1 While Yisrael was staying at Shittim, the people profaned themselves by whoring with the Moabite women,
2 who invited the people to the sacrifices for their god. The people partook of them and worshiped that god.
ב וַתִּקְרֶאןָ לָעָם לְזִבְחֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶן וַיֹּאכַל הָעָם וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲוּוּ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶן׃
ד וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה קַח אֶת־כָּל־רָאשֵׁי הָעָם וְהוֹקַע אוֹתָם לַיהוָה נֶגֶד הַשָּׁמֶשׁ וְיָשֹׁב חֲרוֹן אַף־יְהוָה מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל׃
ה וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל־שֹׁפְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הִרְגוּ אִישׁ אֲנָשָׁיו הַנִּצְמָדִים לְבַעַל פְּעוֹר׃
6 Just then one of the Israelites came and brought a Midianite woman over to his companions, in the sight of Moshe and of the whole Israelite community who were weeping at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.
8 he followed the Israelite into the chamber and stabbed both of them, the Israelite and the woman, through the belly. Then the plague against the Israelites was checked.
9 Those who died of the plague numbered twenty-four thousand.
ט וַיִּהְיוּ הַמֵּתִים בַּמַּגֵּפָה אַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים אָלֶף׃
10 Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying,
י וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃
12 Say, therefore, ‘I grant him My pact of friendship.
la-KHAYN e-MOR hin-NEE no-TAYN LO et b’-ree-TEE sha-LOM
יב לָכֵן אֱמֹר הִנְנִי נֹתֵן לוֹ אֶת־בְּרִיתִי שָׁלוֹם׃
25:12 I grant him My pact of friendship
The zealot, Pinchas, sees immoral behavior among the camp of Israel, and immediately responds with an iron fist and a sharp spear. Ironically, Pinchas is rewarded for his violent action with Hashem’s “pact of friendship,” known in Hebrew as brit shalom (ברית שלום), literally ‘covenant of peace.’ With this striking detail, the Torah illustrates a vital lesson. Genuine peace is not merely the absence of conflict. Pinchas did not negotiate with the perpetrators and attempt to achieve a compromise solution. By standing up for his principles, Pinchas demonstrated that only when based on eternal principles of truth and justice can true peace be achieved. A person who internalizes this idea and acts accordingly is a true “friend” of God.2 comments
13 It shall be for him and his descendants after him a pact of priesthood for all time, because he took impassioned action for his God, thus making expiation for the Israelites.’”
יג וְהָיְתָה לּוֹ וּלְזַרְעוֹ אַחֲרָיו בְּרִית כְּהֻנַּת עוֹלָם תַּחַת אֲשֶׁר קִנֵּא לֵאלֹהָיו וַיְכַפֵּר עַל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
14 The name of the Israelite who was killed, the one who was killed with the Midianite woman, was Zimri son of Salu, chieftain of a Shimonite ancestral house.
15 The name of the Midianite woman who was killed was Cozbi daughter of Zur; he was the tribal head of an ancestral house in Midian.
טו וְשֵׁם הָאִשָּׁה הַמֻּכָּה הַמִּדְיָנִית כָּזְבִּי בַת־צוּר רֹאשׁ אֻמּוֹת בֵּית־אָב בְּמִדְיָן הוּא׃
16 Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying,
טז וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃
17 “Assail the Midianites and defeat them
יז צָרוֹר אֶת־הַמִּדְיָנִים וְהִכִּיתֶם אוֹתָם׃
18 for they assailed you by the trickery they practiced against you—because of the affair of Peor and because of the affair of their kinswoman Cozbi, daughter of the Midianite chieftain, who was killed at the time of the plague on account of Peor.”
יח כִּי צֹרְרִים הֵם לָכֶם בְּנִכְלֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר־נִכְּלוּ לָכֶם עַל־דְּבַר־פְּעוֹר וְעַל־דְּבַר כָּזְבִּי בַת־נְשִׂיא מִדְיָן אֲחֹתָם הַמֻּכָּה בְיוֹם־הַמַּגֵּפָה עַל־דְּבַר־פְּעוֹר׃