Messianic Torah Portion Pinchas "Phineas"
Bamidbar (Numbers) 25:10- 30:1
During the time of Yeshua doctrinal misinterpretations of the Torah were prevalent. This is why Yeshua warned his followers that interpreting the Torah through the doctrines of men can lead to vain worship. Mathew 15:9 states "in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." To avoid misinterpreting the Torah this way, we must always place the Torah above the doctrines we have been taught. The doctrines of men change relative to the times. The Torah does not change because HaShem does not change. Malachi 3:6 states "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." This steadfast nature of the Torah makes the Torah trustworthy. Therefore, the Torah, is as valid today as, when it was first given. The only way to interpret the Torah correctly is with the understanding that HaShem is steadfast and rock solid. The one Torah reading that demonstrates this steadfastness is Pinchas.
Bamidbar 25:1-13 states "Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: 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." To show His appreciation for Pinchas's zealous attitude, HaShem blessed him and his descendants with a covenant of everlasting peace and eternal priesthood.
In light of some doctrinal misinterpretations the eternal priesthood that HaShem promised Pinchas is often confused with the eternal priesthood of Melchizedek. This doctrinal misinterpretation is easy to understand when Bamidbar 25:1-13 is compared to Tehillim 110:4 which states "The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." When considered through the unchanging nature of HaShem clearly HaShem promised the descendants of Pinchas and Melchizedek the eternal priesthood. The apostles understood that the priesthood of Pinchas and the priesthood of Melchizedek had different missions.
Hebrews 7:13-14 states "For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood." The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that Yeshua came from the tribe of Judah. Therefore, the authority of Yeshua's priesthood did not include attendance of the earthly altar. Hebrews 7:13-14 contradicts some traditional doctrinal beliefs that the priesthood of Melchizedek has replaced the priesthood of the descendants of Aaron . The only way to resolve this doctrinal conflict is to view the passages through HaShem's unchanging nature. B'resheet 49:5-7 states "Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel." In this passage the tribes of Levi and Simeon are judged because of their anger. HaShem's punishment is to divide and scatter these two tribes. Therefore, tribes of Levi and Simeon would not have permanent place to live. As a result, the tribes of Levi and Simeon lost their inheritance in the land. This can be confirmed in Bamidbar 18:20 which states "the LORD spoke unto Aaron, Thou shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel." With no inheritance in the land the decedents of Pinchas would be required to rely on the other tribes to survive.
B'resheet 49 tells a different story about the tribe of Judah. B'resheet 49:8 states "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee." This passage makes it clear that the other tribes will eventually pay homage to the tribe of Judah. In other words, the tribe of Judah will eventually rule over the other tribes. Therefore, the relationship between Judah and Levi is one of authority. For example, Levi is required to honor Judah and Levi is required to depend on Judah for sustenance. As a result, the descendants of Levi must serve the tribe of Judah. This relationship between Judah and Levi can clearly be seen in 1 Sh'mu'el 21:4-6 which states "the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women. And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel. So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away." The showbread was normally reserved for the priests as Luke 6:3-5 states "Yeshua answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath." Allowing David and His men to eat the showbread the Levitical priesthood, acknowledged they were under the authority of the king of Judah.
Ezekiel visualizes this same type of relationship in the future temple. Ezekiel 44:15 states "But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD: They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge." According to 1Ch 6:4 the sons of Zadok are the descendants of Eleazar through Pinchas. In fulfillment of HaShem's promise in Bamidbar 25:1-13 these future defendants of Pinchas minister as priests in Ezekiel's temple. However, we can also see HaShem fulfills His promise to the priest by the order of Melkesidek. Ezekiel 44:3 states "This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same." Ezekiel saw that the prince from the tribe of Judah would have authority over the temple. Not only will this prince have authority over the temple the prince would also continuously be in the presence of HaShem. This prince has to be Yeshua because, Ezekiel 47:8 states "Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that everything that lived, which moved, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed" This river of healing waters that flows from the temple is also mentioned in Zechariah 14:8 and Revelations 22:1. Therefore, Ezekiel's temple exists during Yeshua's reign and during Yeshua's reign there will only be one prince.
When we don't try to force the Torah to fit into our doctrine we get a clearer picture of HaShem's plan. In Pinchas we can see how HaShem plans to honor both the bless the descendants of Pinchas as well as the priest by the order of Melchizedek. HaShem is unchanging. Therefore, HaShem did not to make Yeshua a priest and give him the priesthood that was not consistent with Yeshua's tribal affiliation. HaShem's way was to give Yeshua the priesthood that was consistent with the tribe of Judah. HaShem's unchanging nature does not allow Him to change the rules he has already established. On the contrary HaShem's unchanging nature gives Him the power to fulfill all His promises despite the doctrines we have been taught.
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