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So Israel yoked himself to Baal-peor: and the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel. Bible

“yoked.” A very unusual word occurring only here and Psalm 106:28. The word likely has a specific cultic meaning in this context, but that meaning is lost in history. The major sin involved in the worship of Baal-peor, the “Baal” that was worshipped at Peor, was sexual, as the Bible makes clear. Philip Budd (The Word Biblical Commentary) writes: “Clearly some formal recognition by the Israelites of the Baal localized at Peor is implied. Baal was widely recognized in Canaan as the fertility god.”

“Baal-peor.” The text could be translated, “Baal of Peor.” Baal was the god and Peor was the place. The worship, rituals, and beliefs about the gods could differ from place to place even if the name of the god, and much about him, were generally the same. The specific beliefs and rituals about Baal of Peor are not known. However, the fact that the god was related to Baal shows the kinds of evil acts were likely involved, such as human sacrifice and ritual sex.


Commentary for: Numbers 25:3