Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 25:3

So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the Lord was angry against Israel.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Anger;   Baal-Peor;   Fellowship;   Idolatry;   Israel;   Moabites;   Thompson Chain Reference - Anger;   Baal-Peor;   False;   God;   God's;   Gods, False;   Idolatry;   Images;   Worship, False;   Worship, True and False;   Wrath-Anger;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Alliance and Society with the Enemies of God;   Desert, Journey of Israel through the;   Idolatry;   Jews, the;   Midianites;   Moabites;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Baal;   Balaam;   Harlot;   Idol, Idolatry;   Midianites;   Moabites;   Phinehas;   Simeon;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Baal;   Balaam;   Phinehas;   Priest;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Destroy, Destruction;   Idol, Idolatry;   Kill, Killing;   Marriage;   Prostitution;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Baal;   Baal-Peor;   Peor;   Phinehas;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Baal-Peor;   Beth-Peor;   Crimes and Punishments;   Gods, Pagan;   Midian, Midianites;   Numbers, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Beth-Peor;   Moses;   Numbers, Book of;   Phinehas;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Baalpeor ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Baal-peor;   Balaam;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Baal;   Shittim;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ba'al,;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Balaam;   Barrenness;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Peculiarities of the Law of Moses;   On to Canaan;   Moses, the Man of God;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Alliance;   Baal (1);   Heredity;   Zimri (1);   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Baal;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Anger;   Baal-Peor;   Balaam;   Chastity;   Chemosh;   High Place;   Judaism;   Sacrifice;   Sidra;   Simeon, Tribe of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor - The same as the Priapus of the Romans, and worshipped with the same obscene rites as we have frequently had occasion to remark.

The joining to Baal-peor, mentioned here, was probably what St. Paul had in view when he said, 2 Corinthians 6:14; : Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. And this joining, though done even in a matrimonial way, was nevertheless fornication, (see Revelation 2:14;), as no marriage between an Israelite and a Midianite could be legitimate, according to the law of God. See the propositions at the close of the preceding chapter Numbers 24:25; (note).

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/numbers-25.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Joined himself - i. e., by taking part in the sacrificial meals as described in the last verse. Compare Exodus 34:15; 1 Corinthians 10:18. The worship of Baal was attended with the grossest impurity, and indeed partly consisted in it Hosea 4:14; Hosea 9:10.

Baal-peor - i. e., the Baal worshipped at Peer, the place mentioned in Numbers 23:28 (compare Baal-meon, Numbers 32:38). (The identification of this god with Chemosh in Numbers 21:29 is now given up.)

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/numbers-25.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor,.... The name of an idol; one of the Baals, Baal being a general name for an idol; and, to distinguish this from other Baals or idols, it was called Peor, either from its opening its mouth in prophecy, as Ainsworth; or from some obscene posture and action used in the worship of it, being, as it is by many thought to be, the same with Priapus; or rather from the mountain Peor, where it was worshipped, as Jupiter is called Jupiter Olympius, Capitolinus, &c. from the mountains where he had a temple, or was worshipped; or from the name of some great personage, called Lord Peor, who was deified after his death; hence these Israelites are said to "eat the sacrifices of the dead", Psalm 106:28. Mr. BedfordF20Scripture Chronology, p. 267. takes him to be Mizraim the son of Ham, the Osiris of the Egyptians, and the Priapus of other Heathens: and Father CalmetF21Dictionary, on word "Baal". is of opinion that he is the same with Orus, Osiris, and Adonis; and that Pe is only a prepositive article, and that Or is the name, and no other than Orus; but such a criticism the word will not bear: this idol, the chief god of the Moabites, was, in all probability, the same with Chemosh, who is expressly called the abomination of Moab, 1 Kings 11:7 of whom See Gill on Jeremiah 48:7 so Chemosh and Peor are thought to be the same by our English poetF23"Next Chemos, the obscene dread of Moab's sons, Peor his other name, -----" Milton, B. 1. l. 406, 412. : to him the Israelites joined themselves, forsook the true God in a great measure, and were initiated into the rites of this deity, and constantly attended the worship of it, and cleaved unto it with their hearts and directions, and joined with their harlots in all parts of service performed unto it; See Gill on Hosea 9:10,

and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel; for no sin is more provoking to God than idolatry, that being so directly opposite to his nature, honour, and glory, as well as to his will and worship; and hereby the end of Balaam and Balak was, in a great measure, answered, and Balaam obtained that by his evil counsel which he could not by all his conjuring; this was seen by the plague sent among them; See Gill on Numbers 24:14.

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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-25.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And Israel b joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

(b) Worshipped the idol of the Moabites, which was in the hill Peor.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/numbers-25.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor — Baal was a general name for “lord,” and Peor for a “mount” in Moab. The real name of the idol was Chemosh, and his rites of worship were celebrated by the grossest obscenity. In participating in this festival, then, the Israelites committed the double offense of idolatry and licentiousness.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/numbers-25.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

It is supposed, and with great appearance of truth, that commerce with the women formed a part of the idolatrous worship of the Moabites. So that while Israel was giving themselves up to their lust in the arms of the daughters of Moab; the bowing to the idols of Moab, was the sure consequence of it. Oh! what a state of sin is our nature reduced to by the fall. Is this Israel, whom the LORD hath so loved, so preserved, so taken care of, and so blessed and defended? And is this Israel now at Shittim, which was just over against the land of promise, and ready now to enter upon the possession of it. Hath the LORD indeed proved so faithful to Israel: and is Israel now manifesting himself so unfaithful to GOD. Reader! look into our own heart? Are you of the true Israel of GOD? And are you better than they? Remember the apostle's solemn admonition on this very passage: let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/numbers-25.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

Joined himself — The word implies a forsaking God to whom they were joined and a turning to, and strict conjunction with, this false God.

Baal-peor — Called Baal, by the name common to many false Gods, and especially to those that represented any of the heavenly bodies, and Peor, either from the hill Peor, where he was worshipped, Numbers 23:28, rather from a verb signifying to open and uncover, because of the obscene posture in which the idol was set, as Priapus was: or because of the filthiness which was exercised in his worship.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/numbers-25.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

Baal-peor

Or, Baal of Peor. See Numbers 23:28.

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Numbers 25:3". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/numbers-25.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Numbers 25:3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

Ver. 3. Joined himself to Baalpeor.] Separated himself to that shame, [Hosea 9:10] that abominable and shameless service of Priapus, as Jerome and Isidore understand it, as Maachah the mother of Asa seems to have done, [1 Kings 15:13] and other filthy persons, whose fashion was, as soon as their sacrifice was ended, to step aside into the grove of their god, and there, like brute beasts, promiscuously to satisfy their lusts, &c. Vah scelus infandum!

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/numbers-25.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Numbers 25:3. Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor See the note on ch. Numbers 21:29. St. Jerome informs us, that Baal-peor was the same as the Greek and Roman Priapus; that this idol was like that of Priapus. That his worship consisted of gross obscenity and impurity there can be no question. See Hosea 10:15 and Revelation 2:14. Those who are inclined to know more respecting this idol, (who, with his ceremonies, was of too gross a sort to engage our further attention,) may consult Calmet's Dissertation upon the subject. When it is said, Psalms 106:28 that they joined themselves unto Baal-peor, and ate the offerings of the dead, it cannot be concluded from thence that Baal-peor was some dead prince idolized; for the dead, in this place, means no more than those dead idols, whom St. Paul calls, nothing in the world, 1 Corinthians 8:4 and who may be denominated dead, in opposition to the living God. See Vossius, de Idol. lib. 2: cap. 7.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/numbers-25.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Joined himself; the word implies a forsaking of God, to whom they were and should have been joined, and a turning to, embracing of, strict conjunction with, and fervent affection after, this false god. Compare Hosea 9:10 2 Corinthians 6:14. Baal-peor, called Baal, by the name common to many false gods, and especially to those that represented any of the heavenly bodies; and Peor, either from the hill Peor, where he was worshipped, Numbers 23:28, or rather from a verb signifying to open and uncover, either because of the obscene posture in which possibly the idol was set, as Priapus was, or because of the filthiness which was exercised in his worship.

Was kindled, i.e. discovered itself in a dreadful plague, Psalms 106:29.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/numbers-25.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.Baal-peor, to whom Israel (that is, multitudes of them) joined himself, literally, bound himself, was a Moabitish Priapus, whose image, shocking to modesty, was worshipped by women and virgins who prostituted themselves in his service.

Anger’ kindled — Holiness must necessarily antagonize sin, and justice must punish the sinner in every case except where the ends of moral government are attained by the intervention of an atonement. Note, Judges 2:14.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/numbers-25.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Numbers 25:3. Joined himself — The word implies a forsaking God, to whom they were joined, and a turning to, and strict conjunction with, this false god. Baal-peor — Called Baal, by the name common to many false gods, and especially to those that represented any of the heavenly bodies; and Peor, either from the hill Peor, where he was worshipped, Numbers 23:28; or rather from a verb signifying to open and uncover, because of the obscene posture in which the idol was set, as Priapus was; or because of the filthiness which was exercised in his worship.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/numbers-25.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Initiated to Beelphegor. That is, they took to the worship of Beelphegor, an obscene idol of the Moabites, and were consecrated as it were to him. (Challoner) --- Hebrew, "Israel was attached, or married to Beelphegor," the sun, Adonis or Osiris, whom the psalmist (cv. 28,) styles, the dead, because the people were accustomed to bewail the death of Adonis every year, with great solemnity. (Calmet) --- St. Jerome supposes this god "of opening, or nakedness," Beelphegor, to be the obscene Priapus. (Menochius) --- The people fell by degrees into the depth of abomination. They first defiled their bodies with women, then their souls were contaminated by the sacrifices of their idols, till they began really to adore them, and even to consecrate themselves to their service, meaning to ratify their base apostacy from the true God. (Haydock) --- Yet it is probable all those who were cut off by pestilence, were not thus initiated: but only those who were the princes or ringleaders, and who are sentenced to be gibbeted. (Salien) --- The mother of Asa, king of Juda, was not ashamed to preside over the mysteries of this obscene idol, (3 Kings xv. 13,) which people worshipped by prostitution. (Villalpand) (St. Jerome in Osee iv. 9.) (Tirinus)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/numbers-25.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

joined = yoked.

Baal-peor. Baal = Lord; Peor was the mountain on which he was worshipped (Numbers 25:18. Joshua 22:17). Baal was a Moabitish idol, and those who called (Numbers 25:2) the Israelites were the prostitutes necessary for his worship by others. Compare Hosea 9:10. Jeremiah 11:13. Peor also means "opening", and may have relation to this "worship".

anger of the LORD (Hebrew. Jehovah.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/numbers-25.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor. Baal was a general name for 'lord,' and Peor either for a hill in Moab, or derived from a verb signifying to open, to uncover, with reference to the abominable priapism which was the favourite worship in that temple. The idol was sometimes called simply Peor (Numbers 25:18; Numbers 31:16; Joshua 22:17). [The Septuagint has: Beelfegoor. Wayitsaamed (Hebrew #6775) Yisraa'eel (Hebrew #3478), and Israel was joined; but since it was a voluntary act on the part of those who did it, the passive form of the verb has here a reflex signification, and is equivalent to, Israel served, or worshipped Baal; so that by participating in the rites of Peor they committed the double offence of idolatry and licentiousness, not by a single or occasional act merely, but by oft-repeated contact, until they acquird the habit; and, in the strong language of Hosea (Hosea 9:10, wayinaaz

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/numbers-25.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
joined
5; Deuteronomy 4:3,4; Joshua 22:17; Psalms 106:28,29; Hosea 9:10
the anger
Joshua 22:17; Judges 2:14,20; Psalms 90:11; Jeremiah 17:4
Reciprocal: Numbers 22:41 - high places;  Deuteronomy 3:29 - GeneralJoshua 13:20 - Bethpeor;  Romans 11:4 - Baal

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-25.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

3.AndIsrael joined himself to Baal-peor. Moses amplifies their crime by this expression, that they bound themselves to the idol in an impious alliance; and thus he alludes to that holy union whereby God had connected Himself with the people, and accuses them of broken faith and wicked rebellion. Nevertheless, it is probable that the people were not impelled by superstition, but enticed by the wiles of the women to offer worship to idols which they despised. Yet we are told how God declared that they were “joined” to the idol, which they merely pretended to worship, in order to comply with the ungodly wishes of the women. Hence, therefore, this general instruction may be gathered, that when we turn aside from pure religion, we in a manner connect ourselves with idols, so as to coalesce in one body with them, and conspire to renounce the true God.

Baal was then the general name of almost all idols; but all epithet is added to the idol of the Moabites, taken from Mount Peor; nor does it appear that we need go in quest of any other etymology, since the name of this mountain has recently been mentioned. It was on the same principle as in Popery, when they name their Marys after particular places, (183) where the most famous statues are worshipped.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Numbers 25:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/numbers-25.html. 1840-57.