Pinchas Text: Numbers 25:10-29:40
The Census of Israel (PDF)
Pinchas Slides (PDF)
Pinchas Notes (PDF)

This Portion, Pinchas, concludes last week’s lesson on The Doctrine of Balaam.  In the opening verses we see the culmination of this Doctrine: the seduction of Israel by her pagan neighbors ran rampant, and in God’s blazing anger, He sent a plague of death upon all those engaged in the acts of pagan worship.  When a Simeonite man brought a Midianite woman into the Camp of Israel, Pinchas, the son of the High Priest, was so enraged that he killed both of them with one thrust of a spear – a human shish-kabob!  Although it was forbidden for a Levite to take the law into his own hands, God accepted this “act of atonement” and rewarded Pinchas’ zealousness by selecting him to succeed his father as High Priest.

The End of the Plagues

This Plague of Death was the final purging for Israel; the first generation was gone (except for two: Joshua & Caleb), and the new generation was ready to conquer the Promised Land.  But first … another census.  During the 40-year Exodus, the Children of Israel seemingly “marched in place” waiting for that first generation to die out.  The ending census was only 1,820 people fewer than the beginning census 40 years earlier; a generation of zero growth.  The ending census served two purposes: it identified all the military-age men who were going into the battles for the Promised Land, and it determined the size of each tribe for distribution of The Land after they conquered it.

The Daughters of Zelophehad

Deep within the census of Manasseh was Zelophehad, who had died during the Exodus and left no male heirs to inherit his land portion.  So his five daughters petitioned Moses to allow their father’s inheritance to come to them – specifically the land.  After Moses consulted with God, their petition was granted providing the daughters married within their tribe, thus insuring the land stayed within the tribe.  At first glance this looks like one of those weird ancient Middle-Eastern customs that is meaningless to us today.  However, Yeshua’s claim to the Throne of David rests upon this ruling! Yeshua had no inheritance through His step-father Joseph’s line; it had to come through Mary.  Because Mary had no brothers, her inheritance (to the Throne of David) became Yeshua’s because of the ruling for the Daughters of Zelophehad.  Yeshua has truly fulfilled all the Torah and the prophecies!

The Sacrifices Detailed

The final chapters are a rehearsal of the sacrifices that God ordained at Sinai.  Once in The Land, Israel must offer the Firstfruits of every harvest, and these verses give the details of each Feast sacrifice.

The Zealousness of Pinchas

Because of the zealousness of Pinchas, the final plague was stopped and Israel was ready to enter The Land; very shortly Joshua’s zealousness would bring them God’s Victory over their enemies.  And it is our zealousness for God that brings us victory over our enemy!

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