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Israel thereby attached itself to the Baal of Peor,(A) and the Lord’s anger flared up against Israel. (B)The Lord said to Moses: Gather all the leaders of the people, and publicly execute them[a] before the Lord, that the blazing wrath of the Lord may turn away from Israel. So Moses told the Israelite judges, “Each of you kill those of his men who have attached themselves to the Baal of Peor.”[b]

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  1. 25:4 Publicly execute them: the same phrase occurs in 2 Sm 21:6–14, where the context shows that at least a part of the penalty consisted in being denied honorable burial. In both passages, dismemberment or impalement (perhaps subsequent to the actual execution) as a punishment for the breaking of covenant pledges, is a possible interpretation of the Hebrew phrase.
  2. 25:5 Thereby Moses apparently alters the Lord’s command to execute all the leaders.

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