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1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.

2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.

3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.

5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.

6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;

8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.

9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.

10 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

11 Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.

12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace:

13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.

14 Now the name of the Israelite that was slain, even that was slain with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a chief house among the Simeonites.

15 And the name of the Midianitish woman that was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head over a people, and of a chief house in Midian.

16 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

17 Vex the Midianites, and smite them:

18 For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor's sake.

Commentary for Numbers 25

The Israelites enticed by the daughters of Moab and Midian. (1-5) Phinehas puts Zimri and Cozbi to death. (6-15) The Midianites to be punished. (16-18)1-5 The friendship of the wicked is more dangerous than their enmity; for none can prevail against God's people if they are not overcome by their inbred lusts; nor can any enchantment hurt them, but the enticements of worldly interests and pleasures. Here is the sin of Israel, to which they are enticed by the daughters of Moab and Midian. Those are our worst enemies who draw us to sin, for that is the greatest mischief any man can do us. Israel's sin did that which all Balaam's enchantments could not do; it set God against them. Diseases are the fruits of God's anger, and the just punishments of prevailing sins; one infection follows the other. Ringleaders in sin ought to be made examples of justice.

6-15 Phinehas, in the courage of zeal and faith, executed vengeance on Zimri and Cozbi. This act can never be an example for private revenge, or religious persecution, or for irregular public vengeance.

16-18 We read not that any Midianites died of the plague; God punished them with the sword of an enemy, not with the rod of a father. We must set ourselves against whatever is an occasion of sin to us, #Mt 5:29,30|. Whatever draws us to sin, should be a vexation to us, as a thorn in the flesh. And none will be more surely and severely punished than those who, after Satan's example, and with his subtlety, tempt others to sin.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Numbers 25

  • Christ Magnified Glorifying Jesus
    End of day 33 of Bible in a Year Reading. Challenging reading. God is Holy and expects His people to be Holy as He is. Holy Spirit is our powerful person as believers. Present day believers have accepted many ungodly and wicked acts and things into our lives. Without Holy Spirit guiding us we are powerless to even see how far from God we have become. Sin was all around Phinehas addressed it.
  • Rene
    From geneses to revelation man is the leader for sure God has made it that way and the only way amen
  • Emanuel Fernandes
    I am for peace but when I speak it's meant for war . I suffer not a WOMAN TO TEACH NOR USURP AUTHORITY OVER A MAN. A women teaches young women to be ladies and young children not ADULTS. A women can ONLY WITNESS tracting street preacher. I ONLY LISTEN TO MALE PREACHERS
  • A disciple
    Kevin; I don't listen to "Christian Radio," and I can't say that I agree with women teaching. The things I see from this Chapter are about the treachery of the enemy; (who knows how to seduce those who are willing to be seduced); the disaster and destruction of the Lord's Church because of disobedience and rebellion which is the root of fornication and idolatry; and the imperative of a pure heart.
  • Kevin
    I'm listening to Christian radio and the woman there is speaking of this chapter. Her interpretation is simply that "Sin must be dealt with." What do you think? Is this an accurate assessment?
  • A disciple
    With respect to all who are called and separated unto the LORD to be His; it seems like everyone knows what is our strength with God, and what makes us unclean, unholy and unfit for His Presence; EXCEPT THE CHRISTIAN! The devil knew, the king of Moab knew, and Balaam knew, that idols and fornication would corrupt Israel and put them in a weakened condition, and God would withdraw His protection.
  • Joyce Joseph
    The children of Israel were warned by God not to get themselves entangled with the strangers around them. They saw what happened when others were disobedient. Why were they bent on provoking God who took such good care of them over and over again. Phinehas was right to do what he did.
  • BSP
    Verse 8: Phineas tolerated no rivalry toward Jehovah God and he took swift action to make sure that the camp of Israel stayed clean. God blessed Phineas for his swift action he took and for not being permissive.

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Bible Trivia

How many people died in the plague caused by Israel worshipping Moab gods?
  • 24000
  • 3400
  • 17500
  • 168000