Zimri (prince)

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Not to be confused with Zimri (king).

Zimri (Arabic: السامري‎) was the Prince of the Tribe of Simeon during the time of the Israelites in the desert. At Shittim (Num. 25:6-15) he took part in the Heresy of Peor, taking as a paramour a Midianite woman, Cozbi. Zimri openly defied Moses before the people who were standing at the entrance of the Tabernacle by going in to the Midianite, but Phinehas, grandson of Aaron, killed them both by impaling them on a spear.

According to a midrash, Zimri was the same person as Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai.

In Islam, Zimri appears under the name Samiri. Islam assigns to him also a major role in the earlier affair of the Golden Calf, which is not attested in the Bible. The Islamic account attributes to Zimri/Samiri many to the actions which the Bible assigns to Aharon - thus exonerating the latter, Islam's Propehet Harun, from involvement in the sinful worship of the Calf.

According to The Revelations of Saint Bridget, after his death, Zimri's soul was condemned to hell (Book 7, Chapter 19).

The modern Phineas Priesthood believe the story of Phinehas and Zimri provides divine mandate for the murder of race traitors; although the previous rebuke of Miriam in Num. 12 for criticising Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman confounds this reading.