1 While Israel remained at Shittim, the people indulged in sexual immorality with the Moabite women.
2 The Moabites invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods. The people ate and bowed down to their gods.
3 So Israel joined itself to Baal of Peor. Jehovah was angry against Israel.
4 Jehovah said to Moses: »Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before Jehovah so that the fierce anger of Jehovah may turn away from Israel.«
5 Moses said to the judges of Israel: »Each of you put to death those men who have joined in worshiping Baal of Peor.«
6 One of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman to his brothers. He did this right in front of Moses and the entire congregation of Israel while they were crying at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
7 Phinehas, son of Eleazar and grandson of the priest Aaron, saw this. He left the assembly and grabbed a spear in his hand.
8 He went into the tent after the Israelite man. He drove the spear through the man and into the womans body. Because of this, the plague that the Israelites were experiencing stopped.
9 Twenty-four thousand people died from that plague.
10 Jehovah continued speaking to Moses:
11 Jehovah said to Moses: »Phinehas, son of Eleazar and grandson of the priest Aaron, turned my fury away from the Israelites. Since he stood up for me, I did not have to stand up for myself and destroy them.
12 »Tell Phinehas that I now make a promise of peace to him.
13 »My promise is that he and his descendants will be priests for a very long time because he stood up for his God. He made peace with Jehovah for the Israelites.«
14 The name of the Israelite man who was killed with the Midianite woman was Zimri, son of Salu. Salu was the leader of a family from Simeon.
15 The name of the Midianite woman who was killed was Cozbi, daughter of Zur. Zur was the head of a family from the Midianite tribes.
16 Jehovah said to Moses:
17 »Treat the Midianites as your enemies, and kill them!
18 »This is because they treated you as enemies. They plotted to trick you in the incident that took place at Peor. They used their sister Cozbi, daughter of a Midianite leader, who was killed on the day of the plague caused by the incident at Peor.«