25:12 Therefore, announce: 1 ‘I am going to give 2 to him my covenant of peace. 3 25:13 So it will be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of a permanent priesthood, because he has been zealous for his God, 4 and has made atonement 5 for the Israelites.’”
1 tn Heb “say.”
2 tn Here too the grammar expresses an imminent future by using the particle הִנְנִי (hinni) before the participle נֹתֵן (noten) – “here I am giving,” or “I am about to give.”
3 tn Or “my pledge of friendship” (NAB), or “my pact of friendship” (NJPS). This is the designation of the leadership of the priestly ministry. The terminology is used again in the rebuke of the priests in Mal 2.
4 tn The motif is reiterated here. Phinehas was passionately determined to maintain the rights of his God by stopping the gross sinful perversions.
5 sn The atonement that he made in this passage refers to the killing of the two obviously blatant sinners. By doing this he dispensed with any animal sacrifice, for the sinners themselves died. In Leviticus it was the life of the substitutionary animal that was taken in place of the sinners that made atonement. The point is that sin was punished by death, and so God was free to end the plague and pardon the people. God’s holiness and righteousness have always been every bit as important as God’s mercy and compassion, for without righteousness and holiness mercy and compassion mean nothing.