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    A man over the congregation – Pinchas

    Moses appoints Joshua his successor, woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1860

    Moses is in the autumn of his life. His career is almost over. He pleads with God to set a man over the congregation (Num. 27:16).

    What motivates this request at this point?

    Possibly the events involving Pinchas. Moses used to think that Pinchas would be a good person to take over the leadership of the people, but now he sees that Pinchas may be too rash and confrontational… too much of a fanatic to enjoy the confidence of the people.

    What the task requires is someone who will be above the people, above the quarrels and divisive issues of the congregation… a man who will be looked up to and not be dragged down to the level of the street.

    In the end God’s choice is Joshua, Moses’ long-time aide.

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