And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor
The name of an idol; one of the Baals, Baal being a general name for an idol; and, to distinguish this from other Baals or idols, it was called Peor, either from its opening its mouth in prophecy, as Ainsworth; or from some obscene posture and action used in the worship of it, being, as it is by many thought to be, the same with Priapus; or rather from the mountain Peor, where it was worshipped, as Jupiter is called Jupiter Olympius, Capitolinus from the mountains where he had a temple, or was worshipped; or from the name of some great personage, called Lord Peor, who was deified after his death; hence these Israelites are said to "eat the sacrifices of the dead", ( Psalms 106:28 ) . Mr. Bedford F20 takes him to be Mizraim the son of Ham, the Osiris of the Egyptians, and the Priapus of other Heathens: and Father Calmet F21 is of opinion that he is the same with Orus, Osiris, and Adonis; and that Pe is only a prepositive article, and that Or is the name, and no other than Orus; but such a criticism the word will not bear: this idol, the chief god of the Moabites, was, in all probability, the same with Chemosh, who is expressly called the abomination of Moab, ( 1 Kings 11:7 ) of whom (See Gill on Jeremiah 48:7) so Chemosh and Peor are thought to be the same by our English poet F23: to him the Israelites joined themselves, forsook the true God in a great measure, and were initiated into the rites of this deity, and constantly attended the worship of it, and cleaved unto it with their hearts and directions, and joined with their harlots in all parts of service performed unto it; (See Gill on Hosea 9:10),
and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel;
for no sin is more provoking to God than idolatry, that being so directly opposite to his nature, honour, and glory, as well as to his will and worship; and hereby the end of Balaam and Balak was, in a great measure, answered, and Balaam obtained that by his evil counsel which he could not by all his conjuring; this was seen by the plague sent among them; (See Gill on Numbers 24:14).
F20 Scripture Chronology, p. 267.
F21 Dictionary, on word "Baal".
F23 "Next Chemos, the obscene dread of Moab's sons, Peor his other name, -----" Milton, B. 1. l. 406, 412.