Numbers 31 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Numbers 31)
31:3 And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go a against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian.

(a) As he had commanded in (Numbers 25:17), declaring also that the injury done against his people is done against him.

31:6 And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of [every] tribe, them and b Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.

(b) For his great zeal that he bare for the Lord, (Numbers 25:13).

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: c Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.

(c) The false prophet who gave counsel how to cause the Israelites to offend their God.

31:12 And they brought the d 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.

(d) As the women and little children.

31:15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the e women alive?

(e) As though he said, you should have spared none.

31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD f in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

(f) For worshipping of Peor.

31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the g little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

(g) That is, all the boy children.

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 h purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the i water.

(h) The third day and before it is molten.
(i) It shall be washed.

31:28 And levy a tribute unto the LORD of the k 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:

(k) Of the prey that falls to the soldiers.

31:30 And of the children of Israel's half, thou shalt take l 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.

(l) The Israelites who had not been at war, of every fiftieth paid one to the Lord: and the soldiers one of every five hundred.

31:37 And the m LORD'S tribute of the sheep was six hundred and threescore and fifteen.

(m) This is the portion that the soldiers gave to the Lord.

31:40 And n the persons [were] sixteen thousand; of which the LORD'S tribute [was] thirty and two persons.

(n) Meaning, of the maids, or virgins who had not slept with a man.

31:42 And of the children of Israel's o half, which Moses divided from the men that warred,

(o) Of that part which was given to them in dividing the spoil.

31:47 Even of the p 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.

(p) Which had not been at war.

31:50 q 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.

(q) The captains by the free offering acknowledge the great benefit of God in preserving his people.

31:53 ([For] the men of war had taken spoil, every man for r himself.)

(r) And gave no portion to their captains.

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 s memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD.

(s) that the Lord might remember the children of Israel.