And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that
Besides the males of the common people, they slew their kings, who were petty kings or princes, perhaps under the king of Moab, or had reassumed their titles and government after the death of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who, in his time, were called dukes of Sihon, ( Joshua 13:21 ) , namely,
Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian;
the Targum of Jonathan says of Zur, this is Balak, which is not probable; it is more likely, what Aben Ezra observes, that he was the father of Cosbi, whom Phinehas slew, ( Numbers 25:15 ) .
Balaam also, the son of Beor, they slew with the sword;
so that he died not a natural death, but a violent one, not such an one as he desired, the death of the righteous, but of bloody and deceitful men, who do not live out half their days; for if the Jewish writers F3 are to be credited, he was but thirty four years of age when he was slain, which is not quite half the age of man, that being seventy, ( Psalms 90:10 ) , it appears by this that he was among the Midianites at the time of this war; either he stayed here till this time, when he went from Balak with an intention to go into his own country; or he had returned hither, being either sent for, by the princes of Midian, on this occasion; or, as some say, as Aben Ezra observes, that he came to Midian after he returned to his place, on hearing the plague that came upon Israel through his counsel, to receive the money of the elders of Midian for it; and so Chaskuni.
F3 Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 7. 2.