Rashi states that there were suspicions of an avoda zara worshiper in Pinchas lineage. Was he related to Yithro?


1 Answer 1


The Gemara in a few places (Sotah 43A, Bava Basra 110A) says that he was a descendent of Yisro one way or another:

אֶלָּא אִי אֲבוּהּ דְּאִמֵּיהּ מִיּוֹסֵף אִמַּהּ דְּאִמֵּיהּ מִיִּתְרוֹ אִי אֲבוּהּ דְּאִמֵּיהּ מִיִּתְרוֹ אִמַּהּ דְּאִמֵּיהּ מִיּוֹסֵף דַּיְקָא נָמֵי דִּכְתִיב מִבְּנוֹת פּוּטִיאֵל תַּרְתֵּי שְׁמַע מִינַּהּ

Rather, this is how the matter should be resolved: If his mother’s father came from the family of Joseph, his mother’s mother came from the family of Yitro, and if his mother’s father came from the family of Yitro, his mother’s mother came from the family of Joseph. Based on this conclusion, the language of the verse is also precise, as it is written: “And Elazar, Aaron’s son, took one of the daughters of Putiel” (Exodus 6:25). Conclude from the wording of the verse that Pinehas was descended from two men who were referred to as Puti: Yitro and Joseph.

The Rashbam on the Gemara in Bava Basra explains that he was a few generation’s removed from Yisro not a grandchild but at least a great grandchild or great great grandchild:

אלא ה"ק ואלעזר לקח לו אשה מבנות פוטיאל כלומר שאשתו נולדה מיתרו ומיוסף ומהשתא מצינן למימר שדור רביעי או דור חמישי היה פנחס לבת יתרו

  • Thank you for clarifying and sources:) Jul 9, 2023 at 7:20

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