Vengeance on the Midianites
1And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2#Num. 25:17“Take vengeance on the Midianites for the children of Israel. Afterward you shall #Num. 27:12, 13be gathered to your people.”
3So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm some of yourselves for war, and let them go against the Midianites to take vengeance for the Lord on #Josh. 13:21Midian. 4A thousand from each tribe of all the tribes of Israel you shall send to the war.”
5So there were recruited from the divisions of Israel one thousand from each tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. 6Then Moses sent them to the war, one thousand from each tribe; he sent them to the war with Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, with the holy articles and #Num. 10:9the signal trumpets in his hand. 7And they warred against the Midianites, just as the Lord commanded Moses, and #Deut. 20:13; Judg. 21:11; 1 Sam. 27:9; 1 Kin. 11:15, 16they killed all the #Gen. 34:25males. 8They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of those who were killed—#Josh. 13:21Evi, Rekem, #Num. 25:15Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. #Num. 31:16; Josh. 13:22Balaam the son of Beor they also killed with the sword.
9And the children of Israel took the women of Midian captive, with their little ones, and took as spoil all their cattle, all their flocks, and all their goods. 10They also burned with fire all the cities where they dwelt, and all their forts. 11And #Deut. 20:14they took all the spoil and all the booty—of man and beast.
Return from the War
12Then they brought the captives, the booty, and the spoil to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the children of Israel, to the camp in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho. 13And Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the congregation, went to meet them outside the camp. 14But Moses was angry with the officers of the army, with the captains over thousands and captains over hundreds, who had come from the battle.
15And Moses said to them: “Have you kept #Deut. 20:14all the women alive? 16Look, #Num. 25:2these women caused the children of Israel, through the #Num. 24:14; 2 Pet. 2:15; Rev. 2:14counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and #Num. 25:9there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. 17Now therefore, #Deut. 7:2; 20:16–18; Judg. 21:11kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man intimately. 18But keep alive #Deut. 21:10–14for yourselves all the young girls who have not known a man intimately. 19And as for you, #Num. 5:2remain outside the camp seven days; whoever has killed any person, and #Num. 19:11–22whoever has touched any slain, purify yourselves and your captives on the third day and on the seventh day. 20Purify every garment, everything made of leather, everything woven of goats’ hair, and everything made of wood.”
21Then Eleazar the priest said to the men of war who had gone to the battle, “This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord commanded Moses: 22Only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, 23everything that can endure fire, you shall put through the fire, and it shall be clean; and it shall be purified #Num. 19:9, 17with the water of purification. But all that cannot endure fire you shall put through water. 24#Lev. 11:25And you shall wash your clothes on the seventh day and be clean, and afterward you may come into the camp.”
Division of the Plunder
25Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 26“Count up the plunder that was taken—of man and beast—you and Eleazar the priest and the chief fathers of the congregation; 27and #Josh. 22:8; 1 Sam. 30:24divide the plunder into two parts, between those who took part in the war, who went out to battle, and all the congregation. 28And levy a tribute for the Lord on the men of war who went out to battle: #Num. 31:30, 47one of every five hundred of the persons, the cattle, the donkeys, and the sheep; 29take it from their half, and #Deut. 18:1–5give it to Eleazar the priest as a heave offering to the Lord. 30And from the children of Israel’s half you shall take #Num. 31:42–47one of every fifty, drawn from the persons, the cattle, the donkeys, and the sheep, from all the livestock, and give them to the Levites #Num. 3:7, 8, 25, 31, 36; 18:3, 4who keep charge of the tabernacle of the Lord.” 31So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses.
32The booty remaining from the plunder, which the men of war had taken, was six hundred and seventy-five thousand sheep, 33seventy-two thousand cattle, 34sixty-one thousand donkeys, 35and thirty-two thousand persons in all, of women who had not known a man intimately. 36And the half, the portion for those who had gone out to war, was in number three hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred sheep; 37and the Lord’s tribute of the sheep was six hundred and seventy-five. 38The cattle were thirty-six thousand, of which the Lord’s tribute was seventy-two. 39The donkeys were thirty thousand five hundred, of which the Lord’s tribute was sixty-one. 40The persons were sixteen thousand, of which the Lord’s tribute was thirty-two persons. 41So Moses gave the tribute which was the Lord’s heave offering to Eleazar the priest, #Num. 5:9, 10; 18:8, 19as the Lord commanded Moses.
42And from the children of Israel’s half, which Moses separated from the men who fought— 43now the half belonging to the congregation was three hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred sheep, 44thirty-six thousand cattle, 45thirty thousand five hundred donkeys, 46and sixteen thousand persons— 47and #Num. 31:30from the children of Israel’s half Moses took one of every fifty, drawn from man and beast, and gave them to the Levites, who kept charge of the tabernacle of the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.
48Then the officers who were over thousands of the army, the captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, came near to Moses; 49and they said to Moses, “Your servants have taken a count of the men of war who are under our command, and not a man of us is missing. 50Therefore we have brought an offering for the Lord, what every man found of ornaments of gold: armlets and bracelets and signet rings and earrings and necklaces, #Ex. 30:12–16to make atonement for ourselves before the Lord.” 51So Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from them, all the fashioned ornaments. 52And all the gold of the offering that they offered to the Lord, from the captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels. 53#Num. 31:32; Deut. 20:14(The men of war had taken spoil, every man for himself.) 54And Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tabernacle of meeting #Ex. 30:16as a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord.