When he was not able to curse the Israelites directly, A soothsayer who blessed Israel at the end of the wilderness wanderings. More then turned to cynical use of Midianite and Moabite women as inducements to idolatry, leading to the removal of God’s protection of Israel, temporarily.
The seer who did not see so clearly saw his way to curse the Israelites after all. Balaam was not allowed to pronounce a curse on Israel, but he did figure out a way to remove God’s protection. The Midianite women used sex as a pretext to induce the Israelite men to worship their god, the Baal of Peor. Absolute disaster was narrowly headed off by the violent reaction of the A priest is a person who has the authority to perform religious rites. In New Testament times priests were responsible for daily offerings and sacrifices in the temple. More Phinehas to an Israelite man having sex with a Midianite woman as the rest of Israel was weeping in front of the The tabernacle, a word meaning "tent," was a portable worship place for the Hebrew people after they left Egypt. It was said to contain the ark of the covenant. The plans for the tabernacle are dictated by God in Exodus 26. More. (Some commentators speculate that the ‘tent’ which the couple are in is the tabernacle itself, which would explain the zealous rage of Phinehas, since they are defiling the A sanctuary is the consecrated area around the altar of a church or temple. It also means a place of safety where one can flee for protection. In the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms, God is referred to as a sanctuary, a refuge from... More.) Phinehas kills Zimri and the Midianite princess Cozbi with one spear, averting God’s wrath and stopping the plague that killed 24,000 Israelites (Numbers 25:1-15). A Christian missionary who once persecuted the church More will later conflate the sins of idolatry and sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 10:7-8).