the same age, Basil, bishop of this place, was in the Nicene synod {w}; and the Christian name now is not wholly, though almost extinct; for when our countryman, Dr. Smith {x}, was there, there was a little church called St. Theodore's, whither a priest was frequently sent from Smyrna, to perform divine service, there being but a very few Christian families in it. This church represents the church from the time of Constantine, and onward, rising up to, and enjoying great power, riches, and honour Pergamos signifies high and lofty; things that were sublime and lofty, were, by the Greeks, called ta pergama, and also all high and lofty towers {y}. It was built under a very high and steep mountain, upon the top of which a tower was erected, by the lords of the lesser Asia, which still continues {z}. The church it represents had its principal seat at Rome, where Satan dwelt, Revelation 2:13; which signifies exalted likewise; and it introduces the man of sin, antichrist, the popes of Rome, who exalted themselves above all that is called God, princes, kings, and emperors; whom they excommunicated, dethroned, trod upon their necks, kicked off their crowns, and obliged them to hold their stirrups while they mounted their horses, with other haughty action, too many to name.

These things, saith he, which hath the sharp sword with two edges: of which See Gill on "Revelation 1:16"; This title is used partly to show, that the only weapon this church, and the true ministers and members of it had, to defend themselves against the growing corruptions of antichrist, who in this interval rose up by degrees, and was revealed, and came to the height of his power, was the word of God, the Scriptures of truth; and partly to show, that in process of time, though not in this period, the man of sin should be destroyed, with the breath of Christ's mouth, and the brightness of his coming; of which his fighting against the Nicolaitans, with the sword of his mouth, Revelation 2:16; is an emblem.

{s} L. 7. c. 46.
{t} Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 4. c. 15.
{u} Ib. l. 5. c. 1.
{w} Hist. Eccl. Magdeburgh. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 3. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 4. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 3. c. 10. p. 254. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 4.
{x} Notitia, p. 120.
{y} Servius in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 1. p. 403, & l. 2. p. 633. Ed Basil. 1586.
{z} Smith. Notitia, p. 112.