Numbers Chapters 25 to 26 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Israel at Peor

25 The people of Israel were camped near Acacia. At that time, the men began doing sexual sins* with Moabite women. 2–3The Moabite women invited the men to come and join in their sacrifices to their false gods. So the Israelites joined in worshiping those false gods—they ate the sacrifices and worshiped those gods. At that place, the people of Israel began worshiping the false god, Baal of Peor. And the Lord became very angry at them. 4The Lord said to Moses, “Get all the leaders of these people. Then kill them so that all the people can see.* Lay their bodies before the Lord. Then the Lord will not show his anger against all the people of Israel.” 5So Moses said to Israel’s judges, “Each of you must find the men in your family group that have led people to worship the false god, Baal of Peor. Then you must kill those men.” 6At the time, Moses and all the elders (leaders) of Israel were gathered together at the entrance to the Meeting Tent.* An Israelite man brought a Midianite woman home to his brothers.* He did this where Moses and all the leaders could see. Moses and the leaders were very sad. 7Phinehas was the son of Eleazar and the grandson of Aaron the priest. Phinehas saw this man bring the woman into camp. So Phinehas left the meeting and got his spear. 8He followed the Israelite man into the tent. Then he used the spear to kill the Israelite man and the Midianite woman in her tent.* He pushed the spear through both of their bodies. At that time, there was a great sickness among the Israelite people. But when Phinehas killed these two people, the sickness stopped. 9A total of 24,000 people died from that sickness. 10The Lord said to Moses, 11“I have strong feelings for my people—I want them to belong only to me! Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saved the people of Israel from my anger. He did this by showing those feelings for my people. So I will not kill the people like I wanted to. 12Tell Phinehas that I am making a peace agreement with him. 13This is the agreement: He and all of his family that live after him will always be priests. Why? Because he had strong feelings for his God. And he did the things that made the people of Israel pure.*” 14The Israelite man who was killed with the Midianite woman was named Zimri son of Salu. He was the leader of a family in Simeon’s family group. 15And the name of the Midianite woman who was killed was Cozbi.* She was the daughter of Zur. Zur was the head of a family and leader of a Midianite family group. 16The Lord said to Moses, 17“The Midianite people are your enemies. You must kill them. 18They have already made you their enemies. They tricked you at Peor. And they tricked you with the woman named Cozbi.* She was the daughter of a Midianite leader. But she was killed when the sickness came to the Israelite people. That sickness was caused because the people were tricked into worshiping the false god Baal of Peor.”

sexual sins Sexual sin was often part of the worship of false gods. So this can mean that the men were unfaithful to their wives and also that they were unfaithful to God by worshiping false gods. so that all the people can see Literally, “before the sun.” Meeting Tent The Holy Tent (tabernacle) where the people of Israel went to meet with God. brothers Or, “family.” her tent This was probably a special tent that showed this woman was a prostitute serving the false god Baal of Peor. made … pure Or, “atoned.” The Hebrew word means “to cover,” “to hide,” or “to erase sins.” Cozbi This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “my lie.”

The People Are Counted

26 After the great sickness, the Lord spoke to Moses and Eleazar son of Aaron the priest. 2He said, “Count the people of Israel. Count all the men who are 20 years old or older and list them by families. These are the men who are able to serve in the army of Israel.” 3At this time the people were camped in the Jordan Valley in Moab. This was near the Jordan River, across from Jericho. So Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke to the people. They said, 4“You must count every man who is 20 years old or older. The Lord gave Moses this command.” Here is the list of the people of Israel that came out of Egypt: 5These are the people from Reuben’s family. (Reuben was the firstborn* son of Israel (Jacob).) The families were: Hanoch—the Hanochite family. Pallu—the Palluite family. 6Hezron—the Hezronite family. Carmi—the Carmite family. 7Those were the families in Reuben’s family group. There was a total of 43,730 men. 8Pallu’s son was Eliab. 9Eliab had three sons—Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. Remember, Dathan and Abiram were the two leaders that turned against Moses and Aaron. They followed Korah when Korah turned against the Lord. 10That was the time when the earth opened and swallowed Korah and all of his followers. And 250 men died! That was a warning to all the people of Israel. 11But the other people who were from the family of Korah did not die. 12These are the families from Simeon’s family group: Nemuel—the Nemuelite family. Jamin—the Jaminite family. Jakin—the Jakinite family. 13Zerah—the Zerahite family. Shaul—the Shaulite family. 14Those were the families in Simeon’s family group. There was a total of 22,200 men. 15These are the families in Gad’s family group: Zephon—the Zephonite family. Haggi—the Haggite family. Shuni—the Shunite family. 16Ozni—the Oznite family. Eri—the Erite family. 17Arodi—the Arodite family. Areli—the Arelite family. 18Those were the families in Gad’s family group. There was a total of 40,500 men. 19–20These are the families in Judah’s family group: Shelah—the Shelanite family. Perez—the Perezite family. Zerah—the Zerahite family. (Two of Judah’s sons, Er and Onan, died in Canaan.) 21These are the families from Perez: Hezron—the Hezronite family. Hamul—the Hamulite family. 22Those were the families from Judah’s family group. The total number of men was 76,500. 23The families in Issachar’s family group were: Tola—the Tolaite family. Puah—the Puite family. 24Jashub—the Jashubite family. Shimron—the Shimronite family. 25Those were the families from Issachar’s family group. The total number of men was 64,300. 26The families in Zebulun’s family group were: Sered—the Seredite family. Elon—the Elonite family. Jahleel—the Jahleelite family. 27Those were the families from Zebulun’s family group. The total number of men was 60,500. 28Joseph’s two sons were Manasseh and Ephraim. Each son became a family group with its own families. 29Manasseh’s families were: Makir—the Makirite family. (Makir was the father of Gilead.) Gilead—the Gileadite family. 30The families from Gilead were: Iezer—the Iezerite family. Helek—the Helekite family. 31Asriel—the Asrielite family. Shechem—the Shechemite family. 32Shemida—the Shemidaite family. Hepher—the Hepherite family. 33Zelophehad was the son of Hepher. But he had no sons—only daughters. His daughter's names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 34Those are all the families in Manasseh’s family group. The total number of men was 52,700. 35The families in Ephraim’s family group were: Shuthelah—the Shuthelahite family. Beker—the Bekerite family. Tahan—the Tahanite family. 36Eran was from Shuthelah’s family. Eran’s family was the Eranite family. 37Those were the families in Ephraim’s family group. The total number of men was 32,500. Those are all the people who came from Joseph’s family groups. 38The families in Benjamin’s family group were: Bela—the Belaite family. Ashbel—the Ashbelite family. Ahiram—the Ahiramite family. 39Shupham—the Shuphamite family. Hupham—the Huphamite family. 40The families from Bela were: Ard—the Ardite family. Naaman—the Naamanite family. 41Those were all the families in Benjamin’s family group. The total number of men was 45,600. 42The families in Dan’s family group were: Shuham—the Shuhamite family group. That was the family group from Dan’s family group. 43There were many families in the Shuhamite family group. The total number of men was 64,400. 44The families in Asher’s family group were: Imnah—the Imnite family. Ishvi—the Ishvite family. Beriah—the Beriite family. 45The families from Beriah were: Heber—the Heberite family. Malkiel—the Malkielite family. 46(Asher also had a daughter named Serah.) 47Those were the families in Asher’s family group. The total number of men was 53,400. 48The families from Naphtali’s family group were: Jahzeel—the Jahzeelite family. Guni—the Gunite family. 49Jezer—the Jezerite family. Shillem—the Shillemite family. 50Those were the families from Naphtali’s family group. The total number of men was 45,400. 51So the total number of men of Israel was 601,730. 52The Lord said to Moses, 53“The land will be divided and given to these people. Each family group will get enough land for all of the people who were counted. 54A large family will get much land, and a small family will get less land. The land that they get will be equal to the number of people who were counted. 55But you must use lots* to decide which family gets which part of the land. Each family group will get its share of the land. And that land will be given the name of that family group. 56Land will be given to each family—large and small. And you will throw lots to make the decisions.” 57They also counted Levi’s family group. These are the families from Levi’s family group: Gershon—the Gershonite family. Kohath—the Kohathite family. Merari—the Merarite family. 58These are also families from Levi’s family group: The Libnite family. The Hebronite family. The Mahlite family. The Mushite family. The Korahite family. Amram was from the Kohath family group. 59Amram’s wife was named Jochebed. She was also from Levi’s family group. She was born in Egypt. Amram and Jochebed had two sons, Aaron and Moses. They also had a daughter, Miriam. 60Aaron was the father of Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 61But Nadab and Abihu died. They died because they made an offering to the Lord with fire that was not allowed. 62The total number of men from Levi’s family group was 23,000. But these men were not counted with the other people of Israel. They did not get a share of the land that the Lord gave to the other people. 63Moses and Eleazar the priest counted all these people. They counted the people of Israel while they were in the Jordan Valley in Moab. This was near the Jordan River across from Jericho. 64Many years before, in the Sinai desert, Moses and Aaron the priest counted the people of Israel. But all those people were dead. None of those people were still alive. 65Why? Because the Lord told those people of Israel that they would all die in the desert. The only two men who were left alive were Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

firstborn The first child born into a family. The firstborn son was very important in ancient times. lots Sticks, stones, or pieces of bone used like dice for making decisions. See Proverbs 16:33.

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