Parashah #41: Pinchas (Phinehas) B’midbar (Numbers) 25:10-30:1

Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue

Parashah # 41: Pinchas (Pinchas) 25: 10-30:1
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 18:46-19:21
B’rit Chadashah: Mattityahu (Matthew) 26:1-30; Mark 14: 1-26; Luke 22: 1-10; Yochanan (John) 2: 13-22; 7:1-13; 37-39; 11:55-12:1; 13:1; 18:28, 39;19:14; Acts 2: 1-21; 12:3-4; 20: 5-6; 16:; 27:9-11:1; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8; 16:8; Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 11:28

This week we read that Pinchas committed a violent act slaying both Zimri, the Prince of Shimon, and Kozbi a Princess of the Midyanites. We may ask why was he rewarded with YHVH’s “Covenant of Peace”? Would not Pinchas’ act be a violation of Torah and the sixth commandment: Thou shall not murder. What is the principle we need to understand?
First, we must understand what it means to be a Kohen or Priest. Secondly, we should all understand that we who are believers are part of the new priesthood according to 1 Peter 2: 9 “But ye are a chosen generation (nation), a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” And lastly we should ask ourselves what is the function and nature of a priest?
Aaron was chosen as the first Kohen because he “loved and pursued peace” according to the Pirkay Avot 1:12 (Sayings of the Fathers). He devoted his life to the ideal of peace never considering it beneath his dignity to foster love and understanding. He pursued peace between man and man, and in his role as the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) he continued his role in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) between man and YHVH. Aaron came to symbolize the ideal Kohen, the man of YHVH Elohim who strives for the welfare of others with no thought for personal gain. This example typifies Yahshua, who as the perfect High Priest was obedient unto death so that we might be saved.
Pinchas put his own life at risk when he rushed into Zimri’s tent because there was a plague ravaging the nation. YHVH commends Pinchas for atoning for the Israelites. Pinchas acted to bring about peace between man and YHVH just like a Kohen Gadol who serves in the Mishkan. His desire to create shalom between man and YHVH showed he was worthy of the enormous responsibility of fostering peace and understanding within the nation.
Aaron’s overriding quality was his selfless desire to create shalom between man and man. YHVH on the other hand selected Pinchas for preserving the connection between YHVH and man. Both of these qualities demonstrate a love of the people. Because of this YHVH gave to Pinchas “his pledge of peace” and appointed Pinchas and all his descendants as Kohanim in Israel. Can we who are termed a ‘nation of Priests, fail to exhibit the same kind of Love toward YHVH and every other believer?

B’rit Chadasha:
Matthew 26: 1-30 Yahshua opens this chapter by speaking to his talmidim (disciples) about Pesach (Passover, Ex. 12:1-13:16) and His coming execution two days hence. The central event of the original Passover was the slaughtering by each Israelite family of a lamb “without blemish or spot,” whereupon YHVH spared the firstborn sons of Israel but slew the firstborn of the Egyptians. When Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist) speaks of Yahshua as the “lamb of YHVH (Yn. 1:29)” he is invoking the imagery of the Temple and Pesach. In the B’rit Chadashah (“New Testament”) this event called the “Last Supper,” and is so rendered in most English translations is understood by most scholars as having been a Passover meal or Seder. There is a controversy that this “Last Supper” was not Pesach, but I support arguments that He was crucified on Pesach. He said he would in Mark 14:13. We must remember that the day begins at sunset and Yahshua ate matzah during this meal as we do today, before the feast of Unleavened Bread. Furthermore, in Hebrews 11:28 we read “ By trusting, he (Moshe) obeyed the requirements for the Pesach, including the smearing of the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.” However, without getting into the controversy surrounding when and what this last meal was, this event (vv. 17-30) is rich with Pesach themes that are deepened and given new levels of meaning for the Believer. Time will not permit me to teach on the symbolic themes of Pesach at this time. Instead what I’d like to do here is list the prophecies implied from verse 24 relating to the death of the Messiah in the Tanakh and their fulfillment.

Prophecy (the Messiah would be) Prophecy in Tanakh Fulfillment in NT
Hated without a cause Isaiah 49:7 John 15:24-25
Rejected by the Rulers Psalm 118:22 Matthew 21:42, John 7:48
Betrayed by a friend Psalm 41:9 Mt. 26:21-25, 47-50; John 13: 18-19
Sold for Thirty Pieces of Silver Zechariah 11:12 Matthew 26:15
Subject to having his price given for a potter’s field
Zechariah 11:13 Matthew 27:7
Forsaken by His Talmidim Zechariah 13:7 Matthew 26: 31-56
Struck on the cheek Micah 4:14 Matthew 27:30
Spat on Isaiah 50:6 Matthew 26:67, 27:30
Mocked Psalm 22:8-9 Matthew 26: 67-68, 27:31, 39-44
Beaten Isaiah 50:6 Matthew 26:67; 27:26, 30
Executed by crucifixion Psalms 22: 17 Matthew 27:35; John 19:18,37:20:35
Executed without having a bone broken Exodus 12:46;Psalm 34:21 John 19:33-36
Thirsty during the execution Psalm 22:16 John 19:28
Given vinegar to quench thirst Psalm 69:22 Matthew 27:34
Considered a transgressor Isaiah 53:12 Matthew 27:38
Buried with the rich when dead Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:57-60
The One whose death would atone for the sins of mankind
Isaiah 53:5-7, 12 Mark 10:45; John 1:29, 3:16; Acts 8:30-35
Raised from the dead Isaiah 53:9-10, Psalms 2:7, 16:10 Mt. 28:1-20; Acts 13:33; 1 Cor. 11:4-6
Ascended to the right hand of YHVH Psalms 16:11, 68:19, 110:1 Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11, 7:55; Hebrews 1:3
“Cut off, but not for himself,” 69×7 years after rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem
Daniel 9:24-26 Romans 5:6; Peter 3:18

Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 18:46-19:21

In this Parasha Pinchas is acknowledged as the first zealot of Ysra’el. In the haftarah we see that this quality still exists within B’nai Ysra’el and is one of the characteristics of a great prophet. As Eliyahu (Elijah) says in (19:10,14: “I have indeed been very zealous for YHVH Elohim.”

Things to think about:
1. Why is it important for us to know whom it was that Pinchas killed?
2. For the second time in the book of B’midbar (Numbers), B’nai Yisrael (Children of Israel) is counted. Why now?
3. What are the criteria Moshe expected of a leader? Does it have anything to do with his personal history?

Sages Wisdom:
Pinchas managed to halt YHVH’s anger by killing the perpetrators, and in return received the covenant of peace. The word “peace”, “shalom” in Hebrew, is written with the letter vav. In the Torah, this particular vav is written with a small gap between the top and the rest of the letter. Why” The sages say it is because YHVH wanted to show us that although peace was achieved, it wasn’t complete because two people died in the process and every life is sacred.
“One sheep shall be brought in the morning and a second sheep in the afternoon.” (28:4)
Every day in the Mishkan two sheep had to be brought. The sages say that the hallmark of an Israelite is his devotion to the commandments, and to make them seem new to him no matter how often they have to be done. From my point of view I also see similar commandments such as offering incense (symbolic of prayer) morning and evening as a type for our behavior toward YHVH Elohim. We should especially start every day when arising and when retiring with YHVH in prayer and communion as stated in Deuteronomy 6:4-11.

Meh’hodha, “from your glory,” (27:20)
In passing leadership to Y’hoshua (Joshua), Moshe was commanded to transfer some of his greatness onto him by the “laying on of hands.” The numeric value of this phrase is 75. This is the same value of the word Ha’sod, “the secret.” From this the sages say that we learn that Moshe also passed on many secrets of the creation to Y’hoshua. I would believe if anything Moshe spoke of the coming Messiah.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Tamah Davis