Torah Portion

Pinchas

פינחס

Numbers 25:10-30:1
First Kings 18:46-19:21

Manasseh’s Genealogies: Why They Change Between Numbers, Joshua, and Chronicles

Manasseh’s Genealogies: Why They Change Between Numbers, Joshua, and Chronicles

The genealogy of the tribe of Manasseh appears in Numbers 26 and again in Joshua 17 with slight differences. It appears a third time, in 1 Chronicles 7, wholly reconceived. This highlights how certain biblical genealogies represent tribal kinship patterns that shift over time.

Prof.
Aaron Demsky
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com

The Daughters of Zelophehad: A Historical-Geographical Approach

The Daughters of Zelophehad: A Historical-Geographical Approach

The Samaria ostraca and a close look at biblical verses and helps us locate Mahlah, Noa, Hoglah, Milkah, and Tirzah, in the territory of Manasseh.

Prof.
Aaron Demsky
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com

Sedition at Moab: Josephus’ Reading of the Phinehas Story

Sedition at Moab: Josephus’ Reading of the Phinehas Story

The Torah describes Phinehas as a zealot, who kills Zimri in an act of vigilante fervor, and is rewarded by God with eternal priesthood. Anticipating the rabbis’ discomfort with Phinehas’ vigilantism, Josephus transforms Phinehas into a military general and Zimri’s sin into a dangerous sedition requiring a military response.

Dr.
Yonatan Miller
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com

Sukkot's Seventy Bulls

Sukkot's Seventy Bulls

The Torah’s adaptation of a polytheistic ancient West-Semitic custom of sacrificing to seventy gods.[1]

Dr.
Noga Ayali-Darshan
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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Which Sacrificial Offerings Require Libations?

Which Sacrificial Offerings Require Libations?

A burnt offering (olah), described as “sweet smelling” food for YHWH, always includes grain and wine libation “side-dishes,” constituting a complete meal. A purification offering (chattat), however, is a cleansing ritual. Should it also have an accompanying libation? The Masoretic Text of Numbers 28-29 offers an inconsistent answer that differs from that of the Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch.

Dr.
Naphtali Meshel
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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Joshua Is Appointed Leader Three Times: But Is He in Charge?

Joshua Is Appointed Leader Three Times: But Is He in Charge?

Before Moses dies, he requests a leader who will “come and go” before the people. God’s response is clear: appoint Joshua. However, as the narrative continues, God says that Joshua himself will “come and go” at the word of Elazar the priest. And this is only one of three accounts in the Torah in which Joshua is appointed leader. 

Dr. Rabbi
Zev Farber
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Pinchas’ Extrajudicial Execution of Zimri and Cozbi

Pinchas’ Extrajudicial Execution of Zimri and Cozbi

Pinchas is portrayed as a hero in the Torah and Second Temple sources for killing Zimri and his Midianite lover, Cozbi. Rabbinic sources struggle with the absence of any juridical process or deliberative body, which contravenes their own judicial norms, and therefore recast or minimize his act in subtle ways.[1]

Dr.
David Bernat
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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Apportioning the Land: By Lot and By Population?!

Apportioning the Land: By Lot and By Population?!

Making sense from a redactional and historical perspective of the Torah’s two contradictory methods for how to divide the land among the tribes.

Dr.
Itamar Kislev
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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Shekhar: Is it Wine or Beer?

Shekhar: Is it Wine or Beer?

The nazir must abstain from shekhar (שֵׁכָר), and it must be poured on the altar as a libation – but what is it? Understanding the ecology of ancient Israel can help answer the question.

Dr.
Elaine Goodfriend
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com

Ancient Israelite Divination: Urim ve-Tummim, Ephod, and Prophecy

Ancient Israelite Divination: Urim ve-Tummim, Ephod, and Prophecy

In the Prophets, Israelite leaders such as Joshua, Saul, David, and Ahab use divination to help them make decisions, just as their ancient Near Eastern counterparts did. Why then, does the Torah sidestep the divinatory character of these objects and practices, and instead, emphasize their ritual and religious character?

Dr.
Jonathan Stökl
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com

The Discrepancies Between the Sacrifices in Ezekiel and the Torah

The Discrepancies Between the Sacrifices in Ezekiel and the Torah

The laws of holiday sacrifices in Ezekiel 45–46 contradict the laws in Numbers 28–29. The problems are so significant that some Talmudic sages thought it would be best to withdraw (לגנוז) the book of Ezekiel. This piece lays out the discrepancies in detail, surveys some traditional and modern answers, and ends with my own thoughts about why Ezekiel’s system is so different.[1]

Dr.
Tova Ganzel
TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com
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TheGemara.com

Pinchas

פינחס

Numbers 25:10-30:1

וְהָיְתָה לּוֹ וּלְזַרְעוֹ אַחֲרָיו בְּרִית כְּהֻנַּת עוֹלָם תַּחַת אֲשֶׁר קִנֵּא לֵאלֹהָיו...

במדבר כה:יג

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...

Num 25:13

Numbers

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