a eulogy for pinchas

when pinchas saw an israelite
man and a midianite woman together he was
was seized by a zealous spirit he took a
spear followed them into their chamber and
stabbed them both through the
belly so many years later when
the israelites’ friendship with the
midianites was scarcely a footnote in the
history books pinchas died and here’s
what they wrote in his obit
as the grandson of the high priest he
was involved in the assassinations of many
moabites and midianites including cozbi
daughter of zur a prominent tribal
chieftain who had saved many
israelites from their enemies
years later pinchas reflected
a man who goes forth to take the life of another
whom he does not know
must believe only one thing
that by his act he will
change the course
of history.

(Numbers 25:6-18, with Financial Times article, “Unflinching Support of Greater Israel,” by Julian Ozanne, adapted)



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