Numbers 25:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women,

King James Bible
And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.

Darby Bible Translation
And Israel abode in Shittim; and the people began to commit fornication with the daughters of Moab.

World English Bible
Israel stayed in Shittim; and the people began to play the prostitute with the daughters of Moab:

Young's Literal Translation
And Israel dwelleth in Shittim, and the people begin to go a-whoring unto daughters of Moab,

Numbers 25:1 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

And Balaam - returned to his place - Intended to have gone to Mesopotamia, his native country, (see Deuteronomy 23:4), but seems to have settled among the Midianites, where he was slain by the Israelites; see Numbers 31:8.

Though the notes in the preceding chapters have been extended to a considerable length, yet a few additional remarks may be necessary: the reader's attention is earnestly requested to the following propositions: -

1. It appears sufficiently evident from the preceding account that Balaam knew and worshipped the true God.

2. That he had been a true prophet, and appears to have been in the habit of receiving oracles from God.

3. That he practiced some illicit branches of knowledge, or was reputed by the Moabites as a sorcerer, probably because of the high reputation he had for wisdom; and we know that even in our own country, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, persons who excelled their contemporaries in wisdom were reputed as magicians.

4. That though he was a believer in the true God, yet he was covetous; he loved the wages of unrighteousness.

5. That it does not appear that in the case before us he wished to curse Israel when he found they were the servants of the true God.

6. That it is possible he did not know this at first. Balak told him that there was a numerous people come out of Egypt; and as marauders, wandering hordes, freebooters, etc., were frequent in those days, he might take them at first for such spoilers, and the more readily go at Balak's request to consult God concerning them.

7. That so conscientiously did he act in the whole business, that as soon as he found it displeased God he cheerfully offered to return; and did not advance till he had not only the permission, but the authority of God to proceed.

8. That when he came in view of the Israelitish camp he did not attempt to make use of any means of sorcery, evocation of spirits, necromantic spells, etc., to accomplish the wish of Balak.

9. That he did seek to find out the will of the true God, by using those means which God himself had prescribed, viz., supplication and prayer, and the sacrifice of the clean beasts.

10. That though he knew it would greatly displease Balak, yet he most faithfully and firmly told him all that God said on every occasion.

11. That notwithstanding his allowed covetous disposition, yet he refused all promised honors and proffered rewards, even of the most extensive kind, to induce him to act in any respect contrary to the declared will of God.

12. That God on this occasion communicated to him some of the most extraordinary prophetic influences ever conferred on man.


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Exodus 20:5 You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God...

Exodus 23:24 You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but you shall utterly overthrow them...

Joshua 23:7,16 That you come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods...

1 Kings 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth which has not kissed him.

Whether Vengeance is Lawful?
Objection 1: It seems that vengeance is not lawful. For whoever usurps what is God's sins. But vengeance belongs to God, for it is written (Dt. 32:35, Rom. 12:19): "Revenge to Me, and I will repay." Therefore all vengeance is unlawful. Objection 2: Further, he that takes vengeance on a man does not bear with him. But we ought to bear with the wicked, for a gloss on Cant 2:2, "As the lily among the thorns," says: "He is not a good man that cannot bear with a wicked one." Therefore we should not take
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

How those that are at Variance and those that are at Peace are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 23.) Differently to be admonished are those that are at variance and those that are at peace. For those that are at variance are to be admonished to know most certainly that, in whatever virtues they may abound, they can by no means become spiritual if they neglect becoming united to their neighbours by concord. For it is written, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace (Gal. v. 22). He then that has no care to keep peace refuses to bear the fruit of the Spirit. Hence Paul
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Cross References
1 Corinthians 10:8
We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did--and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.

Revelation 2:14
Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality.

Exodus 34:15
"Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices.

Numbers 25:17
"Treat the Midianites as enemies and kill them.

Numbers 31:2
"Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people."

Numbers 31:16
"They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the LORD in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the LORD's people.

Numbers 33:49
There on the plains of Moab they camped along the Jordan from Beth Jeshimoth to Abel Shittim.

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