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 army—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 advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the LORD in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the LORD’s people.
Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,
but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
“Anyone who has killed someone or touched someone who was killed must stay outside the camp seven days. On the third and seventh days you must purify yourselves and your captives.
Purify every garment as well as everything made of leather, goat hair or wood.”
Then Eleazar the priest said to the soldiers who had gone into battle, “This is what is required by the law that the LORD gave Moses:
Gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, lead
and anything else that can withstand fire must be put through the fire, and then it will be clean. But it must also be purified with the water of cleansing. And whatever cannot withstand fire must be put through that water.
On the seventh day wash your clothes and you will be clean. Then you may come into the camp.”
The LORD said to Moses,
“You and Eleazar the priest and the family heads of the community are to count all the people and animals that were captured.
Divide the spoils equally between the soldiers who took part in the battle and the rest of the community.
From the soldiers who fought in the battle, set apart as tribute for the LORD one out of every five hundred, whether people, cattle, donkeys or sheep.
Take this tribute from their half share and give it to Eleazar the priest as the LORD’s part.
From the Israelites’ half, select one out of every fifty, whether people, cattle, donkeys, sheep or other animals. Give them to the Levites, who are responsible for the care of the LORD’s tabernacle.”
So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the LORD commanded Moses.
The plunder remaining from the spoils that the soldiers took was 675,000 sheep,
and 32,000 women who had never slept with a man.
The half share of those who fought in the battle was: 337,500 sheep,
of which the tribute for the LORD was 675;
36,000 cattle, of which the tribute for the LORD was 72;