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Thursday, December 19 2013
Numbers 31: The Last Battle Of Moses
"The LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people"
Near the end of their forty years wandering in the Sinai Peninsula (see also Paul's Geography Lesson), a journey that could have been accomplished in little over just one year if the Israelites had obeyed the LORD (see Numbers 14: Why 40 Years In The Sinai?), the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) gave His faithful servant Moses (see Exodus 2: The Drawing Of Moses and Exodus 3: The Sign Of The Flaming Bush) one of his last major tasks (the other was the deliverance of the Book of Deuteronomy; see Deuteronomy: The Law and History Lessons By Moses).
"31:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 31:2 Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people." (Numbers 31:1-2 KJV)
Why "Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites"? The Israelites had sought only to pass through Midianite territory on the way to their own homeland, but the Midianite king attempted to oppose, not merely the Israelites, but the LORD's will. That king, Balak, hired a sorcerer to attempt to put a Satanic curse on Israel (see Numbers 22: Balak and Balaam, Numbers 23: Balaam's Parables and Numbers 24: Balaam's Blessing Of Israel). When that failed, the Midianites used immorality as a means to attempt to weaken and divert the Israelites. That too failed, although not without grievous damage to Israel (see Numbers 25: The Moabite Seduction).
Whatever happened to Balaam? "Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword."
"31:3 And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian. 31:4 Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war. 31:5 So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. 31:6 And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.
When the warriors returned from the gore, they were isolated according to the established health rules (see Leviticus 13: Bacteria): "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. And purify all your raiment, and all that is made of skins, and all work of goats' hair, and all things made of wood."
"31:19 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. 31:20 And purify all your raiment, and all that is made of skins, and all work of goats' hair, and all things made of wood.
According to established rules of conflict, ancient and modern, "the spoils of war" were divided by the victors.
"31:25 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 31:26 Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation: 31:27 And divide the prey into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation: 31:28 And levy a tribute unto the LORD of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep: 31:29 Take it of their half, and give it unto Eleazar the priest, for an heave offering of the LORD. 31:30 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. 31:31 And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the LORD commanded Moses.
This Day In History, December 19
211: Publius Septimius Geta, then co-emperor of Rome, was assassinated by his own Praetorian Guard (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars; also Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).
1154: Henry II was crowned king of England.
1490: Anne, the Duchess of Brittany, was married to Holy Roman Emperor (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) Maximilian I by proxy.
1562: The French Wars of Religion between the Huguenots (French Protestants) and the Catholics began at the Battle of Dreux.
1606: Three ships, the Susan Constant (or Sarah Constant), the Godspeed and the Discovery sailed from England to establish English colonies for the King and the Virginia Company of London.
1741: Vitus Bering, Danish navigator and explorer, died at age 60. The Bering Strait and the Bering Sea (located between Russia and Alaska - Alaska was then Russian territory) are named after him.
1793: French forces recaptured Toulon from the British.
1915: German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer died at age 51 of rheumatic fever and kidney failure brought on by a common cold or influenza infection. "Alzheimer's disease" was named after Alzheimer, from his professional studies of "presenile dementia" (i.e. dementia with onset before the age of 65).
1917: The first National Hockey League game was played on artificial ice, in Toronto.
1932: The BBC World Service began broadcasting overseas as the BBC Empire Service.
1941: Adolf Hitler (whose military experience consisted of his having been a corporal in the German Army during the First World War) became Supreme Commander-in-chief of the German Army (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1941: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), Japanese forces invaded British-held Hong Kong.
1946: War broke out in Indochina when Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh attacked French colonial forces in Hanoi. The French left in the 1960s (after dividing Vietnam into North and South, which resulted in the Vietnam civil war) and were replaced by the U.S. who remained until the 1970s.
1972: Apollo 17, the last manned lunar flight returned to Earth.
1986: Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, considered the father of the Soviet atomic bomb, was released from exile. He had been seized in January 1980 and sent to the closed city of Gorky, 400 kilometers east of Moscow where he was kept in isolation.
1998: During the Lewinsky scandal, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached ("Charge with a crime or misdemeanor") President Bill Clinton on 2 counts - perjury and obstruction of justice.
2001: A record-high barometric pressure occurred at Tosontsengel, Khovsgol, Mongolia.