God was angry because so many Israelite men were mixing with Moabite and Midianite women. The men were allowing themselves to be drawn by these foreign women into taking part in worshipping pagan gods. (Numbers 25:1-3.) "This is the kind of sin that can destroy a whole nation if allowed to continue. Tell the heads of the twelve tribes to seize the tribal leaders and better-known men who have so heedlessly gone against my warnings not to mingle with strange nations," God told Moses. "The tribal chiefs must themselves stone the lawbreakers and have them hung on poles for a whole day to show what can happen to those who follow evil leaders and ignore My rules! This matter, however, isn't going to end with merely a warning.
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