Revelation 2:14
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.

King James Bible
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

American Standard Version
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there some that hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But I have against thee a few things: because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat, and to commit fornication:

English Revised Version
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there some that hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication.

Webster's Bible Translation
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit lewdness.

Weymouth New Testament
Yet I have a few things against you, because you have with you some that cling to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling-block in the way of the descendants of Israel--to eat what had been sacrificed to idols, and commit fornication.

Revelation 2:14 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Doctrine (διδαχὴν)

Rev., better, teaching.

Balaam

See Numbers 25:1-9; Numbers 31:15, Numbers 31:16. Compare 2 Peter 2:15; Jde 1:11.

A stumbling-block (σκάνδαλον)

See on offend, Matthew 5:29, and see on offense, Matthew 16:23.

Before (ἐνώπιον)

Lit., in the sight of. See on Luke 24:11.

Things sacrificed to idols (εἰδωλόθυτα)

In the A.V. the word is rendered in four different ways: meats offered to idols (Acts 15:29): things offered to idols (Acts 21:25): things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols (1 Corinthians 8:4); and as here Rev., uniformly, things sacrificed to idols.

The eating of idol meats, which was no temptation to the Jewish Christian, was quite otherwise to the Gentile. The act of sacrifice, among all ancient nations, was a social no less than a religious act. Commonly only a part of the victim was consumed as an offering, and the rest became the portion of the priests, was given to the poor, or was sold again in the markets. Hence sacrifice and feast were identified. The word originally used for killing in sacrifice (θύειν) obtained the general sense of killing (Acts 10:13). Among the Greeks this identification was carried to the highest pitch. Thucydides enumerates sacrifices among popular entertainments. "We have not forgotten," he says, "to provide for our weary spirits many relaxations from toil. We have regular games and sacrifices throughout the year" (ii., 38). So Aristotle: "And some fellowships seem to be for the sake of pleasure; those of the followers of Love, and those of club-diners; for these are for the sake of sacrifice and social intercourse" ("Ethics," viii., 9, 5). Suetonius relates of Claudius, the Roman Emperor, that, on one occasion, while in the Forum of Augustus, smelling the odor of the banquet which was being prepared for the priests in the neighboring temple of Mars, he left the tribunal and placed himself at the table with the priests ("Claudius," 33). Also how Vitellius would snatch from the altar-fire the entrails of victims and the corn, and consume them ("Vitellius," 13). Thus, for the Gentile, "refusal to partake of the idol-meats involved absence from public and private festivity, a withdrawal, in great part, from the social life of his time." The subject is discussed by Paul in Romans 14:2-21, and 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1. The council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) forbade the eating of meat offered to idols, not as esteeming it forbidden by the Mosaic law, but as becoming a possible occasion of sin to weak Christians. In his letter to the Corinthians, among whom the Jewish and more scrupulous party was the weaker, Paul, in arguing with the stronger and more independent party, never alludes to the decree of the Jerusalem council, but discusses the matter from the stand-point of the rights of conscience. While he admits the possibility of a blameless participation in a banquet, even in the idol-temple, he dissuades from it on the ground of its dangerous consequences to weak consciences, and as involving a formal recognition of the false worship which they had renounced at their baptism. "In the Epistle to the Romans we see the excess to which the scruples of the weaker brethren were carried, even to the pitch of abstaining altogether from animal food; as, ill the Nicolaitans of the Apocalyptic churches, we see the excess of the indifferentist party, who plunged without restraint into all the pollutions, moral as well as ceremonial, with which the heathen rites were accompanied" (Stanley, "On Corinthians"). "It may be noted as accounting for the stronger and more vehement language of the Apocalypse, considered even as a simply Human book, that the conditions of the case had altered. Christians and heathen were no longer dwelling together, as at Corinth, with comparatively slight interruption to their social intercourse, but were divided by a sharp line of demarcation. The eating of things sacrificed to idols was more and more a crucial test, involving a cowardly shrinking from the open confession of a Christian's faith. Disciples who sat at meat in the idol's temple were making merry with those whose hands were red with the blood of their fellow-worshippers, and whose lips had uttered blaspheming scoffs against the Holy Name" (Plumptre).

In times of persecution, tasting the wine of the libations or eating meat offered to idols, was understood to signify recantation of Christianity.

Revelation 2:14 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I have. See on ver.

Revelation 2:4,20 Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love...

Balaam.

Numbers 24:14 And now, behold, I go to my people: come therefore...

Numbers 25:1-3 And Israel stayed in Shittim, and the people began to commit prostitution with the daughters of Moab...

Numbers 31:8,16 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur...

Joshua 24:9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you:

2 Peter 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor...

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward...

a stumbling-block.

Isaiah 57:14 And shall say, Cast you up, cast you up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people.

Jeremiah 6:21 Therefore thus said the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people...

Ezekiel 3:20 Again, When a righteous man does turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die...

Ezekiel 44:12 Because they ministered to them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity...

Matthew 18:7 Woe to the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!

Romans 9:32 Why? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone;

Romans 11:9 And David said, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompense to them:

Romans 14:13,21 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather...

1 Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness;

1 Corinthians 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.

1 Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient...

eat.

Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess...

Acts 15:20,21,29 But that we write to them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood...

Acts 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing...

1 Corinthians 8:4-13 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world...

1 Corinthians 10:18-31 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar...

to commit.

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters...

Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.

1 Corinthians 6:13-18 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication...

1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Cross References
Numbers 25:1
While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab.

Numbers 31:16
Behold, these, on Balaam's advice, caused the people of Israel to act treacherously against the LORD in the incident of Peor, and so the plague came among the congregation of the LORD.

Acts 15:20
but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.

Acts 15:29
that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell."

1 Corinthians 10:20
No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.

2 Peter 2:15
Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing,

Jude 1:11
Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion.

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