Numbers 25:16
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
25:16-18 We read not that any Midianites died of the plague; God punished them with the sword of an enemy, not with the rod of a father. We must set ourselves against whatever is an occasion of sin to us, Mt 5:29,30. Whatever draws us to sin, should be a vexation to us, as a thorn in the flesh. And none will be more surely and severely punished than those who, after Satan's example, and with his subtlety, tempt others to sin.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. 14. Zimri, … a prince … among the Simeonites—The slaughter of a man of such high rank is mentioned as a proof of the undaunted zeal of Phinehas, for there might be numerous avengers of his blood. No text from Poole on this verse. And the Lord spake unto Moses,.... This was some time after the above affair happened; how long it was is not certain; and a little time before the death of Moses, see Numbers 31:1,

saying; as follows.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16–18. are an editorial note. The compiler who placed side by side the two narratives in Numbers 25:1-15 here combines them in such a way as to represent the Midianites as responsible for tempting Israel in both cases. And at the same time he anticipates the command given to Moses in Numbers 31:1.For this act of divine zeal the eternal possession of the priesthood was promised to Phinehas and his posterity as Jehovah's covenant of peace. בּקנאו, by displaying my zeal in the midst of them (viz., the Israelites). קנאתי is not "zeal for me," but "my zeal," the zeal of Jehovah with which Phinehas was filled, and impelled to put the daring sinners to death. By doing this he had averted destruction from the Israelites, and restrained the working of Jehovah's zeal, which had manifested itself in the plague. "I gave him my covenant of peace" (the suffix is attached to the governing noun, as in Leviticus 6:3). בּרית נתן, as in Genesis 17:2, to give, i.e., to fulfil the covenant, to grant what was promised in the covenant. The covenant granted to Phinehas consisted in the fact, that an "eternal priesthood" (i.e., the eternal possession of the priesthood) was secured to him, not for himself alone, but for his descendants also, as a covenant, i.e., in a covenant, or irrevocable form, since God never breaks a covenant that He has made. In accordance with this promise, the high-priesthood which passed from Eleazar to Phinehas (Judges 20:28) continued in his family, with the exception of a brief interruption in Eli's days (see at 1 Samuel 1-3 and 1 Samuel 14:3), until the time of the last gradual dissolution of the Jewish state through the tyranny of Herod and his successors (see my Archologie, 38). - In Numbers 25:14, Numbers 25:15, the names of the two daring sinners are given. The father of Cozbi, the Midianitish princess, was named Zur, and is described here as "head of the tribes (אמּות, see at Genesis 25:16) of a father's house in Midian," i.e., as the head of several of the Midianitish tribes that were descended from one tribe-father; in Numbers 31:8, however, he is described as a king, and classed among the five kings of Midian who were slain by the Israelites.
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