Posts Tagged ‘Pinchas’

Prayer – Hebrew: Tefillah

The most important Jewish tefillah is the Shema found in Deuteronomy 6:4-6. Tefillah is found 67 times in the Hebrew Scriptures.


Tefillah in Hebrew means  ‘prayer from the heart.’ 

The root of tefillah is palal and has its foundation in the prayer of Pinchas (Numbers 25) and means ‘to judge’.   Pinchas was a high priest who stood against idolatry and ‘judged’ a Midianite woman and Israelite man whose marriage had brought a plague upon the Israelites.  This suggests that tefillah is the ‘judging of oneself before a holy God’ through deep self-examination to determine whether they have lived up to His potential in their lives.  

Hebrew Word Pictures

Tav is a picture of Crossed Sticks and means ‘sign or covenant.’

Peh is a picture of a Mouth and means ‘source or speak.’

Lamed is a picture of a Shepherd’s Staff and means ‘prod or urge forward’ or ‘leader like a shepherd.’

Hey is a picture of a Window and means ‘reveal or behold.’

tefillah – sign of urging forward to speak and reveal

There are several parts to Jewish prayers that have their foundation in the patriarchs, Avraham, Yitz’ak (Isaac), Ya’akov (Jacob) and Moshe. They include intercession as well as supplication.


The amidah, known as ‘The Standing Prayer’ acknowledges that we are standing in the presence of the Creator of the Universe with reverence and fear. This prayer has its foundation in Avraham who was willing to stand before God discussing and questioning His plan for Sodom and Gomorrah.

“Avraham approached and said, “Will you actually sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” (Genesis 18:23)


The  sichah brings us into a personal, intimate and quiet  conversation with the holy One, the loving and compassionate Father and Friend.  This prayer joins man with his Creator. This prayer has its foundation in the prayer of Yitz’ak for his wife’s barrenness.

“Yitz’chak prayed to Adonai on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. Adonai heeded his prayer, and Rivkah became pregnant” (Genesis 25:21).


The pegiah confronts God and appeals to his mercy and compassion toward our broken and fallen state. This prayer has its foundation in Ya’akov’s prayer in Genesis 32. He was afraid to meet his brother, Esau, and he prays to God.

“Then Ya‘akov said, “God of my father Avraham and God of my father Yitz’chak, Adonai, who told me, ‘Return to your country and your kinsmen, and I will do you good’:  I’m not worthy of all the love and faithfulness you have shown your servant, since I crossed the Yarden with only my staff. But now I have become two camps. Please! Rescue me from my brother ‘Esav! I’m afraid of him, afraid he’ll come and attack me, without regard for mothers or children. You said, ‘I will certainly do you good and make your descendants as numerous as the grains of sand by the sea, which are so many they can’t be counted‘” (Genesis 32:9-12).


The chinam, meaning ‘free’ reminds us that prayer is a generous gift and anything we receive from the Father is freely given to us, we don’t deserve it. The foundation of this prayer comes from Moshe praying to God to enter the Promised Land. According to the numerical value of the Hebrew word used for the title of the Torah portion, Va’Eschanan, it has been suggested he pleaded 515 times. Even though Moshe was the most humble and righteous man on earth at the time, his request was not granted.

““Then I pleaded with Adonai …” (Deuteronomy 3:23) .

©2017 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Parashah 41: Pinchas (Phineas)

Parashah 41: Numbers 25:10-30:1 (29:40)

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Pinchas the son of El‘azar, the son of Aharon the cohen, has deflected my anger from the people of Isra’el by being as zealous as I am, so that I didn’t destroy them in my own zeal.’  Therefore say, ‘I am giving him my covenant of shalom, making a covenant with him and his descendants after him that the office of cohen will be theirs forever. This is because he was zealous on behalf of his God and made atonement for the people of Isra’el’” (Numbers 25:10-13). 

At the end of the previous parashah, an Israelite man brings a Midianite woman into the camp to his family’s tent.  Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron, thrusts a spear through the man and the Midianite woman putting an end to the plague that took 24,000 Israelite lives.

In Hebrew, Pinchas may mean ‘the mouth of the serpent’ deriving from the fiery serpent that Moshe made out of bronze.  Though he was Aaron’s grandson, he was never anointed high priest over Isra’el.  However, Pinchas was zealous for Yahweh and received a priesthoodforever.   The word ‘zealous’ in Hebrew is quinah and also means ‘jealous.’ It is used to describe Simon in Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13.  

“Now they joined themselves to Ba’al-P‘or and ate meat sacrificed to dead things. Thus they provoked him [Adonai] to anger with their deeds, so that a plague broke out among them. Then Pinchas stood up and executed judgment; so the plague was checked. That was credited to him as righteousness, through all generations forever” (Psalm 106:28-31).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Pinchas or Phineas –  פינחס – pey, yod, noon, chet, samech

mouth of the finished work of life protects and supports

The favor upon the priestly lineage of Pinchas began when he served before the Ark of he Covenant at Bethel.

“Then the whole army of Isra’el, all the people, went up to Beit-El and cried and sat there in the presence of Adonai. They fasted that day until evening, offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to Adonai, and asked Adonai what to do. The ark for the covenant of God was there at that time; and Pinchas the son of El‘azar, the son of Aharon, stood before it at that time” (Judges 20:27-28).

Zadok was a descendant of Pinchas.  He was anointed as priest by David when he became King of Isra’el (2 Samuel 8:17).  Zadok anointed King Solomon after King David  died (1 Kings 1:34).   Ezra, the priest who loved Yahweh and the Torah was also a descendant of  Zadok (Ezra 7:1-7).

Covenant of Shalom

“The branch who will build the Temple of Adonai and be a king and priest on Adonai’s throne! And the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (Zechariah 6:11-13).

Pinchas also received an eternal ‘Covenant of Shalom.’  This is another covenant that is eternal.  Not including the covenant given to King David in 2 Samuel or the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah,  this makes seven eternal covenants given in Torah: Noah, Abraham, Aaron, Isra’el, Pinchas, Salt and Shalom.  

In the original Hebrew, שלום (shalom) in the phrase ‘covenant of shalom’ has a broken vav like shown above.  Some interpret the broken vav as representing a broken ‘man.’  The name Pinchas has the same numerical value (208) as the man Isaac, a shadow of Messiah who willingly offered himself for ‘broken man.’  The Hebrew letter picture for vav is a ‘nail’ or ‘something that binds.’  The broken vav may also symbolize man’s ‘bondage’ to sin that will be ‘broken’ by the ‘nail’ and bring shalom.   Like Isaac,  Pinchas becomes a shadow of Messiah “who made atonement for the people of Isra’el” and whose descendants would be cohen forever (Numbers 25:12).

As Messiah ben Joseph, the ‘broken man’ Yeshua paid the price for sin through his death on the cross and brought shalom between man and Elohim.  The ‘covenant of shalom,’  however, will not be fully realized until it is established on earth when Yeshua returns as Messiah ben David, the reigning King.  In the Millennial Kingdom, the sons of Zadok will administer an earthly priesthood showing haya’s faithfulness to Pinchas who acted with ‘holy zeal’ for the glory and honor of Elohim.

“But the Levitical priests, who are descendants of Zadok [Pinchas] and who guarded my sanctuary when the Israelites went astray from me, are to come near to minister before me; they are to stand before me to offer sacrifices of fat and blood, declares the Sovereign Lord” (Ezekiel 44:15).

“This will be for the consecrated priests, the Zadokites, who were faithful in serving me and did not go astray as the Levites did when the Israelites went astray. It will be a special gift to them from the sacred portion of the land, a most holy portion, bordering the territory of the Levites” (Ezekiel 48:11-12).

A Final Counting

After 40 years in the wilderness, a new generation of Israelites prepared to enter and possess the land of promise. While on the plains of Moab by the Jordan River,  Moshe took a final census of all men over 20 years of age who were able to serve in the military.  From the initial 70 that entered Egypt with Jacob, a total of 601,730 sons of Isra’el were going to enter the Promised Land.  No one who had been counted 40 years earlier lived to be counted again except Caleb and Y’hoshua (Numbers 26:64).

From each of the tribes: Reuben: 43,730, Simeon: 22,200, Gad: 40,500, Judah: 76,500, Issachar: 64,300, Zebulun: 60,500, Joseph: Manasseh: 52,700, Joseph: Ephraim: 32,500, Benjamin: 45,600, Dan: 64,400, Asher: 53,400, and Naftali: 45,400

The land inheritance was then divided between the tribes based on the census; those with a greater number would receive more land; those with a lesser number less.  The land was parceled by lot according to the name of their ancestral father. 

Yochebed, the daughter of Levi born in Egypt, and Amram were the parents of Aaron, Moshe and Miriam.   The counting of the Levites, the families of Gershon, Fehati and Merarim numbered 23,000.  No land inheritance was given to them.

Daughters of Tz’lof’chad

The daughters of Tz’lof’chad (Zelophehad) approached Moshe regarding their inheritance.  Their father had died with no sons and they requested a land inheritance in order to keep their father’s name alive.  Yahweh told Moshe the daughters were correct in their assessment of the situation and outlined inheritance regulations for daughters, uncles, and nearest relatives.  

“Adonai answered Moshe, The daughters of Tz’lof’chad are right in what they say. You must give them property to be inherited along with that of their father’s brothers; have what their father would have inherited pass to them. Moreover, say to the people of Isra’el, If a man dies and does not have a son, you are to have his inheritance pass to his daughter” (Numbers 27:6-8).

Many believe that Elohim is anti-women because of the patriarchal system established in the Hebrew Scriptures.  However, the account of Zelophehad’s daughters shows that Elohim cares about women and gives instructions for them to receive inheritance.

Job, who lived after the flood but long before Torah is given to Moshe, is another example of a man giving an inheritance to his daughters.  After his life is restored from complete destruction and he has regained his wealth, Job has three daughters: Y’mimah, K’tzi’ah, and Keren-Hapukh (Job 42:13-15).  Along with their brothers, these women received an inheritance.  The decision to give Zelophehad’s daughters, Machlah, No’ah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah an inheritance already had precedent in the  patriarchal culture. 

Hebrew Word Pictures

Tz’lof’chad (Dark Shadow) – צלפחד – tzadik, lamed, peh, chet, dalet

desire of the leader to speak and protect the pathway

Machlah (Sickness) – מחלה – mem, chet, lamed, hey

chaos in the inner room (heart) of the leader revealed

Noah (Comfort) – נח – noon, chet

life protects

Hoglah (Dancing) – חגל – chet, gimel, lamed

– inner room (heart) raises up the leader

Milkah (Queen) – מלכה – mem, lamed, kaf, hey

mighty leader covers behold

Tirzah (She is My Delight) – תרצה – tav, resh, tzadik, hey

sign of the head’s desire revealed

A Man of the Spirit

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Climb this mountain in the ‘Avarim Range, and look out at the land which I have given the people of Isra’el.  After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, just as Aharon your brother was gathered; because in the Tzin Desert, when the community was disputing with me, you rebelled against my order to uphold my holiness by means of the water, with them looking on…’” (Numbers 27:14).

Moshe, the humble leader of the Israelites he led out of Egypt and watched die in the wilderness, faces his own death.   He requests Yahweh to appoint a man over the community of Isra’el so they would not be like sheep without a shepherd. 

“Take Y’hoshua the son of Nun, a spiritual man, and lay your hand on him.  Put him in front of El’azar the cohen and the whole community and commission him in their sight.  Delegate to him some of your authority, so that the entire community of Isra’el will obey him” (Numbers 27:18-20).

Y’hoshua was unique in all of Isra’el.  Yahweh told Moshe that Y’hoshua was a ‘spiritual man.’  Some translations have, ‘spirit of leadership,’ however the Hebrew text says that Y’hoshua is a man with the ‘Ruach Elohim in him.’  This is what sets Y’hoshua apart from the rest of the community.

Y’hoshua spent his youth with Moshe in the presence of Yahweh in the Tent of Meeting.  He obeyed Moshe and followed Torah without question.  When he became zealous for Moshe’s prophetic position in Isra’el, he received correction with humility and integrity.

Because of his ‘spirit,’ Y’hoshua was courageous and had faith larger than the grapes found in Canaan.   He had no fear of the Nephilim and believed ‘I AM’ would give Isra’el victory.  He was willing to fight for Elohim whether it was physically against giants or spiritually against the gigantic fear of the Israelites.  He trusted Yahweh and stood faithfully against rebellion, but still had to suffer the consequences of national sin and watch an entire generation of Israelites die in the wilderness. 

His military experience sharpened during his wilderness journey.  He fought the Amalekites on numerous occasions to prepare him for the years of war he would encounter when taking possession of the Promised Land.  His obedience proved he would only follow the orders given by Commander of Elohim’s army.  For these reasons, Yahweh pours out His Ruach on Y’hoshua to empower him to succeed Moshe and complete His plan.

“Moshe did as Adonai had ordered him. He took Y’hoshua, put him before El‘azar the cohen and the whole community, laid his hands on him, and commissioned him, as Adonai had said through Moshe” (Numbers 27:22-23).

Moshe lays hands on Y’hoshua to commission him as the next leader of Isra’el. In Hebrew, the laying on of hands is called semikah and had several purposes.  An individual would lay hands on an offering to Elohim before its sacrifice.  By doing this,  the person would transfer their sins onto the animal and it would become their atonement.  Semikah is also used for ordination, consecrating a priest or other leader of the community.   Semikah also symbolized authority being passed onto another individual.  Yeshua had authority and passed his authority onto his talmidim (Matthew 7:28-29; 28:18-20).  The talmidim laid hands on people to receive the Ruach HaKodesh (Acts 8:18).  Sha’ul laid hands on Timothy “fanning into flame the gift of God,” yet with a warning  not to be hasty in granting semikah to anyone (2 Timothy 1:17).  Yeshua laid hands on children an act of semikah and passed a blessing onto them (Matthew 19:13-15). 

Hebrew Word Pictures

Hoshea (Help and Salvation of Elohim) – הושע – hey, vav, shin, ayin   

behold the mighty binding and understand

Y’hoshua (Yah’s Salvation) – יהושע – yod, hey, vav, shin, ayin

the finished work revealed in the consuming binding is understood

Yeshua (Salvation) – ישוע – yod, shin, vav, ayin

the finished work consuming the binding is seen

The ‘Appointed Times’ Offerings

As an entirely new generation of Isra’el prepares to enter the Promised Land, Elohim reminds them of His ‘appointed times’ and the daily offerings required in the Tabernacle. 

First were the offerings for Shabbat. As the weeks progressed, there would be a new moon or Rosh Chodesh for which there were more offerings.  They would recognize the new moon as it would fall 14 days after the full moon.  It would not be a sliver or a crescent as the Arabs honored the crescent moon (Judges 8:21).  A concealed, dark moon would determine the beginning of the new month (Psalm 81:3, see Study Helps).

On the fourteenth day of the first month, the Pesach was to be observed followed by the festival of Matzah on the fifteenth  day.   For seven days, nothing but unleavened bread was to be eaten.  The first and seventh days were to be mikrah, holy convocations.  Early and later firstfruits, HaHabikkurim and Shavuot required new grain offerings of barley and wheat from the harvest of the land. 

On the first day of the seventh month, the day of blowing, Yom Teruah, was to be commemorated.  Because it would always fall on a Rosh Chodesh, double offerings were required.  On the tenth day,  the Israelites were to deny themselves on Yom Kippur.  Burnt offerings and sin offerings were required for the sins of Isra’el that had defiled the Tabernacle.  On the fifteenth day, Sukkot began for seven days.  Each day there was to be offerings of bulls, rams, male lambs, grain and drink.  On the eighth day of Sukkot, a mikrah was to be observed which has become known as Hoshana Rabah followed by Simchat Torah and ‘Rejoicing in the Torah’. 

Yeshua and the Lost Sheep

“Yeshua went about all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and weakness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were harried and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.   Then he said to his talmidim, ‘The harvest is rich, but the workers are few.  Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers to gather in his harvest’” (Matthew 9:35-38).

“These twelve Yeshua sent out with the following instructions: ‘Don’t go into the territory of the Goyim, and don’t enter any town in Shomron, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Isra’el. As you go, proclaim, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is near’” (Matthew 10:5-7).

“So he told them this parable: ‘If one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, doesn’t he leave the other ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? When he does find it, he joyfully hoists it onto his shoulders; and when he gets home, he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Come, celebrate with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who turns to God from his sins than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent’” (Luke 15:3-7).

“Then came Hanukkah in Yerushalayim. It was winter,  and Yeshua was walking around inside the Temple area, in Shlomo’s Colonnade.  So the Judeans surrounded him and said to him, ‘How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us publicly!”  Yeshua answered them, “I have already told you, and you don’t trust me. The works I do in my Father’s name testify on my behalf,  but the reason you don’t trust is that you are not included among my sheep.  My sheep listen to my voice, I recognize them, they follow me,  and I give them eternal life. They will absolutely never be destroyed, and no one will snatch them from my hands. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one can snatch them from the Father’s hands. I and the Father are one’” (John 10:22-30).

“Then the King will say to those on his right [the sheep], ‘Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world’” (Matthew 25:34).

Haftarah (Readings of the Prophets)

1 Kings 18:46-19:21

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

John 2:13-22

Midrash Pinchas: S’mikhah, Laying on of Hands

Discuss the reasons to be cautious of shemikah and laying on of hands (1 Timothy 5:22).

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion or the complete Torah cycle, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.