Israel Attacks the Midianites
1The Lord spoke to Moses. He 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 1,000 men from each of the tribes of Israel.” 5So 12,000 men got ready for war. There were 1,000 men from each tribe. 6Moses sent those 1,000 men from each tribe to war. Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest was with them. He took with him the holy things and the trumpets. 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. They were the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with a sword.
9The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children. They also took all their flocks, herds and goods. 10Then they burned all the Midianite towns and camps. 11They took all the people and animals and goods. 12Then they went back to Moses and Eleazar the priest and all the Israelites. They brought back the captives, the animals and the goods. The camp was on the plains of Moab near the Jordan River. This was 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 who returned from war. He was angry with those commanders over 1,000 men and those over 100 men.
15He asked them, “Why did you let the women live? 16They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice. They turned the Israelites from the Lord at Peor. Then a terrible sickness struck the Lord’s people. 17Kill all the Midianite boys. Kill all the Midianite women who have had physical relations. 18But save the girls for yourselves who are virgins.
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 you must clean anything made of leather, wool or wood.”
21Then Eleazar the priest spoke to the soldiers who had gone to war. He said, “These are the teachings that the Lord gave to Moses. 22Put any gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin or lead into the fire. 23Put into the fire anything that will not burn. Then wash 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. Then 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 should take a count. Count the goods, the men and the animals that were taken. 27Then divide those things between the soldiers who went to war and the rest of the people. 28Tax the soldiers who went to war. The Lord’s share is 1 thing out of every 500 things. This includes people, cattle, donkeys, sheep or goats. 29Take it from the soldiers’ half. And give it to Eleazar the priest. It is the Lord’s share. 30And from the people’s half, take 1 thing out of every 50. This includes people, cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats or other animals. Give that to the Levites. They 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. These were the women who were virgins. 36The soldiers who went to war got 337,500 sheep. 37They gave 675 of the sheep to the Lord. 38They got 36,000 cattle. They gave 72 of them to the Lord. 39They got 30,500 donkeys. 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. This was what 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 1 thing out of every 50 for the Lord. This included the animals and the people. Then he gave them to the Levites. They took care of the Lord’s Holy Tent. This was what the Lord had commanded Moses.
48Then the officers of the army came to Moses. They were the commanders of 1,000 men and commanders of 100 men. 49They told Moses, “We, your servants, have counted our soldiers under our command. Not one of them is missing. 50So we have brought the Lord a gift. We have brought 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 things from them. 52The commanders of 1,000 men and the commanders of 100 men gave the Lord the gold. 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 1,000 men and the commanders of 100 men. Then they put it in the Meeting Tent. It was a memorial before the Lord for the people of Israel.