Philonica et Neotestamentica

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Daily Archives: May 6, 2008

Phinehas’ Intercessory Prayer

Being interested in traditions about Phinehas, zealotry, and these traditions role in relation to Philo’s views on Phinehas, I will need to have a closer look at this article which had escaped my notice untill today:
David A. Bernat,
‘Phinehas’ Intercessory Prayer: A Rabbinic and Targumic Reading of the Baal Peor Narrative.’
Journal of Jewish Studies 58/2 (2007): 263-282.

Abstract:
A number of Rabbinic texts, along with Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, portray Phinehas as interceding with God, through prayer, on Israel’s behalf, in the aftermath of the Baal Peor apostasy, recounted in Numbers 25 and Psalm 106. This tradition constitutes an exegetical innovation, as nowhere in scripture is Phinehas represented in the act of prayer. The Phinehas-prayer nexus is explored, with attention to the creative reading of the verb ללפ ???in Ps. 106:31; the significance of prayer in the Rabbinic and Targumic worldview; and the changing role of the priesthood in a post-Temple environment. The article also considers the implications of intercessory prayer as an aspect of Phinehas’ zealotry.