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.