Moabite Seduction and Phineas Arises
1While Israel was staying in Shittim, the people began to have immoral sexual relations with women from Moab.
2Then they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, so the people were eating, and bowing down before their gods.
3When Israel became bound to Baal of Peor, the anger of Adonai grew hot against Israel.
4Adonai said to Moses, “Seize all the ringleaders and hang them before Adonai facing the sun, so that Adonai’s fierce anger may be turned away from Israel.”
5So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you, kill your men who have been joining themselves to Baal of Peor.”
6Then behold, a man from Bnei-Yisrael came and brought a Midianite woman to his brothers before the eyes of Moses and of the whole assembly of Bnei-Yisrael, while they were weeping at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting!
7When Phinehas son of Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen saw it, he arose from the midst of the assembly, took a spear in his hand,
8and went after the man of Israel into the tent and pierced them through—both the Israelite man and the woman’s belly. Then the plague among Bnei-Yisrael was stopped.
9However, 24,000 were dead because of the plague!
10Then Adonai spoke to Moses saying,
11“Phinehas son of Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen has turned away My anger from Bnei-Yisrael because he was very zealous for Me among them, so that I did not put an end to Bnei-Yisrael in My zeal.
12So now say: See, I am making with him a covenant of shalom!
13It will be for him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood—because he was zealous for his God and atoned for Bnei-Yisrael.”
14The name of the Israelite man killed with the Midianite woman was Zimri son of Salu, a prince of a Simeonite ancestral household.
15The name of the executed Midianite woman was Cozbi, daughter of Zur—he was a tribal head of an ancestral house in Midian.
16Adonai spoke to Moses saying,
17“Deal with the Midianites as enemies and strike them.
18For they have been enemies to you in their deceptions of you in the matter of Peor and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a Midianite prince, their sister who was slain on the day of the plague on account of the Peor incident.”