Journey by Lamplight A visit to the seven churches of Asia — Part 3 -- By: Paul W. Wallace
BSP 5:3 (Summer 1976) p. 65
Journey by Lamplight
A visit to the seven churches of Asia — Part 3
Thyatira — A Businessman’s Town
And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: “The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.
“I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practise immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her doings; and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay upon you any other burden; only hold fast what you have, until I come. He who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, I will give him power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received power from my Father; and I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev. 2:18–29)
The progression in the naming of the seven cities from south to north and along the coast now changes, and the direction is now southeasterly, into the interior. Thyatira was in the region called Lydia, on the Lycus River, on the road which led from Pergamum to Sardis. This was the main road from Pergamum to the east, and Thyatira, in periods of peace and prosperity, thus enjoyed its
BSP 5:3 (Summer 1976) p. 66
important location. In times of war, however, Thyatira’s situation was of strategic importance, and would be attacked by any invader from the east. Unprotected by the land, without an acropolis, the city was by nature weak.
The city was said to be a Macedonian colony (Test. 1), but this must mean only that some of Seleucus’ soldiers settled there; for its older names suggest that a settlement already existed on the site (Test. 2). The town remained under the kings of Syria until 190 B.C. when Antiochus, who plundered Thyatira’s territory (Test. 3), was defeated by the Romans; Thyatira then became attached to Pergamum, and passed with that city into a Roman province in the will of Attalus III.
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