Weekly Portion, Pinchas, Numbers ch. 25:10 -30:1 (14 July 2017, 20 Tammuz, 5777)
Numbers (BaMidbar) 25:10-30:1.
This Portion of Pinchas may be roughly divided into three sections:
a. Points concerning Pinchas, the blessing given unto him, and revenge against Midian.
b. The Tribal Divisions for inheriting the Land and the Tribes of Levi. The daughters of Zelophehad from the Tribe of Manasseh.
c. The Feastdays and sacrifices.
The story of Pinchas continues from the the previous chapters.
The name Pinchas is sometimes spelt "Pineas." It is pronounced in Modern Hebrew close to "Pinhas" with a slight guttural emphasis on the "h".
Pinchas was the son of Elazar son of Aharon brother of Moses.
The King of Moab had feared the approaching Israelites. He hired Bilaam to come and attempt to curse the Israelites. Bilaam had not been succesful.
Bilaam saw that God Almighty was concerned for Israel. he therefore attempted to drive a wedge between the Israelite and God.
He advised the kings of Moab and Midian to have their womenfolk seduce the Israelite males. They were also to induce the Israelite men to worship the false god Peor.
This is what they did. God was angry.
Moses was commanded to kill all the offenders among the leaders of the people who had committed idolatry (Numbers 25:4-5).
A prince of Israel from the Tribe of Simeon then took a princess of Midian and publicly began to have intercourse with her (25:6).
Pinchas took a spear and killed both of them.
A plague had broken out among the people and the execution of the two cuplrits stopped it. We learn that if it were not for the action of Pinchas the whole nation would have been wiped out (Numbers 25:11).
Pinchas received a blessing:
10 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 11 'Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy. 12 Therefore say, 'Behold, I give him My covenant of peace; 13 and it shall be for him and his [g]descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the sons of Israel.''
The Israelites were commanded to go to war against the Midianites because they had led Israelites into sin and threatened the national existence of Israel (Numbers 25:17).
Missionaries who try to get Jews to stop worshipping one god are committing a grave and dangerous offence.
b. Tribal Divisions
Moses was commanded to take a census of all the tribes. Each Tribe was numbered and the different tribal clans were listed.
This is the List with the Tribes and tribal Clan Names:
5 Reuben, Israel's firstborn, the sons of Reuben: of Hanoch, the family of the Hanochites; of Pallu, the family of the Palluites; 6 of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Carmi, the family of the Carmites. .... 8 The son of Pallu: Eliab. 9 The sons of Eliab: Nemuel and Dathan and Abiram.....
12 The sons of Simeon according to their families: of Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites; of Jamin, the family of the Jaminites; of Jachin, the family of the Jachinites; 13 of Zerah, the family of the Zerahites; of Shaul, the family of the Shaulites. ...
15 The sons of Gad according to their families: of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites; of Haggi, the family of the Haggites; of Shuni, the family of the Shunites; 16 of Ozni, the family of the Oznites; of Eri, the family of the Erites; 17 of Arod, the family of the Arodites; of Areli, the family of the Arelites. ...
20 The sons of Judah according to their families were: of Shelah, the family of the Shelanites; of Perez, the family of the Perezites; of Zerah, the family of the Zerahites. 21 The sons of Perez were: of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Hamul, the family of the Hamulites....
23 The sons of Issachar according to their families: of Tola, the family of the Tolaites; of Puvah, the family of the Punites; 24 of [Jashub, the family of the Jashubites; of Shimron, the family of the Shimronites....
26 The sons of Zebulun according to their families: of Sered, the family of the Seredites; of Elon, the family of the Elonites; of Jahleel, the family of the Jahleelites. ....
28 The sons of Joseph according to their families: Manasseh and Ephraim. 29 The sons of Manasseh: of Machir, the family of the Machirites; and Machir became the father of Gilead: of Gilead, the family of the Gileadites. 30 These are the sons of Gilead: of Iezer, the family of the Iezerites; of Helek, the family of the Helekites; 31 and of Asriel, the family of the Asrielites; and of Shechem, the family of the Shechemites;32 and of Shemida, the family of the Shemidaites; and of Hepher, the family of the Hepherites. 33 Now Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but only daughters; and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. ....
35 These are the sons of Ephraim according to their families: of Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthelahites; of Becher, the family of the Becherites; of Tahan, the family of the Tahanites. 36 These are the sons of Shuthelah: of Eran, the family of the Eranites. 37 These are the families of the sons of Ephraim according to those who were numbered of them, 32,500. These are the sons of Joseph according to their families.
38 The sons of Benjamin according to their families: of Bela, the family of the Belaites; of Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites; of Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites; 39 of Shephupham, the family of the Shuphamites; of Hupham, the family of the Huphamites. 40 The sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman: of Ard, the family of the Ardites; of Naaman, the family of the Naamites. ...
42 These are the sons of Dan according to their families: of Shuham, the family of the Shuhamites....
44 The sons of Asher according to their families: of Imnah, the family of the Imnites; of Ishvi, the family of the Ishvites; of Beriah, the family of the Beriites. 45 Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the family of the Heberites; of Malchiel, the family of the Malchielites. 46 The name of the daughter of Asher was Serah. ...
48 The sons of Naphtali according to their families: of Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites; of Guni, the family of the Gunites; 49 of Jezer, the family of the Jezerites; of Shillem, the family of the Shillemites. ....
The above tribes were numbered from the age of 20 upwards. They were all the Tribes that were destined to receive tribal portions in the land.
Levi was not to receive its own separate tribal portion but to be scattered among the other tribes. Levi is listed and numbered separately. Levi was numbered from a month old (Numbers 26: 57-61).
Levi was to be separated from tithes and offerings of the other tribes.
The Levites became Cohens (Priests) and Levites.
Today we find many from Levi among the leading Rabbinical authorities in every generation.
Rabbinical scholars in our generation are parallel to the Tribe of Levi in ancient times.
The daughters of Zeliphehad from the Tribe of Manasseh (Numbers 27:1-14) requested consideration since they along remained as heirs tot heir father.
The problem was solved.
We see from this that when problems exist they may often be solved. Whoever suffers from such problems needs to speak and the people responsible for them need to listen to what is being said.
Moses is told that he will not enter the land.
Joshua (Hebrew, "Yehoshua") is to be come the leaders after Moses. Moses was commanded to put something of the spirit within him upon Joshua.
18 So the LORD said to Moses, 'Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; 19 and have him stand before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and commission him in their sight. 20 You shall put some of your authority on him, in order that all the congregation of the sons of Israel may obey him. 21 Moreover, he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the LORD. At his command they shall go out and at his command they shall come in, both he and the sons of Israel with him, even all the congregation.' 22 Moses did just as the LORD commanded him; and he took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation. 23 Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, just as the LORD had spoken through Moses.
A list of all the feast Days of the year with all the different sacrifices is given (Numbers chapters 28 and 29).