“Peor.” In Numbers 25:1-9, the Israelites got involved with the worship of Baal at Peor, and participated in the sexual sin and pagan worship of Baal. The result of that was the death of the head-men of Israel and some 24,000 other Israelites (Num. 25:9). Phinehas himself had to spear two flagrant sinners to death (Num. 25:6-8).
“which we have not yet cleansed ourselves from to this day.” This is a very startling and important statement. The sin of Peor occurred in Numbers 25, which was toward the end of Israel’s 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, so many of the people who experienced the sin at Peor would still be alive, since the event at Peor was likely only a decade or so earlier than Joshua 22. Phinehas was an astute priest, and sensitive to the people and the spirit of God, and he realized that what happened at Peor was still having an effect in Israel. It seems the attraction of the sex involved with the worship of Baal-peor and the promises made by pagan gods still pulled Israel toward paganism, and surely enough, as we see popping up in Joshua and Judges, pagan worship and worship practices did indeed pull Israel away from Yahweh.