Numbers 25:13
And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) And he shall have it, and his seed after him.—The covenant of peace, which was made by the blood of the Cross, and all the blessings which belong to that covenant, stand fast with Christ, and are secured to His spiritual seed. (Comp. Psalm 89:28-29.)

Even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood.—Phinehas succeeded his father Eleazar as high priest (Judges 20:28). After a temporary interruption in the succession, which existed in the time of Eli, and continued until the time of David, when there appears to have been a joint high-priesthood, the office was restored by Solomon to Zadok, the descendant of Phinehas, and so continued until the gradual dissolution of the Jewish state. Christ’s priesthood is “an unchangeable priesthood” (Hebrews 7:24): “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 7:17).

Numbers 25:13-14. An everlasting priesthood — To continue as long as the law and commonwealth of the Jews did. But this promise was conditional, and therefore might be made void by the miscarriages of Phinehas’s sons, as it seems it was, and thereupon a like promise was made to Eli, of the line of Ithamar, that he and his should walk before the Lord, namely, in the office of high-priest, for ever, which also for his and their sins was made void, 1 Samuel 2:30. And the priesthood returned to Phinehas’s line in the time of Solomon, 1 Kings 2:26-27; 1 Kings 2:34. Because he was zealous for his God — God, who searches the heart, saw that this emotion proceeded not from private passion, but from just indignation against such infamous lewdness, and a truly pious zeal for the honour of God. And made an atonement for Israel — Procured pardon and peace for them from God. Zimri, a prince of a chief house — This is mentioned to do honour to Phinehas, who in this brave act feared not the dignity of a man of so great interest in his tribe.25:6-15 Phinehas, in the courage of zeal and faith, executed vengeance on Zimri and Cozbi. This act can never be an example for private revenge, or religious persecution, or for irregular public vengeance.My covenant of peace - Equivalent to "the covenant of My peace." God established with Phinehas in particular that covenant which He had made generally with all his people; and among its blessings peace is especially mentioned, because of the peace between God and the congregation which Phinehas had brought about. As an additional gift there is assigned to him and his seed forever the office of peace-making, the legitimate function of the priesthood (compare Ephesians 2:14); and the covenant was thus to him a covenant not only of peace but of life (compare the marginal reference). Phinehas became highpriest after the death of his father Eleazar, and the office, with a short interruption from the days of Eli to those of David, when for unknown reasons it was filled by the descendants of his uncle Ithamar, was perpetuated in his line; nor indeed is it known to have departed from that line again until the typical priesthood of the sons of Aaron was merged in the actual priesthood of the Saviour of mankind. 11-13. Phinehas … hath turned my wrath away—This assurance was a signal mark of honor that the stain of blood, instead of defiling, confirmed him in office and that his posterity should continue as long as the national existence of Israel. And his seed after him.

Quest. What advantage had he by this promise, seeing the thing here promised was due to him by birth?

Answ. 1. The same blessing may be ofttimes promised, as the kingdom was to David; and the renewing of this promise might seem convenient here, To signify that bloodshed was so far from polluting him, and thereby casting him out of the priesthood, that it was a mean to confirm him in it.

2. This promise secured him and his against divers contingencies, which otherwise might have befallen him or them; as that he should live longer than his father, else he could not have been the high priest; that he should be preserved from those blemishes which might have rendered him incapable of the priesthood, which were many; that he should have a seed, and they such as were fit for that office.

An everlasting priesthood, i.e. to continue as long as the law and commonwealth of the Jews did.

Quest. How was this verified, seeing the priesthood went from Eleazar’s to Ithamar’s line in Eli and three or four of his successors? Answ. 1. This promise, as others of the like nature, was conditional, and therefore might be made void, and of none effect, by the miscarriages of Phinehas’s sons, as it seems it was; and thereupon a like promise was made to Eli of the line of Ithamar, that he and his should walk before the Lord, to wit, in the office of high priest, for ever, which also for his and their sins was made void, 1 Samuel 2:30.

Answ. 2. That was but a short interruption, and not considerable in so long a succession, for the priesthood returned to Phinehas’s line in the time of Solomon, 1 Kings 2:26,27,35 1 Chronicles 24:3; and continued in that line till the captivity of Babylon, as is evident, and afterward too, 1 Chronicles 6:4 Ezra 7:1,5, even until Christ’s time, for any thing which appears to the contrary. And he shall have it, and his seed after him,.... The covenant, and all the blessings of it; so the covenant stands fast with Christ, and all his spiritual seed, Psalm 89:28,

even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; or this may be read in connection with the preceding words, and the sense be, and he and his shall have the covenant of an everlasting priesthood, beside the covenant of peace before promised to him: the Aaronic priesthood is called everlasting, because it was to continue, and did continue, throughout the whole Jewish dispensation, unto the coming of the Messiah, in whom it had its fulfilling end. Now though Phinehas in course was to have the priesthood at his father's death, yet it is here promised him on account of his zeal, both to assure him that he should survive his father, and that nothing should befall him that should render him incapable of the priesthood; and moreover, that he should have a seed in whom it should be continued; there was indeed an interruption of it in his line for a little while, on some account or other, it being translated into the family of Eli, a son of Ithamar; but then it was restored again in the time of Solomon to the family of Phinehas, where it continued unto the captivity, and even to the times of Herod, and so of the Messiah: in this also Phinehas was a type of Christ, the covenant made with him not only being from everlasting and to everlasting, a covenant that cannot be broken, and will never be removed; but the priesthood founded on it is so too, being established by the oath of God, who swore to him, "thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek": Christ's priesthood is an unchangeable one, and does not pass from one to another; his sacrifice has a perpetual virtue and efficacy in it to take away sin, and he ever lives to make intercession for his people, Hebrews 7:21,

because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel; by executing judgment upon the delinquents, as Christ has made atonement for the sins of his people by satisfying law and justice: and, besides what has been observed, it may be remarked, that there is an agreement between Phinehas and Christ in his very name; Phinehas signifies either "the face of him that spares", that is, of God, that spares; Christ is the face of God, the express image of his person, even of him, who, though he spared not Christ himself, yet he spares his people for Christ's sake; or else "he shall look that spares", or "and spare" (g); that is, God, who looks upon the person, righteousness, blood, and sacrifice of his Son, and spares his people.

(g) Vid. Hiller. Onomastic. Sacr. p. 476.

And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an {g} atonement for the children of Israel.

(g) He has pacified God's wrath.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. the covenant of an everlasting priesthood]. This passage expressly confines the priesthood to the line of Aaron. In Jeremiah 33:21, Malachi 2:4 f., 8 the covenant is given to the whole tribe of Levi. Other covenants spoken of in the O.T. are those given to Abram (with the sign of circumcision), to Noah (with the sign of the rainbow), to Israel at Sinai, and to David. See the writer’s Exodus, pp. 150–4.Whilst the heads of the people were deliberating on the subject, and the whole congregation was assembled before the tabernacle, weeping on account of the divine wrath, there came an Israelite, a prince of the tribe of Simeon, who brought a Midianitish woman, the daughter of a Midianitish chief (Numbers 25:14), to his brethren, i.e., into the camp of the Israelites, before the eyes of Moses and all the congregation, to commit adultery with her in his tent. This shameless wickedness, in which the depth of the corruption that had penetrated into the congregation came to light, inflamed the zeal of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the high priest, to such an extent, that he seized a spear, and rushing into the tent of the adulterer, pierced both of them through in the very act. הקּבּה, lit., the arched, or arch, is applied here to the inner or hinder division of the tent, the sleeping-room and women's room in the larger tents of the upper classes.
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