Baal. Found at Ras Shamra in 1932.
The Israelites Worship Baal
1While the Israelites were camped at Acacia, some of the men had sex with Moabite women. 2These women then invited the men to ceremonies where sacrifices were offered to their gods. The men ate the meat from the sacrifices and worshiped the Moabite gods.
Thanks for nothing, Balaam!
Of all things, it turns out that this double sin of idolatry and sexual immorality was Balaam’s idea! Somehow or another, he had to earn that money!
Revelation 2:14 (New International Version)
You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.
2 Peter 2:15 (New International Version)
They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.
3The LORD was angry with Israel because they had worshiped the god Baal Peor. 4So he said to Moses, ” Take the Israelite leaders who are responsible for this and have them killed in front of my sacred tent where everyone can see. Maybe then I will stop being angry with the Israelites.”
5Moses told Israel’s officials, ” Each of you must put to death any of your men who worshiped Baal.”
6Later, Moses and the people were at the sacred tent, crying, when one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman to meet his family. 7Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron the priest, saw the couple and left the crowd. He found a spear 8and followed the man into his tent, where he ran the spear through the man and into the woman’s stomach.
“Impalement by Phinehas” woodcut by Johann Christoph Weigel 1695 (Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta)
Leviticus 20:10 (English Standard Version)
If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
The LORD immediately stopped punishing Israel with a deadly disease, 9but twenty-four thousand Israelites had already died.
10The LORD said to Moses, 11” In my anger, I would have wiped out the Israelites if Phinehas had not been faithful to me. 12-13But instead of punishing them, I forgave them. So because of the loyalty that Phinehas showed, I solemnly promise that he and his descendants will always be my priests.”
Psalm 106:28-31 (New International Version)
They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor
and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods;
they provoked the LORD to anger by their wicked deeds,
and a plague broke out among them.
But Phinehas stood up and intervened,
and the plague was checked.
This was credited to him as righteousness
for endless generations to come.
14The Israelite man that was killed was Zimri son of Salu, who was one of the leaders of the Simeon tribe. 15And the Midianite woman killed with him was Cozbi, the daughter of a Midianite clan leader named Zur.
16The LORD told Moses, 17-18” The Midianites are now enemies of Israel, so attack and defeat them! They tricked the people of Israel into worshiping their god at Peor, and they are responsible for the death of Cozbi, the daughter of one of their own leaders.”
The Israelites Are Counted a Second Time
1After the LORD had stopped the deadly disease from killing the Israelites, he said to Moses and Eleazar son of Aaron, 2” I want you to find out how many Israelites are in each family. And list every man twenty years and older who is able to serve in Israel’s army.”
3Israel was now camped in the hills of Moab across the Jordan River from the town of Jericho. Moses and Eleazar told them 4what the LORD had said about counting the men twenty years and older, just as Moses and their ancestors had done when they left Egypt.
5-7There were 43,730 men from the tribe of Reuben, the oldest son of Jacob. These men were from the clans of Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 8Pallu was the father of Eliab 9and the grandfather of Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. These are the same Dathan and Abiram who had been chosen by the people, but who followed Korah and rebelled against Moses, Aaron, and the LORD. 10That’s when the LORD made the earth open up and swallow Dathan, Abiram, and Korah. At the same time, fire destroyed two hundred fifty men as a warning to the other Israelites. 11But the Korahite clan wasn’t destroyed.
12-14There were 22,200 men from the tribe of Simeon; they were from the clans of Nemuel, Jamin, Jachin, Zerah, and Shaul.
15-18There were 40,500 men from the tribe of Gad; they were from the clans of Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ozni, Eri, Arod, and Areli.
19-22There were 76,500 men from the tribe of Judah; they were from the clans of Shelah, Perez, Zerah, Hezron, and Hamul. Judah’s sons Er and Onan had died in Canaan.
Matthew 1:1-6 (New International Version)
A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of King David.
“Once in Royal David’s City” sung by the King’s College Choir of Cambridge.
- Once in royal David’s city
- Stood a lowly cattle shed,
- Where a mother laid her baby
- In a manger for His bed:
- Mary was that mother mild,
- Jesus Christ her little child.
- He came down to earth from heaven,
- Who is God and Lord of all,
- And His shelter was a stable,
- And His cradle was a stall;
- With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
- Lived on earth our Savior Holy.
- And through all His wondrous childhood
- He would honor and obey,
- Love and watch the lowly Maiden,
- In whose gentle arms He lay:
- Christian children all must be
- Mild, obedient, good as He.
- For He is our childhood’s pattern;
- Day by day, like us He grew;
- He was little, weak and helpless,
- Tears and smiles like us He knew;
- And He feeleth for our sadness,
- And He shareth in our gladness.
- And our eyes at last shall see Him,
- Through His own redeeming love;
- For that Child so dear and gentle
- Is our Lord in heaven above,
- And He leads His children on
- To the place where He is gone.
- Not in that poor lowly stable,
- With the oxen standing by,
- We shall see Him; but in heaven,
- Set at God’s right hand on high;
- Where like stars His children crowned
- All in white shall wait around.
23-25There were 64,300 men from the tribe of Issachar; they were from the clans of Tola, Puvah, Jashub, and Shimron.
26-27There were 60,500 men from the tribe of Zebulun; they were from the clans of Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.
28-34There were 52,700 men from the tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph; they were from the clan of Machir, the clan of Gilead his son, and the clans of his six grandsons: Iezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Shemida, and Hepher. Zelophehad son of Hepher had no sons, but he had five daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.
35-37There were 32,500 men from the tribe of Ephraim son of Joseph; they were from the clans of Shuthelah, Becher, Tahan, and Eran the son of Shuthelah.
38-41There were 45,600 men from the tribe of Benjamin; they were from the clans of Bela, Ashbel, Ahiram, Shephupham, Hupham, as well as from Ard and Naaman, the two sons of Bela.
42-43There were 64,400 men from the tribe of Dan; they were all from the clan of Shuham.
44-47There were 53,400 men from the tribe of Asher; they were from the clans of Imnah, Ishvi, and Beriah, and from the two clans of Heber and Malchiel, the sons of Beriah. Asher’s daughter was Serah.
48-50There were 45,400 men from the tribe of Naphtali; they were from the clans of Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.
51The total number of Israelite men listed was 601,730.
52The LORD said to Moses, 53” Divide the land of Canaan among these tribes, according to the number of people in each one, 54so the larger tribes have more land than the smaller ones. 55-56I will show you what land to give each tribe, and they will receive as much land as they need, according to the number of people in it.”
“So Joshua took the entire land, just as the Lord had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions.” –Joshua 11:23
57The tribe of Levi included the clans of the Gershonites, Kohathites, Merarites, 58as well as the clans of Libni, Hebron, Mahli, Mushi, and Korah. Kohath the Levite was the father of Amram, 59the husband of Levi’s daughter Jochebed, who was born in Egypt. Amram and Jochebed’s three children were Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. 60Aaron was the father of Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 61But Nadab and Abihu had died when they offered fire that was unacceptable to the LORD. 62In the tribe of Levi there were 23,000 men and boys at least a month old. They were not listed with the other tribes, because they would not receive any land in Canaan.
63Moses and Eleazar counted the Israelites while they were camped in the hills of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho. 64None of the people that Moses and Aaron had counted in the Sinai Desert were still alive, 65except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. The LORD had said that everyone else would die there in the desert.
1 Corinthians 10:1-6 (New International Version)
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.
Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society
Images courtesy of:
thumbs down. http://beyondtheblog.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/alpha-thumbs-down.jpg
tribe map. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/images/maps/tribemap.gif