Numbers 25:1-9 When Israel lived in Shittim, the Israelites began to go after the daughters of Moab who invited them to their sacrifices of their gods that they worshiped. Baal of Peor was the Canaanites chief god. The Lord was angry and instructed Moses to hang all the chiefs of the people. When Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest heard that an Israelite took a Midianite princess into his tent, Phinehas pierced both the man and the woman together with a spear. After this, God’s wrath was appeased, but not after 24 thousand people died.
Notes: The Israelites yoked themselves to the false god of the Moabites and the Midianites, referred to as Baal of Peor. This was a violation of the first commandment.
Numbers 25:10-18 The Lord instructed Moses to tell Phinehas that he has the Lord’s blessing, and will give to him and to his descendants after him the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel. The man who was killed with the Midianite woman was Zimri of the tribe of Simeon. The woman’s name was Cozbi of the tribal head of Midian. The Lord then instructed Moses to strike down the Midianites.