Parashat Pinchas, Our Tents, Our Bodies, and Sexual Sin.


In this week’s reading from Parashat Pinchas (Bamidbar / Numbers 25:10-26:51) the Lord speaks to Moshe saying that Pinchas, the son of Eleazar, has turned away His wrath from the sons of Yisrael because he was zealous for the Lord.  Pinchas’ Jealousy for the Lord is found in sefer Bamidbar / Numbers 25:7-9.  Pinchas saw the sin of the sons of Yisrael and took action against a man of Yisrael ח וַיָּבֹא אַחַר אִישׁ-יִשְֹרָאֵל אֶל-הַקֻּבָּה וַיִּדְקֹר אֶת-שְׁנֵיהֶם אֵת אִישׁ יִשְֹרָאֵל וְאֶת-הָאִשָּׁה אֶל-קֳבָתָהּ וַתֵּעָצַר הַמַּגֵּפָה מֵעַל בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל: 25:8 and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the body. So the plague on the sons of Israel was checked. (NASB) 25:8 While studying these Scriptures, it is interesting that in 25:8 the expressions אֶל-הַקֻּבָּה and אֶל-קֳבָתָהּ are translated in the NASB as “into the tent” and “through the body,” respectively.  This catches our attention since the same word used here is translated in two entirely differing ways being used in the same sentence.  The first expression אֶל-הַקֻּבָּה is translated as “into the tent” in the KJV and NASB, “into the pavilion” in the RV version, “into the chamber” in the JPS, and “into the inner room” in the RSV.  The second expression אֶל-קֳבָתָהּ is translated “through her belly” in the KJV, RV, and JPS bible versions.  The word קֳבָתָהּ is from the root קבה meaning “stomach or belly” according to Brown-Drivers-Briggs Lexicon.  This word is used elsewhere as a noun in the Hebrew Scriptures such as in Devarim / Deuteronomy 18:3 ג   וְזֶה יִהְיֶה מִשְׁפַּט הַכֹּהֲנִים מֵאֵת הָעָם מֵאֵת זֹבְחֵי הַזֶּבַח אִם-שׁוֹר אִם-שֶֹה וְנָתַן לַכֹּהֵן הַזְּרֹעַ וְהַלְּחָיַיִם וְהַקֵּבָה: 18:3 ‘Now this shall be the priests’ due from the people, from those who offer a sacrifice, either an ox or a sheep, of which they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. (NASB) is translated referring to the stomach of an ox or sheep.  In Bamidbar 25:8 קֳבָתָהּ used as a noun is written in the feminine sense translated as “through her belly” (KJV) and is very interesting in regards to the sin the man and woman were committing.  Specifically here in Parashat Pinchas the people are committing sexual sin with the women of Moab accompanied with idolatry.  How do these scriptures on Pinchas’ actions against the man and woman, coupled with the Hebrew word קבה translated as both tent and the belly, help us to understand sexual sin, and idolatry and the importance of walking in the spirit today?  Let’s look a little closer at these Scriptures. Read more here.

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Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!