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Parashat Pinchas and the Gospel

The Gospel of Pinchas

Further thoughts on Parashat Pinchas

by John J. Parsons

In the Torah summary study of Pinchas, I noted that the broken Vav that appears in Numbers 25:12 is a textual oddity that alludes to the brokenness of the Messiah for our ultimate deliverance.


Since the Hebrew letter Vav (ו) traditionally represents the number of Man (i.e., 6), the broken Vav represents a man that is broken. This verse then alludes to a man has been broken for the sake of a covenant of peace that brought atonement to Israel - a clear picture of Yeshua the Mashiach and His ultimate deliverance for us. Note further that the broken word shalom could also be read as שְׁלִים, meaning "complete," indicating that the covenant is one of completion, finality, and perfection.

According to the sages, the covenant of peace was a guarantee to Pinchas that he would free from the influence of the malakh ha-mavet (the Angel of Death). Therefore Pinchas was transformed into the prophet Elijah (אֵלִיָּהוּ הַנָּבִיא) who was taken up and never died. Because Pinchas kept the people true to their circumcision, he merited being present at every Brit Milah, and therefore the "Chair of Elijah" is really the Chair of Pinchas!

There is another textual oddity regarding this matter. The letter Yod in the name Pinchas (Num. 25:11) is undersized. As the smallest of the Hebrew letters, the Yod is considered a picture of humility. The zeal of Pinchas is therefore understood in light of his humilty and devotion. Even though Pinchas had executed judgment on behalf of the LORD, he was given peace.

The sages further note that the Hebrew the phrase, "he [Pinchas] made atonement for the people of Israel" (וַיְכַפֵּר עַל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל) does not use the standard לכפּר construct ("to atone" for) but instead uses יְכַפֵּר, and therefore could read: "he atones for Israel till the end of all generations."

The idea of the "Covenant of Peace" (בְּרִית שָׁלוֹם) appears throughout the Scriptures, of course, and is made explicit in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament). Therefore one of the Names of God is "The God of Peace" (אֱלהֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם). God has made peace with mankind by means of the sacrifice of His Son Yeshua (Rom. 5:1):

    He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins... And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, he reconciled all things to himself... (Col. 1:13-14,20)

Yeshua is the true Peacemaker who is called "the Prince of Peace" (שַׂר־שָׁלוֹם, Isa. 9:6). He is the bechor (firstborn, πρωτότοκος) of all creation; the radiance (zohar) of God's glory, and the exact representation ("stamp," "imprint" or "die") of his God's essence and Person (χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως θεοῦ - "the character of God's substance" (Heb. 1:3)).  All things were created by him and for him, and in him all things "stick together" (Col. 1:16-17). Indeed, in "all things" Yeshua has the preeminence. To all those who submit by faith to the sacrifice of God's Son for their sins, the LORD offers a new covenant of peace, an Eternal Healing of the rift between God and man.

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