BAAL OF PEOR
(Baʹal of Peʹor).
The particular Baal worshiped at Mount Peor by both Moabites and Midianites. (Nu 25:1, 3, 6) It has been suggested that Baal of Peor may actually have been Chemosh, in view of the fact that the latter deity was the chief god of the Moabites. (Nu 21:29) As with Baalism generally, grossly licentious rites were probably connected with the worship of Baal of Peor. The Israelites, while encamped at Shittim on the high plains of Moab, were enticed into immorality and idolatry by the female worshipers of this god.—Nu 25:1-18; De 4:3; Ps 106:28; Ho 9:10; Re 2:14.
Israel’s sin in connection with Baal of Peor resulted in Jehovah’s sending a death-dealing scourge that killed thousands of Israelites. A question arises as to the number of those actually killed by the scourge in view of a seeming discrepancy between Numbers 25:9 and 1 Corinthians 10:8. Apparently 23,000 were directly killed by the scourge, whereas 1,000 “head ones” or ringleaders were killed by the judges of Israel and then hung up, exposed to public view.—Nu 25:4, 5; see BAAL No. 4.