31The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2Avenge the Israelites on the Midianites; afterwards you shall be gathered to your people. 3So Moses said to the people, Arm some of your number for the war, so that they may go against Midian, to execute the Lords vengeance on Midian. 4You shall send a thousand from each of the tribes of Israel to the war. 5So out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand from each tribe were conscripted, twelve thousand armed for battle. 6Moses sent them to the war, a thousand from each tribe, along with Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest,* with the vessels of the sanctuary and the trumpets for sounding the alarm in his hand. 7They did battle against Midian, as the Lord had commanded Moses, and killed every male. 8They killed the kings of Midian: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian, in addition to others who were slain by them; and they also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. 9The Israelites took the women of Midian and their little ones captive; and they took all their cattle, their flocks, and all their goods as booty. 10All their towns where they had settled, and all their encampments, they burned, 11but they took all the spoil and all the booty, both people and animals. 12Then they brought the captives and the booty and the spoil to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the Israelites, at the camp on the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.
13 Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the congregation went to meet them outside the camp. 14Moses became angry with the 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 allowed all the women to live? 16These women here, on Balaams advice, made the Israelites act treacherously against the Lord in the affair of Peor, so that the plague came among the congregation of the Lord. 17Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man by sleeping with him. 18But all the young girls who have not known a man by sleeping with him, keep alive for yourselves. 19Camp outside the camp for seven days; whoever of you has killed any person or touched a corpse, purify yourselves and your captives on the third and on the seventh day. 20You shall purify every garment, every article of skin, everything made of goats hair, and every article of wood.
21 Eleazar the priest said to the troops who had gone to battle: This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded Moses: 22gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, and lead 23everything that can withstand fire, shall be passed through fire, and it shall be clean. Nevertheless it shall also be purified with the water for purification; and whatever cannot withstand fire, shall be passed through the water. 24You must wash your clothes on the seventh day, and you shall be clean; afterwards you may come into the camp.
25 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 26You and Eleazar the priest and the heads of the ancestral houses of the congregation make an inventory of the booty captured, both human and animal. 27Divide the booty into two parts, between the warriors who went out to battle and all the congregation. 28From the share of the warriors who went out to battle, set aside as tribute for the Lord one item out of every five hundred, whether persons, oxen, donkeys, sheep, or goats. 29Take it from their half and give it to Eleazar the priest as an offering to the Lord. 30But from the Israelites half you shall take one out of every fifty, whether persons, oxen, donkeys, sheep, or goatsall the animalsand give them to the Levites who have charge of the tabernacle of the Lord.
31 Then Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord had commanded Moses:
32 The booty remaining from the spoil that the troops had taken totalled six hundred and seventy-five thousand sheep, 33seventy-two thousand oxen, 34sixty-one thousand donkeys, 35and thirty-two thousand persons in all, women who had not known a man by sleeping with him.
36 The half-share, the portion of those who had gone out to war, was in number three hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred sheep and goats, 37and the Lords tribute of sheep and goats was six hundred and seventy-five. 38The oxen were thirty-six thousand, of which the Lords tribute was seventy-two. 39The donkeys were thirty thousand five hundred, of which the Lords tribute was sixty-one. 40The persons were sixteen thousand, of which the Lords tribute was thirty-two persons. 41Moses gave the tribute, the offering for the Lord, to Eleazar the priest, as the Lord had commanded Moses.
42 As for the Israelites half, which Moses separated from that of the troops, 43the congregations half was three hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred sheep and goats, 44thirty-six thousand oxen, 45thirty thousand five hundred donkeys, 46and sixteen thousand persons. 47From the Israelites half Moses took one of every fifty, both of persons and of animals, and gave them to the Levites who had charge of the tabernacle of the Lord; 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, 49and said to Moses, Your servants have counted the warriors who are under our command, and not one of us is missing. 50And we have brought the Lords offering, what each of us found, articles of gold, armlets and bracelets, signet rings, ear-rings, and pendants, to make atonement for ourselves before the Lord. 51Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from them, all in the form of crafted articles. 52And all the gold of the offering that they offered to the Lord, from the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels. 53(The troops had all taken plunder for themselves.) 54So Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tent of meeting as a memorial for the Israelites before the Lord.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011