Whoredom Among the Israelites & Shittim

I would think the Israelites would be happy now since they won all those wars. 

Will they behave now?

“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 

The Madaba Map (also known as the Madaba Mosaic Map) is part of a floor mosaic in the early Byzantine church of Saint George at Madaba, Jordan. The Madaba Map is a map of the Middle East. Part of it contains the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and especially Jerusalem. It dates to the 6th century A.D. It is not oriented northwards, like modern maps, but faces east towards the altar in such a fashion that the position of places on the map coincides with the actual compass directions. Originally, it measured 21 by 7 m and contained over two million tesserae. Its current dimensions are 16 by 5 m.

And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 

And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. 

And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.  

And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye everyone his men that were joined unto Baal-peor.

And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 

And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;

And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.  

And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 

Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. 

Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: 

And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel” (Num 25:1-13).

1. The Jordan River is the primary water supply for Israel.
2. Since the River derives its name from the tribe of Dan, it proves that the book of Genesis, Numbers and Deuteronomy were not written before the tribe of Dan migrated north to capture Laish in 1340 BC (Judges 18-19). The river was never named Jordan, until after the tribe of Dan occupied “Tel Dan”. This is called the editorial practice in the proleptic use of placenames in the Bible. Here is a short list of proleptic names in the book of Genesis where a later name is applied to a location before it was ever called that name:
3. The Jordan is a symbol that transcends thousands of years and many eras:
a. Both Joshua parted the Jordan and crossed on dry ground: Joshua 3
b. Elijah/Elisha parted the Jordan and crossed on dry ground: 2 Ki 2:8-14
c. Naaman was cleansed of leprosy: 2 Ki 5
d. Place of John the Baptist and Jesus was baptized: John 1:28
e. Today we speak of crossing the Jordan as a symbol of physical death and entering into heaven with Jesus.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 

Vex the Midianites, and smite them:

For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor’s sake (Num 25:16-18).

“And it came to pass after the plague, that the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying,

Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, throughout their fathers’ house, all that are able to go to war in Israel.

And Moses and Eleazar the priest spake with them in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho” (Num 26:1-3).

The amount came to be:

Reubenites – 43,730
Simeonites – 22,200
Gad – 40,500
Judah – 76,500
Issachar – 64,3600
Zebulunites – 60,500
Manasseh – 52,700
Ephraim – 32,500
Benjamin – 45,600
Shuhamites – 64,400
Asher – 53,400
Naphtali – 45,400.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. 

To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and too few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him. 

Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit” (Num 26:52-55).

The amount of Levites – 23,000.

All of these people, aside from Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, would die, never seeing the Promised Land.

The Serpentine Cross on top of Mount Nebo, Jordan. Symbolic of the bronze serpent created by Moses in the wilderness

Shittim

Shittim, abbreviated from Abel Shittim (“brook of acacias”),was the Israelitess final wilderness encampment before they crossed the Jordan River.

From this location in the plains of Moab Moses ascended Mount Nebo to view the promised land and Joshua sent spies to Jericho.

At Shittim, Israel also fell into the immorality associated with the worship of Baal of Peor, suffering severe casualties as a result of God’s anger.

Shittim can probably be identified with the present archaeological site of Tell el- Hammam, 8.5 miles (13.7 km) east of the Jordan River, opposite the ancient city of Jericho.

This excavation site is covered with the ruins of houses, as well as of an Iron I-period fortress with towers at both ends.

The fortress walls were 4 feet (1.2 m) thick and surrounded by a massive glacis (slope running downward from a fortification).

Tall el-Hammam: Sodom, Abel Shittim, Abila, or Livias? Gary Byers of the Associates for Biblical Research has written: “In review, our site was a major city from earliest times. It may be one of the oldest cities mentioned in the Bible, in the Table of Nations (Gen 10). Maybe it was Sodom from those earliest days up to the time of Abraham, well over 2,500 years. Then, after its destruction in the Middle Bronze Age, and with no evidence of occupation for over 500 years, it may have been known as Abel Shittim (“meadow of the acacia trees”) at the time of Moses. During the Iron Age, a city was built on the upper tall, and it is a reasonable candidate to be the capital of Solomon’s twelfth administrative district, in sight of the Mount of Olives at Jerusalem, Solomon’s capital. In New Testament times, a new city arose around the base of the talls and may have been Abila or even Livias (Julias), the capital of Perea. Finally, our site may be one of the unnamed sites on the Madaba Map. Whatever our excavations and research may eventually tell us, there is no question that Tall el-Hammam was an important site throughout the Biblical period. During each period of history, it stood as a quiet witness to some of the Bible’s greatest people and events.”

This site was strategically located 100 feet (30.5 m) above the plains of Moab, no doubt en­abling its ancient inhabitants to control access from the mountains.

A perennial stream nearby, the Wadi el-Kefrein, could have provided an adequate water supply for the encamped Israelites.

The meaning of the name Shittim sug­gests that acacia trees grew there, watered by the nearby stream—although the aca­cia is known to survive in arid regions.

Its wood, light but hard and moisture resistant, had been used to construct both the taber­nacle and its furnishings.