The Bible in Its Traditions

Numbers 31:1–54

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And YHWH spoke unto Moses, saying

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

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'Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites; afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.'

Avenge the wrongs of the children of Israel on the Madianites, and afterwards thou shalt be added to thy people.

“First, avenge the sons of Israel from the Midianites, and then you shall be gathered to your people.”

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And Moses spoke unto the people, saying: 'Arm ye men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian, to execute YHWH'S vengeance on Midian.

And immediately Moses said: “Arm the men among you for a battle, so that they may be able to fulfill the retribution of the Lord on the Midianites.

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Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war.'

Send a thousand of each tribe from all the tribes of the children of Israel to set themselves in array.

Let one thousand men be chosen from each tribe of Israel, who shall be sent to war.”

So there were delivered, out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war.

And they numbered of the thousands of Israel a thousand of each tribe, twelve thousands; these were armed for war.

And they gave one thousand from each tribe, that is, twelve thousand foot soldiers for battle.

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And Moses sent them, a thousand of every tribe, to the war, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy vessels and the trumpets for the alarm in his hand.

And Moses sent them with Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the priest; also, he delivered to him the holy vessels, and the trumpets to sound.

Then Moses sent them to war, a thousand from each tribe, twelve thousand armed men, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the army, with the holy vessels of the sanctuary and with trumpets to blow in his hand.

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And they warred against Midian, as YHWH commanded Moses; and they slew every male.

And they set themselves in array against Madian, as the Lord commanded Moses; and they slew every male.

And when they had fought against the Midianites and had prevailed, they killed all the men.

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And they slew the kings of Midian with the rest of their slain: Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian; Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.

And they put to death by the sword their kings: Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, the five leaders of the nation, and also Balaam the son of Beor.

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And the children of Israel took captive the women of Midian and their little ones; and all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods, they took for a prey.

And they made a prey of the women of Madian, and their store, and their cattle, and all their possessions: and they spoiled their forces.

And they seized their women and little ones, and all their cattle, and all their goods; whatever they were able to have, they despoiled.

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10  And all their cities in the places wherein they dwelt, and all their encampments, they burnt with fire.

10  Both their cities and their villages, as well as their fortresses, they burned.

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11  And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of man and of beast.

11  And they carried away prey from everything that they had seized, both of men and of beasts.

12  And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and unto Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp, unto the plains of Moab, which are by the Jordan at Jericho.

12  And they led these to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to all the multitude of the sons of Israel. But the remainder of the articles they carried to the camp on the plains of Moab, next to the Jordan, opposite Jericho.

13  And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.

13  Then Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the assembly went out to meet them beyond the camp.

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14  And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, who came from the service of the war.

14  And Moses was angry with the captains of the host, the heads of thousands and the heads of hundreds who came from the battle-array.

14  And Moses, being angry with the leaders of the army, and the tribunes, and the centurions, who had arrived from the battle,

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15  And Moses said unto them: 'Have ye saved all the women alive?

15  said: “Why have you spared the females?

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16  Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to revolt so as to break faith with YHWH in the matter of Peor, and so the plague was among the congregation of the YHWH.

16  For they were the occasion to the children of Israel by the word of Balaam of their revolting and despising the word of the Lord, because of Phogor; and there was a plague in the congregation of the Lord.

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17  Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

17  Now then slay every male in all the spoil, slay every woman, who has known the lying with man.

17  Therefore, put to death all of them: whatever is of the male sex, even among the little ones, and cut the throats of those women who have known men by sexual relations.

18  But all the women children, that have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

18  And as for all the captivity of women, who have not known the lying with man, save ye them alive.

18  But the young girls, and all female virgins, reserve for yourselves.

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19  And encamp ye without the camp seven days; whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify yourselves on the third day and on the seventh day, ye and your captives.

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20  And as to every garment, and all that is made of skin, and all work of goats' hair, and all things made of wood, ye shall purify.'

20  And ye shall purify every garment and every leathern utensil, and all furniture of goat skin, and every wooden vessel.

20  And purify all your raiment, and all that is made of skins, and all work of goats' hair , and all things made of wood. And he is saying Moses to Elazar the priest: say to mortals, the ones going to war this law which the LORD instructed. Gold, and silver and copper and iron and tin and lead, all that can pass through fire you pass through fire so that it may be clean. But everything which may not come through fire you shall cause to pass through water. You will rinse your garments on the seventh day, and you will be clean. And thereafter you may come into the camp.

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21  And Eleazar the priest said unto the men of war that went to the battle: 'This is the statute of the law which YHWH hath commanded Moses

21  Likewise, Eleazar the priest spoke in this manner to the men of the army who had fought: “This is the precept of the law, which the Lord has commanded Moses

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22  Howbeit the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead,

22  Gold, and silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin,

22  Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, and the iron, and the tin, and the lead

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23  every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make to go through the fire, and it shall be clean; nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of sprinkling; and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make to go through the water.

23  every thing that shall pass through the fire shall so be clean, nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of sanctification; and whatsoever will not pass through the fire shall pass through water.

23  and all that may be able to pass through fire, shall be purified by fire. But whatever is not able to sustain fire shall be sanctified with the waters of expiation.

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24  And ye shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and ye shall be clean, and afterward ye may come into the camp.'

24  And you shall wash your garments on the seventh day, and, after having been purified, you shall enter the camp.”

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25  And YHWH spoke unto Moses, saying

25  And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

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26  'Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the heads of the fathers' houses of the congregation;

26  “Take the sum of those things which were captured, from man even to beast, you and Eleazar the priest, and the leaders of the common people.

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27  and divide the prey into two parts: between the men skilled in war, that went out to battle, and all the congregation;

27  And ye shall divide the spoils between the warriors that went out to battle, and the whole congregation.

27  And you shall divide the prey equally, among those who went out to war and fought, and among the remainder of the multitude.

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28  and levy a tribute unto YHWH of the men of war that went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the flocks;

28  And ye shall take a tribute for the Lord from the warriors that went out to battle; one soul out of five hundred, from the men, and from the cattle, even from the oxen, and from the sheep, and from the asses; and ye shall take from their half.

28  And you shall separate a portion for the Lord from the portion of those who fought and were in the battle: one soul out of five hundred, as much from humans, as from oxen and donkeys and sheep.

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29  take it of their half, and give it unto Eleazar the priest, as a portion set apart for YHWH.

29  And thou shalt give them to Eleazar the priest as the first-fruits of the Lord.

29  And you shall give it to Eleazar the priest, because these are the first-fruits of the Lord.

30  And of the children of Israel's half, thou shalt take one drawn out of every fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, even of all the cattle, and give them unto the Levites, that keep the charge of the tabernacle of YHWH.'

30  And from the half belonging to the children of Israel thou shalt take one in fifty from the men, and from the oxen, and from the sheep, and from the asses, and from all the cattle; and thou shalt give them to the Levites that keep the charges in the tabernacle of the Lord.

30  Likewise, from the half of the portion belonging to the sons of Israel, you shall receive the fiftieth head of humans, and of oxen, and donkeys, and sheep, and of all living things, and you shall give these to the Levites who stand watch over the care of the tabernacle of the Lord.”

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31  And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as YHWH commanded Moses.

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32  Now the prey, over and above the booty which the men of war took, was six hundred thousand and seventy thousand and five thousand sheep,

32  And that which remained of the spoil which the warriors took, was—of the sheep, six hundred and seventy-five thousand

32  Now the prey which the army had seized was six hundred seventy-five thousand sheep,

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33  and threescore and twelve thousand beeves,

33  and oxen, seventy-two thousand

33  seventy-two thousand oxen,

34  and threescore and one thousand asses,

34  and asses, sixty-one thousand.

34  sixty-one thousand donkeys,

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35  and thirty and two thousand persons in all, of the women that had not known man by lying with him.

35  And persons of women who had not known lying with man, all the souls, thirty-two thousand.

35  and thirty-two thousand human lives, of the female sex, who had not known men.

36  And the half, which was the portion of them that went out to war, was in number three hundred thousand and thirty thousand and seven thousand and five hundred sheep.

36  And the half, even the portion of them that went out to war, from the number of the sheep, was three hundred and thirty-seven thousand and five hundred.

36  And one half of the portion was given to those who had been in the battle: three hundred thirty-seven thousand five hundred sheep.

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37  And YHWH'S tribute of the sheep was six hundred and threescore and fifteen.

37  From these, for the portion of the Lord, there were accounted: six hundred seventy-five sheep;

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38  And the beeves were thirty and six thousand, of which YHWH'S tribute was threescore and twelve.

38  And the oxen, six and thirty thousand, and the tribute to the Lord seventy-two.

38  and from the thirty-six thousand oxen, seventy-two oxen;

39  And the asses were thirty thousand and five hundred, of which YHWH'S tribute was threescore and one.

39  And asses, thirty thousand and five hundred, and the tribute to the Lord, sixty-one

39  from the thirty thousand five hundred donkeys, sixty-one donkeys.

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40  And the persons were sixteen thousand, of whom YHWH'S tribute was thirty and two persons.

40  From the sixteen thousand human souls, there fell to the portion of the Lord thirty-two souls.

41  And Moses gave the tribute, which was set apart for YHWH, unto Eleazar the priest, as the YHWH commanded Moses.

41  And Moses delivered the number of the first-fruits of the Lord to Eleazar the priest, just as had been commanded of him,

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42  And of the children of Israel's half, which Moses divided off from the men that warred--

42  from the half belonging to the children of Israel, whom Moses separated from the men of war.

42  from the one half portion belonging to the sons of Israel, which he had separated from the portion of those who had been in the battle.

43  now the congregation's half was three hundred thousand and thirty thousand and seven thousand and five hundred sheep,

43  And the half taken from the sheep, belonging to the congregation, was three hundred and thirty-seven thousand and five hundred.

43  Yet truly, from the one half portion which fell to the remainder of the multitude, that is, from the three hundred thirty-seven thousand five hundred sheep,

44  and thirty and six thousand beeves,

44  And the oxen, thirty-six thousand;

44  and from the thirty-six thousand oxen,

45  and thirty thousand and five hundred asses,

45  asses, thirty thousand and five hundred;

45  and from the thirty thousand five hundred donkeys,

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46  and sixteen thousand persons--

46  and from the sixteen thousand persons,

47  even of the children of Israel's half, Moses took one drawn out of every fifty, both of man and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites, that kept the charge of the tabernacle of YHWH; as the YHWH commanded Moses.

47  Moses took the fiftieth head, and gave it to the Levites who stand watch at the tabernacle of the Lord, just as the Lord had instructed.

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48  And the officers that were over the thousands of the host, the captains of thousands, and the captains of hundreds, came near unto Moses;

48  And all those who were appointed to be officers of thousands of the host, captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, approached Moses, and said to Moses,

48  And when the leaders of the army, and the tribunes, and the centurions had approached Moses, they said

49  and they said unto Moses: 'Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war that are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us.

49  Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war with us, and not one is missing.

49  “We, your servants, have taken a census of the number of the fighting men, whom we had under our hand, and indeed not one was lacking.

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50  And we have brought YHWH'S offering, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, armlets, and bracelets, signet-rings, ear-rings, and girdles, to make atonement for our souls before the YHWH.'

50  For this reason, we offer as gifts to the Lord whatever gold each one was able to find amid the spoils, in anklets and arm bands, rings and bracelets, and little chains, so that you may intercede for us to the Lord.”

50  We have therefore brought as an offering for the LORD what every man has found, articles of gold, ankle chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces, to make atonement for our souls before the LORD.

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51  And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of them, even all wrought jewels.

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52  And all the gold of the gift that they set apart for YHWH, of the captains of thousands, and of the captains of hundreds, was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels.--

52  weighing sixteen thousand seven hundred fifty shekels, from the tribunes and the centurions.

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53  For the men of war had taken booty, every man for himself.--

53  For whatever each one had taken away in the spoils was his own.

53  ( For the men of war had taken spoil, every man for himself.)

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54  And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tent of meeting, for a memorial for the children of Israel before YHWH.

54  And having been accepted, they took it into the tabernacle of the testimony, as a memorial of the sons of Israel before the Lord.