25 While the Israelites were camped at Acacia, some of the men had sex with Moabite women. 2 These women then invited the men to ceremonies where sacrifices were offered to their gods. The men ate the meat from the sacrifices and worshiped the Moabite gods.
3 The Lord was angry with Israel because they had worshiped the god Baal Peor. 4 So he said to Moses, “Take the Israelite leaders who are responsible for this and have them killed in front of my sacred tent where everyone can see. Maybe then I will stop being angry with the Israelites.”
5 Moses told Israel’s officials,[a] “Each of you must put to death any of your men who worshiped Baal.”
6 Later, Moses and the people were at the sacred tent, crying, when one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite[b] woman to meet his family. 7 Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron[c] the priest, saw the couple and left the crowd. He found a spear 8 and followed the man into his tent, where he ran the spear through the man and into the woman’s stomach. The Lord immediately stopped punishing Israel with a deadly disease, 9 but twenty-four thousand Israelites had already died.
25.5officials: These were special leaders who were probably responsible for an entire tribe or part of a tribe.
25.6Midianite: Used here as a general term for various peoples who lived east of the Jordan River. Some of these people were probably ruled by the Moabite king (see Genesis 36.35).
25.7Phinehas. . . Aaron: Hebrew “Phinehas, son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron.”
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