Biblical People

Biblical People: Kozbi

The nation of Israel has a problem. Many of their men are involved with women from Moab, indulging themselves sexually with these foreigners, something the Law of Moses prohibits.

Then these women entice the men to go to church with them, where they offer sacrifices to Baal and worship him. Instead of God, the Israelites align themselves with Baal. God is not pleased. Moses orders the execution of each man who has strayed.

During all this, another man brings a Midianite woman into camp and into his tent. Her name is Kozbi. We don’t know if he thinks this is okay because she is a Midianite and not a Moabite. Perhaps he wants to make a point or maybe he isn’t thinking at all.

We also don’t know if Kozbi is aware of the situation or not. What we do know is that this man flaunts his sexual relationship with a foreign woman, a liaison God forbids and for which many other men have just died.

Phinehas, the priest, takes judgment into his hands in the form of a spear. He goes into the tent and drives the shaft all the way through the man and into Kozbi. This appeases God’s wrath. 

While Kozbi may have instigated this, it’s more likely she is merely a naïve girl who ends up in the wrong situation. She pays for her ignorance with her life.

Being unaware is no excuse for doing wrong. There will still be consequences for our actions.

How willing are we to do what God says to do?

[Discover more about Kozbi in Numbers 25:1–18.]

Learn about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at