Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor…
This policy was fetched from the bottom of hell. "It is not for lack of desire that I curse not Israel; thou dost not more wish their destruction, than I do thy wealth and honour; but so long as they hold firm with God, there is no sorcery against Jacob: withdraw God from them, and they shall fall alone, and curse themselves; draw them into sin, and thou shalt withdraw God from them. There is no sin more plausible than wantonness. One fornication shall draw in another, and both shall fetch the anger of God after them; their sight shall draw them to lust, their lust to folly, their folly to idolatry; and now God shall curse them for thee unasked." Where Balaam did speak well, there was never any prophet spake more divinely; where he spake ill, there was never any devil spake more desperately. Ill counsel seldom succeedeth not; good seed often falls out of the way, and roots not; but the tares never light amiss. This project of the wicked magician was too prosperous.
Parallel VersesKJV: Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.