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Numbers 25:6-15 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Zeal of Phinehas. At this a certain Israelite came and brought in a Midianite woman[a] to his kindred in the view of Moses and of the whole Israelite community, while they were weeping at the entrance of the tent of meeting. When Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw this, he rose up from the assembly, and taking a spear in his hand, followed the Israelite into the tent where he pierced the two of them, the Israelite and the woman. Thus the plague upon the Israelites was checked; but the dead from the plague were twenty-four thousand.

10 Then the Lord said to Moses: 11 Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned my anger from the Israelites by his being as jealous among them as I am; that is why I did not put an end to the Israelites in my jealousy.[b] 12 Announce, therefore, that I hereby give him my covenant of peace,[c] 13 which shall be for him and for his descendants after him the covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was jealous on behalf of his God and thus made expiation for the Israelites.

14 [d]The name of the slain Israelite, the one slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri, son of Salu, prince of a Simeonite ancestral house. 15 The name of the slain Midianite woman was Cozbi, daughter of Zur, who was head of a clan, an ancestral house, in Midian.


  1. 25:6 Midianite woman: according to 22:4, 7, the Midianites were allied with the Moabites in opposing Israel, while 31:16 claims that Balaam had induced the Midianite women to lure the Israelites away from the Lord. They were weeping: on account of the plague that had struck them; cf. v. 8.
  2. 25:11 My jealousy: God’s desire to maintain an exclusive hold on the allegiance of the Israelites.
  3. 25:12 Covenant of peace: by means of this covenant between God and Phinehas, Phinehas can expect God’s protection, especially from any threat of reprisal for his action; cf. Is 54:10; Ez 34:25; 37:26.
  4. 25:14–15 The noble lineage of the slain couple is mentioned in order to stress the courage of Phinehas in punishing them. The zeal of Phinehas became proverbial; cf. Ps 106:30; Sir 45:23; 1 Mc 2:26, 54.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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