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  • Treasury of Scripture Knowledge -
    NUMBERS 31

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      1  The Midianites are spoiled, and Balaam slain.
    13  Moses is wroth with the officers, for saving the women
        alive.
    19  How the soldiers, with their captives and spoil, are to be
        purified.
    25  The proportion in which the prey is to be divided.
    48  The voluntary oblation unto the treasury of the Lord.
    
    
    VERSE 1
       * :1
    
    
    VERSE 2 
     - Avenge.
       * :3; 25:17,18 De 32:35 Jud 16:24,28-30 Ps 94:1-3 Isa 1:24
       * Na 1:2 Lu 21:22 Ro 12:19; 13:4 1Th 4:6 Heb 10:30 Re 6:10
       * Re 18:20; 19:2
    - the Midianites.
       * Nu 25:6,14-18 Ge 25:1-4 Ex 2:16
    - gathered.
       * Nu 27:13 Ge 15:15; 25:8,17 Jud 2:10 Ac 13:36
    
    
    VERSE 3 
     - Arm some.
       * Ex 17:9-13
    - avenge the Lord.
      It was God's quarrel, not their own, that they were now to
      take up.  These people were idolaters, and had seduced the
      Israelites to practise the same abominations.  Idolatry is an
      offence against God; and the civil power has no authority to
      meddle with what belongs to Him, without especial directions,
      certified, as in this case, in the most unequivocal manner.
      Private revenge, ambition, or avarice were to have no place in
      this business:  Jehovah is to be avenged; and through Him, the
      children of Israel, (ver. 2,) because they were nearly ruined
      by their idolatries.  If Jehovah, instead of punishing sinners
      by earthquakes, pestilence, or famine,is pleased expressly to
      command any person or people to avenge his cause, this
      commission justifies, nay sanctifies, war, massacre, or
      devastation.  Though none at present shew such a commission,
      yet the Israelites could; and it is therefore absurd to
      censure Moses, Joshua, and Israel, for the dreadful slaughter
      made by them.  God himself passed sentence of condemnation,
      and employed them merely as ministers of his vengeance; and
      unless it could be proved that the criminals did not deserve
      their doom, or that God had no right to punish his rebellious
      creatures, such objectors only shew their enmity to God by
      becoming the unsolicited advocates of his enemies.
    
       * Nu 25:11,13 Ex 17:16 Le 26:25 Jud 5:2,23 2Ki 9:7; 10:30 Jer 46:10
       * Jer 50:28
    
    
    VERSE 4 
     - Of every tribe a thousand.  Heb. A thousand of a tribe, a
      thousand of a tribe.  a thousand.
       * Le 26:8 Jud 7:2 1Sa 14:6
    
    VERSE 5
    
    
    VERSE 6 
     - a thousand.
      Twelve thousand in all--a small number in proportion to all
      Israel, or to the forces which they had to encounter.  As they
      were under the conduct of captains of thousands and hundreds,
      they probably had no general; for Phinehas seems to have
      accompanied them simply to take charge of "the holy
      instruments;" probably the ark and silver trumpets.
    
    - Phinehas.
       * Nu 25:7-13
    - the holy instruments.
       * Nu 14:44; 33:20-22 Ex 25:9 Jos 6:4-6,13-15 1Sa 4:4,5,17; 14:18
       * 1Sa 23:9 2Sa 11:11
    - to blow.
       * Nu 10:8,9 2Ch 13:12-15
    
    
    VERSE 7 
     - all.
       * De 20:13,14 Jud 21:11 1Sa 27:9 1Ki 11:15,16
    - the males.
       * Jud 6:1,2,33
    
    
    VERSE 8 
     - the kings.
       * Nu 22:4 Jos 13:21,22
    - Zur.
       * Nu 25:15,18
    - Balaam.
       * Nu 22:10; 24:25 Jos 13:22 Ps 9:16; 10:2 1Ti 6:9,10 2Pe 2:15
       * Jude 1:11 Re 2:14; 19:20
    
    VERSE 9
        * :15,16 De 20:14 2Ch 28:5,8-10
    
    VERSE 10
        * Jos 6:24 1Sa 30:1 1Ki 9:16 Isa 1:7 Re 18:8
    
    VERSE 11
        * De 20:14 Jos 8:2
    
    
    VERSE 12 
     - the plains of Moab.  See on ch.
       * Nu 22:1
    
    
    VERSE 13 
     - went forth.
       * Ge 14:17 1Sa 15:12; 30:21
    - without the camp.
       * :12,22-24; 5:2; 19:11
    
    
    VERSE 14 
     - wroth.
       * Nu 12:3 Ex 32:19,22 Le 10:16 1Sa 15:13,14 1Ki 20:42 2Ki 13:19
       * Eph 4:26
    - battle.  Heb. host of war.
    
    VERSE 15
        * De 2:34; 20:13,16-18 Jos 6:21; 8:25; 10:40; 11:14 1Sa 15:3
       * Ps 137:8,9 Jer 48:10 Eze 9:6
    
    
    VERSE 16 
     - these caused.
       * Nu 24:14; 25:1-3 Pr 23:27 Ec 7:26 2Pe 2:15 Re 2:14
    - in the matter.
       * Nu 25:18 De 4:3 Jos 22:17
    - and there.
       * Nu 25:9
    
    
    VERSE 17 
     - kill every male.
      The sword of war should spare women and children, as incapable
      of resisting; but the sword of justice knows no distinction,
      except that of guilty or not guilty, or more or less guilty.
      This was the execution of a righteous sentence upon a guilty
      nation, in which the women were the greatest criminals; and it
      may safely be said, that their lives were forfeited by their
      personal transgressions.  With respect to the execution of the
      male infants, who cannot be supposed to have been guilty, God,
      the author and supporter of life, who has a right to dispose
      of it when and how he thinks proper, commanded it; and "shall
      not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
    
       * Jud 21:11,12
    - him.  Heb. a male.
    
    
    VERSE 18 
     - keep alive for yourselves.
      It has been groundlessly asserted, that Moses here authorised
      the Israelites to make concubines of the whole number of
      female children; and an insidious objection against his
      writings has been grounded upon this monstrous supposition.
      But the whole tenor of the law, and especially a statute
      recorded in De 21:10-14, proves most decisively to the
      contrary.  They were merely permitted to possess them as
      female slaves, educating them in their families, and employing
      them as domestics; for the laws concerning fornication,
      concubinage, and marriage, were in full force, and prohibited
      an Israelite even from marrying a captive, without delays and
      previous formalities; and if he afterwards divorced her, he
      was to set here at liberty, "because he had humbled her."
    
       * Le 25:44 De 20:14; 21:10-14 2Ch 28:8-10 Isa 14:2
    
    
    VERSE 19 
     - abide.
      Though the Israelites had acted by the commission of God, yet
      they had contracted pollution by touching the dead; and the
      spoil having been used by idolaters, must also be purified in
      the prescribed manner.
    
       * Nu 5:2; 19:11-22 1Ch 22:8
    
    
    VERSE 20 
     - raiment.
       * Nu 19:14-16,22 Ge 35:2 Ex 19:10
    - that is made.  Heb. instrument, or, vessel.
    
    
    VERSE 21 
     - See on ch.
       * Nu 30:16
    
    VERSE 22
    
    
    VERSE 23 
     - abide.
       * Isa 43:2 Zec 13:9 Mal 2:2,3 Mt 3:11 1Co 3:13 1Pe 1:7; 4:12
       * Re 3:18
    - it shall be purified.
       * Nu 8:7; 19:9,17
    - ye shall make.
       * Le 11:32; 15:17 Eph 5:26 Tit 3:5,6 1Pe 3:21
    
    VERSE 24
        * Nu 19:19 Le 11:25; 14:9; 15:13
    
    VERSE 25
    
    
    VERSE 26 
     - that was taken.  Heb. of the captivity.
       * :26
    
    
    VERSE 27 
     - two parts.
       * Jos 22:8 1Sa 30:4,24,25 Ps 68:12
    
    
    VERSE 28 
     - levy.
       * Ge 14:20 Jos 6:19,24 2Sa 8:11,12 1Ch 18:11; 26:26,27 Pr 3:9,10
       * Isa 18:7; 23:18; 60:9 Mt 22:21
    - one soul.
       * :30,47; 18:26
    
    
    VERSE 29 
     - an heave.
       * Nu 18:26 Ex 29:27 De 12:12,19
    
    
    VERSE 30 
     - one portion.  See ver.
       * :42-47
    - flocks, or, goats.  and give.
       * :28; 18:24-28 1Co 9:13,14
    - keep the.
       * Nu 3:7,8,25,31,36-39; 18:1-5,23 1Ch 9:27-29; 23:32; 26:20-27
       * Ac 20:28 1Co 4:2 Col 4:17 Heb 13:17
    
    VERSE 31
    
    
    VERSE 32 
     - the booty.
      It appears from the enumeration here, that the Israelites, in
      this war with the Midianites, took 32,000 female prisoners,
      61,000 asses, 72,000 beeves, and 675,000 sheep and small
      cattle; besides the immense number of males who fell in
      battle, and the women and children who were slain by the
      divine command.  (ver. 17.)  This booty was divided into equal
      parts, by which partition a far larger share was justly given
      to the warriors employed on the expedition, who were only
      12,000, than to those, who being equally willing to go, were
      ordered to stay in the camp.  Each party was to give a certain
      proportion to Jehovah, as their sovereign, in grateful
      acknowledgement that to him they owed their success.  The
      soldiers to give to the Lord one out of every five hundred
      persons, beeves, asses, and sheep, (ver. 28,) and the people,
      who by staying at home risked nothing, and had no fatigue,
      were to give one out of fifty of each of the above to the
      Levites, who were far more numerous than the priests.  (ver.
      30.)  The booty, its division among the soldiers and people,
      and the proportion given by each to the Lord and to the
      Levites, will be seen at one view by the following table:--
    
                    Sheep . . . . 675,000
                           To soldiers . . . 337,500
                           To God. . . . . .     675
                           To people . . . . 337,500
                           To Levites. . . .   6,750
    
                    Beeves. . . .  72,000
                           To soldiers . . .  36,000
                           To God. . . . . .      72
                           To people . . . .  36,000
                           To Levites. . . .     720
    
                    Asses . . . .  61,000
                           To soldiers . . .  30,500
                           To God. . . . . .      61
                           To people . . . .  30,500
                           To Levites. . . .     610
    
                    Persons . . .  32,000
                           To soldiers . . . 16,000
                           To God. . . . . .     32
                           To people . . . . 16,000
                           To Levites. . . .    320
    
      It does not appear that a single ox, sheep, or ass, was
      required by Moses as his portion; or that there was any given
      to him by the people; and though he had a family as well as
      others, yet no provision was made for them above the common
      lot of Levites!
    
       * :32
    
    VERSE 33
        * :33
    
    VERSE 34
        * :34
    
    VERSE 35
        * :35
    
    VERSE 36
        * :36
    
    VERSE 37
        * :37
    
    VERSE 38
        * :38
    
    VERSE 39
        * :39
    
    VERSE 40
    
    
    VERSE 41 
     - Eleazar.
       * :29-31; 18:8,19 Mt 10:10 1Co 9:10-14 Ga 6:6 1Ti 5:17
       * Heb 7:4-6,9-12
    
    VERSE 42
        * :42
    
    VERSE 43
        * :43
    
    VERSE 44
        * :44
    
    VERSE 45
        * :45
    
    VERSE 46
    
    
    VERSE 47 
     - the Levites.
       * Nu 18:21-24 De 12:17-19 Lu 10:1-8 1Th 5:12,13
    - kept the charge.  See on ver.
       * :30 Ps 134:1 Isa 56:10,11
    
    VERSE 48
    
    
    VERSE 49 
     - charge.  Heb. hand.  lacketh.
       * 1Sa 30:18,19 Ps 72:14 Joh 18:9
    
    
    VERSE 50 
     - therefore brought.
      The officers of the army having mustered their men, found they
      had not lost a man in the contest with Midian!  Penetrated
      with gratitude for this most remarkable interposition of
      Providence in their favor, they now offer to Jehovah the
      golden jewels which they had found among the spoil, to the
      amount of 16,750 shekels, equal to 37,869 16s.  5d. of our
      money.
    
    - an oblation.
       * Ps 107:15,21,22; 116:12,17
    - gotten.  Heb. found.  an atonement.
       * Ex 30:12,15,16 Le 17:11
    
    VERSE 51
        * Nu 7:2-6
    
    
    VERSE 52 
     - offering.  Heb. heave-offering.
       * :52
    
    VERSE 53
        * De 20:14
    
    
    VERSE 54 
     - a memorial.
       * Nu 16:40 Ex 30:16 Jos 4:7 Ps 18:49; 103:1,2; 115:1; 145:7 Zec 6:14
       * Lu 22:19 Ac 10:4
    
    
    
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