Peor

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Peor can mean:

  • The name of a mountain peak, mentioned in Numbers 23:28, to which Balak, king of Moab led Balaam in his fourth and final attempt to induce Balaam to pronounce a curse upon the Israelites threatening to occupy his land. The tribes of Israel were described as being visible from the peak, but Balaam refused to curse them, and continued to offer blessings (24:1-9). Peor is similar to the Egyptian Pi-Hor ("House of Horus").
  • A reference to a divinity who was worshipped at that mountain peak, and, biblically, was the subject of the heresy of Peor. The divinity, worshipped by the Moabites, is biblically referred to as Baal-peor (Num. 25:3,5, 18, Deuteronomy 3:29), literally meaning the Baal of Peor (The Lord of the House of Horus). An ancient Aramaic inscription, found at Dier Alla, identifies Balaam as a prophet of Shamash, a semitic sun-god, and consequently, it could well be the case that the unidentified Baal of Peor is Shamash. If Peor's connection to Pi-Hor is factual, then the Baal of Peor may be the Egyptian god Horus.
  • In John Milton's "Paradise Lost", Peor is said to be the other name of the fallen angel Chemos, who "entic'd/Israel in Sittim on thir march from Nile/To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe." (Paradise Lost, I.412-14) His deeds are described in the first book of the epic, as Milton describes Satan's followers who were banished from Heaven, and have pledged themselves as followers of the underworld.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainEaston, Matthew George (1897). "article name needed". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.