Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 25:13

and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the sons of Israel.'"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Covenant;   Decision;   Fear of God;   Israel;   Phinehas;   Zeal, Religious;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Atonement, under the Law;   High Priest, the;   Zeal;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Idol, Idolatry;   Midianites;   Moabites;   Phinehas;   Simeon;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Balaam;   Jealousy;   Midian;   Phinehas;   Priest;   Zadok;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Covenant;   Peace;   Priest, Priesthood;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Covenant;   Everlasting;   Zeal;   Zimri;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Census;   Pentateuch;   Zimri;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Covenant;   High Priest;   Jealousy;   Midian, Midianites;   Numbers, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Atonement;   Jealousy;   Malachi;   Moses;   Numbers, Book of;   Phinehas;   Priests and Levites;   Propitiation;   Zimri;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Zeal;   Zeal (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Canaanite, the ;   Midian, Midianites ;   Phinehas ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Balaam;   Phinehas;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Baal;   Phinehas;   Shittim;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ba'al,;   Phin'ehas;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Zeal;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Peculiarities of the Law of Moses;   On to Canaan;   Moses, the Man of God;   Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Covenant, in the Old Testament;   Cozbi;   Midianitish Woman;   Moses;   Phinehas;   Priest, High;   Zimri (1);   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Alexander Jannæ;   Anger;   Balaam;   Covenant;   ;   Phinehas;   Priest;   Salt;   Zealots;   Zimri;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he shall have it, and his seed after him,.... The covenant, and all the blessings of it; so the covenant stands fast with Christ, and all his spiritual seed, Psalm 89:28,

even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; or this may be read in connection with the preceding words, and the sense be, and he and his shall have the covenant of an everlasting priesthood, beside the covenant of peace before promised to him: the Aaronic priesthood is called everlasting, because it was to continue, and did continue, throughout the whole Jewish dispensation, unto the coming of the Messiah, in whom it had its fulfilling end. Now though Phinehas in course was to have the priesthood at his father's death, yet it is here promised him on account of his zeal, both to assure him that he should survive his father, and that nothing should befall him that should render him incapable of the priesthood; and moreover, that he should have a seed in whom it should be continued; there was indeed an interruption of it in his line for a little while, on some account or other, it being translated into the family of Eli, a son of Ithamar; but then it was restored again in the time of Solomon to the family of Phinehas, where it continued unto the captivity, and even to the times of Herod, and so of the Messiah: in this also Phinehas was a type of Christ, the covenant made with him not only being from everlasting and to everlasting, a covenant that cannot be broken, and will never be removed; but the priesthood founded on it is so too, being established by the oath of God, who swore to him, "thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek": Christ's priesthood is an unchangeable one, and does not pass from one to another; his sacrifice has a perpetual virtue and efficacy in it to take away sin, and he ever lives to make intercession for his people, Hebrews 7:21,

because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel; by executing judgment upon the delinquents, as Christ has made atonement for the sins of his people by satisfying law and justice: and, besides what has been observed, it may be remarked, that there is an agreement between Phinehas and Christ in his very name; Phinehas signifies either "the face of him that spares", that is, of God, that spares; Christ is the face of God, the express image of his person, even of him, who, though he spared not Christ himself, yet he spares his people for Christ's sake; or else "he shall look that spares", or "and spare"F7Vid. Hiller. Onomastic. Sacr. p. 476. ; that is, God, who looks upon the person, righteousness, blood, and sacrifice of his Son, and spares his people.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Numbers 25:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-25.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And he shall have it, and his seed after him, [even] the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an g atonement for the children of Israel.

(g) He has pacified God's wrath.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Numbers 25:13". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/numbers-25.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.

At everlasting priesthood — To continue as long as the law and common-wealth of the Jews did. But this promise was conditional, and therefore might be made void, by the miscarriages of Phinehas's sons, as it seems it was, and thereupon a like promise was made to Eli of the line of Ithamar, that he and his should walk before the Lord, namely, in the office of high-priest, for ever, which also for his and their sins was made void, 1 Samuel 2:30. And the the priesthood returned to Phinehas's line in the time of Solomon, 1 Kings 2:26,27,34.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Numbers 25:13". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/numbers-25.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

atonement

(See Scofield "Exodus 29:33").

Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
Bibliographical Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Numbers 25:13". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/numbers-25.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Numbers 25:13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, [even] the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.

Ver. 13. Because he was zealous for his God.] Enraged, as a jealous man, with a holy hatred of sin, and inflamed with love to God, Quem aliter amare non didicerat, as Chrysostom speaks of Basil. Non amat, qui non zelat, saith Augustine. (a) He is no friend to God that is not zealous for him. To one that desired to know what kind of man Basil was, there was presented in a dream, saith the history, a pillar of fire, with this motto, Talis est Basilius, Basil is such a one, all on a light fire for God.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Numbers 25:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/numbers-25.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And his seed after him.

Quest. What advantage had he by this promise, seeing the thing here promised was due to him by birth?

Answ. 1. The same blessing may be ofttimes promised, as the kingdom was to David; and the renewing of this promise might seem convenient here, To signify that bloodshed was so far from polluting him, and thereby casting him out of the priesthood, that it was a mean to confirm him in it.

2. This promise secured him and his against divers contingencies, which otherwise might have befallen him or them; as that he should live longer than his father, else he could not have been the high priest; that he should be preserved from those blemishes which might have rendered him incapable of the priesthood, which were many; that he should have a seed, and they such as were fit for that office.

An everlasting priesthood, i.e. to continue as long as the law and commonwealth of the Jews did.

Quest. How was this verified, seeing the priesthood went from Eleazar’s to Ithamar’s line in Eli and three or four of his successors? Answ. 1. This promise, as others of the like nature, was conditional, and therefore might be made void, and of none effect, by the miscarriages of Phinehas’s sons, as it seems it was; and thereupon a like promise was made to Eli of the line of Ithamar, that he and his should walk before the Lord, to wit, in the office of high priest, for ever, which also for his and their sins was made void, 1 Samuel 2:30.

Answ. 2. That was but a short interruption, and not considerable in so long a succession, for the priesthood returned to Phinehas’s line in the time of Solomon, 1 Kings 2:26,27,35 1 Chronicles 24:3; and continued in that line till the captivity of Babylon, as is evident, and afterward too, 1 Chronicles 6:4 Ezra 7:1,5, even until Christ’s time, for any thing which appears to the contrary.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 25:13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/numbers-25.html. 1685.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Seed. A short interruption of 150 years (from Heli to Abiathar, of the race of Ithamar) may be accounted trifling in a duration of so many ages, during which the posterity of Phinees enjoyed this dignity. Phinees succeeded Eleazar and had for his successors, Abiezer Bocci, and Elsi. (Calmet) --- Some add Zararias, Meraioth, and Amarias, upon whose death, 1157 years before Christ, Heli got possession, by some means, and was followed by Achitob, Achielech, and Abiathar, of the same family, till David joined Sadoc with the latter, and he was acknowledged sole pontiff on the rebellion of Abiathar, B.C. 1014. See Lenglet's tables. (Haydock) --- We have no proof that the succeeding high priests were of a different family, (Calmet) till our Saviour's time, who re-united in his person the right both to his priesthood and to the kingdom of Israel for ever. See St. Augustine, City of God xvii. 6. (Haydock) --- God did not promise that no interruption should take place. He only granted a perpetual right to the family of Phinees, (Cajetan) which they might forfeit by their misconduct. (Tirinus) --- He was certainly always disposed to comply with his promise, and really granted the effects of it to the posterity of Phinees, at least for almost 1000 years, even if we grant that the Machabees were not his lineal descendants, of which there is no positive proof either way. Thus, for ever, often denotes a long duration. Though Phinees was entitled already to the high priesthood, in quality of the eldest son of Eleazar, he had before no assurance of surviving him, nor of having a succession of children who might be capable of the high office, and free from every blemish; (Calmet) so that the promise made to him was not only a ratification of his title, but a new and real benefit. (Haydock) --- Zealous. The Jews allow any person to kill one who publicly, or in the presence of ten people, commits idolatry, sacrilege, fornication with a strange woman, and also a priest who, being unclean, approaches to the altar. This they call the judgment of zeal. (Selden, Jur. iv. 4.; Grotius, ii. 20.) This practice they authorize by the example of Phinees, Mathathias, &c. (1 Machabees ii. 24.) Such liberty was carried to a great excess, by the Zealots, in the last siege of Jerusalem; and it would be very criminal, where such a law is not in force. (Calmet) --- Phinees was, however, either one of the judges, and thus gave an example of just severity to his fellow magistrates, or he was inspired by God to resent the public injury done to his name. It is never lawful to kill by private authority. (Roman Catechism p. 3., chap. vi. 5.; St. Thomas Aquinas, [Summa Theologiae] ii. 2, q. lx. 6.) (Worthington) --- Those who act under the influence of inspiration must be very careful not to give in to any delusion; and the examples of holy persons who are mentioned, with applause, in Scripture, for having been the instruments of God's vengeance, will not authorize us to do the like, unless we can produce the like testimony. (Haydock) --- Atonement, by averting the scourge of God, (ver. 8, 11,) and by putting a stop to the corruption of the people, which might otherwise have greatly increased, if Zambri had escaped with impunity. (Calmet)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Numbers 25:13". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/numbers-25.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

he shall have it. See Psalms 106:30, Psalms 106:31, and Malachi 2:4, Malachi 2:5. Compare 1 Chronicles 6:4-15. 1 Samuel 22:18. 1 Kings 2:27 with 1 Samuel 14:17. Also 1 Chronicles 6:4-15. Ezra was of his line (Ezra 7:1, Ezra 7:5).

everlasting priesthood. Restored to Phinehas, and remained with him, after Eli.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

atonement. See note on Exodus 29:33.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 25:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/numbers-25.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(13) And he shall have it, and his seed after him.—The covenant of peace, which was made by the blood of the Cross, and all the blessings which belong to that covenant, stand fast with Christ, and are secured to His spiritual seed. (Comp. Psalms 89:28-29.)

Even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood.—Phinehas succeeded his father Eleazar as high priest (Judges 20:28). After a temporary interruption in the succession, which existed in the time of Eli, and continued until the time of David, when there appears to have been a joint high-priesthood, the office was restored by Solomon to Zadok, the descendant of Phinehas, and so continued until the gradual dissolution of the Jewish state. Christ’s priesthood is “an unchangeable priesthood” (Hebrews 7:24): “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 7:17).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Numbers 25:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/numbers-25.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.
his seed
1 Samuel 2:30; 1 Kings 2:27; 1 Chronicles 6:4-15,50-53
an everlasting
Exodus 40:15; Isaiah 61:6; Jeremiah 33:18,22; Hebrews 7:11,17,18; 1 Peter 2:5,9; Revelation 1:6
zealous
1 Kings 19:10,14; Psalms 69:9; 106:31; 119:139; John 2:17; Acts 22:3-5; Romans 10:2-4
atonement
Exodus 32:30; Joshua 7:12; 2 Samuel 21:3; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2
Reciprocal: Genesis 17:8 - everlasting;  Leviticus 1:4 - atonement;  Leviticus 15:15 - an atonement;  Numbers 31:3 - avenge the Lord;  Deuteronomy 18:5 - General1 Samuel 2:35 - I will build;  2 Samuel 21:14 - God;  Nehemiah 13:29 - the covenant;  Malachi 2:5 - covenant;  Titus 2:14 - zealous

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 25:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-25.html.