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The Israelites war against the NUMBERS. Midianites, and destroy them.

people, saying, Arm some of 12 And they brought the capAn. Exod. Isr. yourselves unto the war, and let tives, and the prey, and the spoil

, An. Exod. Isr. them go against the Midianites, unto Moses, and Eleazar the and avenge the Lord of Midian.

priest, and unto the congregation of the chil4 · Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all dren of Israel, unto the camp.at the plains of the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war. Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho. -5 So there were delivered out of the thou- 13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and sands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, all the princes of the congregation, went forth twelve thousand armed for war.

to meet them without the

camp. 6 And Moses sent them to the war, a thou- 14 And Moses was wroth with the officers sand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the of the host, with the captains over thousands, son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the and captains over hundreds, which came from holy instruments, and a the trumpets to blow in the battle. his hand.

15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye 7 And they warred against the Midianites, saved all the women alive? as the LORD commanded Moses; and they 16 Behold, m these caused the children of slew all the f males.

Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, 10 8 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside commit trespass against the Lord in the matthe rest of them that were slain; namely, s Evi, ter of Peor, and there was a plague among and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five the congregation of the LORD. kings of - Midian : Balaam also the son of .17 Now therefore P kill every male among Beor they slew with the sword.

the little ones, and kill every woman that hath 9 And the children of Israel took all the known man by lying with him. women of Midian captives, and their little ones, 18 But all the women children, that have and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all not known a man by lying with him, keep their flocks, and all their goods.

alive for yourselves. 10 And they burnt all their cities wherein 19 And do ye abide without the camp seven they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with days : whosoever hath killed any person, and fire.

s whosoever hath touched any slain, purify 11 And i they took all the spoil, and all the both yourselves and your captives on the third prey, both of men and of beasts.

day, and on the seventh day.

La Chap

m

Heb. a thousand of a tribe, a thousand of a tribe. x. 9. Deut.xx. 13 ; Judg. xxi. 11; 1 Sam. xxvii. 9; 1 Kings xi. 15, 16. See Judg. vi. 1, 2, 33.- Josh. xiii. 21.- Josh. xiii. 22. Li Deut. xx. 14.

k Heb. host of war.- 1 See Deut. xx. 13; 1 Samuel xv. 3. Chap. xxv. 2. Chap. xxiv. 14; 2 Pet. ii. 15; Rev. ii. 14. Chap. xxv. 9. -p Judg. xxi. 11. - Heb. & male. Chap. v. 2. - Chap. xix. 11, &c.

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directions, certified in the most unequivocal way. Pri- ciple, for we do not find that peace was offered to the vate revenge, extension of territory, love of plunder, Midianites, and that they refused it; see Deut. xx. were to have no place in this business ; the Lord is to 10, &c. In such a case only hostilities could lawbe avenged; and through Him the children of Israel, fully commence ; but they were sinners against GOD; (ver. 2,) because their souls as well as their bodies the cup of their iniquity was full, and God thought had been well nigh ruined by their idolatry.

proper to destroy them. Though a leader there cerVerse 6. A thousand of every tribe] Twelve thou- tainly was, and Joshua was probably that leader, yet sand men in the whole. And Phinehas, the son of because God, for the above reason, was considered as Eleazar ; some think he was made general in this ex- commander-in-chief, therefore no one else is menpedition, but this is not likely. The ark and its con- tioned; for it is evident that the sole business of Phi. tents must proceed to this battle, because the battle nehas was to take care of the holy instruments and was the Lord's, and he dwelt between the cherubim to blow with the trumpel. over the ark ; and Phinehas, who had before got a Verse 8. Balaamthey slew with the sword.] This grant in the eternal priesthood, was chosen to accom- man had probably committed what St. John calls the pany the ark in place of his father Eleazar, who was sin unto death—a sin which God punishes with probably now too far advanced in years to undergo the temporal death, 'while at the same time he extends fatigue.. Who then was general ? Joshua, without mercy to the soul. See the remarks at the end of doubt, though not here mentioned, because the battle chap. xxiv. being the Lord's, he alone is to have the supreme di- Verse 17. Kill every male among the little ones) For rection, and all the glory. Besides, it was an extra- this action I account simply on the principle that God, ordinary war, and not conducted on the common prin. I who is the author and supporter of life, has a right to Moses takes the sum of the prey.

CHAP. XXXI.

How it should be divided.

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A. M. 2553. 20 And purify all your raiment, | Eleazar the priest, for a heave- A. M. 2553.

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An. Exod. Isr. and all that is made of skins, and offering of the LORD.

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all work of goats' hair, and all 30 And of the children of Israel's things made of wood.

half, thou shalt take ? one portion of fifty, of 21 And Eleazar the priest said unto the the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and men of war, which went to the battle, This of the a flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give is the ordinance of the law which the LORD them unto the Levites, which keep the charge commanded Moses ;

of the tabernacle of the LORD. 22 Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, 31 And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the iron, the tin, and the lead,

the LORD commanded Moses. 23 Every thing that may abide the fire, ye 32 And the booty, being the rest of the prey shall make it go through the fire, and it shall which the men of war had caught, was six be clean : nevertheless it shall be purified hundred thousand and seventy thousand and u with the water of separation : and all that five thousand sheep, abideth not the fire ye shall make go through 33 And threescore and twelve thousand the water.

beeves, 24 And ye shall wash your clothes on the 34 And threescore and one thousand asses, seventh day, and ye shall be clean, and after

shall be clean, and after-1 35 · And thirty and two thousand persons in ward

ye
shall come into the camp.

all, of women that had not known man by ly-
25 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, ing with him.
26 Take the sum of the prey

w that was

36 And the half;, which was the portion of taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and them that went out to war, was in number Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of three hundred thousand and seven and thirty the congregation :

thousand and five hundred sheep : 27 And * divide the prey into two parts; be- 37 And the Lord's tribute of the sheep was tween them that took the war upon them, who six hundred and threescore and fifteen. went out to battle, and between all the con- 1- 38 And the beeves were thirty and six thougregation :

sand : of which the Lord's tribute was three28 And levy a tribute unto the Lord of the score and twelve. men of war which went out to battle : y one 39 And the asses were thirty thousand and soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of five hundred ; of which the Lord's tribute was the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep: threescore and one.

29 Take it of their half, and give it unto 40 And the persons were sixteen thousand : 'Heb. instrument, or vessel of skins. Chap. xix. 9, 17. 1 Sam. xxx. 4.--y See ver. 30, 47; chap. xviii. 26.— See ver. Lev. xi. 25.—w Heb of the captivity. .- Josh. xxii. 8; | 42–47. -a Or, goats.

-Chap. iii. 7, 8, 25, 31, 36; xviii. 3, 4. dispose of it when and how he thinks proper; and the crifice to the Lord ! but this is abominable. When Judge of all the earth can do nothing but what is right. God chose to have the life of a man, he took it in the Of the women killed on this occasion it may be safely way of justice, as in the case of the Midianites above; said, their lives were forfeited by their personal trans- but never in the way of sacrifice. gressions; and yet even in this case there can be little Verse 32. The booty] It appears from the enumedoubt that God showed mercy to their souls. The ration here that the Israelites, in this war against the little ones were safely lodged; they were taken to Midianites, took 32,000 female prisoners, 61,000 heaven and saved from the evil to come.

asses, 72,000 beeves, 675,000 sheep and small cattle ; Verse 23. The water of separation) The water in besides the immense number of males who fell in batwhich the ashes of the red heifer were mingled ; see tle, and the women and children who were slain by on chap. viii. 7 ; xix. 2, &c. Garments, whether of the Divine command, ver. 17.

And it does not appear cloth or skins, were to be washed. Gold, silver, brass, that in this expedition, a single man of Israel fell! iron, tin, and lead, to pass through the fire, probably This was naturally to be expected, because the battle to be melted down.

was the Lord's, ver. 49. Verse 28. And levy a tribute unto the Lord-onc As the booty was divided into two equal parts, ver. soul of five hundred, &c.] The persons to be employed 22, one for the soldiers employed in the expedition, in the Lord's service, under the Levites--the cattle and the other for those who, being equally willing to either for sacrifice, or for the use of the Levites, ver. be employed, were ordered to stay in the camp ; so 30. Some monsters have supposed that one out of each of the parties in this booty was to give a certain every five hundred of the captives was offered in sa- proportion to the Lord. The soldiers to give to the

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An account of the spoils

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taken from the Midianites of which the Lord's tribute was 49 And they said unto Moses, An. Exod. Isr. thirty and two persons.

Thy servants have taken the sum *41. And Moses gave the tribute, of the men of war which are under which was the LORD's heave-offering, unto our charge, and there lacketh not one man Eleazar the priest, as the LORD commanded of us. Moses.

50 We have therefore, brought an oblation 42 And of the children of Israel's half, which for the LORD, that every man hath 'gotten, of Moses divided from the men that warred, jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings,

43 (Now the half that pertained unto the earrings, and tablets, 5 to make an atonement congregation was three hundred thousand and for our souls before the LORD. thirty thousand and seven thousand and five 51 And Moses and Eleazar the priest took hundred sheep,

the gold of them, even all wrought jewels. 44 And thirty and six thousand beeves, 52 And all the gold of the h offering that they

45 And thirty thousand asses and five hun- offered up to the Lord, of the captains of dred,

thousands, and of the captains of hundreds, 46 And sixteen thousand persons ;) was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty 47 Even d of the children of Israel's half, shekels. Moses took one portion of fifty, both of man 53 (For i the men of war had taken spoil, and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites, every man for himself.) which kept the charge of the tabernacle of 54 And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses. the gold of the captains of thousands and of

48 And the officers which were over thou- hundreds, and brought it into the tabernacle sands of the host, the captains of thousands, and of the congregation, * for a memorial for the captains of hundreds, came near unto Moses : children of Israel before the Lord. . See chapter xviii. 8, 19. Ld Ver. 30. Heb. hand. b Hebrew, heave-offering.

* Exodus Heb. found. - - Exod. xxx. 12, 16.

XXX. 16. Lord one out of every five hundred persons, beeves, its divisions among the soldiers and people, the proasses, and sheep, ver. 28. The people, who by staying portion given by each to the Lord and to the Levites, at home risked nothing, and had no fatigue, were to will be seen in one view by the following table, which give one out of fifty of the above, ver. 30. The booty, I copy from Houbigant.

Li Deut. xx. 14.

Total of sheep 675,000 To the soldiers

of beeves 72,000

To the people
To the soldiers
To the people
To the soldiers
To the people
To the soldiers
To the people

337,500
337,500
36,000
36,000
30,500
30,500
16,000
16,000

To the Lord from the soldiers 675
To the Levites from the people - 6,750
To the Lord from the soldiers 72
To the Levites from the people

720
To the Lord from the soldiers 61
To the Levites from the people 610
To the Lord from the soldiers 32
To the Levites from the people 320

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In this table the booty is equally divided between | was ineffectual, because it was against the Lord. the people and the soldiers; a five-hundredth part When any nation undertakes a crusade against those being given to the Lord, and a fiftieth part to the whom they are pleased to call the Lord's enemies, let Levites.

them bring from the contest this proof of their Divine Verse 50. We have-brought an oblation for the mission, viz., that not one man of them is either lost Lord] So it appears there was a great deal of booty or missing; and then, and not till then, shall we betaken which did not come into the general account ; lieve that God hath sent them. and of this the soldiers, of their own will, made a To make an atonement for our souls] That is, to very extensive offering to God, because he had pre- make an acknowledgment to God for the preservation served them from falling in battle. That not one man of their lives. The gold offered on this occasion should have been slain is a most extraordinary circum- amounted to 16,750 shekels, equal to £37,869. 16s. stance, and powerfully marks the peculiar superintend- 5d. of our money. See the note on Exod. xxv. 39, ence of God's especial providence. The Midianites where the true value of the shekel is given, and a rule must certainly have made some resistance ; but that I laid down to reduce it to English money

716

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Reuben and Gad request to

CHAP. XXXII.

settle on the east of Jordan.

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CHAPTER XXXII. The Reubeniles and Gadites request Moses to give them their inheritance on this side of Jordan, 1-5.

Moses expostulates with and reproves them, 6–15. They explain themselves, and propose conditions, with which Moses is satisfiedthey are to build cities for their wives and children, and folds for their cattle, and go over Jordan armed with the other tribes, and fight against their enemies till the land is subdued ; afler which they are to return, 16–27. Moses proposes the business to Eleazar, Joshua, and the elders, 28-30. The Gadites and Reubenites promise a faithful observance of the conditions, 31, 32 ; on which Moses assigns to them, and the half tribe of Manasseh, the kingdom of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og, king of Bashan, 33. The cities built by the Gadites, 34-36. The cities built by the Reubenites, 37, 38. The children of Machir, the son of Manasseh, expel the Amorites from Gilead, 39, which Moses grants to them, 40. Jair, the son of Manasseh, takes the small towns of Gilead, 41. And Nobah takes Kenath and its villages, 42. 8: M: 1852. NOW the children of Reuben / of Eshcol, and saw the land, they An. Exod. Isr. and the children of Gad had discouraged the heart of the chil

a very great multitude of cattle : dren of Israel, that they should not and when they saw the land of - Jazer, and the go into the land which the Lord had given them. land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a 10 ” And the Lord's anger was kindled the place for catile;

same time, and he sware, saying, 2 The children of Gad and the children of 11 Surely none of the men that came up out. Reuben came and spake unto Moses, and to of Egypt, 'from twenty years old and upward, Eleazar the priest, and unto the princes of the shall see the land which I sware unto Abracongregation, saying,

ham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because 3 Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and. "Nim- they have not " wholly followed me : rah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and · Shebam, 12 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the and Nebo, and Beon,

Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun : for 4 Even the country which the LORD smote they have wholly followed the LORD. before the congregation of Israel, is a land for 13 And the Lord's anger was kindled against cattle, and thy servants have cattle :

Israel, and he made them wander in the wil5 Wherefore, said they, if we have found derness forty years, until 4 all the generation grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, thy servants for a possession, and bring us was consumed. not over Jordan.

14 And, behold, ye are risen up in your fa6 And Moses said unto the children of Gad thers' stead, an increase of sinful men, to augand to the children of Reuben, Shall your ment-yet the ' fierce anger of the Lord tobrethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? ward Israel.

7 And wherefore { discourage ye the heart of 15 For if ye turn away from after him, he the children of Israel from going over into the will yet again leave them in the wilderness ; land which the Lord hath given them? and ye shall destroy all this people.

8 Thus did your fathers, when I sent them 16 And they came near unto him, and said, from Kadesh-barnea h to see the land. We will build sheepfolds here for our cattle, 9 For i when they went up unto the valley and cities for our little ones : Chap. xxi. 32 ; Josh. xiii. 25; 2 Sam. xxiv. 5.

__ Ver. 36,

Chap. xiv. 28, 29; Deut. i. 35.- _m Chap. xiv. 24, 30. Beth-nimrah. - Ver. 38, Shibmah.-_ Ver. 38, Baal-meon. n Heb. fulfilled after me: Chap. xiv. 24 ; Deut. i. 36; Josh. e Chap. xxi. 24, 34. fHeb. break.-Chap. xiii. 3, 26. xiv. 8, 9.- -P Chap. xiv. 33, 34, 35. -4 Chap. xxvi. 64, 65. h Deut. i. 22.- i Chap. xiii. 24, 31 ; Deut. i. 24, 28.- k Chap. - Deut. i. 34.- - Deut. xxx. 17; Josh. xxii. 16, 18; 2 Chron. xiv. 11, 21; Deut. i. 34.

vii. 19; xv. 2. NOTES ON CHAP. XXXII.

Verse 12. Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite) Verse 3. Ataroth, and Dibon, fc.] The places It was Jephunneh that was the Kenezite, and not Camentioned here belonged to Sihon, king of the Amo- leb. Kenaz was probably the father of Jephunneh. rites, and Og, king of Bashan, which being conquered Verse 16. We will build-cities for our little ones) by the Israelites, constituted ever after a part of their It was impossible for these, numerous as they might territories, ver. 33.

be, to build cities and fortify them for the defence of Verse 5. Let this land be given unto thy servants] their families in their absence. Calmet supposes they Because it was good for pasturage, and they had meant no more than repairing the cities of the Amo many flocks, ver. 1.

rites which they had lately taken ; which work might

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LORD to war,

Conditions on which the request

NUMBERS. of Reuben and Gad is granted. 17 Butt we ourselves will

But thy servants will pass An, Exod. Isr. ready armed before the children over, every man armed for war,

of Israel, until we have brought before the LORD to battle, as my them unto their place : and our little ones shall lord saith. dwell in the fenced cities because of the in- 28 So e concerning them Moses commanded habitants of the land.

Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, 18 « We will not return unto our houses, and the chief fathers of the tribes of the chiluntil the children of Israel have inherited dren of Israel : every man his inheritance.

29 And Moses said unto them, If the chil 19 For we will not inherit with them on dren of Gad and the children of Reuben will yonder side Jordan, or forward ; because our pass with you over Jordan, every man armed inheritance is fallen to us on this side Jordan to battle, before the LORD, and the land shall eastward.

be subdued before you ; then ye shall give 20 And w Moses said unto them, If ye will them the land of Gilead for a possession : do this thing, if ye will go armed before the 30 But if they will not pass over with you

armed, they shall have possessions among you 21 And will go all of you armed over Jor- in the land of Canaan. dan before the Lord, until he hath driven out 31 And the children of Gad and the children his enemies from before him,

of Reuben answered, saying, As the LORD 22 And the land be subdued before the hath said unto thy servants, so will we do. LORD: then afterward ye shall return, and 32 We will pass over armed before the be guiltless before the LORD, and before Israel; Lord into the land of Canaan, that the posand a this land shall be your possession before session of our inheritance on this side Jordan the LORD.

тау.

be ours. 23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have 33 And í Moses gave unto them, even to sinned against the Lord: and be sure your the children of Gad, and to the children of sin will find

you
out.

Reuben, and unto half the tribe of Manasseh 24 Build you cities for your little ones, and the son of Joseph, 5 the kingdom of Sihon folds for yoạr sheep; and do that which hath king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og proceeded' out of your mouth.

king of Bashan, the land, with the cities thereof 25 And the children of Gad and the children in the coasts, even the cities of the country of Reuben spake unto Moses, saying, Thy round about. servants will do as my lord commandeth. 34 And the children of Gad built Dibon,

26. Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and Ataroth, and i Aroer, and all our cattle, shall be there in the cities 35 And Atroth, Shophan, and Jaazer, and of Gilead :

Jogbehah,

Josh. iv. 12, 13.- Josh. xxii. 4.- - Ver. 33; Josh. xii. 7; xliv. 16; Isa. lix. 12.—__Ver. 16, 34, &c. . Josh. i. }; xiii. 8.

- Deut. iù. 18; Josh. i. 14 ; iv. 12, 13. * Deut. 14. - Josh. iv. 12.-_e Josh. i. 13.- Deut. ii. 12-17; xxix. iii. 20; Josh. xi. 23 ; xviii. 1.- -y Josh. xxii. 4. : Deut. ini. 8; Joshi xii. 6; xiii. 8; xxii, 4.3 Chap. Axi. 24, 33, 35, 12, 15, 16, 18; Josh. i. 15; xiii. 8, 32 ; xxii. 4, 9. -a Gen. iv. Chap. xxxiii. 45, 46. - Deut. ii. 36.- Ver. 1. 3, Jazer.

have been very easily accomplished in the time which Now from Joshua iv. 13 we learn that of the tribes they spent on this side of Jordan, before they went of Reuben and Gad, and the half of the tribe of Maover with their brethren, to put them in possession of nasseh, only 40,000 armed men passed over Jordan to the land.

assist their brethren in the reduction of the land : Verse 17. Because of the inhabitants of the land.] consequently the number of 70,580 men were left beThese were the Ammonites, Moabites, Idumeans, and hind for the defence of the women, the children, and the remains of the Midianites and Amorites. But the flocks. This was more than sufficient to defend could the women and children even keep the defenced them against a people already panic struck by their cities, when placed in them? This certainly cannot late discomfitures and reverses. be supposed possible. Many of the men of war must Verse 34. The children of Gad buill-Aroer] This of course stay behind. In the last census, chap. xxvi., was situated on the river Arnon, Deut. ii. 36 ; 2 Kings the tribe of Reuben consisted of 43,730 men; the x. 33. It was formerly inhabited by the Emim, a tribe of Gad, 40,500; the tribe of Manasseh, 52,700; warlike and perhaps gigantic people. They were exthe half of which is 26,350. Add this to the sum of pelled by the Moabites; the Moabites by the Amorites; the other two tribes, and the amount is 110,580. I and the Amorites by the Israelites. The Gadites then

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