6. Rabbi Shimon said: Yisrael at that time would have deserved to have been extirpated from the world had not Pinchas first done the deed OF KILLING ZIMRI AND COZBI, and thus the anger abated. This is what is said: "Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned my wrath away" (Bemidbar 25:11). Another explanation: "Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of...:" Rabbi Shimon said, The word son occurs twice to complete the act.
21. HE RESPONDS: come and see, any priest who kills a person is considered forever unfit for the priesthood because he has marred his own level, BECAUSE PRIESTHOOD IS THE LEVEL OF CHESED AND KILLING A PERSON IS ITS OPPOSITION. SINCE Pinchas HAD KILLED ZIMRI AND COZBI, he was legally barred from remaining a priest. But because he was zealous for the Holy One, blessed be He, He had to reinstate him, and also his seed after him for all time, into the priesthood. THIS IS THE MEANING OF THE WORDS, "BECAUSE HE WAS ZEALOUS FOR HIS ELOHIM." Rabbi Yitzchak said, Come and see: Pinchas is recorded above and below. ABOVE MEANS before he came into the world BELOW, is as he was among those who came out of Egypt.
462. So Pinchas is Isaac, for Pinchas stood up and judged the case OF ZIMRI AND COZBI, and put on the strong Gvurah, which is left CALLED 'ISAAC.' And because OF THIS DEED, Pinchas merited the right, NAMELY HE EARNED THE PRIESTHOOD, WHICH IS CHESED, left being here included in the right. "has turned My wrath away" (Bemidbar 25:11). What is the meaning of "turned My wrath away?" AND HE ANSWERS THAT this refers to the three officials in Gehenom WHO ARE CALLED 'Destruction,' 'Anger,' and 'Wrath.' For Pinchas saw that wrath spreading and being drawn down from the side of Isaac. What did he do? He put on THE LEVEL OF Isaac, WHICH IS THE ROOT OF WRATH, and then he took hold of that wrath as one who takes hold of his neighbor and pushes him back.
481. And with what was he able to snatch down these two letters, MEM AND VAV? He used the two spirits that were preserved for him on high, for they make up Pinchas, namely Pnei Chas (Eng. 'the countenance of pity'), for with these two countenances he had pity on Yisrael that they should not be lost because of those two, ZIMRI AND COZBI, "and he thrust both of them through" (Ibid. 8) with the two letters, Mem and Vav, as is written: "in that he was zealous for My sake among them" (Ibid. 11).