May 23, 2007
In Num. 25:6-18, an Israelite man brings his belle, a Midianite woman, near the tabernacle. Phineas, son of Eleazar (the new high priest and son of Aaron), promptly grabs a javelin and runs them both through. Though this might seem a little brutal on the part of a priest, it did stop a plague that God had sent, which had already killed 24,000 people, and it prevented God from killing the entire congregation... again. Remember that Israelite priests were supposed to perform animal sacrifices on a near-daily basis, so the murder of two heretics would likely have not been too far a stretch for Phineas. He is, after all, merely enacting God's justice.