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.

Reuben and Gad Settle in Gilead

32 Now the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad had a (X)very large number of livestock. So when they saw the land of (Y)Jazer and the land of Gilead, that [q]it was indeed a place suitable for livestock, the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben came and spoke to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and to the leaders of the congregation, saying, (Z)Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon, the land (AA)which the Lord [r]conquered before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.” And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as our property; do not take us across the Jordan.”

But Moses said to the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben, “Should your brothers go to war while you remain here? (AB)And why are you discouraging the [s]sons of Israel from crossing over into the land which the Lord has given them? This is what your fathers did when I sent them from (AC)Kadesh-barnea to see the land. For when they went up to (AD)the [t]Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the [u]sons of Israel so that they did not go into the land which the Lord had given them. 10 So (AE)the Lords anger burned on that day, and He swore, saying, 11 (AF)None of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; for they did not follow Me fully, 12 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun; (AG)for they have followed the Lord fully.’ 13 (AH)So the Lords anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness for forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the Lord came to an end. 14 Now behold, you have risen up in your fathers’ place, born of sinful men, to add still more to the burning (AI)anger of the Lord against Israel. 15 For if you (AJ)turn away from following Him, He will once more leave them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all these people.”

16 Then they approached him and said, “We will build sheepfolds for our livestock here and cities for our little ones; 17 (AK)but we ourselves will be armed, hurrying ahead of the sons of Israel, until we have brought them to their place, while our little ones live in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 (AL)We will not return to our homes until every one of the sons of Israel has gained possession of his inheritance. 19 But we will not have an inheritance with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance has come to us (AM)on this side of the Jordan toward the east.”

20 (AN)So Moses said to them, “If you will do [v]this, if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for the war, 21 and all of you armed men cross over the Jordan before the Lord until He has driven His enemies out from Him, 22 (AO)and the land is subdued before the Lord, then afterward you may return and be [w]free of obligation toward the Lord and toward Israel, and this land shall be yours as property before the Lord. 23 But if you do not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure that (AP)your sin will find you out. 24 Build yourselves cities for your little ones, and sheepfolds for your sheep, and (AQ)do [x]what you have promised.”

25 Then the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben spoke to Moses, saying, “Your servants will do just as my lord commands. 26 (AR)Our little ones, our wives, our livestock, and all our cattle shall [y]remain there in the cities of Gilead, 27 while your servants, that is, everyone who is armed for war, (AS)cross over in the presence of the Lord to battle, just as my lord says.”

28 So Moses gave the command regarding them to Eleazar the priest, to Joshua the son of Nun, and to the heads of the fathers’ households of the tribes of the sons of Israel. 29 And Moses said to them, “If the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben, everyone who is armed for battle, cross with you over the Jordan in the presence of the Lord, and the land is subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead as their property; 30 but if they do not cross over with you armed, they shall instead be settled among you in the land of Canaan.” 31 And the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben answered, saying, “As the Lord has said to your servants, so we will do. 32 We ourselves will cross over armed in the presence of the Lord into the land of Canaan, and the property of our inheritance shall remain with us across the Jordan.”

33 (AT)So Moses gave to them, to the sons of Gad, the sons of Reuben, and to the half-tribe of Joseph’s son Manasseh, the kingdom of Sihon, king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og, the king of Bashan, the land with its cities with their [z]territories, the cities of the surrounding land. 34 And the sons of Gad built Dibon, Ataroth, (AU)Aroer, 35 Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36 (AV)Beth-nimrah, and Beth-haran as fortified cities, and sheepfolds for sheep. 37 The sons of Reuben built Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38 (AW)Nebo, and Baal-meon—their names being changed—and Sibmah, and they gave other names to the cities which they built. 39 The sons of (AX)Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead and took it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it. 40 So Moses gave (AY)Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh, and he lived in it. 41 Jair the son of Manasseh went and took its [aa]towns, and called them [ab](AZ)Havvoth-jair. 42 Nobah went and took Kenath and its villages, and named it Nobah, after (BA)his own name.

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
  17. Numbers 32:1 Lit behold, the place, a place of
  18. Numbers 32:4 Lit struck
  19. Numbers 32:7 Lit heart of the sons
  20. Numbers 32:9 Or wadi
  21. Numbers 32:9 Lit heart of the sons
  22. Numbers 32:20 Lit this thing
  23. Numbers 32:22 Lit blameless toward
  24. Numbers 32:24 Lit that which has gone out of your mouth
  25. Numbers 32:26 Lit be
  26. Numbers 32:33 Lit borders
  27. Numbers 32:41 Lit tent villages
  28. Numbers 32:41 I.e., the towns of Jair