Israel Attacks the Midianites
1The Lord spoke to Moses and said, 2“Pay back the Midianites for what they did to the Israelites; after that you will die.”
3So Moses said to the people, “Get some men ready for war. The Lord will use them to pay back the Midianites. 4Send to war a thousand men from each of the tribes of Israel.” 5So twelve thousand men got ready for war, a thousand men from each tribe. 6Moses sent those men to war; Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest was with them. He took with him the holy things and the trumpets for giving the alarm. 7They fought the Midianites as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they killed every Midianite man. 8Among those they killed were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, who were the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with a sword.
9The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children, and they took all their flocks, herds, and goods. 10They burned all the Midianite towns where they had settled and all their camps, 11but they took all the people and animals and goods. 12Then they brought the captives, the animals, and the goods back to Moses and Eleazar the priest and all the Israelites. Their camp was on the plains of Moab near the Jordan River, across from Jericho.
13Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went outside the camp to meet them. 14Moses was angry with the army officers, the commanders over a thousand men, and those over a hundred men, who returned from war.
15He asked them, “Why did you let the women live? 16They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and turned the Israelites from the Lord at Peor. Then a terrible sickness struck the Lord’s people. 17Kill all the Midianite boys, and kill all the Midianite women who have had sexual relations. 18But save for yourselves the girls who have not had sexual relations with a man.
19“All you men who killed anyone or touched a dead body must stay outside the camp for seven days. On the third and seventh days you and your captives must make yourselves clean. 20You must clean all your clothes and anything made of leather, goat hair, or wood.”
21Then Eleazar the priest said to the soldiers who had gone to war, “These are the teachings that the Lord gave to Moses: 22Put any gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, or lead— 23anything that will not burn—into the fire, and then it will be clean. But also purify those things with the cleansing water. Then they will be clean. If something cannot stand the fire, wash it with the water. 24On the seventh day wash your clothes, and you will be clean. After that you may come into the camp.”
Dividing the Goods
25The Lord said to Moses, 26“You, Eleazar the priest, and the leaders of the family groups should take a count of the goods, the men, and the animals that were taken. 27Then divide those possessions between the soldiers who went to war and the rest of the people. 28From the soldiers who went to war, take a tax for the Lord of one item out of every five hundred. This includes people, cattle, donkeys, or sheep. 29Take it from the soldiers’ half, and give it to Eleazar the priest as the Lord’s share. 30And from the people’s half, take one item out of every fifty. This includes people, cattle, donkeys, sheep, or other animals. Give that to the Levites, who take care of the Lord’s Holy Tent.” 31So Moses and Eleazar did as the Lord commanded Moses.
32There remained from what the soldiers had taken 675,000 sheep, 3372,000 cattle, 3461,000 donkeys, 35and 32,000 women who had not had sexual relations with a man. 36The soldiers who went to war got 337,000 sheep, 37and they gave 675 of them to the Lord. 38They got 36,000 cattle, and they gave 72 of them to the Lord. 39They got 30,500 donkeys, and they gave 61 of them to the Lord. 40They got 16,000 people, and they gave 32 of them to the Lord. 41Moses gave the Lord’s share to Eleazar the priest, as the Lord had commanded him.
42Moses separated the people’s half from the soldiers’ half. 43The people got 337,500 sheep, 4436,000 cattle, 4530,500 donkeys, 46and 16,000 people. 47From the people’s half Moses took one item out of every fifty for the Lord. This included the animals and the people. Then he gave them to the Levites, who took care of the Lord’s Holy Tent. This was what the Lord had commanded Moses.
48Then the officers of the army, the commanders of a thousand men and commanders of a hundred men, came to Moses. 49They told Moses, “We, your servants, have counted our soldiers under our command, and not one of them is missing. 50So we have brought the Lord a gift of the gold things that each of us found: arm bands, bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and necklaces. These are to remove our sins so we will belong to the Lord.”
51So Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from them, which had been made into all kinds of objects. 52The commanders of a thousand men and the commanders of a hundred men gave the Lord the gold, and all of it together weighed about 420 pounds; 53each soldier had taken something for himself. 54Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from the commanders of a thousand men and the commanders of a hundred men. Then they put it in the Meeting Tent as a memorial before the Lord for the people of Israel.