A gal called in to Tom and Ray on the NPR Car Talk radio show this weekend to find out if there was any problem just using a bungee cord to keep her driver’s door closed or if she should seek a better solution. As funny as the question is, what got my attention was her name, Kozbi, which she claimed was a ‘biblical’ name. My ears perked up. I thought I knew my Bible fairly well, but that name didn’t ring any bells. She continued in her explanation that the name belonged to a ‘lady of the evening’ in the bible and that she thinks her parents named her Kozbi to ‘tweak’ their own parents.
So, I did a little research and sure enough, the name Kozbi, or more commonly, Cozbi shows up in Numbers 25. Israel was camped outside of Moab on their way to the promised land. A plague had broken out and God told Moses it was because the people were following the idol worship of Baal-Peor and whoring with the local women. As Moses was explaining to the elders of Isreal that the leaders of this rebellious idolatry must be purged from their midst, Zimri, a leading Simeonite, entered camp with Cozbi, the daughter of the prince of Midian, carousing with her “in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel.” Phinehas, grandson of Aaron, picks up a spear and follows them into their tent, killing the beast with two backs with one thrust.
This zeal of Phinehas stopped the plague on the people of Israel.