One more instance of the concept of jealousy before we leave the Old Testament. I bring this passage up since it refers to man’s jealousy in the same breath as God’s jealousy.
Granted, when the Old Testament describes Phineas’ jealousy, it uses the Hebrew word H7065, and this is the term I considered common jealousy. (In the verse below, it is translated as “zealous”)
When the author decided to describe God’s jealousy, he uses H7068, which is based on H7065. The author seems to describe both God’s jealousy and man’s jealousy as the same basic emotion.
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.
Phinehas takes action in this passage.
The background is the intermarriage of the Israelites with the daughters of Moab, and the subsequent idolatry that inevitably follows this sin. Moses, upon direction from the Lord, pronounces the death penalty upon all the Israeli men that had committed idolatry.
Sometime after this decree of judgement, along came an Israeli who thought he was above the law, flouting his Midianitish wife/woman.
Flouting his sin in front of the entire congregation! Phineas couldn’t handle it! His jealousy for the honor of the Lord took hold, he grabbed a spear, hunted down the Israeli man, found the culprit and killed both him and his woman.
Upon this action of jealousy, the plague that was raging through the congregation of Israel was stopped, and the death toll was limited to 24,000.
Twenty four thousand Israeli succumbed to the judgement of God, the jealousy of God that the Israeli nation had been warned about, and now experienced in historic proportions.
Phineas was given a covenant of peace.
Can you think of any time in the Word that an action of violence, such as described above, resulted in peace?
Tick tock tick tock ….