To the Church in Thyatira
to the angel of the church in Thyatira, write this:
‘The Son of God, whose eyes are like a fiery flame and whose feet are like polished brass, says this ” I know your works, your love, faith, service, and endurance, and that your last works are greater than the first. Yet I hold this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, who teaches and misleads my servants to play the harlot and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her harlotry.
So I will cast her on a sickbed and plunge those who commit adultery with her into intense suffering unless they repent of her works. I will also put her children to death. Thus shall all the churches come to know that I am the searcher of hearts and minds and that I will give each of you what your works deserve. But I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not uphold this teaching and know nothing of the so-called deep secrets of Satan: on you I will place no further burden, except that you must hold fast to what you have until I come.
“To the victor, who keeps to my ways until the end, I will give authority over the nations. Hw will rule them with an iron rod. Like clay vessels will they be smashed, just as I received authority from my Father. And to him I will give the morning star.”
“Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
The church in Thyatira (2:18–29) was plagued by a false prophetess symbolically named Jezebel after the evil queen of Israel who worshiped idols. She along with the Nicolaitans advocated compromise with certain pagan practices. Meat in the ancient world was dedicated to the gods at the pagan temples before it was sold in the public markets; many Christians refused to eat such meat sacrificed to idols.
Thyatira was known for its trade guilds (cf. Lydia; Acts 16:14) which would hold banquets in the pagan temples. After eating and drinking, the diners often engaged in sexually immoral acts on the couches (klinai) where they lay. Jezebel and the Nicolaitans apparently condoned such behavior because of a false understanding of freedom in Christ.