Numbers Chapter 31
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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; as the LORD commanded Moses.
50 We have therefore brought an oblation for the LORD, 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.
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.
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Matthew Henry's Numbers Chapter 31 Bible commentary...
War with Midian. (1-6) Balaam slain. (7-12) Those slain who caused sin. (13-38) Purification of the Israelites. (39-24) Division of the spoil. (25-47) Offerings. (48-54)1-6 All who, without commission from God, dare to execute private revenge, and who, from ambition, covetousness, or resentment, wage war and desolate kingdoms, must one day answer for it. But if God, instead of sending an earthquake, a pestilence, or a famine, be pleased to authorize and command any people to avenge his cause, such a commission surely is just and right. The Israelites could show such a commission, though no persons now can do so. Their wars were begun and carried on expressly by Divine direction, and they were enabled to conquer by miracles. Unless it can be proved that the wicked Canaanites did not deserve their doom, objectors only prove their dislike to God, and their love to his enemies. Man makes light of the evil of sin, but God abhors it. This explains the terrible executions of the nations which had filled the measure of their sins.
7-12 The Israelites slew the Kings of Midian. They slew Balaam. God's overruling providence brought him thither, and their just vengeance found him. Had he himself rightly believed what he had said of the happy state of Israel, he would not have thus herded with the enemies of Israel. The Midianites' wicked wiles were Balaam's projects: it was just that he should perish with them, #Ho 4:5|. They took the women and children captives. They burnt their cities and castles, and returned to the camp.
13-18 The sword of war should spare women and children; but the sword of justice should know no distinction, but that of guilty or not guilty. This war was the execution of a righteous sentence upon a guilty nation, in which the women were the worst criminals. The female children were spared, who, being brought up among the Israelites, would not tempt them to idolatry. The whole history shows the hatefulness of sin, and the guilt of tempting others; it teaches us to avoid all occasions of evil, and to give no quarter to inward lusts. The women and children were not kept for sinful purposes, but for slaves, a custom every where practised in former times, as to captives. In the course of providence, when famine and plagues visit a nation for sin, children suffer in the common calamity. In this case parents are punished in their children; and for children dying before actual sin, full provision is made as to their eternal happiness, by the mercy of God in Christ.
19-24 The Israelites had to purify themselves according to the law, and to abide without the camp seven days, though they had not contracted any moral guilt, the war being just and lawful, and commanded by God. Thus God would preserve in their minds a dread and detestation of shedding blood. The spoil had been used by Midianites, and being now come into the possession of Israelites, it was fit that it should be purified.
25-47 Whatever we have, God justly claims a part. Out of the people's share God required one in fifty, but out of the soldiers' share only one in five hundred. The less opportunity we have of honouring God with personal services, the more should we give in money or value.
48-54 The success of the Israelites had been very remarkable, so small a company overcoming such multitudes, but it was still more wonderful that not one was slain or missing. They presented the gold they found among the spoils, as an offering to the Lord. Thus they confessed, that instead of claiming a reward for their service, they needed forgiveness of much that had been amiss, and desired to be thankful for the preservation of their lives, which might justly have been taken away.
Hans Terlouw's Numbers Chapter 31 comment about verse 18 on 9/10/2014, 8:51am...
And IS do also in 2014 !!!!!!
Diana Herec's Numbers Chapter 31 comment about verse 28 on 2/07/2014, 11:03am...
I was wondering if there was human sacrifice meant by 1 in 500
Ted Grant's Numbers Chapter 31 comment about verse 35 on 1/27/2014, 9:01am...
These little ones were saved from slaughter, unlike all the other Midianites. We don't know why they were saved; we can only guess at God's purpose here and I'm puzzled as to the procedure for identifying these lucky ones. Exactly how it was done defies imagination - 32000 is a lot to examine.
Ted Grant's Numbers Chapter 31 comment on 1/27/2014, 8:54am...
We are supposed to believe the baby boys killed deserved to die, because they would mislead the Chosen People when they grew up. Hmmm. I'm not sure this is a good reason for killing baby boys. Also the baby girls were kept, not for sinful purposes, but as slaves. Again, I am not convinced. The God Lovers will have to try harder. Besides, God said Do Not Kill, but here He commands that extermination of the Midianites. I'm having trouble reconciling these conflicting instructions. Maybe it's the Devil in me that is blinding me from the truth? Perhaps, but who made the Devil? and who made me? It's all very confusing.
Sonni's Numbers Chapter 31 comment on 11/28/2013, 11:52am...
Human beings have always strived to understand the meaning of their existance. Even today there are many people in the position of authority (Moses was the authority figure in this chapter) who say,"God said this or that. God hates this or that" when no such thing actually happened. Its just what they would want God to say, especially when it helps to justify their decisions and allows them to "lead"the people in the direction the leader wants them to go. Believing that God actually "said" anything is pretty naive. Believing that God takes sides when all it does is justify doing horrible things to other people is just plain wrong. Every time a story is told it is embellished and changed by the very human storyteller. Keep that in mind when you look at an interpretation while trying to read it looking for absolute fact. Use your common sense
Anonymous 2's Numbers Chapter 31 comment on 11/18/2013, 11:55am...
Anonymous on 11/09/2013 saw the truth of this Chapter. I say this: much to myself as to others like me: we all are standing before a Righteous God and time is ticking. His mercy is as fierce....AS His Judgement. He will love us to the end if we acknowledge Him. His fierce Judgement on the Midianites is no different from the Final Judgement. Oh may we see the truth in this Chapter...and embrace the love of this Great God which He has made available for us through His Son Jesus Christ.....before it is too late. Let's receive His love and learn how to love our neighbors, because ONE DAY it shall be over for us as humans...and then we'll slide into HIS MARM GLOW OF LOVE FOR EVERMORE or....perish......for...ever. It is a choice we make as the clock of our lives tick each day we live, in the way we live our lives. The Midinites and their ancestors made their choice long before that day. The neighbors of NOAH also made those choices years before the day the Flood came. I pray that all ...from henceforth, be touched by and covered with the love of Christ to make the right choice(s). Oh that all may see the truth of this Chapter I pray.
Anonymous's Numbers Chapter 31 comment on 11/09/2013, 10:21am...
While the truths of Numbers 31 are difficult for my human heart to confront, and the terror of an utterly righteous God overwhelming, I must find a way through this fearful maze while at the same time knowing this indeed is the God with whom we all have to do. Consigning myself to hell because I do not like his terrible justice does not seem like a reasonable solution and denial will not change the fact. So I am left with recognizing how very worthy of God's fearful judgment I without question a transgressor and finding it wise to make peace which, ah, joy of my soul, I find in Christ alone, upon whom I cast myself with total abandon for alas, he is my only hope. But what a hope he is! Hope of the hopeless, help of the helpless, Jesus what a name for sinners!
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