Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: "This is what the LORD commands:
When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.
"When a young woman still living in her father's house makes a vow to the LORD or obligates herself by a pledge
and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand.
But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the LORD will release her because her father has forbidden her.
"If she marries after she makes a vow or after her lips utter a rash promise by which she obligates herself
and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her, then her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand.
But if her husband forbids her when he hears about it, he nullifies the vow that obligates her or the rash promise by which she obligates herself, and the LORD will release her.
"Any vow or obligation taken by a widow or divorced woman will be binding on her.
"If a woman living with her husband makes a vow or obligates herself by a pledge under oath
and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her and does not forbid her, then all her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand.
But if her husband nullifies them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges that came from her lips will stand. Her husband has nullified them, and the LORD will release her.
Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself.
But if her husband says nothing to her about it from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or the pledges binding on her. He confirms them by saying nothing to her when he hears about them.
If, however, he nullifies them some time after he hears about them, then he is responsible for her guilt."
These are the regulations the LORD gave Moses concerning relationships between a man and his wife, and between a father and his young daughter still living in his house.
The LORD said to Moses,
"Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people."
So Moses said to the people, "Arm some of your men to go to war against the Midianites and to carry out the LORD's vengeance on them.
Send into battle a thousand men from each of the tribes of Israel."
So twelve thousand men armed for battle, a thousand from each tribe, were supplied from the clans of Israel.
Moses sent them into battle, a thousand from each tribe, along with Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, who took with him articles from the sanctuary and the trumpets for signaling.
They fought against Midian, as the LORD commanded Moses, and killed every man.
Among their victims were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba--the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword.
The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder.
They burned all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps.
They took all the plunder and spoils, including the people and animals,
and brought the captives, spoils and plunder to Moses and Eleazar the priest and the Israelite assembly at their camp on the plains of Moab, by the Jordan across from Jericho.
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 were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, 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.
"All of you who have killed anyone or touched anyone 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 the requirement of 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 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 persons, cattle, donkeys, sheep or goats.
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 persons, cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats 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:
of which the tribute for the LORD was 675;
36,000 cattle, of which the tribute for the LORD was 72;
30,500 donkeys, of which the tribute for the LORD was 61;
16,000 people, of which the tribute for the LORD was 32.
Moses gave the tribute to Eleazar the priest as the LORD's part, as the LORD commanded Moses.
The half belonging to the Israelites, which Moses set apart from that of the fighting men--
the community's half--was 337,500 sheep,
and 16,000 people.
From the Israelites' half, Moses selected one out of every fifty persons and animals, as the LORD commanded him, and gave them to the Levites, who were responsible for the care of the LORD's tabernacle.
Then the officers who were over the units of the army--the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds--went to Moses
and said to him, "Your servants have counted the soldiers under our command, and not one is missing.
So we have brought as an offering to the LORD the gold articles each of us acquired--armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings and necklaces--to make atonement for ourselves before the LORD."
Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted from them the gold--all the crafted articles.
All the gold from the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds that Moses and Eleazar presented as a gift to the LORD weighed 16,750 shekels.
Each soldier had taken plunder for himself.
Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted the gold from the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds and brought it into the Tent of Meeting as a memorial for the Israelites before the LORD.
The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock.
So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said,
"Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon--
the land the LORD subdued before the people of Israel--are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock.
If we have found favor in your eyes," they said, "let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan."
Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, "Shall your countrymen go to war while you sit here?
Why do you discourage the Israelites from going over into the land the LORD has given them?
This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land.
After they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the LORD had given them.
The LORD's anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath:
'Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old or more who came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob--
not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the LORD wholeheartedly.'
The LORD's anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the desert forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone.
"And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the LORD even more angry with Israel.
If you turn away from following him, he will again leave all this people in the desert, and you will be the cause of their destruction."
Then they came up to him and said, "We would like to build pens here for our livestock and cities for our women and children.
But we are ready to arm ourselves and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place. Meanwhile our women and children will live in fortified cities, for protection from the inhabitants of the land.
We will not return to our homes until every Israelite has received his inheritance.
We will not receive any inheritance with them on the other side of the Jordan, because our inheritance has come to us on the east side of the Jordan."
Then Moses said to them, "If you will do this--if you will arm yourselves before the LORD for battle,
and if all of you will go armed over the Jordan before the LORD until he has driven his enemies out before him--
then when the land is subdued before the LORD, you may return and be free from your obligation to the LORD and to Israel. And this land will be your possession before the LORD.
"But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.
Build cities for your women and children, and pens for your flocks, but do what you have promised."
The Gadites and Reubenites said to Moses, "We your servants will do as our lord commands.
Our children and wives, our flocks and herds will remain here in the cities of Gilead.
But your servants, every man armed for battle, will cross over to fight before the LORD, just as our lord says."
Then Moses gave orders about them to Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun and to the family heads of the Israelite tribes.
He said to them, "If the Gadites and Reubenites, every man armed for battle, cross over the Jordan with you before the LORD, then when the land is subdued before you, give them the land of Gilead as their possession.
But if they do not cross over with you armed, they must accept their possession with you in Canaan."
The Gadites and Reubenites answered, "Your servants will do what the LORD has said.
We will cross over before the LORD into Canaan armed, but the property we inherit will be on this side of the Jordan."
Then Moses gave to the Gadites, the Reubenites and the half-tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan--the whole land with its cities and the territory around them.
The Gadites built up Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer,
Atroth Shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah,
Beth Nimrah and Beth Haran as fortified cities, and built pens for their flocks.
And the Reubenites rebuilt Heshbon, Elealeh and Kiriathaim,
as well as Nebo and Baal Meon (these names were changed) and Sibmah. They gave names to the cities they rebuilt.
The descendants of Makir son of Manasseh went to Gilead, captured it and drove out the Amorites who were there.
So Moses gave Gilead to the Makirites, the descendants of Manasseh, and they settled there.
Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, captured their settlements and called them Havvoth Jair.
And Nobah captured Kenath and its surrounding settlements and called it Nobah after himself.