Neither should we give way to sexual immorality as did some of them, for we read that twenty-three thousand fell in a single day! Nor should we dare to exploit the goodness of God as some of them did, and fell victims to poisonous snakes. Nor yet must you curse the lot that God has appointed to you as they did, and met their end at the hand of the angel of death.
The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—“First the people partied, then they threw a dance.” We must not be sexually promiscuous—they paid for that, remember, with 23,000 deaths in one day! We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes. We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them.
Neither should we commit zenut as some of them committed zenut and fell in one day twenty-three thousand [BAMIDBAR 25:1,9]. [T.N. if Rav Sha’ul is not giving the number that died in one day, a very famous and devastating twenty-four hour period, (with BAMIDBAR 25:4 mentioning other executions and the subsequent total being 24,000 [Bamidbar 24:9]), then Rav Sha’ul is referring to those who died in Shemot 32:35, quoting as he does Shemot 32:6 in 1C 10:7]
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