Pinchas Num 25:10 – 29:31
This Torah portion, Pinchas, is named for Aaron’s grandson. Note, Pinchas is often transliterated as Phinehas or Phineas.
Summary: YHVH says to Moses that Pinchas, Aaron’s grandson stayed a plague and calmed His anger against the children of Israel. Pinchas had demonstrated his zealousness by killing Zimri (of the tribe of Simeon) and Cozbi (who was of Midianite royalty) for their cohabitation. As such, YHVH proclaims that the priesthood will descend from Pinchas. Following the end of the plague against the Children of Israel, YHVH tells Moses and Eleazar (Aaron’s son) to take a second census of men age 20 and up (fit for military service). This number is 601,730. The Levites are counted separately, all males from the age of 30 days and up, for a total of 23,000. The Tribes are assigned land in Canaan by lottery and by size of the tribe based on patrilineage. The daughters of Tzelophehad approach Moses, Eleazar and the princes requesting that they be allowed to have an ancestral holding in the Promised Land in the name of their father who died, leaving no sons. Moses approached YHVH for a decision who found in favor of the women. YHVH repeats to Moses and he cannot enter the Promised Land because of what happened at the waters of Meribeth-Kadesh [Moses struck the rock twice to bring forth water rather than to talk to it as YHVH had instructed]. Moses asks that a new leader be assigned to lead the people and YHVH names Joshua as Moses’ successor, to work with Eleazar the priest, who will use the Urim and Thummim [oracular devices] for Divine decisions. The Torah then provides a list of sacrifices for daily offerings, the Sabbath, the New Moon, Passover, Shavuoth (Feast of Weeks), the New Year and the Day of Atonement, and Succoth.