“Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed. And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore” (Psalm 106:30,31).
Our text is a summary statement of an event that is recorded in Numbers 25. The children of Israel “began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. . . . Israel joined himself unto Baal-Peor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel” (vv.1,3). A plague resulted, and Moses was commanded to execute all of the idolaters.
In the midst of this terrible time, while the nation wept “before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation” (v.6), an Israelite man brought “unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation” (v.6). Phinehas, grandson to Aaron the high priest, picked up a “javelin,” followed the man and woman into the tent, and “thrust both of them through” (vv.7,8). And the Lord said to Moses, “Phinehas . . . hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them” (vv.10,11). God established the “covenant of an everlasting priesthood” (v.13) on that day with Phinehas.
How could Phinehas, a Levitical priest, have been possessor of an everlasting priesthood in the face of the New Covenant (Hebrews 8–10). A study of Phinehas’ descendants reveals God’s preservation of his family. His last descendant mentioned in Scripture is Jaddua, who aligned himself with Nehemiah, and those of whom it is said, they had “knowledge” and “understanding” (Nehemiah 10:28).
Phinehas’ everlasting priesthood was nothing less than that given by Him who had “by His own blood . . . entered in once into the Holy place, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12) and “made us kings and priests” (Revelation 1:6). CJH