The Slaughter of Midian

31 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, (A)Take vengeance on the Midianites for the sons of Israel; afterward you will be (B)gathered to your people.” So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among you for the war, so that they may [a]go against Midian to execute (C)the Lords vengeance on Midian. You shall send a thousand from each tribe of all the tribes of Israel to the war.” So there were selected from the thousands of Israel, a thousand from each tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. And Moses sent them, a thousand from each tribe, to the war, and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war with them, (D)and the holy implements and (E)the trumpets for the alarm in his hand. So they made war against Midian, just as the Lord had commanded Moses, and (F)they killed every male. They killed the kings of Midian along with the rest of those killed: (G)Evi, Rekem, (H)Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. They also killed (I)Balaam the son of Beor with the sword. And the sons of Israel took captive the women of Midian and their little ones; and they plundered all their cattle, all their flocks, and all their property. 10 Then they [b]burned all their cities where they lived and all their encampments. 11 And (J)they took all the plunder and all the spoils, both of people and of livestock. 12 They brought the captives and the spoils and the plunder to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the sons of Israel, to the camp at the plains of Moab which are by the Jordan, opposite Jericho.

13 And Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the congregation went out to meet them outside the camp. 14 But Moses was angry with the officers of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, who had come from service in the war. 15 And Moses said to them, “Have you [c]spared (K)all the women? 16 (L)Behold, they caused the sons of Israel, through the [d]counsel of (M)Balaam, to be unfaithful to the Lord in the matter of Peor, so that the plague took place among the congregation of the Lord! 17 (N)Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man [e]intimately. 18 However, all the [f]girls who have not known a [g]man intimately, keep alive for yourselves. 19 (O)And as for you, camp outside the camp for seven days; whoever has killed a person and whoever has touched anyone killed, purify yourselves, you and your captives, on the third day and on the seventh day. 20 And you shall purify for yourselves every garment, every article of leather, every work of goats’ hair, and every article of wood.”

21 Then Eleazar the priest said to the men of war who had gone to battle, “This is the statute of the Law which the Lord has commanded Moses: 22 only the gold and the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, 23 everything that can [h]withstand the fire, you shall pass through the fire, and it will be clean, only it shall be purified with (P)water for impurity. But whatever cannot [i]withstand the fire you shall pass through the water. 24 And you shall wash your clothes on the seventh day and you will be clean; and afterward you may enter the camp.”

Division of the Plunder

25 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 26 “You and Eleazar the priest and the heads of the fathers’ households of the congregation take a count of the spoils [j]that were captured, both of people and of livestock; 27 and (Q)divide the spoils between the warriors who went to battle and all the congregation. 28 Also, (R)collect a tribute tax for the Lord from the men of war who went to battle, one [k]in five hundred of the persons, of the cattle, of the donkeys, and of the sheep; 29 take it from their half and give it to Eleazar the priest, as an [l]offering to the Lord. 30 And from the sons of Israel’s half, you shall take one drawn from every fifty of the persons, of the cattle, of the donkeys, and of the sheep, from all the animals; and give them to the Levites who (S)perform the duty of the tabernacle of the Lord.” 31 Moses and Eleazar the priest did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

32 Now the spoils that remained from the plunder which the [m]men of war had plundered was 675,000 sheep, 33 seventy-two thousand cattle, 34 sixty-one thousand donkeys, 35 and of captive people, of the women who had not known a [n]man intimately, in all were thirty-two thousand people.

36 The half, the share of those who went to war, was as follows: the number of sheep was 337,500, 37 the Lords tribute tax of the sheep was 675; 38 the cattle were thirty-six thousand, from which the Lords tribute tax was seventy-two; 39 the donkeys were 30,500, from which the Lords tribute tax was sixty-one; 40 and the captive people were sixteen thousand, from whom the Lords tribute tax was thirty-two persons. 41 And Moses gave the tribute tax, which was the Lords offering, to Eleazar the priest, just (T)as the Lord had commanded Moses.

42 As for the sons of Israel’s half, which Moses [o]separated from the men who had gone to war— 43 now the congregation’s half was 337,500 sheep, 44 thirty-six thousand cattle, 45 30,500 donkeys, 46 and the captive people were sixteen thousand— 47 from the sons of Israel’s half Moses took one drawn from every fifty, both of people and of animals, and gave them to the Levites, who performed the duty of the tabernacle of the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

48 Then the officers who were over the thousands of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, approached Moses, 49 and they said to Moses, “Your servants have taken a census of the men of war who are [p]under our authority, and no man of us is missing. 50 So we have brought as an offering to the Lord what each man found, articles of gold, armlets and bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and necklaces, (U)to make atonement for ourselves before the Lord.” 51 Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from them, all kinds of crafted articles. 52 All the gold of the offering which they offered up to the Lord, from the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, was 16,750 shekels. 53 (V)The men of war had taken plunder, every man for himself. 54 So Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it to the tent of meeting as (W)a memorial for the sons of Israel before the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 31:3 Lit be
  2. Numbers 31:10 Lit burned with fire
  3. Numbers 31:15 Lit let...live
  4. Numbers 31:16 Lit word
  5. Numbers 31:17 Lit in bed with a man
  6. Numbers 31:18 Lit children among the women
  7. Numbers 31:18 Lit man’s bed
  8. Numbers 31:23 Lit come into
  9. Numbers 31:23 Lit come into
  10. Numbers 31:26 Lit of captives
  11. Numbers 31:28 Lit soul from
  12. Numbers 31:29 Or uplifted offering, and so throughout the ch
  13. Numbers 31:32 Lit people
  14. Numbers 31:35 Lit man’s bed
  15. Numbers 31:42 Lit divided
  16. Numbers 31:49 Lit in our hand