Numbers Chapter 31  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Num 31
 
Vengeance on the Midianites

1Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
  2“Execute vengeance for the children of Israel against the Midianites. Afterward you will be gathered to your people.”
 

3So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among you for the war so that they can go against Midian to execute Yahweh’s vengeance on Midian.
  4From every tribe, throughout all the tribes of Israel, you are to send 1,000 men to the war.”
  5So there were 1,000 men from every tribe provided out of the thousands of Israel; 12,000 armed for war.
  6So Moses sent them to the war, 1,000 from every tribe—they and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest to the war—along with the vessels of the sanctuary and the trumpets for the alarm in his hand.
 

7They waged war against Midian as Yahweh commanded Moses, and they killed every male.
  8They killed the kings of Midian along with the rest of their slain: Evi, and Rekem, and Zur and Hur and Reba, the five kings of Midian. And they also killed Balaam the son of Beor with the sword.
  9And the children of Israel took captive the women of Midian and their little ones, and they took as plunder all their livestock and all their flocks and all their goods.
  10And all their cities in the places where they lived, and all their encampments, they burned with fire.
  11And they took all the spoil and all the plunder, both of man and of beast.
  12They brought the captives and the plunder and the spoil to Moses and to Eleazar the priest and to the congregation of the children of Israel at the camp on the plains of Moab that are by the Jordan at Jericho.
 

13Moses and Eleazar the priest and all the leaders of the congregation went out to meet them outside of the camp.
  14but Moses was angry with the officers of the army, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, who came from service in the war.
  15Moses said to them, “Have you saved all the women alive?
  16Behold, these, on the advice of Balaam, caused the children of Israel to trespass against Yahweh in the matter of Peor, and so there was a plague among the congregation of Yahweh.
  17So now, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man by lying with him.
  18But all the young girls who have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
 

19“Encamp outside of the camp seven days. Whoever has killed any person and whoever has touched any slain, purify yourselves on the third day and on the seventh day—both you and your captives.
  20And you are to purify for yourselves every garment and everything that is made of skin, and everything made of goats’ hair and everything made of wood.”
 

21Then Eleazar the priest said to the men of war who went to the battle, “This is the statute of the law that Yahweh has commanded Moses:
  22only the gold and the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead,
  23everything that can withstand the fire, you are to pass through the fire and it will be clean; but it must be purified with the water for impurity. And everything that cannot withstand the fire you are to pass through the water.
  24You are to wash your clothes on the seventh day and you will be clean, and afterward you may come into the camp.”
 

Dividing the Spoils

25And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
  26“You and Eleazar the priest and the heads of the fathers’ households of the congregation are to take a count of the plunder that was taken, both of man and of beast,
  27and divide the plunder into two parts, between the men skilled in war who went out to battle, and all the congregation.
  28And levy a tax for Yahweh from the men of war who went out to battle: one soul of 500 from the humans, from the cattle, from the donkeys, and from the flocks.
  29Take it from their half and give it to Eleazar the priest as a wave offering for Yahweh.
  30And from the children of Israel’s half, you are to take one drawn out of every fifty from the humans, from the cattle, from the donkeys, and from the flocks; from all the livestock and give them to the Levites who perform the duty of the tabernacle of Yahweh.”
 

31And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as Yahweh commanded Moses.
  32Now the plunder that remained from the spoil that the men of war took, was

 675,00 sheep,

 33 and 72,000 cattle,

 34 and 61,000 donkeys,

 35 and 32,000 peoplea in all, consisting of the women who had not known a man by lying with him.

 

36And the half that was the portion of those who went out to war numbered

 337,500 sheep,

 37 and Yahweh’s tribute from the sheep was 675.

 38 The cattle were 36,000,

 from which Yahweh’s tribute was 72.

 39 The donkeys were 30,500,

 from which Yahweh’s tribute was 61.

 40 The people were 16,000,

 from which Yahweh’s tribute was 32 persons.

 

41Moses gave the tribute that was Yahweh’s wave offering to Eleazar the priest, as Yahweh commanded Moses.
 

42And from the children of Israel’s half that Moses divided off from the men who had gone to war
  43the congregation’s half was

 337,500 sheep,

 44 and 36,000 head of cattle,

 45 and 30,500 donkeys,

 46 and 16,000 people,

 

47And from the children of Israel’s half, Moses took one drawn out of every fifty, both of man and of beast, and gave them to the Levites who performed the duty of the tabernacle of Yahweh, as Yahweh commanded Moses.
 

48And the officers who were over the thousands of the army, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, came near to Moses,
  49and they said to Moses, “Your servants have counted the men of war who are under our command, and there is not missing one man of us.
  50So we have brought as an approach offering to Yahweh, what every man has gotten of jewels of gold, armlets and bracelets, signet rings, earrings and necklaces, to make atonement for ourselves before Yahweh.”
 

51So Moses and Eleazar the priest took their gold, all the crafted articles.
  52All the gold of the wave offering that they offered up to Yahweh from the captains of thousands and from the captains of hundreds was 16,750 shekels.
  53(The men of war had each taken plunder for himself).
  54Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from the captains of thousands and of hundreds and brought it into the Tent of Meeting as a memorial for the children of Israel before Yahweh.
 


a[35]
Lit. “souls”

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