The Israelis worshiped Baal
1 While the Israelis were camped at a place called Acacia Grove, some of the men caused themselves to become unacceptable to God by having sex with some of the women of the Moab people-group who lived in that area.
2 Then those women invited the men to come when the sacrifices were being offered to their gods. The Israeli men accepted. They went to the feasts with the women and worshiped the gods of the Moab people-group.
3 By doing that, those Israeli people joined the women in worshiping the god Baal add who the Moab people-group thought lived on Mount Peor. That caused Yahweh to become very angry with his people..
4 Yahweh said this to Moses/me: “Seize all the leaders of those men who are doing this and execute them while I am watching. Do that in the daytime. After you do that, I will no longer be angry with the Israeli people.”
5 So Moses/I said to the other Israeli leaders, “Each of you must execute your men who have joined others in worshiping Baal.”
6 But later, while Moses/I and many [HYP] other people were crying at the entrance of the Sacred Tent, while they/we were watching, one of the Israeli men brought a woman from the Midian people-group into his tent and started to have sex with her.
7 When Phinehas, who was the grandson of Aaron, saw that, he grabbed a spear
8 and rushed into the man's tent. He thrust the spear completely through the man's body and into the woman's belly and killed both of them. When he did that, the ◄plague/serious illness► that had started to strike the Israelis stopped.
9 But 24,000 people had already died from that plague.
10 Then Yahweh said to Moses/me,
11 “Phinehas has caused me to stop being angry with the Israeli people, by being as eager as I am to stop this sinful behavior. I was ready to get rid of all the Israeli people because I was extremely angry, but Phinehas has prevented me from doing that.
12 Now tell him that I am making a special peace agreement with him.
13 In this agreement, I am promising to give to him and to his descendants the right/authority to be priests. I am doing this because he showed that he was very eager to honor me, his God, by stopping this sinful behavior. He has caused the Israeli people to become acceptable to me again by causing them to be forgiven for their sin.”
14 The Israeli man who was killed with the woman of the Moab people-group was named Zimri. He was the son of Salu, who was the leader of a family from the tribe of Simeon.
15 The woman's name was Cozbi. She was the daughter of Zur, who was the leader of one of the clans of the Midian people-group.
16 Then Yahweh said to Moses/me,
17 “ Take your men and attack the Midian people-group and kill them.
18 They have become your enemies, because they tricked you Israeli people and induced/persuaded many of you to worship Baal, and because one of your men had sex with Cozbi, who was the daughter of a leader of the Midian people-group. She was killed at the time the plague started because the people sinned at Peor Mountain.”