Vengeance on Midian
1The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2#ch. 25:17 “Avenge the people of Israel on the Midianites. Afterward you shall #See ch. 20:24be gathered to your people.” 3So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian to execute the Lord’s vengeance on Midian. 4You shall send a thousand from each of the tribes of Israel to the war.” 5So there were provided, out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand from each tribe, twelve thousand #ch. 32:27; Josh. 4:13armed for war. 6And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand from each tribe, together with Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, with the vessels of the sanctuary and #ch. 10:6, 9; Lev. 23:24the trumpets for the alarm in his hand. 7They warred against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and #[Deut. 20:13; Judg. 21:11; 1 Sam. 27:9; 1 Kgs. 11:15, 16]killed every male. 8They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of their slain, #Josh. 13:21 Evi, Rekem, #ch. 25:15 Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. And they also killed #Josh. 13:22Balaam the son of Beor with the sword. 9And the people of Israel took captive the women of Midian and their little ones, and they took as plunder all their cattle, their flocks, and all their goods. 10All their cities in the places where they lived, and all their #Gen. 25:16encampments, they burned with fire, 11#[Deut. 20:14; Josh. 8:2]and took all the spoil and all the plunder, both of man and of beast. 12Then they brought the captives and the plunder and the spoil to Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the people of Israel, at the camp on #See ch. 22:1the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.
13Moses and Eleazar the priest and all the chiefs of the congregation went to meet them outside the camp. 14And Moses was angry with #ver. 48the officers of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, who had come from service in the war. 15Moses said to them, “Have you #[1 Sam. 15:3]let all the women live? 16Behold, #ch. 25:2 these, #ch. 24:14; 2 Pet. 2:15; Rev. 2:14 on Balaam’s advice, caused the people of Israel to act treacherously against the Lord in the incident of #See ch. 23:28 Peor, and so #ch. 25:9the plague came among the congregation of the Lord. 17Now therefore, #Judg. 21:11, 12kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. 18But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him #See Deut. 21:10-14keep alive for yourselves. 19#ch. 5:2 Encamp outside the camp seven days. Whoever of you has killed any person and #See ch. 19:12, 22whoever has touched any slain, purify yourselves and your captives on the third day and on the seventh day. 20You shall purify every garment, every article of skin, all work of goats’ hair, and every article of wood.”
21Then Eleazar the priest said to the men in the army who had gone to battle: “This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded Moses: 22only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, 23everything that can stand the fire, you shall pass through the fire, and it shall be clean. Nevertheless, it shall also be purified #ch. 19:9with the water for impurity. And whatever cannot stand the fire, you shall pass through the water. 24You must #See Lev. 11:25wash your clothes on the seventh day, and you shall be clean. And afterward you may come into the camp.”
25The Lord said to Moses, 26“Take the count of the plunder that was taken, both of man and of beast, you and Eleazar the priest and the heads of the fathers’ houses of the congregation, 27and #Josh. 22:8; 1 Sam. 30:24divide the plunder into two parts between the warriors who went out to battle and all the congregation. 28And levy for the Lord a tribute from the men of war who went out to battle, #[ch. 18:26]; See ver. 30-41, 47one out of five hundred, of the people and of the oxen and of the donkeys and of the flocks. 29Take it from their half and give it to Eleazar the priest as a contribution to the Lord. 30And from the people of Israel’s half you shall take #See ver. 42-47 one drawn out of every fifty, of the people, of the oxen, of the donkeys, and of the flocks, of all the cattle, and give them to the Levites #See ch. 1:53who keep guard over the tabernacle of the Lord.” 31And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses.
32Now the plunder remaining of the spoil that the army took was 675,000 sheep, 3372,000 cattle, 3461,000 donkeys, 35and 32,000 persons in all, women who had not known man by lying with him. 36And the half, the portion of those who had gone out in the army, numbered 337,500 sheep, 37and #ver. 28the Lord’s tribute of sheep was 675. 38The cattle were 36,000, of which the Lord’s tribute was 72. 39The donkeys were 30,500, of which the Lord’s tribute was 61. 40The persons were 16,000, of which the Lord’s tribute was 32 persons. 41And Moses gave the tribute, which was the contribution for the Lord, to Eleazar the priest, #[ch. 18:8, 19]as the Lord commanded Moses.
42From the people of Israel’s half, which Moses separated from that of the men who had served in the army— 43now the congregation’s half was 337,500 sheep, 4436,000 cattle, 45and 30,500 donkeys, 46and 16,000 persons— 47#ver. 30from the people of Israel’s half Moses took one of every 50, both of persons and of beasts, and gave them to the Levites who kept guard over the tabernacle of the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.
48Then #ver. 14the officers who were over the thousands of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, came near to Moses 49and said to Moses, “Your servants have counted the men of war who are under our command, and there is not a man missing from us. 50And we have brought the Lord’s offering, what each man found, articles of gold, armlets and bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and beads, #See Ex. 30:12to make atonement for ourselves before the Lord.” 51And Moses and Eleazar the priest received from them the gold, all crafted articles. 52And all the gold of the contribution that they presented to the Lord, from the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, was 16,750 shekels.#31:52 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams 53#ver. 32; Deut. 20:14(The men in the army had each taken plunder for himself.) 54And Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tent of meeting, #Ex. 30:16as a memorial for the people of Israel before the Lord.