King Croesus Wealth
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King Croesus Wealth (Revelation 3.1-3)

"To the angel [or "messenger"] of the church in Sardis write: 'These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits [that is, "the sevenfold Spirit"] of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.'" (Revelation 3.1-3)✞

Portrait Showing King

Coin showing King CroesusKing Croesus (BC 595-546) (pronounced KREE-SES) and the wealth of Sardis to whom this letter in Revelation is addressed were legendary. Croesus reigned as King of Lydia for fourteen years from BC 560 until his defeat by King Cyrus of Persia in BC 546. The River Pactolus, flowed through the lower town of Lydia and was reputed to have had gold-bearing waters though it is now thought that these were in fact "electrum" which was a naturally occurring amalgum of silver and gold found in the river bed. It is thought that from the deposits of this river came much of the King's wealth. This is probably the source of the Greek legend about the Midas touch or "the golden touch" by which anything that Midas touched turned to gold. The real identity of Midas and the legend surrounding "the Midas touch" is however unclear. A fascinating side story of the Midas myth is that Midas's daughter supposably turned to a statue of gold when Midas touched her!✞

Greatest Sardian King

King Croesus PortraitKing Croesus was considered the greatest of the Sardian kings, and his name is still commemorated in the saying, "as rich as Croesus." Croesus is believed to have been the first to issue gold coins with standardized purity and weight for general circulation. It was with the King's wealth that Sardis reached its zenith and it was with Croesus that it plunged to disaster as is suggested in this Revelation passage, "I will come like a thief and you will not know at what time I will come to you."

Solon's Warning

Solon, the Greek Law GiverKing Croesus was warned where Sardis was heading. Solon (BC 638-558) the so called "wisest of the Greeks," came on a visit to Midas and with great pride Croesus showed him the magnificence and the wealth of the city of Sardis. He saw the blind confidence in King Croesus that nothing could end his splendor, but he also saw that the seeds of softness and of degeneration had already been sown. Sardis was therefore doomed!✞

"King Croesus Wealth"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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