The just reward
פינחס בן-אלעזר בן-אהרן הכהן השיב את-חמתי מעל בני-ישראל בקנאו את-קנאתי בתוכם וגו’ לכן אמר הנני נתן לו את-בריתי שלום
Pinchas the son of Elazar, the son of Aharon the Kohen, removed My wrath from upon the Jewish people, as he avenged My vengeance amongst them…Therefore, it shall be said that I hereby give him My covenant of Peace
This week’s parsha starts by concluding the episode of the previous parsha. There were many Jews who were involved in lewd behavior with foreign women and idol worship. This had the danger of causing the entire Jewish people to be wiped out in a plague. The grandson of Aharon, Pinchas, volunteered to take action. Although he wasn’t required, he punished the main instigator of the debacle. He stood up, when no one else did. His bold deed gave everyone time to pause, and the sinning stopped. The Jewish people were safe again. Hashem, in this week’s parsha, confirmed that Pinchas behaved properly by taking the law into his own hands. He announced that Pinchas would be rewarded. Chazal make a point of stressing that Pinchas deserved to be rewarded. Why did they feel the need to point this out? The verse seemingly does a fine job of saying that he deserved to be rewarded.