The LORD said to Moses,
References for Numbers 31:1
"Take vengeance on the Midianites1 for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.2"
References for Numbers 31:2
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 vengeance3 on them.
References for Numbers 31:3
Send into battle a thousand men from each of the tribes of Israel."
So twelve thousand men armed for battle,4 a thousand from each tribe, were supplied from the clans of Israel.
References for Numbers 31:5
Moses sent them into battle,5 a thousand from each tribe, along with Phinehas6 son of Eleazar, the priest, who took with him articles from the sanctuary7 and the trumpets8 for signaling.
References for Numbers 31:6
They fought against Midian, as the LORD commanded Moses,9 and killed every man.10
References for Numbers 31:7
Among their victims were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba11--the five kings of Midian.12 They also killed Balaam son of Beor13 with the sword.14
References for Numbers 31:8
The Israelites captured the Midianite women15 and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder.16
References for Numbers 31:9
They burned17 all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps.18
References for Numbers 31:10
They took all the plunder and spoils, including the people and animals,19
References for Numbers 31:11
and brought the captives, spoils20 and plunder to Moses and Eleazar the priest and the Israelite assembly21 at their camp on the plains of Moab, by the Jordan across from Jericho.22
References for Numbers 31:12
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 army23--the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds--who returned from the battle.
References for Numbers 31:14
"Have you allowed all the women to live?" he asked them.
"They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice24 and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor,25 so that a plague26 struck the LORD's people.
References for Numbers 31:16
Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,27
References for Numbers 31:17
but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.