Revelation 1:9 Index
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Research Material

"...companion in tribulation..."

  • Apparently John was not alone in suffering persecution at this time. (7BC 734)

"...in the kingdom..."

  • That is, the kingdom of divine grace (Matthew 4:17). "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14.22). (7BC 734)

"...and patience..."

  • Or, "remaining under." The word here implies the exercise of self-control to endure a difficult situation when, by a surrender of faith, release might be obtained form the pressure of persecution. In Christ, Christians have the strength to "remain under" "in Jesus." (Romans 2:7; Revelation 14:12). (7BC 734)

"...of Jesus Christ..."

  • Or, "in Jesus." Patience results from a vital connection with Him. (7BC 734)

"...was in the isle..."

  • Or, "came to be." Implying that Patmos was not [John's] permanent home, but that circumstances found [him] there. (7BC 734)

"...the isle that is called Patmos..."

  • This small, rugged island of the Icarian Sea, part of the Aegean Sea, where the apostle John was banished, and where he wrote the book of Revelation, is mentioned only once in the Bible (Revelation 1:9). It is about ten miles long and six miles wide and lies off the southwestern coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Because of its desolate and barren nature, the land is treeless and, for the most part, rocky. In Roman times, Patmos was one of the many places to which Rome banished her exiles, forcing them to work at hard labor in the quarries of the island.... Because Christians were regarded as criminals by the Roman Emperor Domitian (who ruled from 81-96 A.D.), John suffered harsh treatment during his exile on Patmos. An early Christian tradition says he was in exile for eighteen months.... According to a tradition preserved by Irenaeus, Eusebius, Jerome, and others, John was exiled to Patmos in 95 A.D., (during the 14th year of Domitian's reign) and returned to Ephesus, under Nerva, in 96 A.D..... (KC 15)
  • Imperial Rome has decided to stamp out Christianity and heavy persecution has fallen on the early church. All of John's fellow apostles have been put to death and he has been banished to the Island of Patmos. From a human point of view, this is a critical time for the struggling early church. At a time when John's leadership, influence, and encouragement is desperately needed, he has been taken from them. It appears as if the believers are going to be eliminated and the enemies of the church will be victorious. However, He who can see the end from the beginning was permitting man to place John where He could give him revelations of the future that would bring hope, guidance, and encouragement to the struggling early church.... In exiling John, the Roman leaders hoped to silence his voice, but instead, the messages he received brought assurance and strength to each church member. The prophecies revealed would guide the church to the end of time. Throughout Revelation such phrases as "shortly come to pass" (Revelation 1:1) and "the time is at hand" (Revelation 1:3), are used to emphasize the shortness of time to those living in the days of these prophecies. Revelation is the message given by God the Father to His Son, Jesus Christ, who had an angel show His servant, John, so that those who are living in the last days will understand what is taking place. (KC 21)
  • Although such Aegean islands as Patmos were used as places of banishment during the Roman Empire, little is know of its ancient history. To men of ordinary status, like John, such banishment generally meant hard labor in mines or quarries for life. It is possible, of course, that he was released when Domitian's acts were annulled at his death. There even grew up a tradition that John's exile lasted only two years, but there is no way of actually knowing how long its was, or precisely when the Apocalypse was written. (Froom 86)
  • A small island in the Aegean Sea about 50 miles southwest of Ephesus. It measures some 10 miles north and south by about 6 miles east and west, at its widest point. Patmos is rocky and barren. Its unusually broken coast line contains many inlets. Writing in A.D. 77, Pliny (Natural History iv. 12, 23) reports that the island was used as a penal colony, which fact explains John's statement about being a "companion in Tribulation."

"...for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."

  • That is, on account of the word. John was no on Patmos to receive and to record the visions (Revelation 1:2), but because of his writings and witness about Jesus Christ. In the bitter days of persecution under Domitian his fearless testimony became the occasion for [his] banishment to Patmos. (7BC 735)