1While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab.
2For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.
3So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the LORD was angry against Israel.
4The LORD said to Moses, "Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before the LORD, so that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel."
5So Moses said to the judges of Israel, "Each of you slay his men who have joined themselves to Baal of Peor."
6Then behold, one of the sons of Israel came and brought to his relatives a Midianite woman, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, while they were weeping at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
7When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he arose from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand,
8and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the body. So the plague on the sons of Israel was checked.
9Those who died by the plague were 24,000
The Zeal of Phinehas
10Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
11"Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy.
12"Therefore say, Behold, I give him My covenant of peace;
13and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the sons of Israel.'"
14Now the name of the slain man of Israel who was slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, a leader of a father's household among the Simeonites.
15The name of the Midianite woman who was slain was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, who was head of the people of a father's household in Midian.
16Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
17"Be hostile to the Midianites and strike them;
18for they have been hostile to you with their tricks, with which they have deceived you in the affair of Peor and in the affair of Cozbi, the daughter of the leader of Midian, their sister who was slain on the day of the plague because of Peor."