Everlasting Covenant of Peace

G-d promised Pinchas that he would have a covenant of peace, and that “his children after him will have the covenant of the priesthood forever” (Bamidbar 25:13).  Rabbi Yosef Karo explains that G-d was promising Pinchas that his descendants would be righteous, and that despite all the exiles and persecutions that would occur in future, his family line would survive throughout history.  The promise also included a guarantee that his descendants would be the High Priests in the times of the Messiah (as they were during the First Temple era) and would serve in the Third Temple (Magid Meisharim, Pinchas).

“And the sons of Korach did not die” (Bamidbar 26:11).  Although Korach, Dathan and Abiram and all those who joined in the uprising against Moses died, the sons of Korach remained alive.  According to Rashi even though they originally participated in the uprising, since they felt remorse for what they did, their lives were saved.  The Ibn Ezra points out that Samuel the prophet was in fact a descendant of the children of Korach, and according to Rabbi Isaac Luriah,  Samuel’s righteousness rectified the sin of his ancestor Korach.  Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz writes that this rectification is alluded to in Psalm 92 in which the last letters of the phrase “the righteous will flower like a palm tree” spell out Korach (Shnei Luchot Habrit, Hagahot Labamidbar, Korach)

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