The Israelis attacked the Midian people-group
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses/me and said,
2 “Before you die, tell the Israeli people that they should ◄pay back/get revenge on► the Midian people-group for what they did to you.”
3 So Moses/I said to the people, “Get some men prepared for battle. Yahweh will enable them to ◄pay back/get revenge on► the Midian people-group for what they did to us.
4 Select a thousand men from each tribe to fight.”
5 So twelve thousand men prepared for fighting in the battle, one thousand from each tribe.
6 When Moses/I sent them to the battle, Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the priest, went with them. He took with him some of the things from the Sacred Tent and the trumpets that would be blown to give the signal to start the battle.
7 The Israeli men fought the soldiers from the Midian people-group, as Yahweh had told Moses/me to tell them to do, and they killed every man from the Midian people-group.
8 Among those whom they killed were the five kings of the Midian people-group—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba. They also killed with a sword Balaam, the son of Beor.
9 They captured all the women and children of the Midian people-group and took away their cattle, their flocks of sheep, and herds of goats, and all their other possessions.
10 Then they burned down all the houses in the towns and villages where the people of the Midian people-group lived,
11 but they took home with them all the women and children and animals and possessions.
12 They brought all these to Eliezer and Moses/me, and to the rest of the Israeli people who were at their/our camp on the plains where the Moab people-group lived, near the Jordan River, across from Jericho.
13 Eleazar and all the leaders of the people and Moses/I went outside the camp to greet/meet with them.
14 But Moses/I was angry with some of the men who had returned from the battle. He/I was angry with the army officers and the men who were commanders of a thousand men and those who were commanders of a hundred men.
15 He/I asked them, “Why did you allow the women to live [RHQ]?
16 They are the ones who did what Balaam suggested and urged/persuaded our people to worship Baal instead of Yahweh. As a result, Yahweh caused a plague to strike his people while they were at Peor.
17 So, now you must kill all the boys of the Midian people-group, and also kill all the women who have had sex [EUP] with any man.
18 Spare only the girls who are virgins [EUP]. You can keep them to be your wives or your slaves.
19 All of you who have killed someone or touched the corpse of someone who was killed in the battle must stay outside the camp for seven days. On the third day and on the seventh day, you must perform the ritual to cause you to become acceptable to God again.
20 You must also wash your clothes and anything that you took to the battle that is made of leather or goat's hair or wood.”
21 Then Eleazar said to the soldiers who had returned from the battle, “This is what Yahweh has instructed Moses:
22 You must put into a fire any gold or silver or bronze or iron or tin or lead things that you brought back from the battle.
23 Put everything that will not burn into the fire, and then they will be acceptable for you to use. But also sprinkle those things with the water that causes things and people to become acceptable to God. The things that would burn if you put them in a fire, sprinkle them with that water.
24 On the seventh day, wash your clothes, and then you will become acceptable to God again. After you do that, you may return to the camp.”
Dividing the captured goods
25 Yahweh also said to Moses/me,
26 “Tell Eleazar and the leaders of the family groups that they must write down a list of all the goods, the women, and the animals that were captured in the battle.
27 Then they must divide all those things, half given to the men who fought in the battle and the other half given to the rest of the people.
28 From the men who fought in the battle, take one from every five hundred people and from every five hundred cattle and donkeys and sheep, to be a tax for me.
29 Take these things to Eleazar to ◄be my share/belong to me►.
30 And from the half that belongs to the ordinary people, take one item from every fifty. That includes people, cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, and other animals. Give those things to the descendants of Levi who take care of my Sacred Tent.”
31 So Eleazar and Moses/I did what Yahweh commanded.
32-35 There were 675,000 sheep, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys, and 32,000 virgins that they had captured from the Midian people-group.
36 The men who fought in the battle took 337,000 sheep from the battle,
37 and they gave 675 of them to Yahweh.
38 They took 36,000 cattle and gave 72 of them to Yahweh.
39 They took 30,500 donkeys, and they gave 61 of them to Yahweh.
40 They took 16,000 virgins, and they dedicated 32 of them to Yahweh.
41 Moses/I gave to Eleazar all the animals that had been given to Yahweh, as Yahweh had commanded.
42-46 Moses/I separated what those who had fought in the battle received from what the other people received. The people had taken 337,500 sheep, 36,000 cattle, 30,500 donkeys, and 16,000 virgins,
47 From what the people received, Moses/I took one from every fifty items and dedicated them to Yahweh. That included animals and people. As Yahweh commanded, he/I gave them all to the descendants of Levi who took care of the Sacred Tent.
48 Then the army officers and those who commanded a thousand men and those who commanded a hundred men came to Moses/me.
49 They said, “We, who are your servants, have counted the soldiers whom we command, and we found that none of them ◄is missing/has been killed►.
50 So to thank Yahweh for that, we have brought to him a gift of the gold items that we found after the battle: Gold arm bands and bracelets and rings and earrings and necklaces. This will enable us to be forgiven for our sins.”
51 So Eleazar and Moses/I accepted the gold items that they brought.
52 The total of it weighed about ◄420 pounds/190 kg.►.
53 Each soldier had taken these things for himself.
54 Eleazar and Moses/I accepted these gold items from these commanders and put them in the Sacred Tent to remind the Israeli people about how Yahweh had helped them defeat the Midian people-group.