Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Pergamon (2.12–17)


‘And write to the angel of the assembly in Pergamon:

The one who has the sharp, two-edged sword says this:

I know where you dwell, where the satan’s throne is. And you grasp my name and have not denied my faith, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness who was killed among you, where the satan dwells. But I hold a little against you, because you have some there who grasp Balaam’s teaching, who taught Balak to throw a trap in front of Israel’s sons, to eat idol-sacrificed food and to commit sexual immorality. So you also have those who likewise grasp the teaching of the Nikolaitans. So repent. But if not, I am coming to you soon, and I will wage war against them with the sword of my mouth.

Whoever has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the assemblies. To whoever conquers, I will give him the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone and on the stone is written a new name which no one knows except the one who receives it.’


Jesus is identified to each assembly by attributes taken from chapter 1, generally in reverse order. Each selected attribute seems intended to tie into the message given to that particular assembly, though the meaning is not always clear. Jesus has the sword. He threatens the Nikolaitans with his sword.



16.13–14, 31 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. […] The house of Israel called it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.


31.16 These women here, on Balaam’s advice, made the Israelites act treacherously against Yhwh in the affair of Peor, so that the plague came among the congregation of Yhwh.

1 Corinthians

8.4, 7, 13 Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that ‘no idol in the world really exists’ […] It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. […] Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.


4.9 And he said, ‘Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’


13.16 ‘But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.’

2 Baruch

29.8 And it will happen at that time that the treasury of manna will come down again from on high, and they will eat of it in those years because these are they who will have arrived at the consummation of time.


15.29 ‘abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.’

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