By mentioning the practices taught by the two angels separately, the Qur'an has evidenced the fact that even though it was similar to 'magic' (mentioned earlier) in its affects, yet it did not entail any polytheistic rituals like magic.
There is extensive evidence which indicates that the practice of magic, sorcery, divination and such other occult practices was quite common among the Babylonians. Amin Ahsen Islahi, in his commentary of the Qur'an "Tadabbur-e-Qur'an" (Urdu) has opined that it was probably to provide a shield against these occult practices of the Babylonians that God sent the two angels to teach the Israelites some spells. The Qur'an has also stated that while teaching these spells, the angels admonished the Israelites of the fact that this information (of occult spells) was a great trial for them and that learning these spells entailed a great potential of deviating from the straight path. From this admonition of the angels, it seems that these teachings of the angels was like a double-edged sword: it could be used for the right purposes and also had the potential of being used for the wrong ones. In the following part of the verse, the Qur'an has mentioned that even after these admonitions of the angels, the Israelites used these occult practices for all the wrong causes - like sowing discord among a husband and a wife etc. The point that the teaching of the angels was primarily to provide the Israelites with a shield against the expert Babylonian sorcerers is supported by the fact that the Israelites were, indeed, aware of certain, apparently magical spells, which were clear of any profane beliefs and rituals, and are reported to have utlized them for various purposes. The Encyclopedia Judaica writes:
While repudiating the power of sorcery, biblical religion at times utilizes means and methods, which were borrowed from magical practice, but were subordinated to the new faith and hence not regarded as acts of sorcery. Notable examples are healing with the aid of the copper serpent (Nehushtan) and the examination of the woman suspected of infidelity (Adultery; Ordeal). (Article on 'Magic')