Numbers 25–26: Cursing Israel

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 70

In Numbers 22–24, although Balaam did not curse Israel, his desire for the riches the Moabites offered was too much for him to resist. Numbers 31:7–8, 15–16 and Revelation 2:14 lead us to believe that Balaam taught the Moabites that they could not defeat Israel as long as Israel was righteous, so Balaam told the Moabites to tempt Israel with immorality and idolatry and cause them to lose the help of the Lord. Consequently, Numbers 25 tells about the final plague that killed many Israelites before the camp of Israel entered the promised land. This plague came upon them because of immoral acts with Moabite women.By the end of the plague, nearly all who left Egypt as adults were dead. Numbers 26 is another numbering, or census, of the next generation of Israelites thirty-nine years after their fathers rejected the opportunity to enter the promised land and were cursed to wander and die in the wilderness.