Through My Bible Yr 01 – March 30

Numbers 31

Through My Bible – March 30

Numbers 31 (EHV)

See series: Through My Bible

Vengeance on the Midianites

1 The Lord spoke to Moses: “Take vengeance against the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”

Moses spoke to the people, “Equip some of your men for combat. They will go against Midian to carry out the Lord’s vengeance on Midian. Send one thousand men from each of the tribes of Israel into combat.” So out of all the thousands of Israel, a military unit of a thousand was selected from each tribe—a total of twelve thousand men armed for battle. Moses sent them into combat, one thousand from each tribe. Moses sent them and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the priest, into combat. Things from the sanctuary [1] and the trumpets for signaling were in his hand.

They fought against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and they killed every male. Along with the others who were slain, they killed the kings of Midian: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. The Israelites took the women of Midian and their children captive. They plundered all their animals, property, and possessions. 10 They burned all their cities where they settled and all their camps. 11 They took all the plunder and all the spoils of war, both people and animals. 12 They brought the captives, the spoils of war, and the plunder to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the Israelite community at the camp on the Plains of Moab, which was by the Jordan across from Jericho.

13 Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the tribal chiefs of the community went out to meet them outside of the camp. 14 Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds—who were coming back from the military campaign.

15 Moses said to them, “Have you allowed every woman to live? 16 Look, following Balaam’s advice, these women were the ones who incited the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, and so the plague came upon the community of the Lord. 17 Now, kill every male among the children, and kill every woman who has had sexual relations with a man. 18 But you may keep alive for yourselves all the young females who have not had sexual relations with a man.

19 “All of you who have killed a person or touched a slain body shall stay outside of the camp for seven days. Purify yourselves and your captives on the third day and on the seventh day. 20 Also purify every garment, every leather item, everything made of goat hair, and every item of wood.”

21 Eleazar the priest said to the soldiers who had gone into battle, “These are the regulations which the Lord has commanded Moses: 22 The gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, and lead 23 (everything that can withstand fire) you must be sure to pass through the fire, and it will be clean. It also is to be purified with the water for removing impurity. Everything that cannot withstand fire, you are to pass through the water. 24 You shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and you will be clean. After that, you may come into the camp.”

Dividing the Plunder

25 The Lord spoke to Moses: 26 “You, Eleazar the priest, and the leading fathers [2] of the community are to count the spoils of war—the captives, both people and animals— 27 and divide the spoils of war into two equal parts: one part for the troops who went out for combat and one for all the rest of the community. 28 Raise a tribute to the Lord to be given by the fighting men who went out for battle. Take one out of every five hundred from the people, the cattle, the donkeys, and the flocks. 29 Take it from the fighting men’s half, and give it to Eleazar the priest as an elevated offering [3] to the Lord. 30 Also from the Israelites’ half, you will take one out of every fifty from the people, the cattle, the donkeys, the flocks, and all the animals, and give them to the Levites, who attend to the duties at the Lord’s Dwelling.”

31 Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses. 32 Now the spoils of war remaining from the plunder that the army took was 675,000 animals from the flocks, 33 72,000 cattle, 34 61,000 donkeys, 35 and 32,000 people in all, that is, the women who had not had sexual relations with a man.

36 The half share for those who went out into combat numbered 337,500 animals from the flocks, 37 and the tribute for the Lord from the flocks was 675. 38 The cattle numbered 36,000; the tribute for the Lord was 72. 39 The donkeys numbered 30,500; the tribute for the Lord was 61. 40 The people numbered 16,000; the tribute for the Lord was 32 people. 41 Moses gave the tribute, the elevated offering to the Lord, to Eleazar the priest as the Lord commanded Moses.

42 From the Israelites’ half, which Moses set aside from the share of the men who fought, 43 the community’s half share was 337,500 animals from the flocks, 44 36,000 cattle, 45 30,500 donkeys, 46 and 16,000 people. 47 From the Israelites’ half share Moses took one out of every fifty from the people and the animals and gave them to the Levites, who attended to the duties at the Lord’s Dwelling, as the Lord commanded Moses.

48 The officers who were over the units of a thousand in the army—the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds—approached Moses. 49 They said to Moses, “Your servants have taken a head count of the fighting men who were under our command, and not one of them is missing. 50 So we have brought as an offering to the Lord the gold items which every man acquired—armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and necklaces—to make atonement for ourselves before the Lord.”

51 Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted the gold from them, all the crafted items. 52 All the gold from the elevated offering that the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds lifted up to the Lord amounted to 16,750 shekels. [4] 53 Each of the soldiers had taken plunder for himself. 54 Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted the gold from the commanders of thousands and hundreds and brought it into the Tent of Meeting as a memorial for the Israelites before the Lord.


  1. Numbers 31:6 Perhaps the Urim and Thummim
  2. Numbers 31:26 Since Israel’s social structure was based on kinship relationships, fathers is frequently the title for leaders of social/political units of the nation.
  3. Numbers 31:29 The term elevated offering refers to the gestures with which these offerings were presented. The name does not mean that every item offered was literally elevated.
  4. Numbers 31:52 More than four hundred pounds

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.