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Balaam and Balak [2] (Numbers 24,25)

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CHAPTER 25 Apr. 7 
Israel Commit Fornication with Moabite Women
Israel stayed in Shittim; and the people began to play the prostitute with the daughters of Moab; 2for they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods; and the people ate, and bowed down to their gods. 3Israel joined himself to Baal Peor, and the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel. 4Yahweh 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. 5Moses said to the judges of Israel, Everyone kill his men who have joined themselves to Baal Peor. 6Behold, 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. 7When 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; 8and 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. 9Those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand. 10Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 11Phinehas 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. 12Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace: 13and 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’. 14Now 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 father’s house among the Simeonites. 15The 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. 16Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 17Harass the Midianites, and strike them; 18for 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.


25:3- see on 24:25. 
Baal Peor refers to the Baal who was worshipped at the town of Peor, near where they were now encamping (Dt. 3:29; 4:46). Each town and geographical area had its own gods, rather like today there is a geography to religion, different parts of the world or even areas within a country tend to have their local religions. The true God and His Truth is the same worldwide, which allows a unique international bond between those who know Him and are in His Son.
25:5 This command didn’t need to be carried out, because Phinehas took the initiative in killing the chief offenders (:7,8) and this act so impressed God that the plague was ended (:11). Here we have an example of how God sets up one plan or purpose, but is prepared to amend or change it according to human initiative suggesting another one, as Moses did several times. We see here therefore how open God is to dialogue, to living relationship with His people.
25:8 The spear connecting Jew and Gentile in death could be seen as pointing forward to the cross of Christ.
25:11 Jealous with My jealousy- God’s feelings are to be ours. His colossal love for His people means that He is also therefore jealous over their devotions to any other god.