I'm a little confused about the chronology of the Biblical giants Caleb and Pinchas. Caleb appears to have been part of the Exodus generation, and with Joshua, their defense of the Land of Israel merited them to be exempted from the ban upon all other members of that generation from entering into the Land (Numbers 14:38). I read the fascinating discussion about whether the Pinchus in the Book of Numbers is the same as in the Book of Judges (in response to this question), but I'm not clear on whether Pinchas merited entering the Land with Joshua and Caleb because of his zealousness (described in Numbers 25:7-9) or because he was born after the Exodus. Are there sources that explain this?

2 Answers 2


Exodus 6:25 seems to speak of the birth of Pinchas before the Exodus.

In terms of entering the land of Israel, the Ohr haChaim writes that the decree of death extended from people who were age 20-60, not the ones younger and not the ones older. So Pinchas may have been a young lad at the time of the spies, and the decree would not have extended to him.

  • +1. But what about those who don't hold by the Ohr haChaim? Jan 31, 2013 at 19:13
  • @CharlesKoppelman: Do you have examples of commentaries who don't agree with the Ohr HaChaim?
    – Menachem
    Jan 31, 2013 at 19:26
  • @Menachem I can't think of or find any but will let you know if I come across any. Jan 31, 2013 at 20:03
  • 2
    It's in Torah in a couple places. One is Numbers 14:29-33. "In this desert, your corpses shall fall; your entire number, all those from the age of twenty and up, who were counted..." (and so forth) chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9942/jewish/Chapter-14.htm
    – Cyn
    Oct 12, 2018 at 23:34

Pinchas was from the tribe of Levi and wasn't decreed upon to die in the wilderness, even if his age might have been between 20-60 if he was born before going out of Egypt (Shemos 6,20 clearly states Pinchos was alread born in Egypt). Bava Bathra 121b:

כתיב (במדבר כו, סה) ולא נותר מהם איש כי אם כלב בן יפונה ויהושע בן נון אמר רב המנונא לא נגזרה גזרה על שבטו של לוי דכתיב (במדבר יד, כט) במדבר הזה יפלו פגריכם וכל פקודיכם לכל מספרכם מבן עשרים שנה ומעלה מי שפקודיו מבן עשרים יצא שבטו של לוי שפקודיו מבן שלשים

The same might be said about Elazar Pinchas' father who was the Cohein Gadol in the wilderness then when they entered Israel, he also survived the Decree of the Meraglim because he was a Levite.

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