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Of the biblical characters named Phinehas, the most important was the zealous priest who was Aaron’s grandson (Exodus 6:25). Phinehas’ father, Eleazar, had succeeded Aaron as high priest (Numbers 20:25-26), and Phinehas proved himself to be a loyal supporter. When Israelite men brought God’s judgment upon themselves through their immorality with foreign women, Phinehas dealt with the rebels. His swift action saved Israel from destruction (Numbers 25:1-8; see also 31:1-7). God rewarded Phinehas’ zeal by promising that his descendants would become the chief priestly family in Israel (Numbers 25:10-13; cf. Judges 20:27-28). Though zealous for God’s standards, Phinehas proved to be fair and reasonable when he had to listen to complaints and settle disputes (Joshua 22:13-16; Joshua 22:30-34).

A later priest named Phinehas had no concern at all for God’s standards. He and his brother, who were sons of the priest Eli, corrupted the priesthood so badly that God removed them in a dramatic judgment. The two were killed the same day (1 Samuel 1:3; 1 Samuel 2:12-17; 1 Samuel 2:34; 1 Samuel 4:4; 1 Samuel 4:11).

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Phinehas'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

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