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.
References for Numbers 31:14
"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.
References for Numbers 31:16
Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,5
References for Numbers 31:17
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.
References for Numbers 31:19
Purify every garment9 as well as everything made of leather, goat hair or wood.10"
References for Numbers 31:20
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:
References for Numbers 31:21
Gold, silver, bronze, iron,12 tin, lead
References for Numbers 31:22
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.
References for Numbers 31:23
On the seventh day wash your clothes and you will be clean.15 Then you may come into the camp.16"
References for Numbers 31:24
The LORD said to Moses,
References for Numbers 31:25
"You and Eleazar the priest and the family heads17 of the community are to count all the people18 and animals that were captured.19
References for Numbers 31:26
Divide20 the spoils between the soldiers who took part in the battle and the rest of the community.
References for Numbers 31:27
From the soldiers who fought in the battle, set apart as tribute for the LORD 21 one out of every five hundred, whether persons, cattle, donkeys, sheep or goats.
References for Numbers 31:28
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.22"
References for Numbers 31:30
So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the LORD commanded Moses.
The plunder remaining from the spoils23 that the soldiers took was 675,000 sheep,
References for Numbers 31:32
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 24 was 675;
References for Numbers 31:37
36,000 cattle, of which the tribute for the LORD was 72;