Numbers 25:7
And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
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(7) And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest . . . —In accordance with this punctuation, the designation the priest (which generally denotes the high priest) refers to Aaron, not to Phinehas. Eleazar was the high priest at this time (Numbers 20:26); and consequently—although as a general rule any designation which follows the words “the son of such an one” refers to the former, not to the latter noun—it appears most probable that the designation the priest has reference here to Aaron, not to Phinehas, who, although a priest, was not the high priest at this time. He was invested, however, with civil as well as ecclesiastical authority. (See 1Chronicles 9:20, where he is described as a ruler—Hebrew, nagid.)

Numbers 25:7. Phinehas rose up — The psalmist says, He stood up and executed judgment; which seems to import that he acted as a judge; but in a crime so presumptuous, and so openly committed, he thought it not necessary to wait for a judicial process against the offenders, but cut them off directly with his own hand. It is thought too, not without reason, that the number and dignity of the offenders intimidated the judges from executing their office. So that unless Phinehas, by this seasonable zeal for God, and the interests of the public, had supported the authority of the laws, either a total anarchy had ensued, or the whole body of the people been exposed to the severest judgments from God.

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.A Midianite woman - literally, "the Midianite woman," the particular one by whom he had been enticed (compare Numbers 25:15 and Numbers 31:18). Her high rank proves that Zimri had not fallen in with her by mere chance, but had been deliberately singled out by the Midianites as one whom they must at any price lead astray.

Weeping before the door of the tabernacle - The plague Numbers 25:9 had already broken out among the people: and the more God-fearing had assembled at the door of the tabernacle of God (compare the marginal reference.) to intercede for mercy, when Zimri committed the fresh and public outrage just described.

6, 7. behold, one of the children of Israel … brought … a Midianitish woman—This flagitious act most probably occurred about the time when the order was given and before its execution.

who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle—Some of the rulers and well-disposed persons were deploring the dreadful wickedness of the people and supplicating the mercy of God to avert impending judgments.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it,.... Saw the man pass by in this impudent manner, and his whore with him; his spirit was stirred up, he was filled and fired with zeal for the glory of God, and with an holy indignation against the sin and sinner, and with a just concern for the honour of the righteous law of God; and, to prevent others from falling into the same sin, led by the public example of so great a personage, as it appears afterwards this man was:

he rose up from among the congregation; who were weeping at the door of the tabernacle, or from the midst of the court of judicature, set for trying and judging such persons who were charged with idolatry; for he was not only the son of the high priest and his successor, but a ruler over the Korahites, and had, besides his priestly office, a civil authority, 1 Chronicles 9:20.

and took a javelin in his hand; a spear or pike; the Jews say (y) he snatched it out of the hand of Moses; and, according to Josephus (z), it was a sword; but the word rather signifies an hand pike; this being ready at hand, he took it up and pursued the criminal.

(y) Pirke Eliezer, c. 47. fol. 56. 1.((z) Antiqu. l. 4. c. 6. sect. 12.

And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
Verse 7. - Phinehas, the son of Eleazar. See on Exodus 6:25. He seems to have been the only son of Eleazar, and his natural successor in the office of high priest. Numbers 25:7Whilst 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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