GOD'S WORD® Translation
1While Israel was staying at Shittim, the men began to have sex with Moabite women 2who invited the people to the sacrifices offered to their gods. The people ate the meat from the sacrifices and worshiped these gods. 3Since the Israelites joined in worshiping the god Baal of Peor, the LORD became angry with Israel. 4The LORD said to Moses, "Take all the leaders of the people, and execute them in broad daylight in the LORD's presence. This will turn the LORD's anger away from Israel." 5So Moses said to the judges of Israel, "Each of you must kill the men who have joined in worshiping the god Baal of Peor."
6One of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman to his brothers. He did this right in front of Moses and the whole community of Israel while they were crying at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 7Phinehas, son of Eleazar and grandson of the priest Aaron, saw this. So he left the assembly, took a spear in his hand, 8and went into the tent after the Israelite man. He drove the spear through the man and into the woman's body. Because of this, the plague that the Israelites were experiencing stopped. 9However, 24,000 people died from that plague.
10Then the LORD said to Moses, 11"Phinehas, son of Eleazar and grandson of the priest Aaron, turned my fury away from the Israelites. Since he stood up for me, I didn't have to stand up for myself and destroy them. 12So tell Phinehas that I'm making a promise of peace to him. 13My promise is that he and his descendants will be priests permanently because he stood up for his God and he made peace with the LORD for the Israelites."
14The name of the Israelite man who was killed with the Midianite woman was Zimri, son of Salu. (Salu was the leader of a family from Simeon.) 15The name of the Midianite woman who was killed was Cozbi, daughter of Zur. (Zur was the head of a family from the Midianite tribes.)
16The LORD said to Moses, 17"Treat the Midianites as your enemies, and kill them 18because they treated you as enemies. They plotted to trick you in the incident that took place at Peor. They used their sister Cozbi, daughter of a Midianite leader, who was killed on the day of the plague caused by the incident at Peor."