What Part Of "You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me" Didn't You Understand?
While the Israelites are staying in Moab, they start getting down and dirty with the foreign ladies that live there.
Sure, maybe inviting some lovely Moabite women into your bed isn't a big deal—but deciding to worship their god, Baal, is. God is not amused.
God tells Moses that he needs to impale all the chiefs of Israel. That way he can stop being so angry with everyone. Whoa. God doesn't mess around.
But instead, Moses tells the Israelite judges to kill anyone who's worshipping Baal. This is slightly different than what God said.
Meanwhile, one of the Israelite men marries a Midianite woman. Moses totally sees what's going down, but he doesn't really do anything about it. Maybe that's because he was also married to a Midianite lady.
But Eleazar's son, Phinehas, see this and runs to grab his spear. He rushes into the man's tent and stabs the guy and his wife. Right through the stomach. That's gotta hurt. A lot.
Apparently, this makes God happy again, so he stops the plague that he has been pouring down on the people. (About 24,000 died anyway, so it was kind of a big deal.)
God tells Moses that Phinehas did the right thing by murdering that dude and his wife. That kid is a real go-getter. God's gonna have his eye out for him in the future.
God also tells Moses that they should keep giving trouble to the Midianites because of all the trouble they've given Israel over the years. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. Indeed.