Numbers 25: The Israelites go Whoring


Israel abides in Shittim and the people commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. They bow down to their gods and join Baalpeor. God gets made and tells Moses to slaughter everyone. It is at this point that one of the children of Israel (Zimri son of Salu who was a prince in the house of Simeon) brought a Midianite-ish woman to the tabernacle (Cobri daughter of Zur who was head of the Midianites). Phineas (son of Eleazor, son of Aaron) took up a javelin and chase them away from the tabernacle and speared them both and killed them. This made God very happy. 24,000 people were killed in the plague.

In other words:

People start abandoning the tribe and start assimilating back into the communities. To restore order, 24,000 straying people are killed.

Favorite bit:

That the names have not been forgotten.

Least favorite bit:

That it’s not ok to leave the cult. The penalty for leaving is apparently death.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Cults don’t let you leave so it’s best not to get involved with them in the first place. (Numbers 25)