31:8 They killed the kings of Midian in addition to those slain – Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba – five Midianite kings. 1 They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. 2
31:16 Look, these people through the counsel of Balaam caused the Israelites to act treacherously against the Lord in the matter of Peor – which resulted in the plague among the community of the Lord!
1 sn Here again we see that there was no unified empire, but Midianite tribal groups.
2 sn And what was Balaam doing among the Midianites? The implication is strong. This pagan diviner had to submit to the revealed will of God in the oracles, but he nonetheless could be hired. He had been a part of the attempt to destroy Israel that failed; he then apparently became part of the plan, if not the adviser, to destroy them with sexual immorality and pagan ritual.