31:1-54. Event: Moses' Vengeance on Midianites.

A  u  1-4. Commands.
    v  5-13. Obedience.
   u  14-30. Commands (14-20 by Moses; 21-24 by Eleazar; 25-30 by Yehovah).
    v  31-54. Obedience.

Numbers 31)

1: And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
2: “Avenge (= execute due vengeance) for the sons of Israel of the Midianites: and afterward shall you be gathered to your people.” (cp.27:13)
3: And Moses spoke to the People, saying, “Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the Lord of Midian (= render the vengeance of Yahaveh to Midian).
4: Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall you all send to the war.”

5: So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war.
6: And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest (cp. 25:7-15), to the war, with the holy (set apart) instruments, and the alarm trumpets to blow in his hand (which were also prayer trumpets, cp. 10:9,10).
7: And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.
8: And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi (Heb.= desirous), and Rekem (= variegated, marked with different colors), and Zur (= a rock), and Hur (= to bore; the crevice of a serpent; the cell of a prison), and Reba (= a fourth part, or side), five kings of Midian (called princes or dukes of Sihon, Josh.13:21): Balaam (= not of the people, i.e. foreigner) also the son of Beor they slew with the sword (Balaam thus did not "die the death of righteousness", cp. 23:10).
9: And the sons of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.
10: And they burnt (down) all their cities wherein they dwelt (the same judgment is in store for spiritual fornication. Rev. 17:16; 18:8), and all their goodly castles, with fire.
11: And they took all the spoil, and all the booty (Heb. malkôah, first occ., always used of animated prey), both of mankind and of beasts.
12: And they brought the captives (Heb. captivity), and the booty, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the sons of Israel, to the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.
13: And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them outside the camp (as Melchizedek met Abraham, Gen.14:7).

14: And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host (Moses meek in his own matters, but not in Yehovah's. In these there was a 'godly Jealousy"), with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle array of the war (or martial host).
15: And Moses said to them, “Have you all saved all the women alive?
16: Behold, these (cp. 25:2) caused the sons of Israel, through the word of Balaam (or doctrine, see Rev.2:14), to commit trespass (see Lev. 5:15) against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.
17: Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with a male.
18: But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
19: And you all abide outside the camp seven days: whosoever has killed any person (Heb. nephesh, soul), and whosoever has touched any slain, purify both yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day.
20: And purify all your clothing, and all that is made of skins, and all work of goats' hair, and all things made of wood.”
21: And Eleazar the priest said to the men of war which had come to the battle, “This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord commanded Moses;
22: Only the gold, and the silver, the bronze, the iron (found in Egypt as early as 2800 B.C.), the tin, and the lead (6 items, the number of man),
23: Every thing that may abide the fire, you all shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation (see Chapter 19): and all that abides not the fire you all shall make go through the water.
24: And you all shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and you all shall be clean, and afterward you all shall come into the camp.”
25: And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
26: “Take the sum of the booty that was taken, both of mankind and of beast, you, and Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation:
27: And divide the booty into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation:
28: And levy a tribute to the Lord of the men of war which went out to battle (computed value, assigned to Yehovah. Heb. mekes, occ. only in this chapter): one soul of five hundred, both of mankind, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep:
29: Take it of their half, and give it to Eleazar the priest (an extra portion in addition to Deut. 18:1,2 and Num. 18:19. So Abraham, Gen. 14:20), for a heave offering of the Lord.
30: And of the sons of Israel's half, you shall take one portion of fifty, of mankind, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them to the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle (dwelling place) of the Lord .”

31: And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses.
32: And the booty, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught, was six hundred thousand and seventy thousand and five thousand sheep,
33: And threescore and twelve thousand beeves,
34: And threescore and one thousand asses,
35: And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of woman that had not known man by lying with him.
36: And the half, which was the portion of them that went out to war, was in number three hundred thousand and seven and thirty thousand and five hundred sheep:
37: And the Lord's tribute of the sheep was six hundred and threescore and fifteen.
38: And the beeves were thirty and six thousand; of which the Lord's tribute was threescore and twelve.
39: And the asses were thirty thousand and five hundred; of which the Lord's tribute was threescore and one.
40: And the persons were sixteen thousand; of which the Lord's tribute was thirty and two persons.
41: And Moses gave the tribute, which was the Lord's heave offering, to Eleazar the priest, as the Lord commanded Moses.
42: And of the sons of Israel's half, which Moses divided from the men that warred,
43: {Now the half that pertained to the congregation was three hundred thousand and thirty thousand and seven thousand and five hundred sheep,
44: And thirty and six thousand beeves,
45: And thirty thousand asses and five hundred,
46: And sixteen thousand persons;}
47: Even of the sons of Israel's half, Moses took one portion of fifty, both of mankind and of beast, and gave them to the Levites (see 1 Chron. 9:2. Heb. nathan, to give. Hence their names "Nethinim"), which kept the charge of the dwelling place of the Lord; according as the Lord) commanded Moses.
48: And the officers which were over thousands of the host, the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, came near to Moses:
49: And they said to Moses, “Your servants have taken the sum of the men of war which are under our charge, and there lacks not one man of us.
50: We have therefore brought an oblation for the Lord (this was voluntary. The levy in v.25, &c., was commanded. See Lev.2:4), what every man has gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the Lord.” (see Lev.29:33)
51: And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of them, even all wrought jewels (= instruments and vessels).
52: And all the gold of the offering that they offered up to the Lord, of the captains of thousands, and of the captains of hundreds, was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels (approx. 5,025 oz.).
53: {For the men of war had taken spoil, every man for himself.}
54: And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tent of the congregation, for a memorial for the sons of Israel before the Lord.

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