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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 25

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Worship of Baal of Peor. 1While Israel was living at Shittim,* the people degraded themselves by having illicit relations with the Moabite women. z Nm 31, 16 . 2These then invited the people to the sacrifices of their god, and the people ate of the sacrifices a Ex 34, 15f . and worshiped their god. 3When Israel thus submitted to the rites of Baal of Peor, b Ps 106, 28; Hos 9, 10 . the LORD'S anger flared up against Israel, 4 c Dt 4, 3 . and he said to Moses, “Gather all the leaders of the people, and hold a public execution* of the guilty ones before the LORD, that his blazing wrath may be turned away from Israel.” 5So Moses told the Israelite judges, “Each of you shall kill those of his men who have submitted to the rites of Baal of Peor.”

Zeal of Phinehas. 6Yet a certain Israelite came and brought in a Midianite woman* to his clansmen in the view of Moses and of the whole Israelite community, while they were weeping at the entrance of the meeting tent. 7 d Ps 106, 30 . When Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw this, he left the assembly,and taking a lance in hand, 8followed the Israelite into his retreat where he pierced the pair of them, the Israelite and the woman. Thus the slaughter of Israelites was checked; 9but only after twenty‐four thousand had died.

10Then the LORD said to Moses, 11“Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned my anger from the Israelites by his zeal for my honor* among them; that is why I did not put an end to the Israelites for the offense to my honor. 12 e 12f: Sir 45, 23f; Ps 106, 31; 1 Mc 2, 26. 2, 54 Announce, therefore, that I hereby give him my pledge of friendship, 13which shall be for him and for his descendants after him the pledge of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous on behalf of his God and thus made amends for the Israelites.”

14 *The Israelite slain with the Midianite woman was Zimri, son of Salu, prince of an ancestral house of the Simeonites. 15The slain Midianite woman was Cozbi, daughter of Zur, who was head of a clan, an ancestral house, in Midian.

Vengeance on the Midianites. 16 *The LORD then said to Moses, 17 f 17f: Nm 31, 2–12 . “Treat the Midianites as enemies and crush them, 18for they have been your enemies by their wily dealings with you as regards Peor and as regards their kinswoman Cozbi, the daughter of the Midianite prince, who was killed at the time of the slaughter because of Peor.”

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