Numbers 31 B’midbar

Numbers 31

Numbers 31 B’midbar Outline: (vv 1,2) YHVH instructs Moshe about  war with Midian & his death. (vv 3-6) Moshe instructs Israel about war (vv7-12) Israel defeats 5 kings and returns with the spoils (vv 13-20)Moshe is angered, instructs to kill woman and male children,  gives instruction about purification. (vv 21-24) Eleazar instructs about the purification (vv 25-31) YHVH Instructs Moshe about the spoils (vv 32-47) The spoils counted and shared (vv 48-49) Military Leaders report no Loss of soldiers (vv 48- 54) Military Leaders offer an atonement offering for the soldiers.

KJV
1 And the Lord יְהוָ֖ה spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.

3 And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the Lord יְהוָ֖הof Midian.

4 Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye 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 1.

6 And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.

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, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.

9 And the children 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 all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire.

11 And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts.

12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto 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 without the camp.

14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.

15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?

16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. 2

17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves 3.

19 And do ye abide without the camp seven days: whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify both yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day. 4

20 And purify all your raiment, 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 unto the men of war which went to the battle, This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord commanded Moses;

22 Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead,

23 Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water.

24 And ye shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and ye shall be clean, and afterward ye shall come into the camp.

25 And the Lord יְהוָ֖ה spake unto Moses, saying,

26 Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation:

27 And divide the prey 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 unto the Lord יְהוָ֖ה of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep:

29 Take it of their half, and give it unto Eleazar the priest, for an heave offering of the Lord.

30 And of the children of Israel’s half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord יְהוָ֖ה.

31 And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord יְהוָ֖ה 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 5,

33 And threescore and twelve thousand beeves 6,

34 And threescore and one thousand asses 7,

35 And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him 8.

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 9:

37 And the Lord יְהוָ֖ה tribute of the sheep was six hundred and threescore and fifteen 10.

38 And the beeves were thirty and six thousand; of which the Lord יְהוָ֖ה tribute was threescore and twelve 11.

39 And the asses were thirty thousand and five hundred; of which the Lord יְהוָ֖ה tribute was threescore and one 12.

40 And the persons were sixteen thousand; of which the tribute was thirty and two persons 13.

41 And Moses gave the tribute, which was the Lord יְהוָ֖ה heave offering, unto Eleazar the priest, as the Lord יְהוָ֖ה commanded Moses.

42 And of the children of Israel’s half, which Moses divided from the men that warred,

43 (Now the half that pertained unto the congregation was three hundred thousand and thirty thousand and seven thousand and five hundred sheep 14,

44 And thirty and six thousand beeves 15,

45 And thirty thousand asses and five hundred 16,

46 And sixteen thousand persons; 17,)

47 Even of the children of Israel’s half, Moses took one portion of fifty, both of man and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites, which kept the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord יְהוָ֖ה; as the Lord יְהוָ֖ה commanded Moses.

48 And the officers which were over thousands of the host, the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, came near unto Moses:

49 And they said unto Moses, Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war which are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us.

50 We have therefore brought an oblation 18 for the Lord יְהוָ֖ה, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the Lord יְהוָ֖ה.

51 And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of them, even all wrought jewels.

52 And all the gold of the offering that they offered up to the Lord יְהוָ֖ה, of the captains of thousands, and of the captains of hundreds, was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels 19.

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 tabernacle of the congregation, for a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord.

1917 Tanakh
1 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 ‘Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites; afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.’ 3 And Moses spoke unto the people, saying: ‘Arm ye men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian, to execute the Lord’s vengeance on Midian. 4 Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye 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, a thousand of every tribe, to the war, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy vessels and the trumpets for the alarm in his hand. 7 And they warred against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses; and they slew every male. 8And they slew the kings of Midian with the rest of their slain: Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian; Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword. 9And the children of Israel took captive the women of Midian and their little ones; and all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods, they took for a prey. 10And all their cities in the places wherein they dwelt, and all their encampments, they burnt with fire. 11And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of man and of beast. 12And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and unto Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp, unto the plains of Moab, which are by the Jordan at Jericho.

¶ 13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. 14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, who came from the service of the war. 15 And Moses said unto them: ‘Have ye saved all the women alive? 16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to revolt so as to break faith with the Lord in the matter of Peor, and so the plague was 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 him. 18 But all the women children, that have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. 19 And encamp ye without the camp seven days; whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify yourselves on the third day and on the seventh day, ye and your captives. 20 And as to every garment, and all that is made of skin, and all work of goats’hair, and all things made of wood, ye shall purify.’

¶ 21 And Eleazar the priest said unto the men of war that went to the battle: ‘This is the statute of the law which the Lord hath commanded Moses: 22 Howbeit the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead, 23 every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make to go through the fire, and it shall be clean; nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of sprinkling; and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make to go through the water. 24 And ye shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and ye shall be clean, and afterward ye may come into the camp.’

¶ 25 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying: 26 ‘Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the heads of the fathers’houses of the congregation; 27and divide the prey into two parts: between the men skilled in war, that went out to battle, and all the congregation; 28and levy a tribute unto the Lord of the men of war that went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the flocks; 29take it of their half, and give it unto Eleazar the priest, as a portion set apart for the Lord. 30 And of the children of Israel’s half, thou shalt take one drawn out of every fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, even of all the cattle, and give them unto the Levites, that keep the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord.’ 31And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses. 32Now the prey, over and above the booty which the men of war took, was six hundred thousand and seventy thousand and five thousand sheep, 33and threescore and twelve thousand beeves, 34and threescore and one thousand asses, 35 and thirty and two thousand persons in all, of the women 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 thirty thousand and seven 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 whom the Lord’s tribute was thirty and two persons. 41 And Moses gave the tribute, which was set apart for the Lord, unto Eleazar the priest, as the Lord commanded Moses. 42 And of the children of Israel’s half, which Moses divided off from the men that warred—43 now the congregation’s half 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 and five hundred asses, 46 and sixteen thousand persons—47 even of the children of Israel’s half, Moses took one drawn out of every fifty, both of man and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites, that kept the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord; as the Lord commanded Moses.

¶ 48 And the officers that were over the thousands of the host, the captains of thousands, and the captains of hundreds, came near unto Moses; 49 and they said unto Moses: ‘Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war that are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us. 50 And we have brought the Lord’s offering, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, armlets, and bracelets, signet-rings, ear-rings, and girdles, to make atonement for our souls before the Lord.’ 51 And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of them, even all wrought jewels. 52 And all the gold of the gift that they set apart for the Lord, of the captains of thousands, and of the captains of hundreds, was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels.—53 For the men of war had taken booty, 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 meeting, for a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord.

Notes:

  1. Numbers 31:4 B’midbara thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war The Rabbis teach that there was two thousands from each tribe – 1,000 that prayed & 1,000 that went to war.
  2. Numbers 31 B’midbarNumbers 25
  3. Numbers 31:17 B’midbar – The English translations seems to say “keep the virgins and kill all the others” but that is not the idea in Hebrew. The idea is the pre-puberty female children are to remain alive. Every woman that was at puberty or beyond where killed. Post purberty virgins were killed, too.
  4. Numbers 31:17 B’midbar – See purification laws in Numbers 19:11
  5. Numbers 31:32 B’midbar675,000 sheep
  6. Numbers 31:33 B’midbar2,000 cattle
  7. Numbers 31:34 B’midbar61,000 donkeys
  8. Numbers 31:35 B’midbar – 32,000 persons.  Consider this if there were this many children left imagine how great the victory was that the Lord יְהוָ֖ה delivered to the hands of only 12,000 fighting men.
  9. Numbers 31:36 B’midbar337,500 sheep
  10. Numbers 31:37 B’midbar675
  11. Numbers 31:38 B’midbar36,000 cattle, of which Adonai’s tribute was seventy-two; CJB
  12. Numbers 31:39 B’midbar – 30,500 donkeys, of which Adonai’s tribute was sixty-one; CJB
  13. Numbers 31:40 B’midbar 16,000 persons, of whom Adonai’s tribute was thirty-two persons
  14. Numbers 31:43 B’midbar – 337,500 sheep
  15. Numbers 31:44 B’midbar – 6,000 cattle,
  16. Numbers 31:45 B’midbar – 30,500 donkeys
  17. Numbers 31:46 B’midbar – 16,000 persons
  18.  Numbers 31:50 B’midbaroblation Hebrew kapharכָּפַר Stongs H3722, appears 104x. means “appease” “cover over” (figurative), “pacify”, “make propitiation”; This may be considered atonement money i.e. in Numbers 30.
  19. Numbers 31:52 B’midbar420 pounds – (equals 6720 oz / 190.509 kg / 190508.8 grams) Using the current gold exchange rate, on the day I posted this, of $36.88 / gram = $7,025,964.54