Moses, Eleazar the priest and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp.
Moses was angry with the officers of the army1--the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds--who returned from the battle.
"Have you allowed all the women to live?" he asked them.
"They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice2 and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor,3 so that a plague4 struck the LORD's people.
Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,518
but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
"All of you who have killed anyone or touched anyone who was killed6 must stay outside the camp seven days.7 On the third and seventh days you must purify yourselves8 and your captives.
Purify every garment9 as well as everything made of leather, goat hair or wood.10"
Then Eleazar the priest said to the soldiers who had gone into battle,11 "This is the requirement of the law that the LORD gave Moses:
Gold, silver, bronze, iron,12 tin, lead
and anything else that can withstand fire must be put through the fire,13 and then it will be clean. But it must also be purified with the water of cleansing.14 And whatever cannot withstand fire must be put through that water.