13 Yet how quickly they forgot what he had done! They wouldn’t wait for his counsel! 14 In the wilderness their desires ran wild, testing God’s patience in that dry wasteland. 15 So he gave them what they asked for, but he sent a plague along with it. 16 The people in the camp were jealous of Moses and envious of Aaron, the Lord’s holy priest. 17 Because of this, the earth opened up; it swallowed Dathan and buried Abiram and the other rebels. 18 Fire fell upon their followers; a flame consumed the wicked.
19 The people made a calf at Mount Sinai[a]; they bowed before an image made of gold. 20 They traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull. 21 They forgot God, their savior, who had done such great things in Egypt— 22 such wonderful things in the land of Ham, such awesome deeds at the Red Sea. 23 So he declared he would destroy them. But Moses, his chosen one, stepped between the Lord and the people. He begged him to turn from his anger and not destroy them.
24 The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them. 25 Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the Lord. 26 Therefore, he solemnly swore that he would kill them in the wilderness, 27 that he would scatter their descendants[b] among the nations, exiling them to distant lands.
28 Then our ancestors joined in the worship of Baal at Peor; they even ate sacrifices offered to the dead! 29 They angered the Lord with all these things, so a plague broke out among them. 30 But Phinehas had the courage to intervene, and the plague was stopped. 31 So he has been regarded as a righteous man ever since that time.
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