Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 25:7

When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he arose from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Dart;   Decision;   Fear of God;   Fellowship;   Israel;   Miscegenation;   Phinehas;   Women;   Zeal, Religious;   Zimri;   Thompson Chain Reference - Javelin;   Phinehas;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Alliance and Society with the Enemies of God;   Spear;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Balaam;   Idol, Idolatry;   Midianites;   Moabites;   Phinehas;   Simeon;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Balaam;   Midian;   Phinehas;   Priest;   Weapons;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Armour;   Javelin;   Phinehas;   Zimri;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Capital Punishment;   Crimes and Punishments;   High Priest;   Midian, Midianites;   Numbers, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Beth-Peor;   Moses;   Phinehas;   Zimri;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Dives;   Sanhedrin;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Javelin;   Midian, Midianites ;   Phinehas ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Balaam;   Phinehas;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Armor;   Arms;   Baal;   Phinehas;   Shittim;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Arms, Armor;   Ba'al,;   Phin'ehas;   Punishments;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Arms;   Phinehas;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Peculiarities of the Law of Moses;   On to Canaan;   Moses, the Man of God;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Cozbi;   Midianitish Woman;   Moses;   Phinehas;   Punishments;   Zimri (1);   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Baal;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Acacia;   Balaam;   Crime;   Fornication;   ;   Judaism;   Phinehas;   Sidra;   Simeon, Tribe of;   Zimri;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it,.... Saw the man pass by in this impudent manner, and his whore with him; his spirit was stirred up, he was filled and fired with zeal for the glory of God, and with an holy indignation against the sin and sinner, and with a just concern for the honour of the righteous law of God; and, to prevent others from falling into the same sin, led by the public example of so great a personage, as it appears afterwards this man was:

he rose up from among the congregation; who were weeping at the door of the tabernacle, or from the midst of the court of judicature, set for trying and judging such persons who were charged with idolatry; for he was not only the son of the high priest and his successor, but a ruler over the Korahites, and had, besides his priestly office, a civil authority, 1 Chronicles 9:20.

and took a javelin in his hand; a spear or pike; the Jews sayF25Pirke Eliezer, c. 47. fol. 56. 1. he snatched it out of the hand of Moses; and, according to JosephusF26Antiqu. l. 4. c. 6. sect. 12. , it was a sword; but the word rather signifies an hand pike; this being ready at hand, he took it up and pursued the criminal.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Numbers 25:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-25.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Numbers 25:7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw [it], he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;

Ver. 7. He rose up.] A heroical act, by an extraordinary motion: as was also that of Ehud; and therefore is not to be made a rule of practice, as Burchet conceited, when by this example he held himself warranted to kill a great personage in this kingdom, whom he took to be a vicious man, and God’s enemy.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Numbers 25:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/numbers-25.html. 1865-1868.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Numbers 25:7. Phinehas rose up — The psalmist says, He stood up and executed judgment; which seems to import that he acted as a judge; but in a crime so presumptuous, and so openly committed, he thought it not necessary to wait for a judicial process against the offenders, but cut them off directly with his own hand. It is thought too, not without reason, that the number and dignity of the offenders intimidated the judges from executing their office. So that unless Phinehas, by this seasonable zeal for God, and the interests of the public, had supported the authority of the laws, either a total anarchy had ensued, or the whole body of the people been exposed to the severest judgments from God.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 25:7". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/numbers-25.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Dagger. Josephus translates romach, by romphaia, "a sword." Septuagint by seiromasten, a long and sharp iron rod, like a spit, such as people used to try if any smuggled goods be concealed. (Haydock) --- It denotes any sort of offensive weapon. (Calmet) --- The Vulgate sometimes translates, a lance or spear. (Menochius)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Numbers 25:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/numbers-25.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Phinehas. Compare Psalms 106:30.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 25:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/numbers-25.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;

Phinehas ... saw it, he rose up ... - i:e., he assumed the office of judge, and performed the duty from which, probably in deference to the princely rank of the offender, the ordinary magistrates appeared to shrink. Judges in ancient Israel both pronounced and executed judgment.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 25:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/numbers-25.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(7) And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest . . . —In accordance with this punctuation, the designation the priest (which generally denotes the high priest) refers to Aaron, not to Phinehas. Eleazar was the high priest at this time (Numbers 20:26); and consequently—although as a general rule any designation which follows the words “the son of such an one” refers to the former, not to the latter noun—it appears most probable that the designation the priest has reference here to Aaron, not to Phinehas, who, although a priest, was not the high priest at this time. He was invested, however, with civil as well as ecclesiastical authority. (See 1 Chronicles 9:20, where he is described as a ruler—Hebrew, nagid.)

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Numbers 25:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/numbers-25.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
Phinehas
Exodus 6:25; Joshua 22:30,31; Judges 20:28
a javelin
1 Samuel 18:10,11; 19:9
Reciprocal: Exodus 22:20 - sacrificeth;  Exodus 32:27 - slay every man;  Numbers 8:9 - shalt gather the whole;  Numbers 31:6 - Phinehas;  Joshua 22:13 - Phinehas;  Judges 3:21 - thrust it;  1 Samuel 15:33 - hewed;  Ezra 7:5 - Phinehas;  Ezekiel 9:5 - Go;  Ephesians 4:26 - ye

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 25:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-25.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

7.And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar. The courage of Phinehas is celebrated, who, whilst the rest were hesitating, inflamed with holy zeal, hastens forward to inflict punishment. The backwardness of others is therefore condemned by implication, though their tears were praiseworthy; but, since they were almost stupified by grief, their virtue was not dear from all defect. And certainly, whilst the yet unbridled licentiousness of the people was foaming like a tempestuous sea, we cannot wonder that the minds of the good were altogether or partially disabled. Hence was the zeal of Phinehas the more distinguished, when he did not hesitate to provoke so many worthless and wicked persons infuriated by their lechery. If any object that he transgressed the limits of his calling, when he laid hold of the sword with which God had not armed him, to inflict capital punishment, the reply is obvious, that our calling is not always confined to its ordinary office, inasmuch as God sometimes requires new and unusual acts of His servants. As a priest, it was not the office of Phinehas to punish crime, but he was called by the special inspiration of God, so that, in his private capacity, he had the Holy Spirit as his guide. These circumstances, indeed, ought not to be regarded as an example, so that a general rule may be laid down from them; though, at the same time, God preserves His free right to appoint His servants by privilege to act in His behalf as He shall see fit. God’s judgment of this case may be certainly inferred from its approval, so that we may correctly argue that Phinehas was under His own guidance, since He immediately afterwards declared that He was pleased with the act, as is also stated in Psalms 106:30

Now, if any private person should in his preposterous zeal take upon himself to punish a similar crime, in vain will he boast that he is an imitator of Phinehas, unless he shall be thoroughly assured of the command of God. Let the answer of Christ, therefore, always be borne in mind by us, whereby he restrained His disciples, when they desired, like Elijah, to pray that those who had not received them should be destroyed by fire from heaven, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.” (Luke 9:54.) In order, therefore, that our zeal may be approved by God, it must be tempered by spiritual prudence, and directed by His authority; in a word, the Holy Spirit must go before and dictate what is right.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Numbers 25:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/numbers-25.html. 1840-57.