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Numbers 31

War against the Midianites

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Go to war against the Midianites. After you have done that, you will die.’

3 Moses said to the people, ‘Give swords to some of the men. Go to war against the Midianites. This is what the LORD wants you to do. 4 Send 1000 men from each tribe to war.’ 5 And 12,000 men were ready for war. There were 1000 men from each tribe. 6 Moses sent those men to the war. There were 1000 men from each tribe. Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest went with them. Phinehas took with him the things from God's Holy Tent. Also, he took in his hand the trumpets to make warning sounds.

7 They fought against the Midianites as the LORD had told them. And they killed every man among them. 8 And they killed the kings of Midian with the other men that they killed. Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba were the 5 kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam the son of Beor with a sword. 9 Israel's men took the women and children of Midian. They took their animals and everything that was valuable. 10 They burned their towns and camps. 11 They took the people, the animals and everything that was valuable. 12 And they brought the prisoners and the things that they took to Moses, and to Eleazar the priest. And they brought it to all the Israelites, to their camp. That was at the flat ground in Moab by the River Jordan. The place was near Jericho but it was on the other side of the River Jordan.

13 Moses, Eleazar and the leaders of the tribes went to meet them outside the camp. 14 Moses was angry with the leaders of the army.

15 He said to them, ‘Have you let all the women live? 16 These women here caused the Israelites not to obey the LORD by what they did at Peor. Balaam told them how they could do it. So there was a bad illness among all the LORD's people. 17 So kill all the boys. And kill every woman who had had sex with a man. 18 But you can keep for yourselves all the girls who have not had sex with a man.’

19 Moses said, ‘Any soldier who has killed any person must stay outside the camp for 7 days. Any soldier who has touched a dead body must stay outside the camp for 7 days. On day 3 and on day 7, you must make yourselves clean. You must also make the people of Midian that you took clean. 20 You must make anything that someone has made out of leather, wool or wood clean.’ 21 Eleazar the priest said to the soldiers, ‘This is what the LORD told Moses. 22 You must put all the gold and silver in the fire. 23 You must put all the metals that will not burn in the fire. This will make them clean. You must also wash them. You must clean, with water, everything that will burn. 24 On day 7, you must wash your clothes. Then you will be clean. Then you can come into the camp.’

25 The LORD said to Moses, 26 ‘You and Eleazar and the leaders of the tribes must count all the people and animals that you took. 27 Give anything that is valuable to the soldiers and all the people. Be sure that every person gets some of them. 28 From that which would go to the soldiers, keep one out of every 500 Midianite soldiers for the LORD. Do the same with the animals. 29 Give what is for the LORD to Eleazar the priest. 30 From what is for the people give one out of every 50 Midianite soldiers to the Levites. The Levites guard the LORD's tent. Do the same with the animals.’ 31 Moses and Eleazar did as the LORD said.

32 The soldiers took 675,000 sheep, 33 72,000 cows, 34 61,000 donkeys 35 and 32,000 women who had not had sex with a man.

36 The gift for the soldiers included 337 500 sheep. 37 So there were 675 sheep for the LORD. 38 The gift for the soldiers also included 36,000 cows. So there were 72 cows for the LORD. 39 The gift for the soldiers also included 30 500 donkeys. So there were 61 donkeys for the LORD. 40 The gift for the soldiers also included 16,000 people. So there were 32 people for the LORD.

41 Moses gave the gift that was for the LORD to Eleazar, the priest. The LORD had told Moses that he must do that.

42 Moses made the gift that was for the people separate from the gift that was for the soldiers. 43 The gift for the people included 337 500 sheep. 44 It also included 36,000 cows. 45 It also included 30 500 donkeys. 46 And it included 16,000 people. 47 From the gift that was for the Israelites, Moses took one out of every 50. And he gave them to the Levites for guarded the LORD's tent. The LORD had told Moses that he must do that.

48 The leaders of the army went to Moses. 49 They said to him: ‘We have counted the soldiers. They are all present. 50 We have brought a gift to the LORD. We have brought gold rings and other gold that people wear. They are gifts for when we sinned.’

51 Moses and Eleazar took all the gold. 52 And they weighed all the gold of the offering that they lifted up to the LORD. That was the offering from the captains over 1000 men and the captains over 100 men. The weight was 16 750 shekels. 53 The soldiers took anything that was gold from the enemy. They took it when they were at war. 54 Moses and Eleazar took all the gold into the Tent of Meeting. It was a gift. It was to remember the time when the LORD told the people to go to war against the Midianites.