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    Who was Pinchas?

    Pinchas had pi-nechas (nechoshet), “a mouth of brass”. He was a gallant warrior who was indignant when he saw people rebelling against God and the Torah.

    As a priest, a grandson of Aharon HaKohen, he should never have taken up a weapon and killed the sinners, but God recognised that he had acted out of zeal for the Divine name.

    There looks like a contrast between the grandfather and the grandson. Aharon was a man of peace whilst Pinchas seems to be a man of war.

    When God said that Pinchas had “turned away My wrath from the Children of Israel” (Num. 25:11), He added, “I award him a covenant of peace”, which means that in some way Pinchas had promoted the ideal of peace.

    But why did God call it a covenant? What form of peace did Pinchas promote?

    Peace between the Israelites? Perhaps, since the sinners had shattered the unity of the people.

    But in a higher sense, peace between God and Israel. No covenant could survive if one party went in one direction and the other party followed a different path.

    Pinchas restored the covenant.

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