PHINEHAS (fĭn'ē-ăs, Heb. pînehās, mouth of brass)

It was Phinehas who accompanied the 1000 from each tribe in the move to avenge Israel, when he carried certain “vessels of the sanctuary and the trumpets for alarm in his hand” (Num 31:6). He seems to have been installed as high priest later; Eleazar is noted as still in the office (3:13, 21, 26, etc.).

Again Phinehas was commissioned to inquire into the apparent violation of divine law by the E Jordan tribes, which were exonerated and praised when it was found that the altar raised was simply for reminder in times to come (Josh 22:9-34).

Once more, following the outrage of the concubine of the sojourning Levite at Gibeah of Benjamin, it was Phinehas who at that time ministered before the Ark, who gave divine endorsement and promise of success for the third attempt in avenging the crime (Judg 20:28). Presumably he was buried in the hill of Ephraim where his father was laid to rest (Josh 24:33).

2. A recreant son of Eli the priest (1 Sam 1:3), who along with his brother Hophni, demanded reversal of sacrificial regulations, engaged in gross immorality, and were condemned by a “man of God” (1 Sam 2:11ff.). The brothers connived at taking the Ark into battle, but were killed, and the Ark was taken by the Philistines (1 Sam 4).

3. The father of a priest, Eleazar, who with others made accounting for certain valuables that the returnees brought from Babylon (Ezra 8:33; 1 Esd 8:63).

4. The last high priest before Titus’ destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70 (Jos. War IV. iii. 8).

5. The last treasurer of the Temple, who when the city fell, handed the Romans some of its treasures (Jos. War VI. viii. 3).


J. Bright, History of Israel (1959), 165, 421, 427.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

fin’-e-as, -az, fin’-e-has, -haz (pinechac, "mouth of brass"):

(2) The younger son of Eli (1Sa 1:3; 2 Esdras 1:2, "Phinees").

See Hophni and Phinehas.

(3) Father of a priest named Eleazar (Ezr 8:33; compare Ezr 8:2; 1 Esdras 8:63, "Phinees").