What does Revelation 2:7 mean?
ESV: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
NIV: Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
NASB: The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who overcomes, I will grant to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.’
CSB: "Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
NLT: 'Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.
KJV: 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.
NKJV: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’
Verse Commentary:
Jesus concludes His letter to the church at Ephesus with an invitation and a promise. He invites individuals in the church to hear what the Holy Spirit says to the churches. The letters to the churches were messages inspired by the Holy Spirit and communicated by Jesus through John (Revelation 1:9–11).

Whoever heeds Jesus' words is a conqueror. This is from the Greek word nikōnti, literally meaning "one who overcomes." The "conquerors" in the church at Ephesus were those who would do what Jesus instructed, enduring persecution and hardship along the way. They would remember their original love for the Lord, repent, and perform the works they did originally.

Jesus promises in verse 7 to allow every conqueror the privilege of partaking of the tree of life in God's paradise. The tree of life appears first in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9; 3:22, 24) and is mentioned again in Revelation 22. Paradise is used here as a synonym for heaven (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:3). The promise of paradise would encourage the conquerors to obey Jesus' instructions.
Verse Context:
Revelation 2:1–7 is the first letter Jesus dictated to John, intended for the church at Ephesus. This congregation is praised for patient endurance and for rightly rejecting false apostles. Despite such an excellent beginning, however, Ephesus had abandoned its first love. They were drifting into coldness and rote religiosity. Jesus instructs the church to remember its early days, repent, and conduct itself as it had done initially. He promises a reward to the victor.
Chapter Summary:
The contents of Revelation 2 are miniature letters to four churches, dictated by Jesus to John. Ephesus and Smyrna were coastal cities, whereas Pergamum and Thyatira were inland cities. Three more such letters are in Revelation 3. Each of these messages contains a unique description of Jesus, a command, a promise. All but one—the church in Laodicea—receive some commendation. All but two of the seven letters—those to the churches in Smyrna and Philadelphia—also contain a critical rebuke. Like churches today, most of the congregations addressed by Jesus had both good characteristics and at least one point which needed correction.
Chapter Context:
In chapter 1, John introduced his order from Jesus Christ: to write out a message to seven churches in Asia (Revelation 1:9–11). Here in this chapter, John writes to the church in Ephesus, the church in Smyrna, the church in Pergamum, and the church in Thyatira. Chapter 3 will continue with messages to the other three churches. The rest of Revelation will explain future events connected to the ''end times.''
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
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