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1While Israel dwelt in Shittim the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab. 2These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate, and bowed down to their gods. 3So Israel yoked himself to Baʹal of Peʹor. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel; 4and the Lord said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them in the sun before the Lord, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.” 5And Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Every one of you slay his men who have yoked themselves to Baʹal of Peʹor.”

6And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Midʹianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting. 7When Phinʹehas the son of Eleaʹzar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation, and took a spear in his hand 8and went after the man of Israel into the inner room, and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman, through her body. Thus the plague was stayed from the people of Israel. 9Nevertheless those that died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.

10And the Lord said to Moses, 11“Phinʹehas the son of Eleaʹzar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people 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 descendants after him, the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the people of Israel.’ ”

14The name of the slain man of Israel, who was slain with the Midʹianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, head of a fathers’ house belonging to the Simeonites. 15And the name of the Midʹianite woman who was slain was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, who was the head of the people of a fathers’ house in Midʹian.

16And the Lord said to Moses, 17“Harass the Midʹianites, and smite them; 18for they have harassed you with their wiles, with which they beguiled you in the matter of Peʹor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the prince of Midʹian, their sister, who was slain on the day of the plague on account of Peʹor.”

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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