Phinehas was the son of Eleazar, who was the son of Aaron the first High Priest. Phinehas is representative of the next generation of Israelites to whom God intended to give the land. The first generation was afraid of the giants and could not stomach the thought of warfare. But Phinehas represented the zeal and courage of that the second generation under Joshua’s leadership would display in taking possession of the land.

A Simeonite man brought a Midianite woman into his tent in a public display of immorality. While the elders of the first generation turned their eyes away, Phinehas picked up his spear and followed them into the tent and executed them both. The severity of his reaction has been criticized by many, but the Lord commended him for his zeal for God’s standards of righteousness.

We should look at Phinehas as an example of how we should deal with sin in our own lives. A zealous spirit to eliminate sin in all of its corrupting influences will always result in God’s commendation. Proverbs 23:17 says, “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.”