B'midbar (Num) 31
1(LY: ii) Adonai said to Moshe, 2“On behalf of the people of Isra’el, take vengeance on the Midyanim. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”
3Moshe said to the people, “Equip men from among yourselves for war. They are to go and fight Midyan, in order to carry out Adonai’s vengeance on Midyan. 4You are to send to the war a thousand men from every one of Isra’el’s tribes.” 5So out of the thousands of people in Isra’el, a thousand armed men from each tribe, 12,000 altogether, were mustered for war. 6Moshe sent them, a thousand from each tribe, to the war; he sent them and Pinchas the son of El‘azar the cohen to the war, with the holy utensils and the trumpets for sounding the alarm in his care.
7They fought against Midyan, as Adonai had ordered Moshe, and killed every male. 8They killed the kings of Midyan along with the others who were slain — Evi, Rekem, Tzur, Hur and Reva, the five kings of Midyan. They also killed Bil‘am the son of B‘or with the sword. 9The people of Isra’el took captive the women of Midyan and their little ones, and they took as booty all their cattle, flocks and other goods. 10They set fire to all their cities in the areas where they lived and all their camps. 11They took all the booty, all the people and animals they had captured, 12and brought the captives, booty and spoil to Moshe, El‘azar the cohen and the community of Isra’el in the camp on the plains of Mo’av by the Yarden across from Yericho.
(RY: ii, LY: iii) 13Moshe, El‘azar the cohen and all the community leaders went to meet them outside the camp. 14But Moshe was angry with the army officers, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds coming in from the battlefield. 15Moshe asked them, “You let the women live? 16Why, these are the ones who — because of Bil‘am’s advice — caused the people of Isra’el to rebel, breaking faith with Adonai in the P‘or incident, so that the plague broke out among Adonai’s community! 17Now kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has ever slept with a man. 18But the young girls who have never slept with a man, keep alive for yourselves. 19Pitch your tents outside the camp for seven days. Whoever has killed a person or touched the corpse of someone slain, purify yourselves on the third and seventh days, you and your captives. 20Also purify every garment, whether of skin or goat’s hair, and everything made of wood.”
21El‘azar the cohen said to the soldiers who had gone to the front, “This is the regulation from the Torah which Adonai has ordered Moshe. 22Even though gold, silver, brass, iron, tin and lead 23can all withstand fire, so that you are indeed to purify everything made of these materials by having them pass through fire; nevertheless they must also be purified with the water for purification. Everything that can’t withstand fire you are to have go through the water. 24On the seventh day you are to wash your clothes, and you will be clean; after that you may enter the camp.”
(LY: iv) 25Adonai said to Moshe, 26“Take all the booty, both people and animals, you, El‘azar the cohen and the leaders of clans in the community; 27and divide the booty into two parts: half for the experienced soldiers who went out to battle, and half for the rest of the community. 28From the portion of the soldiers who went out to battle, levy a tax for Adonai consisting of one-five-hundredth of the persons, cattle, donkeys and sheep; 29take it from their half and give it to El‘azar the cohen as a portion set apart for Adonai. 30From the half that goes to the people of Isra’el, you are to take one-fiftieth of the persons, and of the cattle, donkeys and sheep, that is, of all the livestock; and give them to the L’vi’im taking care of the tabernacle of Adonai.” 31Moshe and El‘azar the cohen did as Adonai had ordered Moshe.
32The booty, over and above the portion which the soldiers took, came to 675,000 sheep, 3372,000 cattle, 3461,000 donkeys, 35and 32,000 persons in all, consisting of the women who had never slept with a man.
36The half which was the portion of the soldiers who went out to fight, numbered 337,500 sheep, 37of which Adonai’s tribute was 675; 3836,000 cattle, of which Adonai’s tribute was seventy-two; 3930,500 donkeys, of which Adonai’s tribute was sixty-one; 40and 16,000 persons, of whom Adonai’s tribute was thirty-two persons. 41Moshe gave the tribute set apart for Adonai to El‘azar the cohen, as Adonai had ordered Moshe.
(LY: v) 42From the half that went to people of Isra’el, which Moshe separated from that of the men who had gone to fight — 43now the community’s half consisted of 337,500 sheep, 4436,000 cattle, 4530,500 donkeys 46and 16,000 persons — 47from the people of Isra’el’s half, Moshe took one-fiftieth of the persons and animals and gave them to the L’vi’im taking care of the tabernacle of Adonai, as Adonai had ordered Moshe.
48The officers in charge of the thousands who fought, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, approached Moshe 49and said to him, “Your servants have counted all the soldiers under our command, and not one of us is missing. 50We have brought an offering for Adonai, what every man has obtained in the way of gold jewelry — armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings and belts — to make atonement for ourselves before Adonai.”
51Moshe and El‘azar the cohen accepted their gold, all the jewelry. 52All the gold in this gift which the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds set apart for Adonai weighed 420 pounds. 53For the soldiers had taken booty, every man for himself. 54Moshe and El‘azar the cohen took the gold from the commanders of thousands and of hundreds and brought it into the tent of meeting as a reminder for the people of Isra’el before Adonai.
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