284. "And the princes of Moab abode" (Ibid.). However, the princes of Midian left them and did not want to remain there, although the ministers of Moab did stay, as it is written: "And the princes of Moab abode" on their own. Midian would have acted appropriately IF THEY WOULD HAVE separated from them altogether, if in the end they would have caused no harm, and not eventually been in the counsel of Bilaam that sent their wives and women to Yisrael at Shitim to lead them astray. The scripture points out their sin, as it is written: "For they vex you with their wiles, with which they have beguiled you in the matter of Pe'or, and in the matter of Kozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister..." (Bemidbar 25:18). With these two things they sinned, WITH PE'OR AND KOZBI and their iniquity was great. And with their tail, THAT IS, EVENTUALLY, they struck later. Therefore, they remained with him and the Midianites left on their own.
285. Another explanation of: "And the princes of Moab abode with Bilaam:" It was fine for Midian to leave if that was their wish. However, the staying over of those from Moab who remained caused them to have a good reward due to their remaining there, while the Midianites' leaving caused them harm. Why is this? It is because those who stayed cared for the glory ot the words of the Holy One, blessed be He, while those who left did not care at all.