Sharon Wilharm Bible Storyteller


The Hebrew people settled awhile in Acacia Grove in Moab, and while they were there, the men began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. The Moabite women invited the Hebrews to come make sacrifices to their gods, and they did.

One of these Moabite women was Cozbi, daughter of Zur, a Midian king. She married Zimri, son of Salu, a leader of a father’s house among the Simeonites. She was instrumental in luring the men away from their faith in the true God and leading them to engage in immorality and worship of Baal.

As a result of Israel’s harlotry, God’s anger was aroused, and He sent a great plague over the people of Israel.

God told Moses to have the leaders hang the offenders, so Moses sent out the judges of Israel, telling them to kill all those who had joined the Baal worshippers.

When Zimri showed up with Cozbi, Phinehas immediately acted on Moses’s instructions. He grabbed a javelin, went to the tent of Zimri and Cozbi, and killed them both. As a result, the plague was stopped among the children of Israel. We’re told, though, that twenty-four thousand Israelites died from the plague.

Cozbi was daughter of a king. She was a princess who used her power over men to lure them away from God. It was no accident that she married an Israelite leader. It was a strategic plan to infiltrate the people of God and lead them idol worship.

The Bible is filled with women who used their beauty and powers of seduction to lure men away from God. Stories like this remind us of the responsibility we have as women of influence to draw others closer to God rather than lead them away.

Read about Cozbi in the Bible: Numbers 25

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