1 The Israelites were staying in Shittim. The men began to have sex with the women from Moab. 2 The women from Moab took Israel's men to watch them as they gave gifts to the god of Moab. Israel's men ate those women's food. And they prayed to the god of Moab. 3 So the LORD was angry with them. 4 The LORD said to Moses, ‘Kill all the leaders of these people. Do this during the day, not at night. Then I will not be angry.’
5 Moses told the leaders of the Israelites that they must kill the men. They must kill the men who prayed to the god of Peor.
6 A man brought a Midianite woman to his family. Moses and all the people could see them. Moses and all the people were at the door of the Tent of Meeting. They were weeping. 7 Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it. So he stood up among all the people and he took a spear in his hand.
8 He went into the man's tent. And he pushed the spear through the body of the man and the Midianite woman. Then, the bad things and illnesses that were hurting the Israelites stopped. 9 But 24,000 people had already died as a result of the illness.
10 The LORD said to Moses, 11 ‘I am not still angry with the Israelites now. That is because of what Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, did. He thought as I thought about this matter. He did not want the people to worship any god except me. That is why I did not kill all the Israelites. 12 So you must say, “I have promised my peace to him. 13 And that promise will be for him and for his descendants after him. They will always be priests. That is because he did not want the people to worship any god except me. And he made things right again after what the Israelites had done.” ’ 14 The name of the man that Phinehas killed with the Midianite woman was Zimri. He was the son of Salu. Salu was the leader of a family from the tribe of Simeon. 15 The name of the Midianite woman was Cozbi. She was the daughter of Zur. Zur was a leader of a Midianite family.
16 The LORD said to Moses, 17 ‘The Midianites are your enemies. You must kill them. 18 That is because they have been against you. They deceived you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi. Cozbi was the daughter of a leader of the Midianites. Phinehas killed her on the day when there was the very bad illness among the people. That illness was the result of what happened at Peor.’