The Baal Peor episode (Num 25,1-18), followed by the second census (Num 26), marks the break between the first compromised wilderness generation and the second. This episode is a «covenant of kinship» between Israelites and Midianites resident in Moab, sealed by marriage between high-status individuals from each of these lineages. The violent repudiation of this transaction by the Aaronid Phineas is in marked contrast to the Midianite marriage of Moses, for which an explanation is offered, and is paradigmatic of the attitude to intermarriage of the Aaronid priesthood during the mid-to-late-Achaemenid period.
The greed motif is found in biblical and in ANE texts. The Baal Cycle characterizes Mot, the god of death and drought, as a destroyer of life. With in Ugarit’s polytheistic system, Mot is nonetheless essential for agricultural growth. Mot’s greed is, thus, a terrible, yet inevitable, factor. The analysis of (lb (to devour, swallow) in the Hebrew Bible reveals a significant alteration. In the Old Testament, “greed” is a negative human attitude in socio-economic conflicts. In opposing greed the God of Israel addresses those who practice it and those who suffer from it as human beings.