Numbers 25:5
And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.
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Numbers 25:5. Slay ye every one his men — Moses having, in conjunction with the judges, searched out such as had been guilty of this lewdness and idolatry, allots to each magistrate his number of malefactors for execution, that they might either put them to death with their own hands, as Phinehas did, (Numbers 25:7,) or by proper officers. It seems probable that the judges were dilatory in executing this order, since God himself thought fit to visit the heads of the idolaters with exemplary punishment, Numbers 25:8.

25:1-5 The friendship of the wicked is more dangerous than their enmity; for none can prevail against God's people if they are not overcome by their inbred lusts; nor can any enchantment hurt them, but the enticements of worldly interests and pleasures. Here is the sin of Israel, to which they are enticed by the daughters of Moab and Midian. Those are our worst enemies who draw us to sin, for that is the greatest mischief any man can do us. Israel's sin did that which all Balaam's enchantments could not do; it set God against them. Diseases are the fruits of God's anger, and the just punishments of prevailing sins; one infection follows the other. Ringleaders in sin ought to be made examples of justice.Take - i. e., assemble the chiefs of the people to thee (compare the phrase "took men," in Numbers 16:1). The offenders were to be first; slain by the hands of "the judges of Israel" Numbers 25:5, and afterward hung up "against the sun" (i. e., publicly, openly; compare 2 Samuel 12:12) as an aggravation of their punishment. This would be done by impaling the body or fastening it to a cross. Compare Deuteronomy 21:23 note, and 2 Samuel 21:9. 5. judges of Israel—the seventy elders, who were commanded not only to superintend the execution within their respective jurisdictions, but to inflict the punishment with their own hands. (See on [91]1Sa 15:33). Every one his men, i.e. those under his charge; for as these seventy were chosen to assist Moses in the government, so doubtless the care and management of the people was distributed among them by just and equal proportions.

And Moses said unto the judges of Israel,.... Either the same with the heads of the people, or the rulers of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, according to the distribution by the advice of Jethro:

slay ye everyone his men, that were joined unto Baalpeor; all that were under their several districts and jurisdictions, that were found guilty of that crime; these they are ordered to slay, either with their own hands, or rather cause to be slain by proper persons they should appoint to be executioners.

And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his {d} men that were joined unto Baalpeor.

(d) Let him execute those that are under his charge.

5. every one his men] Each judge was to execute the offenders that belonged to the division over which he had authority (see Exodus 18:25 f.).

Verse 5. - The judges of Israel. אֶלאּשֹׁפְטֵי. This is the first place where "the judges" are mentioned by this name (cf. Deuteronomy 1:16; Judges 2:16), but the verb is freely used in Exodus 18, in describing the functions of the officers appointed at Sinai. Every one his men. The men who were under his particular jurisdiction. This command given by Moses is not to be confounded with the previous command given to Moses to hang up all the chiefs. Moses only could deal with the chief, but it was within the power and the province of the judges to deal with ordinary offenders. It does not, however, appear how far either of these commands was put in practice. Numbers 25:5The judges were to put to death every one his men, i.e., such of the evil-doers as belonged to his forum, according to the judicial arrangements instituted in Exodus 18. This command of Moses to the judges was not carried out, however, because the matter took a different turn.
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