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    Covenant of peace – Pinchas

    After Pinchas stepped forward and committed a strong act in defence of Divine morality he was in danger of forfeiting his rank and status as a kohen.

    However, God did not punish him but said, “I give him My covenant of peace” (Num. 25:12).

    The usual interpretation is that shalom confirms that God and Pinchas are at peace despite the deeds that Pinchas has carried out.

    Another view is that the word refers to the priestly blessing in Parashat Naso, where God appoints the kohanim as His representatives to utter the blessing that ends, “May He give you grant you peace”.

    According to the second view, God is confirming that Pinchas has not lost his place amongst the kohanim and is still worthy of pronouncing the Divine blessing.

    Pinchas is not only to say the word shalom but will ever afterwards be looked upon by the people as the man who took peace seriously, not only paying lip service to an ideal but showing that a person who preaches peace must be willing to identify with it even if it puts his own status and survival at risk.

    In Psalm 15 we are told that the tzaddik “swears to his own detriment”.

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