Revelation 2:14

There (ekei). That is par umin (among you). A party in the church that resisted emperor-worship, to the death in the case of Antipas, yet were caught in the insidious wiles of the Nicolaitans which the church in Ephesus withstood. Some that hold (kratounta). "Men holding" (present active participle of kratew). The teaching of Balaam (thn didachn Balaam). Indeclinable substantive Balaam ( Numbers 25:1-9 ; Numbers 31:15 ). The point of likeness of these heretics with Balaam is here explained. Taught Balak (edidasken twi Balak). Imperfect indicative of didaskw, Balaam's habit, "as the prototype of all corrupt teachers" (Charles). These early Gnostics practised licentiousness as a principle since they were not under law, but under grace ( Romans 6:15 ). The use of the dative with didaskw is a colloquialism rather than a Hebraism. Two accusatives often occur with didaskw. To cast a stumbling-block (balein skandalon). Second aorist active infinitive (accusative case after edidasken) of ballw, regular use with skandalon (trap) like tiqhmi skandalon in Romans 14:13 . Balaam, as Josephus and Philo also say, showed Balak how to set a trap for the Israelites by beguiling them into the double sin of idolatry and fornication, which often went together (and do so still). To eat things sacrificed to idols (pagein eidwloquta). Second aorist active infinitive of esqiw and the verbal adjective (from eidwlon and quw), quoted here from Numbers 25:1 , but in inverse order, repeated in other order in verse Revelation 2:20 . See Acts 15:29 ; Acts 21:25 ; 1 Corinthians 8:1 for the controversy over the temptation to Gentile Christians to do what in itself was harmless, but which led to evil if it led to participation in the pagan feasts. Perhaps both ideas are involved here. Balaam taught Balak how to lead the Israelites into sin in both ways.