Numbers 25

1The people of Israel were camped near Acacia. At that time, the men began doing sexual sins with Moabite women. 2- 3The Moabite women invited the men to come and join in their sacrifices to their false gods. So the Israelites joined in worshiping those false gods—they ate the sacrifices and worshiped those gods. At that place, the people of Israel began worshiping the false god, Baal of Peor. And the Lord became very angry at them. 4The Lord said to Moses, “Get all the leaders of these people. Then kill them so that all the people can see. Lay their bodies before the Lord. Then the Lord will not show his anger against all the people of Israel.” 5So Moses said to Israel’s judges, “Each of you must find the men in your family group that have led people to worship the false god, Baal of Peor. Then you must kill those men.” 6At the time, Moses and all the elders ˻(leaders)˼ of Israel were gathered together at the entrance to the Meeting Tent. An Israelite man brought a Midianite woman home to his brothers. He did this where Moses and all the leaders could see. Moses and the leaders were very sad. 7Phinehas was the son of Eleazar and the grandson of Aaron the priest. Phinehas saw this man bring the woman into camp. So Phinehas left the meeting and got his spear. 8He followed the Israelite man into the tent. Then he used the spear to kill the Israelite man and the Midianite woman in her tent. He pushed the spear through both of their bodies. At that time, there was a great sickness among the Israelite people. But when Phinehas killed these two people, the sickness stopped. 9A total of 24,000 people died from that sickness. 10The Lord said to Moses, 11“I have strong feelings for my people—I want them to belong only to me! Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saved the people of Israel from my anger. He did this by showing those feelings for my people. So I will not kill the people like I wanted to. 12Tell Phinehas that I am making a peace agreement with him. 13This is the agreement: He and all of his family that live after him will always be priests. Why? Because he had strong feelings for his God. And he did the things that made the people of Israel pure.” 14The Israelite man who was killed with the Midianite woman was named Zimri son of Salu. He was the leader of a family in Simeon’s family group. 15And the name of the Midianite woman who was killed was Cozbi. She was the daughter of Zur. Zur was the head of a family and leader of a Midianite family group. 16The Lord said to Moses, 17“The Midianite people are your enemies. You must kill them. 18They have already made you their enemies. They tricked you at Peor. And they tricked you with the woman named Cozbi. She was the daughter of a Midianite leader. But she was killed when the sickness came to the Israelite people. That sickness was caused because the people were tricked into worshiping the false god Baal of Peor.”

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