Tag Archives: Simeonites

Cozbi: A Woman Who Bristled

Cozbi2

Prior to the story of Cozbi, in Numbers 25, we learn that Balak, the king of Moab, listened to the advice of the mercenary prophet Balaam to entice the Israelites away from Yahweh by encouraging them to fornicate with the Moabite women. The result was a plague that killed 24,000 Israelites. In the midst of this state of affairs, Zimri, the son of the chief of the Simeonites, cohabited with Cozbi, the daughter of a Midianite chieftain. In a rage, the priest Phinehas stabbed the couple to death in order to stop the plague. It seemed to have done the trick. End of story? Not quite. The narrative bristles with possible interpretations that shed more light on Cozbi.  Continue reading