PHINEHAS

PHINEHAS, guardian of the Second Temple treasury in the last days of the Temple. Josephus (Wars, 6:387–91) relates that with the seizure of Jerusalem and the Temple (70 C.E.) Phinehas, taken prisoner, "disclosed the tunics and girdles worn by the priests, an abundance of purple and scarlet kept for necessary repairs to the veil of the Temple, a mass of cinammon and cassia, and a multitude of other spices mixed and burnt daily as incense to God. Many other treasures were also delivered up by him, with numerous sacred ornaments." Phinehas was not the sole Temple custodian to disclose the sacred treasures of the Sanctuary. He was joined by one of the priests, Joshua (Jesus) son of Thebuthi. Both officials were granted pardons by the Romans in reward for their services. The mishnaic list of officials in the Temple (Shek. 5:1) includes a Pinhas al ha-Malbush ("Phinehas, the guardian of the wardrobe"), who is probably the same person. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Graetz, in: MGWJ, 34 (1885), 193–205; Schuerer, Gesch, 2 (1907), 332f.; Klausner, Bayit Sheni, 5 (19512), 272. (Isaiah Gafni) PHINEHAS BEN ḤAMA HA-KOHEN PHINEHAS BEN ḤAMA HA-KOHEN (mid-fourth century), Palestinian amora. In the Jerusalem Talmud and Genesis Rabbah he is known as R. Phinehas, while in the later Midrashim he appears with his full name: Phinehas (ha-Kohen) b. Ḥama. Though born and brought up in Palestine, he was familiar with the genealogy of both Babylonian and Palestinian families (Kid. 71a), and showed his preference for the former (ibid.). He appears to have resided in the town of Sikhnin where his brother Samuel is recorded to have died (Mid. Sam. 9:3), and he probably lived to an old age (Kid. 71a and Rashi ibid.). In the halakhah, Phinehas was primarily a pupil of R. Jeremiah, details of whose ritual practice he records (e.g., TJ, Kil. 4:4, 29b; TJ, MK 1:2, 80b; TJ, Ket. 6:7, 31a). He was a colleague of R. Yose, with whom he often debated halakhic points (TJ, Yev. 1:2, 2d, et al.), and his main pupil in halakhah was Hananiah (of Sepphoris) who handed down most of his halakhic statements (see TJ, Dem. 3:1, 23b). Phinehas transmitted many aggadic aphorisms in the name of earlier amoraim, especially those of the previous generation – Hilkiah, Ḥanin, Reuben, and others. His own aggadot, both aphorisms and homiletic exegesis, are also extensive, and he often added a light anecdote to his homily to bring home the moral. In what appears to be a polemical reference to Christianity he declared, "While other laws decree that one must renounce one's parents to pledge allegiance to the king (cf. Matt. 10:35–37), the Torah says, 'Honor thy father and thy mother'" (Num. R. 8:4). His deduction from Job that "Poverty in a man's house is worse than 50 plagues" (BB 116a) may well be a bitter reflection on current economic conditions, and he laments the moral decline of the nation in its contemporary promiscuity (Lam. R. 1:11, no. 39. and gambling (Mid. Ps. to 26:7). His maxim that only one who does not leave after him a son of his own caliber is truly dead (BB 116a) is indicative of his keen concern for right education; and his best-known maxim is that "the name a person gains for himself is worth more than the one endowed him from birth" (Eccles. R. 7: 1, no. 4). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Bacher, Pal Amor, 3; Hyman, Toledot, S.V.; Ḥ. Albeck, Mavo la-Talmudim (1969), 347–8. (Benjamin Cohen)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • PHINEHAS — (Heb. פִּנְחָס), name of three biblical figures: (1) Son of eleazar , son of aaron the priest (Ex. 6:25; cf. genealogies in Ezra 7:1–5; I Chron. 5:28–41; 6:35–38). When the Israelites suffered a plague in punishment for indulging in the orgiastic …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Phinehas — or Pinhas (). The Christian book of Revelation mirrors this sentiment (cf. ) Phinehas son of Eleazar appears again in the book of Joshua. When the tribes of Reuben and Gad, together with the half tribe of Manasseh, depart to take possession of… …   Wikipedia

  • Phinehas —    Mouth of brass, or from old Egypt, the negro.    1) Son of Eleazar, the high priest (Ex. 6:25). While yet a youth he distinguished himself at Shittim by his zeal against the immorality into which the Moabites had tempted the people (Num. 25:1… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Phinehas — noun a) Any of a number of Old Testament men, including a son of Eli and a grandson of Aaron. And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them. b) of biblical… …   Wiktionary

  • Phinehas —    1) (fl. ?13th cent BCE)    Israelite priest, grandson of Aaron. He slew Zimri and as a reward he and his descendants were granted the priesthood (Numbers 25). He was also given a holding on Mount Ephraim. Phinehas continued to officiate and… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Phinehas — 1) A grandson of Aaron, who ministered before the Ark [[➝ ark]] of the Covenant (Judg. 20:28). 2) The younger son of Eli, a priest (1 Sam. 1:3) who failed in his duties (1 Sam. 2:13) and was killed in battle by the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:11) …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Phinehas ben Jair — (Hebrew: פנחס בן יאיר) was a Tanna of the 4th generation who lived, probably at Lydda, in the second half of the 2nd century. He was the son in law of Shimon bar Yochai and a fellow disciple of Judah I. He was more celebrated for piety than for… …   Wikipedia

  • PHINEHAS BEN JAIR — (second half of second century), tanna renowned both for his saintliness and his ability to work miracles. He was a son in law of Simeon b. Yoḥai , with whom he studied, and achieved a reputation as a keen halakhist (Shab. 33b). Nonetheless, few… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • PHINEHAS BEN JOSEPH HA-LEVI — (13th century), Hebrew poet and paytan in Toledo. According to some scholars Phinehas was the brother of aaron ha Levi of Barcelona to whom the Sefer ha Ḥinnukh is attributed. He was one of the rivals of todros b. judah abulafia in the court of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Phinehas (disambiguation) — Phinehas, Pinhas, or Pinchas may refer to:Biblical figures*Phinehas, son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the High Priest *Phinehas, son of the High Priest Eli. He was a priest at Shiloh, and died when the Philistines captured the Ark of the… …   Wikipedia

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