Then YAHUSHA said to Moses, “On behalf of the people of Yisharal, take revenge on the Midianites for leading them into idolatry. And after that, you will die and join your ancestors.”
So Moses said to the people, “Choose some men, and arm them to fight Yahuah’s war of revenge against Midian. From each tribe of Yisharal, send 1,000 men into battle.”
So they chose 1,000 men from each tribe of Yisharal (a total of 12,000 men) and armed them for battle. Then Moses sent them out and Phinehas (son of Eleazar the high-priest) led them into battle. And they carried the set-apart objects of the sanctuary with them and the trumpets for sounding the charge, attacking Midian as YAHUSHA had instructed Moses, killing all the men. All five of the Midianite kings: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba all died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor (the sorcerer) with the sword too.
RECALL ALL THE PLOTTING AND SCHEMING AND ALLIANCES BEING MADE AGAINST YISHARAL? THIS WAS YAHUSHA’S PAYBACK. AND BOY WAS IT A BITCH!! EVEN THOUGH THE TEXT SAYS THEY KILLED ALL THE MEN (IMPLYING ALL THE MIDIANITES) WE’RE ONLY DEALING WITH THOSE MIDIANITE CLANS WHO HAD SETTLED IN MOABITE TERRITORY. YISHARAL DIDN’T DESTROY EVERY MIDIANITE TRIBE IN EXISTENCE. (REMEMBER MIDIAN WAS THE SON OF KETURAH, ABRAHAM’S WIFE LATER IN HIS LIFE, SO THESE PEOPLE WERE SHEMITES AND SCATTERED ALL OVER BECAUSE REMEMBER THESE ARE NOT SOVEREIGN NATIONS. THERE ARE SCATTERED TRIBES ALL OVER THE PLACE. BUT HAVING SAID THAT, THE SCALE OF THE HUMAN DESTRUCTION YISHARAL DID ACCOMPLISH WAS STILL SIGNIFICANT. WHY DID YAHUSHA EVEN HAVE TO USE SOLDIERS IN THE FIRST PLACE TO ACHIEVE VICTORY? WHY DIDN’T HE JUST WIPE THE ENEMY OUT SUPERNATURALLY VIA A BLAZING FIRE OR SOMETHING? I BELIEVE HE WANTED TO DEMONSTRATE TO THE ENEMY THAT HE STANDS WITH YISHARAL AND THAT THERE ARE DIRE CONSEQUENCES TO PAY IF YOU MESS WITH HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE. HE ALSO WANTED THIS TO SERVE AS A WITNESS FOR HIS PEOPLE AND STRENGTHEN THEIR BELIEF, SO THAT THEY WOULD LEARN TO TRUST HIM WHEN GOING INTO BATTLE TO FIGHT THEIR ENEMIES.
Then the Yisharalite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder, burning all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived. And after they’d gathered the plunder and captives, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar and to the whole community of Yisharal, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River (across from Jericho). So Moses, Eleazar and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp, but Moses was furious with all the generals and captains who had returned from the battle..
“WHY ON EARTH HAVE YOU LET ALL THE WOMEN LIVE?” he demanded. “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Yisharal to rebel against Yahuah at Mount Peor. They’re the ones who caused the plague to strike Yahuah’s people. So kill all the boys and all the women who have had sex with a man and only the young girls who are virgins may live and you may keep them for yourselves. And all of you who have killed anyone or touched a dead body must stay outside the camp for seven days. Go and cleanse yourselves and your captives on the third and seventh days and make sure you wash all your clothing too, and everything made of leather, goats hair, or wood.”
Then Eleazar the priest said to the men who were in the battle, “Yahuah has given Moses this legal requirement: Anything made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, or lead (all metals that don’t burn), must be passed through fire to be made clean. These metal objects must then be further cleansed with the water of purification. But everything that burns must be washed by the water alone. And on the seventh day you must wash your clothes and be purified. Then you may return to the camp.”
WHY KILL ALL THE YOUNG BOYS? THIS TURNS A LOT OF PEOPLE’S STOMACHS LOOKING AT THE SHEER BARBARITY HERE, HOWEVER THIS WAS COMPLETELY NORMAL IN THOSE DAYS. IT WAS CONSIDERED A MALE CHILD’S SWORN DUTY TO AVENGE THE DEATH OF HIS FATHER, WHETHER THAT FATHER WAS THE BOY’S REAL FLESH-AND-BLOOD FATHER OR A FATHER FIGURE WHO HAD ADOPTED AND RAISED THE BOY. AND YISHARAL HAD JUST LITERALLY SLAUGHTERED EVERY ONE OF THESE BOYS’ FATHERS. THEREFORE, TO LET THEM LIVE WAS LIKE KEEPING A PACK OF BABY LIONS AND TIGERS IN YOUR HOME. THEY WOULD EVENTUALLY HAVE TO BE DEALT WITH WHEN THEY GREW OLD ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO CAUSE SERIOUS DANGER. SO MOSES DECIDED TO DO THE SMART THING. KILL THEM NOW BEFORE THEY GREW TO BECOME BITTER ADULTS WHOSE ONLY MISSION IN LIFE WOULD BE TO AVENGE THEIR FATHERS. ANOTHER REASON IS THAT IT IS THE FATHER’S NAME WHO THE CHILDREN INHERITED AND THE HUSBAND HELD SOLE RIGHTS TO ALL OF HIS WIFE’S PROPERTY. SO IN KILLING OFF THESE MALE CHILDREN NOW, MOSES WAS ENSURING THAT THERE WOULDN’T BE ANY REBELLIOUS MALE MIDIANITES WHO MIGHT POLLUTE YISHARAL THROUGH INTERMARRIAGE OR TAKE AWAY ANY LAND THAT ACCORDING TO YAHUSHA’S INSTRUCTIONS WAS NOT RIGHTFULLY THEIRS.
DIVISION OF THE PLUNDER (NUM.31)
And YAHUSHA said to Moses, “You, Eleazar and the family leaders of each tribe are to make a list of all the plunder taken in the battle, including the people and animals. Then divide the plunder into two parts, and give half to the men who fought the battle and half to the rest of Yisharal. From the army’s portion, give Me a share first, one of every 500 of the prisoners, cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats. Give this share of the army’s half to Eleazar the priest as an offering to Me. From the half that belongs to the people of Yisharal, take one of every fifty of the prisoners, cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, and other animals and give this share to the Levites, who are in charge of maintaining My Tabernacle.”
So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as YAHUSHA instructed Moses.
The plunder remaining from everything the fighting men had taken totalled 675K sheep and goats, 72K cattle, 61K donkeys and 32K virgin girls. Half the plunder was given to the fighting men and Moses gave all YAHUSHA’s share to Eleazar the priest, just as YAHUSHA had directed him. Half of the plunder belonged to the people of Yisharal, and Moses separated it from the half belonging to the fighting men. From the half-share given to the people, Moses took one of every fifty prisoners and animals and gave them to the Levites, who maintained YAHUSHA’s Tabernacle. All this was done as YAHUSHA had instructed Moses.
Then all the generals and captains came to Moses and said, “We, your servants, have accounted for all the men who went out to battle under our command and not one of us is missing! So we are presenting the items of gold we captured as an offering to Yahuah from our share of the plunder: armbands, bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces. This will cleanse our lives before Yahuah and make us right with him.”
So Moses and Eleazar received the gold from all the military commanders and it all weighed about 200kg. And all the fighting men had taken some of the plunder for themselves, so Moses and Eleazar accepted the gifts from the generals and captains and brought the gold to the Tabernacle as a reminder to YAHUSHA that the people of Yisharal belong to him.
EVERYTHING GAINED IN A SET-APART WAR WAS YAHUSHA’S PROPERTY, SO IT WAS ONLY FAIR AND JUST THAT HE (REPRESENTED BY THE LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD) GOT HIS PORTION. IN A WORLD FILLED WITH SELF-SEEKING LEADERS WHOSE ONLY AIM TO IS GAIN FAME AND FORTUNE FOR THEMSELVES, RIGHT HERE WE’RE PRESENTED WITH AN INSPIRING EXAMPLE OF WHAT YAHUSHA’S LEADERSHIP IS ALL ABOUT. EVERY COMMANDING LEADER FROM EVERY RANK, FROM THE SERGEANTS ALL THE WAY UP TO THE TOP LEADER, HANDED OVER ALL OF THE GOLD AND SILVER JEWELLERY THEY HAD ACQUIRED AS SPOILS FROM THEIR BATTLE WITH THE MIDIANITES. WHAT MOTIVATED THEM TO BE SO GENEROUS? AFTER THE BATTLE, NOT EVEN ONE HEBREW SOLDIER WAS KILLED OR MISSING! HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A MAJOR MILITARY CONFLICT WHERE NOT EVEN ONE SOLDIER WAS KILLED OR CAPTURED? THIS WAS 12K PEOPLE RETURNING FROM BATTLE UNSCATHED. THE LEADERS WERE SO THANKFUL AND OVERTAKEN WITH EMOTION THAT THEY TURNED OVER ALL THEIR BOOTY TO THE PRIESTHOOD IN HUMBLE RECOGNITION OF WHAT YAHUSHA HAD DONE FOR THEM.