In the mass death at the end of Parashas Balak, how many people died before Pinchas killed Zimri?

3 Answers 3


Aside from the people who died in the plague, though, you might also have to consider the ones who were executed judicially. Moshe instructs the judges, "Each of you kill his people who are attached to Baal Peor," and Rashi there (citing Yerushalmi, Sanhedrin 10:2) explains that there were 78,600 judges, each of whom was to judge and kill two of the sinners. That would then make 157,200 people who were executed plus 24,000 who died from the plague.

This guy goes still further, and argues that mathematically, the number of people executed was 222,142. I haven't checked his math, though.

This is all according to Rashi and the Yerushalmi. Ramban there, though, argues that these executions never actually took place, because they were forestalled either by the plague or by Pinchas' brave action - and that Hashem dealt with these sinners later on.


Numbers 25:9

וַיִּהְיוּ, הַמֵּתִים בַּמַּגֵּפָה--אַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים, אָלֶף.‏

And those that died by the plague were twenty and four thousand.


24,000 and guess how many people died when Levi and shimon killed out the city you guessed it 24,000.

  • If someone could find the significance of the matching numbers It would be highly appreciated? Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 14:23
  • 1
    What's the source on the 24,000 in Shchem?
    – Shalom
    Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 19:44
  • 1
    More on 24000,The Seder Hadoros, Megaleh Amukos,say that Reb Akivah was a Gilgul of Zimri. That is why the Gematriah of AKIVA BEN YOSEF is the Same GEMATRIAH as ZIMRI BEN SALU with the additional three for the words themselves. So Reb Akiva lost 24,000 students as a rectification for those lost people. Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 21:17

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