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The Midrash says that Pinchas and Eliyahu are the same person. According to most of the Rishonim, I believe, this (as any other Midrash) should not be taken literally. Which are some of the non-literal interpretations of this particular Midrash?

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    They are both described as zealous servants of God. Connecting their ventures draws out a clear thematic connection between the stories. – Double AA Jul 9 '15 at 15:51
  • To add to @Double AA's point, Reb Dovid Feinstein said that chazzal felt it was hard enough to accept one zealot in this religion, but two?! No way. Musta been the same person. – user6591 Jul 9 '15 at 17:01
  • @user6591 ...and hence the non-literal interpretation is the message that zealotry in Judaism is to be limited as much as possible. – Double AA Jul 9 '15 at 17:03
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    which rishonim? – ray Jul 9 '15 at 18:35
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    @DoubleAA made a good point. Rabbi Sacks writes a nice article based on that. rabbisacks.org/… – Emilios1995 Jul 10 '15 at 0:07

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