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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).

The Plains Of The Jordan 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.

31:7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. 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. 31:9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. 31:10 And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire. 31:11 And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts. 31:12 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.

31:13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. 31:14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.

31:15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. 31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. 31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." (Numbers 31:3-18 KJV)

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.

31:21 And Eleazar the priest said unto the men of war which went to the battle, This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD commanded Moses; 31:22 Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead, 31:23 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. 31:24 And ye shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and ye shall be clean, and afterward ye shall come into the camp." (Numbers 31:19-24 KJV)

According to established rules of conflict, ancient and modern, "the spoils of war" were divided by the victors.

Herd

"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.

31:32 And the booty, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught, was six hundred thousand and seventy thousand and five thousand sheep, 31:33 And threescore and twelve thousand beeves, 31:34 And threescore and one thousand asses, 31:35 And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him. 31:36 And the half, which was the portion of them that went out to war, was in number three hundred thousand and seven and thirty thousand and five hundred sheep: 31:37 And the LORD'S tribute of the sheep was six hundred and threescore and fifteen. 31:38 And the beeves were thirty and six thousand; of which the LORD'S tribute was threescore and twelve. 31:39 And the asses were thirty thousand and five hundred; of which the LORD'S tribute was threescore and one. 31:40 And the persons were sixteen thousand; of which the LORD'S tribute was thirty and two persons.

31:41 And Moses gave the tribute, which was the LORD'S heave offering, unto Eleazar the priest, as the LORD commanded Moses.

31:42 And of the children of Israel's half, which Moses divided from the men that warred, 31:43 (Now the half that pertained unto the congregation was three hundred thousand and thirty thousand and seven thousand and five hundred sheep, 31:44 And thirty and six thousand beeves, 31:45 And thirty thousand asses and five hundred, 31:46 And sixteen thousand persons;) 31:47 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.

31:48 And the officers which were over thousands of the host, the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, came near unto Moses: 31:49 And they said unto Moses, Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war which are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us. 31:50 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.

31:51 And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of them, even all wrought jewels. 31:52 And all the gold of the offering that they offered up to the LORD, of the captains of thousands, and of the captains of hundreds, was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels. 31:53 (For the men of war had taken spoil, every man for himself.) 31:54 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." (Numbers 31:25-54 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did Moses have a family connection to the Midianites?
See Moses Of Midian and Moses And Zipporah; also Exodus 18: Jethro's Advice


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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.

Westminster 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.



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