Numbers - 25:1-18

The Doctrine of Balaam

      1 Israel stayed in Shittim; and the people began to play the prostitute with the daughters of Moab: 2 for they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods; and the people ate, and bowed down to their gods. 3 Israel joined himself to Baal Peor: and the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel. 4 Yahweh said to Moses, "Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up to Yahweh before the sun, that the fierce anger of Yahweh may turn away from Israel." 5 Moses said to the judges of Israel, "Everyone kill his men who have joined themselves to Baal Peor." 6 Behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his brothers a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 7 When Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand; 8 and he went after the man of Israel into the pavilion, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9 Those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand. 10 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 11 "Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I didn't consume the children of Israel in my jealousy. 12 Therefore say, 'Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace: 13 and it shall be to him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.'" 14 Now the name of the man of Israel that was slain, who was slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a fathers' house among the Simeonites. 15 The name of the Midianite woman who was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head of the people of a fathers' house in Midian. 16 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 17 "Harass the Midianites, and strike them; 18 for they harassed you with their wiles, with which they have deceived you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the prince of Midian, their sister, who was slain on the day of the plague in the matter of Peor."

Chapter In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of Numbers 25.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

While Israel abode in Shittim the people commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab, Numbers 25:1. They become idolaters, Numbers 25:2. The anger of the Lord is kindled against them, and he commands the ringleaders to be hanged, Numbers 25:3, Numbers 25:4. Moses causes the judges to slay the transgressors, Numbers 25:5. Zimri, one of the Israelitish princes of the tribe of Simeon, brings a Midianitish princess, named Cozbi, into his tent, while the people are deploring their iniquity before the tabernacle, Numbers 25:6. Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, incensed by this insult to the laws and worship of God, runs after them and pierces them both with a javelin, Numbers 25:7, Numbers 25:8. Twenty-four thousand die of the plague, sent as a punishment for their iniquity, Numbers 25:9. The Lord grants to Phinehas a covenant of peace and an everlasting priesthood, Numbers 25:10-13. The name and quality of the Israelitish man and Midianitish woman, Numbers 25:14, Numbers 25:15. God commands the Israelites to vex and smite the Midianites, who had seduced them to the worship of Baal-peor, Numbers 25:16-18.

The contents of this chapter are, the sin of the people of Israel, their whoredom and idolatry, Numbers 25:1, their punishment for it, multitudes being slain, Numbers 25:4, whose number is given, Numbers 25:9, the zeal of Phinehas in slaying two notorious offenders, Numbers 25:6, whose names are observed, Numbers 25:14 for which he is commended, and the covenant of priesthood was given and confirmed unto him, Numbers 25:10, and the chapter is concluded with an order to vex the Midianites, for vexing Israel with their wiles, Numbers 25:16.

(Numbers 25:1-5) The Israelites enticed by the daughters of Moab and Midian.
(Numbers 25:6-15) Phinehas puts Zimri and Cozbi to death.
(Numbers 25:16-18) The Midianites to be punished.

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