and I will be his God and he shall be My son

Eternal Priesthood (A study inspired by 1Cor 10:8) Part 1



Part 1


Working on Part 9 of our Bible Study on 1Corinthians 10, I’ve been delving into the events behind vs 7-10. In Part 8 we looked at the “Golden Calf” incident, and I’m writing on “Temptation” now. But I wanted to share briefly(?) on this little tangent(?) here, as I found some things intriguing and enlightening …

In particular, verse 8 warns us -

Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell.” – 1Cor 10:8 NKJV

In researching this incident in the OT, we find that the men, particularly the warriors, of Israel had become involved with sexual immorality and God’s anger was aroused against them, and He killed many of them.

And the Bible tells us something very interesting (in light of much modern theology) of how God’s wrath was appeased -

 They joined themselves also to Baal of Peor,
And ate sacrifices made to the dead.
29 Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds,
And the plague broke out among them.
30 Then Phinehas stood up and intervened,
And the plague was stopped.
31 And that was accounted to him for righteousness
To all generations forevermore.”

- Psalm 106:28-31


“And it was accounted (or credited, or reckoned) to him for righteousness” depending on the translation.

We often hear the phrase “And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness”, which is said concerning Abraham. And indeed, that is True. But most often overlooked is the fact that Abraham proved his faith by obedience (Gen 26:5, James 2:21-24). And here, a little more obvious with Phinehas, his deed brought the same judgment from God: this one is “righteous” because of what he did.

But aside from that important Truth for now, it was the names involved with this incident that caught my attention.

Let’s begin by looking at the passage to which Paul refers from Numbers -

“Now Israel remained in Shittim, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and hang the offenders before the Lord, out in the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.” So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Every one of you kill his men who were joined to Baal of Peor.”

And indeed, one of the children of Israel came and presented to his brethren a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Now when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation and took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stopped among the children of Israel. And those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand.

10 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal. 12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; 13 and it shall be to him and his descendants (seed) after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’” - Num 25:1-13 NKJV

Because of what Phinehas did; the promise to him, and his descendants, is incredible: “Everlasting priesthood.”

The word “everlasting” here is עוֹלָם (`owlam) Strong's H5769, meaning “forever, always; continuous existence, perpetual; everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity”

Throughout the Old Testament, the same word עוֹלָם is used in describing God’s Kingdom, His Name, His Covenant, His ways. (Psalm 145:13, Isaiah 47:28, Isaiah 63:16, Eze 37:26, Micah 4:5). So this promise of “everlasting” to Phinehas is truly “everlasting”, “eternal.” Oh, what a reward for faithfulness!

Personally, I take the Word as it stands. I believe God’s promise to Phinehas is indeed “everlasting”, and is in effect this very day, and will be fulfilled in his “seed”, as God said.



“Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace.
13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.”
 Num 25:12-13 KJ21




That promise to Phinehas was also to his “seed.” Now while some versions translate that word as “descendants”, the original Hebrew offers us additional understanding which I believe sheds some light, and gives deeper insight.  

 זֶרַע (zera`) “seed” Strong's H2233 – can also refer to those of “of moral quality a practitioner of righteousness (fig.)” “Used of groups and individuals marked by a common moral quality.”

And indeed, Phinehas exhibited such righteous, moral, character that pleased God and set him apart and above the others, even of his own tribe. Those who would follow his example will be blessed with a likewise inheritance.

Just as those of us who have “faith” like Abraham’s are called his “seed”, and “heirs according to the promise” made to him (Gal 3:29) although we are not of his blood lineage; so too we who have such zeal for righteousness, and display it in our actions and obedience, like Phinehas are of his “seed”, and heirs of the same promise of the “everlasting priesthood.”

To those going through “various trials” in their time, to test the “genuineness of their faith”, Peter spoke this Truth, that “you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1Pet 2:5). This is the substance of those with like faithfulness and zeal as Abraham and Phinehas.

Let us look for a moment at this direction of the Lord God to Moses concerning those called to the priesthood -
“Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the doorway of the tent of meeting and wash them with water. 13 You shall put the holy garments on Aaron and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister as a priest to Me. 14 You shall bring his sons and put tunics on them; 15 and you shall anoint them even as you have anointed their father, that they may minister as priests to Me; and their anointing will qualify them for a perpetual (everlasting) priesthood throughout their generations.” 
– Ex 40:12-15

So first, the sons of Aaron, from the lineage of Levi, were given the opportunity to obtain the promise of an “everlasting priesthood.” However, the many disqualified themselves by their tolerance of the sinful behavior and sexual immorality of the men of Israel. In the incident at Peor, Phinehas alone stood by the Word of the Lord, and that promise was passed onto him and his “seed.”

I believe we see a shadow of that promise in God’s instruction to Ezekiel concerning the building of the Temple after the captivity -

“It shall be for the priests of the sons of Zadok, who are sanctified, who have kept My charge, who did not go astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray.” – Eze 48:11

Again, the Levites as a whole continually “went astray” and tolerated the sins of the people, whereas they were to be “teaching My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.” (Eze 44:23)

Zadok - whose name means “Righteous, Justified” (Strong’s H6659) - was a blood relative of Phinehas, and was a righteous priest who ministered during David’s reign. In turn, his “seed” stayed true to the Lord, and were given, above even the sons of Levi, the privilege and right to draw near to God and minister to Him. In fact, the Lord God Himself was their inheritance.

“It shall be, in regard to their inheritance, that I am their inheritance. You shall give them no possession in Israel, for I am their possession.” – Eze 44:28 NKJV

It was to that remnant who remained faithful, from among the whole tribe who had been called to serve the Lord, that received the promise and the inheritance.

“But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer to Me the fat and the blood,” says the Lord God. 16 “They shall enter My sanctuary, and they shall come near My table to minister to Me, and they shall keep My charge.” – Eze 44:15-16 NKJV

Now, here comes another fascinating piece of the puzzle… !

We know that concerning the Priesthood of Christ Jesus it is said, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb 7:17)

“Melchizedek”, whom the writer of Hebrews wanted to teach about to the saints, but could not because of their spiritual immaturity, appears in both Old and New Testaments as one who “abideth a priest continually” before God. His name means “king of right” (H4442) or as Hebrews 7 describes him – “priest of the Most High God; king of righteousness, then also, king of Salem, meaning king of peace” (Heb 7:1-2)

The root word in the Hebrew for both Zadok and Melchizedek is צָדַק (tsâdaq) Strong’s H6663
Meaning, “to be just, be righteous (in conduct and character); to have a just cause, be in the right, to be justified.”

We know from some of the passages above, and others in the OT, that the Levites - who by God’s choosing and reason had been given the right to minister before Him – as a whole, failed time and again to live up to their calling, continually going “astray”, and they forfeited the opportunity for an “everlasting priesthood.” God would choose another through whom to establish His “Kingdom of priests.” (Rev 5:10)

For, “if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?” – Heb 7:11

But to the righteous Zadok, who was righteous above his fellow kinsmen, and Melchizedek the “king of righteousness”, the promise of the “everlasting priesthood” was fulfilled in - dare I say - their “seed” in the sense of “zera`” as we looked earlier; One who was in common with them a “practitioner of righteousness, marked with that moral quality.”

And to this Anointed One who truly “loved righteousness and hated lawlessness”: the Man Jesus; the Father, El Shaddai says,

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

- Heb 1:8-9

Personally, I take the Word as it stands concerning Melchizedek, that, as Phillips translates, “He had no father or mother and no family tree. He was not born nor did he die, but, being like the Son of God, is a perpetual priest.” (Heb 7:3). I believe that as several angels appeared in the OT, Melchizedek was of the spiritual realm, appearing in the form of man, but not physical as was Phinehas and Zadok, who were not of the spirit realm.

Jesus, when God raised Him from the dead was/is now both physical and spiritual. He is the “Firstborn from the dead”, the “Firstborn of Creation”, the “new Creation” that will be fully realized when Jesus’ “brothers” are manifest and the Kingdom of God comes to the earth, and the spiritual and physical realms converge.

The Man Jesus, again the “Firstborn of many brothers” (Rom 8:29), has become “the forerunner for us, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb 6:20)

Oh, there is so much more to the incredible plan and purpose of God in Christ for His Creation. I wish the recipients of the letter to the Hebrews had been more mature and diligent in their walk, so that the writer could have shared deeper on the eternal priesthood. But I do believe the Lord is unveiling His Truth in our time as the Day draws nigh.

Now I seem to have gotten off on a tangent from my tangent here! 

~ to be continued ~ 

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