Parashat 41 Portion 118 - Pinchas – B’Midbar 25:10-26:51 Mal 2:1-9 Yoh 3:31-36

Some rabbis compare Pinchas to Eliyahu (Elijah) the prophet.
     Mal 4:4  “Remember the Torah of Mosheh, My servant, which I commanded him in Ḥorĕḇ for all Yisra’ĕl – laws and right-rulings.
     Mal 4:5  “See, I am sending you Ěliyah1 the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of יהוה. Footnote: 1Lk. 1:17.
     Mal 4:6  “And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with utter destruction1.” Footnote: 1Zech. 14:11.

“Pinchas” means “bronze mouth” or “serpent’s mouth.” The two mean essentially the same thing. The episode of the bronze serpent, raised up in the wilderness for Yisrael’s repentance and healing, demonstrates a strong spiritual link between the metal and the creature. They are both symbols of judgment. In this incident, Pinchas acted as the teeth of the serpent, carrying out judgment against the worst perpetrators of rebellion in the camp, by publicly and violently enforcing YHVH’s standards of sexual purity.  Pinchas  temporarily halted the corruption of the nation of Israel as well as securing YHVH’s blessing of peace on himself  for generations.

The two perpetrators Kozbi and Zimri  that were executed by Pinchas were most probably committing the most unspeakable of all crimes -  fornicating in the most set apart place of the tabernacle!

Why snake mouth? – Maybe the Father is bringing a restoration of a prophetic priesthood in these days, the kind of restoration that might not go down to well with most of us. Many believers are going to hear and be exposed to a genuine end -time prophetic voice that most will find hard to accept and not willing to listen to. They may even accuse such an unpopular “priesthood” of “speaking like the devil” – “Snake mouth”

“The true greatness of Pinchas lay in that he acted in complete opposition to his nature, transcending his inborn instincts to bring peace between HaShem and Israel.”(The Lubavitcher Rebbe)

Pinchas did not enjoy bringing a harsh judgment but he knew that he could not stand by idly and simply watch and grieve. His actions brought redemption and a promise of an everlasting covenant of peace.  The plague that came upon Yisrael was stopped because of his actions. This may once again be the case in the last days that a “Pinchas” people will save many from the plague and destruction of the coming great tribulation by acting in complete opposition to the way they would normally have acted.
This ministry of Pincahas also points to the ministry of Yochanan the immerser – John the bapist – his message was that people must repent and prepare their hearts for the coming Messiah.

Joh 3:23  And Yoḥanan was also immersing in Ayin near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. And they were coming and were being immersed,

The commentaries tell us that the place of “Ayin” was close to Shechem – the entry point of the Israelites when they entered the land of Yisrael. This is near the very place the events of this parashah occurred.

Joh 3:27  Yoḥanan answered and said, “No man is able to receive(get-active verb) any matter unless it is given(passive verb) to him from the heaven.

The context is about getting revelation from YHVH – this is a gift from heaven.  Flesh and blood cannot give to us the mind and heart of YHVH; flesh and blood cannot give to us Messiah’s true essence. Perhaps getting the true witness of Yahshua is going to be the “seal” of YHVH upon the lives of those who will return to Yisrael in the latter days.

Joh 3:33  “He who receives(one getting – ongoing verb action) His witness has set his seal that Elohim is true.

This knowledge must be taken (not just received) it is a witness of Messiah’s mission and message. When we take it as it has been given by heaven it becomes a seal on us for all of YHVH’s truth.

Joh 3:34  “For He whom Elohim has sent speaks the Words of Elohim, for Elohim does not give the Spirit by measure.
Joh 3:35  “The Father loves the Son, and has given all into His hand.
Joh 3:36  “He who believes(Gk verb) in the Son possesses everlasting life, but he who does not obey the Son(Gk verb – unbelieving or disobedient) shall not see life, but the wrath of Elohim remains on him.”

We see that Moshe (Torah) and Eliyahu (prophetic restoration) will strongly feature again in the last days prior to the return of Messiah.

Mat 17:3  And see, Mosheh and Ěliyahu appeared to them, talking with Him.
Mat 17:9  And as they were coming down from the mountain, יהושע commanded them, saying, “Do not mention the vision to anyone until the Son of Aḏam is raised from the dead.”
Mat 17:10  And His taught ones asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Ěliyahu has to come first?”
Mat 17:11  And יהושע answering, said to them, “Ěliyahu is indeed coming first, and shall restore all matters.1 Footnote:1See Mark 9:12 and Acts 3:21.
Mat 17:12  “But I say to you that Ěliyahu has already come, and they did not recognise him but did to him whatever they wished. In this way the Son of Aḏam is also about to suffer by them.”
Mat 17:13  Then the taught ones understood that He had spoken to them about Yoḥanan the Immerser.

The book of Revelation speaks of two witnesses who may be Moshe and Eliyahu. Some believe they are two groups of people who carry the values and the ministry of Moshe and Eliyahu. Moshe and Eliyahu could also represent the two houses of Yisrael.

Rev 11:3  “And I shall give unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clad in sackcloth.”
Rev 11:4  These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that are standing before the Elohim of the earth.
Rev 11:5  And if anyone wishes to harm them, fire comes out from their mouth and consumes their enemies. And if anyone wishes to harm them, he has to be killed in that way.
Rev 11:6  These possess authority to shut the heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy. And they possess authority over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they wish.
Rev 11:7  And when they have ended their witness, the beast coming up out of the pit of the deep shall fight against them, and overcome them, and kill them,
Rev 11:8  and their dead bodies lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Seḏom and Mitsrayim, where also our Master was impaled,
Rev 11:9  and some of the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations see their dead bodies for three and a half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be placed into tombs,
Rev 11:10  and those dwelling on the earth rejoice over them and exult. And they shall send gifts to each other, because these two prophets tortured those dwelling on the earth.
Rev 11:11  And after the three and a half days a spirit of life from Elohim entered into them, and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.

Aliyah Rishon 25:10-26:4
Bemidbar/Num 25:10  And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying,
Num 25:11  “Pineḥas, son of El’azar, son of Aharon the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Yisra’ĕl, because he was ardent with My ardour in their midst, so that I did not consume the children of Yisra’ĕl in My ardour

Num 25:12  “Therefore say, ‘See, I am giving him My covenant of peace,
Num 25:13  and it shall be to him and to his seed after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was ardent for his Elohim, and made atonement for the children of Yisra’ĕl.’ ”
Num 25:14  And the name of the Yisra’ĕlite who was killed, who was killed with the Miḏyanite woman, was Zimri, son of Salu, a leader of a father’s house among the Shim’onites.
Num 25:15  And the name of the Miḏyanite woman who was killed was Kozbi the daughter of Tsur. He was head of the people of a father’s house in Miḏyan.

There are two jots or tittles in the opening verses of this parasha (Mat 5:18.). In verse 11 there is a tittle over the “yud” in “Pinchas” and there is a broken “vav” in the word “shalom” in verse 12. What do they mean?
There is much speculation as to the meaning of these marked words. Obviously Moshe was attempting to draw our attention to some important hidden truth in the text.

I believe these tittles always have some reference to the Messiah. Pinchas and his actions were a type of Messianic restoration. I believe this could be referring to an end time group of believers who have embraced a Torah observant Jewish Messiah that will bring a prophetic message of warning against many who have been proclaiming a false or broken peace (broken vav).  This small remnant has always existed. The broken vav could also refer to the fact that these faithful end time witness in themselves could not bring perfect peace into the world because there is only one who can do that – Yahshua Ha Mashiach.
The diminished yud and broken vav could also be a hidden warning that the anti Messiah may try to do the same thing one day.

The scary thing is that the anti messiah could sound just like Yochanan the immerser. The devil knows the truth and will do all that is allowed to distort that truth and deceive most people.

Mat 24:24  “For false messiahs and false prophets shall arise, and they shall show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones.
Mat 24:25  “See, I have forewarned you.
Mat 24:26  “So if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe.

1Th 5:1  Now, brothers, as to the times and the seasons, you do not need to be written to.
1Th 5:2  For you yourselves know very well that the day of יהוה comes as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3  For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then suddenly destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman, and they shall not escape.
1Th 5:4  But you, brothers, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.

Num 25:16  And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying,
Num 25:17  “Distress the Miḏyanites! And you shall smite them,
Num 25:18  for they distressed you with their tricks with which they deceived you in the matter of Pe’or and in the matter of Kozbi, the daughter of a leader of Miḏyan, their sister, who was killed in the day of the plague because of Pe’or.”

Num 26:1  And it came to be, after the plague, that יהוה spoke to Mosheh and El’azar, son of Aharon the priest, saying,
Num 26:2  “Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Yisra’ĕl from twenty years old and above, by their fathers’ houses, everyone going out to the army in Yisra’ĕl.”
Num 26:3  So Mosheh and El’azar the priest spoke with them in the desert plains of Mo’aḇ by the Yardĕn of Yeriḥo, saying,
Num 26:4  “Take a census of the people from twenty years old and above, as יהוה commanded Mosheh and the children of Yisra’ĕl who came out of the land of Mitsrayim.”

Why did YHVH command a census at this time? (v. 1ff.)

Rashi: This could be compared to a shepherd whose flock was attacked by wolves and some sheep were killed, so he counted them to know how many were left. Earlier, at the end of Parshat Balak, we read how the Jewish people were punished for the sin of Ba'al Pe'or in two ways: i.) There was a plague which killed 24,000 people (25:9). ii.) "Moshe said to the judges of Israel, 'Each of you should kill men who became attached to Ba'al Pe'or'" (v. 5 ibid.). Rashi explains: "Each one of the Jewish judges executed two men, and there were 88,000 Jewish judges." From this it follows that 166,000 people were executed by the judges, a much greater loss than that which occurred through the plague.”

The term used for the first counting Yisraelites (census) that took place was “gulgoleth” or skull, the same word that comes from “Golgotha”. This second counting of Yisrealites, the word “adat” or congregation is used. The first time they counted the skulls and the second time they counted the congregation. Could this possibly refer to the possibility that not all those who are “saved” or “born again” will be included in the final count of the Assembly of YHVH (the bride of Messiah) that are to enter into the promised land?  (see vs 26:63-65)

Num 26:63  These are the ones registered by Mosheh and Elʽazar the priest, who registered the sons of Yisra’ĕl in the desert plains of Mo’aḇ by the Yardĕn of Yeriḥo.
Num 26:64  But among these there was not a man of those registered by Mosheh and Aharon the priest when they registered the sons of Yisra’ĕl in the Wilderness of Sinai.
Num 26:65  For יהוה had said of them, “They shall certainly die in the wilderness.” And not a man was left of them, except Kalĕḇ son of Yephunneh, and Yehoshua son of Nun.

Aliyah Sheni 26:5-51
The Israelites are counted, and the totals are given for each of the twelve tribes. The grand total of all the tribes combined is 601,730. The tribe of Levi is not included in this census. The census total given in vs 51 is almost identical to the census taken shortly after the exodus (Num 1:46) Here it is 1820 fewer which is surprising given the amazing fertility of the nation in Egypt. Statisticians claim from the number of families given by the number of first borns, it is evident that most men must have had  several wives - (do the maths, if there are approximately 22 000 families and the census yields more than 600 000 men over 20 years old, the only conclusion is that the families must have been very large)

Additional midrash in the light of this parashah: 
It is interesting to note that next month rosh chodesh of Aviv we celebrate the dedication of the mishkan – tabernacle – but also the tragic death of Nadav and Abihu.
This week we celebrated Rosh Chodesh Adar – the same week we considered the death of Kozbi and Zimri.

We see that tragic death can come upon the pious as well as the perverse in the presence of YHVH. This should cause us to fear YHVH and His judgments.

Not even Shaul was certain of his destiny in terms of being counted amongst the Bride of Messiah.
Php 3:10  to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
Php 3:11  if(Gk – ei - conditional conjuction) somehow I might attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Shaul was certain that he would not enter into a destiny of being damned or lost, however he seemed uncertain if he would be worthy of the first resurrection of those who would be the bride of Messiah.

Rev 12:9 speaking of the end times, indicates that almost everyone will be deceived by ha satan.

Rev 12:9  And the great dragon was thrown out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who leads all the world astray. He was thrown to the earth, and his messengers were thrown out with him.

The whole world will not be deceived overnight, however many who thought that they could never be deceived will be deceived

This past week (Febr 2015) two significant events took place:

Hollywood released a movie entitled “50 Shades of Gray”
Quote: “Fifty Shades of Grey” sizzled at the weekend box office, setting new records for the highest-grossing Presidents Day holiday opener of all time and ranking among the biggest R-rated debuts in history.