The story that is told in Numbers 25 is one of the most politically explosive lessons in all of the Bible. The reason is simple: God held the leaders responsible for the sins of the people.
As we saw in a previous post, Balack took the advice of Baalam and sent the young women into the camp. They invited the people (men) to the sacrifices to their gods. The men went with them, ate and bowed down and thus were joined to Baal of Peor. God was angry with Israel so He turned to Moses.
The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.”
Seems pretty straight-forward, right? Obviously God is holding the leaders responsible for what was happening, so we’d expect to read that Moses killed them. Right? Well, no, he didn’t. He refused to obey God and sided with his fellow leaders.
So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you slay his men who have joined themselves to Baal of Peor.”
Those judges were the very men Moses was supposed to have executed, had he chosen to obey the Lord. So, the wrong people are now being executed, but we don’t get a casualty figure on that. Because they’re just little people and they don’t count. They’re not leaders. And God’s anger really burned against Israel so He sent a plague into the camp and the people started dropping like flies.
Then, Zimri, one of the chief princes of the tribe of Simeon (making him one of those who should have been executed) came strolling into the camp with a wench named Cozbi on his arm. Cozbi was the daughter of Zur, who God described as the leader of Midian. So, one of the high-ranking leaders of the tribe of Simeon walks into camp with a Midianite princess on his arm and they stroll right past the tent of meeting where Moses and the congregation were weeping at the doorway of the tent. Why were they weeping? Because of the plague that was killing them.
Keep in mind, Zimri had to have been involved with having the men of the tribe of Simeon killed for doing what he was about to do. And he knew (or should have known) that there was a reason a plague was sweeping through the camp killing people. With that in mind, picture Zimri and Cozbi strolling past the congregation and Moses in plain sight of everyone on their way to Zimri’s tent for, um… some tea. Yes. Tea for two.
Are The Leaders Above the Law?
Obviously Zimri thought he was above the Law as he and his hoochie-mamma walked to his tent, oblivious to everything surrounding them. Horniness has a way of doing that. But one man, Phineas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the High Priest, was zealous for the Lord and he saw what was happening and took action.
he arose from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand, and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the body.
Tradition has it that it only took one thrust of the spear to get both of them, but he did get them. And they died. Because he killed them. With a spear. And obviously Phineas somehow turned into a religious radical and killed a government official without a trial or anything like that, which was murder… well, obviously… and that’s probably what some were thinking back then too. And spear control! There ought to be spear control! But very quickly none of that mattered because God stepped in. First, He stopped the plague that was going through the camp. The death toll was 24,000 dead in one day.
Then God spoke to Moses.
“Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy. Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give him My covenant of peace; 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.’”
That is the 4th Priesthood of the Bible. What do Phineas Priests do? They’re jealous for God’s Law and they execute justice on untouchable leaders who think they’re above the Law. So, go ahead and start calling yourself a Phineas Priest and see how fast the FBI is all over you. Or worse, setting you up as a pasty in their next false-flag op. Because you better believe that nobody in a position of leadership wants to hear that they’re really going to be held responsible. They’re like Moses and just want to kill your sorry ass.
But God wasn’t done. Now it was time to deal with the Midianites and we learn more.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Be hostile to the Midianites and strike them; for they have been hostile to you with their tricks, with which they have deceived you in the affair of Peor and in the affair of Cozbi, the daughter of the leader of Midian, their sister who was slain on the day of the plague because of Peor.”
Look at what God is saying! He KNEW the people were being manipulated and the leaders should have caught what was happening and put a stop to it. But they didn’t. And God held them responsible for that. And when one man decided he wasn’t going to allow God to be dishonored that way and killed one of the leaders and some visiting royalty… God gave him a covenant of peace for him and his descendants after him… a covenant of a perpetual priesthood. The Phineas Priesthood. And if God said it was perpetual, that means the Phineas Priests are still around. Today.
Lesson Learned: The leaders are responsible when the people are led astray. That’s about to be very important.