Numbers 31: The Midianite Conflict

So God told Moses to make war on the Midianites because they seduced the Hebrews into cheating on It. Each tribe gave 1,000 troops to the army, which was accompanied by Phinehas the priest with his trumpet and holy relics. The Hebrews killed the five Midian kings, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba. They also killed Balaam, whose obedience to God apparently didn’t curry him any favors. No word on the fate of his faithful donkey.

The Hebrews plundered the cities and took all the women, children and livestock captive. This pissed Moses off because he had told them to kill everyone. So he made the soldiers kill all the male children and all the non-virgin women and girls. He told them they could keep the virgins for themselves, though.

All the soldiers were ritually unclean for seven days and they had to purify themselves and all their stuff.

There were 675,00 sheep; 72,000 cows; 61,00 donkeys (maybe including Balaam’s); 32,000 virgin girls. All this living plunder was divided in half. One half was divided among the warriors and the other half among the people. From the warrior’s part, Eleazar got to claim one out of every 500 persons, oxen, donkeys, etc. The Levites as a whole got to claim one out of every 50 thing from the people’s portion.

Then the officers brought a tribute to Eleazar of the gold and other precious minerals that amounted to over 418 pounds of metals and jewels.

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