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Notes on Revelation


"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdest the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore frome whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."--Revelation 2:1-7

"The church at Ephesus, a very prominent city on the western part of the Roman province of Asia, had enjoyed the ministry of Paul for three years (Acts 20:31). Timothy also had apparently served this church as pastor. Later, before his exile to the Isle of Patmos, the Apostle John had served as one of the pastors of this church."

(Prophecy Knowledge Handbook, John Walvoord)

"Ephesus was a large city with an excellent harbor, and it was known at this time as the marketplace of Asia. It was also a banking center because of its great vault in the Temple of Diana, which was considered the safest place in Asian Minor.

"Ephesus was also an important religious city. The Temple of Diana (or Artemus, as the Greeks called her) was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The goddess Diana was the patron of all the prostitutes and, with her many-bosomed image, represented fertility and sexuality. Many writers in ancient times described the immorality of the city.

"One pillar in the Ephesian economy was the production of silver images of Diana by the many silversmiths who plied their trade there. Devotees of this goddess brought much gain to the city (Acts 19:23-27). Black magic was also widely practiced in Ephesus."

(There's A New World Coming, Hal Lindsey)

"The capital of the Roman province Asia; a large and ancient city at the mouth of the river Cayster, and about 3 miles from the open sea. The origin of the name, which is native and not Greek, is unknown. It stood at the entrance to one of the four clefts in the surrounding hills. It is along these valleys that the roads through the central plateau of Asia Minor pass. The chief ot these was the route up the Maeander as far as the Lycus, its tributary, then along the Lycus towards Apamea. It was the most important avenue of civilization in Asia Minor under the Roman Empire.

"Ephesus was on the main route from Rome to the East, and many side roads and sea-routes converged at it...The governors of the provinces in Asia Minor had always to land at Ephesus.

"The harbour of Ephesus was kept large enough and deep enough only by constant attention. The alluvial deposits were (and are) so great that, when once the Roman Empire had ceased to hold sway, the harbour became gradually smaller and smaller, so that now Ephesus is far away from the sea.

"Ephesus...was always proud of the position of 'Warden of the Temple of Artemis.' The festivals were thronged by crowds from the whole of the province of Asia."

(Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible)

"There is a tradition that the mother of our Lord was buried at Ephesus, as also Timothy and St. John.

"All the cities of Ionia were remarkably well situated for the growth of commercial prosperity (Herod. i. 142), and none more so than Ephesus. With a fertile neighborhood and an excellent climate it was also most conveniently placed for traffic with all the neighbouring parts of the Levant. In the time of Augustus it was the great emporium of all the regions of Asia within the Taurus (Strab. xiv. p. 950): its harbour (named Panormus), at the mouth of the Cayster, was elaborately constructed; though alluvial matter caused serious hindrances both in the time of Attalus, and in St. Paul's own time (Tac. Ann. xvi. 23).

"Two great roads at least, in the Roman times, led eastward from Ephesus, one through the passes of Tmolus to Sardis (Rev 3:1) and thence to Galatia and the NE, the other round the extremity of Pactyas to Magnesia, and so up the valley of the Maeander to Iconium, whence the communication was direct to the Euphrates and to the Syrian Antioch. There seem to have been Sardian and Magnesian gates on the E side of Ephesus, corresponding to these roads respectively. There were also coast-roads leading northwards to Smyrna and southwards to Miletus.

"Conspicuous at the head of the harbor of Ephesus was the great temple of Diana or Artemis, the tutelary divinity of the city. This building was raised on immense substructions, in consequence of the swampy nature of the ground. The earlier temple, which had been begun before the Persian war, was burnt down in the night when Alexander the Great was born; and another structure, raised by the enthusiastic cooperation of all the inhabitants of 'Asia,' had taken its place. Its dimensions were very great. In length it was 425 feet, and in breadth 220. The columns were 127 in number, and each of them was 60 feet high. In style, too, it constituted an epoch in Greek art (Vitruv. iv. 1); since it was here first that the graceful Ionic order was perfected.

"Public games were connected with the worship of Diana at Ephesus. The month of May was sacred to her...Not unconnected with the preceding subject was the remarkable prevalence of magical arts at Ephesus...The theatre on Mount Prion...must have been one of the largest in the world."

(Dr. William Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, 1872)

"Its population, its religion, and its art contained a strong Eastern element; the Artemis worshiped there began and ended as an Oriental goddess of motherhood and fertility. Her renowned temple had many deaths, and almost as many resurrections.

"The city was known not only for its temple but for its poets, its philosophers, and its expensively gowned women.

"There were great schools of medicine at...Ephesus...Pergamum...Smyrna..."

(Story of Civilization: The Life of Greece, Will Durant)

"Though Pergamum was the formal capital of 'Asia,' Ephesus became the seat of the Roman proconsol and his staff; it was also the main port of the province and the meeting place of the provincial assembly. It's polyglot population of 225,000 ranged from philanthropic sophists to a noisy and superstitious rabble. The streets were well paved and lighted and had miles of shady porticoes. There were the usual public buildings...a 'museum' or scientific center, a medical school, a library with a strangely baroque facade, and a theater that seated 56,000 persons...The center (and chief bank) of the city was the Temple of Artemis, surrounded by 128 columns each the gift of a king. The eunuch priests were attended by virgin priestesses and a swarm of slaves; the rites were a mixture of Oriental and Greek..."

(Story of Civilization: Caesar and Christ, Will Durant)

"In Asiatic Greece the rosary was commonly used, as may be seen from the image of the Ephesian Diana."

(The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop)

"But in his [antichrist] estate shall he honour the god of forces and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones and pleasant things."--Daniel 11:38


With regards to the Ephesian Diana as the "goddess of fortifications" see "The Two Babylons: The Child in Assyria."

See the book The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia by W. M. Ramsay.

Also see Seven Churches.
Also see Tree of Life.
Also see Nicolaitanes.


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