1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
1. Et loquutus est Jehova ad Mosen, dicendo:
2. Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterwards shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.
2. Ulciscere ultionem filiorum Israel de Madianitis, postea aggregaberis ad populos tuos.
3. And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the Lord of Midian.
3. Loquutus est itaque Moses ad populum, dicendo, Accingant se ex vobis viri ad bellum, et sint contra Madian, ut dent ultionem Jehovae.
4. Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war.
4. Mille de singulis tribubus, de omnibus tribubus Israel mittetis ad bellum.
5. So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war.
5. Et traditi sunt ex millibus Israel mille per singulas tribus, duodecim millia accineti ad militiam.
6. And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.
6. Quos misit Moses, mille de singulis tribubus ad bellum: misit, inquam, illos et Phinees filium Eleazar sacerdotis ad bellum, et vasa sancta, et tubae clangoris erant in manu ejus.
7. And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.
7. Et pugnaverunt contra Madian, quemadmodum praeceperat Jehova Mosi, et occiderunt omnem masculum.
8. And they slew the kings of Midian, besides the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hut, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.
8. Reges quoque Madian occiderunt cum occisis eorum, Evi et Recem, et Sur, et Hur, et Reba, quinque reges Madian: et Balaam filium Beor occiderunt gladio.
9. And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.
9. Abduxerunt autem captivas filii Israel uxores Madianitarum, et parvulos eorum, atque omnia jumenta eorum, omniaque pecora eorum, et omnem substantiam corum praedati sunt.
10. And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles with fire.
10. Omnes quoque urbes eorum per habitationes eorum et omnes, aedes combusserunt igni.
11. And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts.
11. Tuleruntque crania spolia, et omnem praedam, tam de hominibus quam de jumentis.
12. And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.
12. Et adduxerunt ad Mosen et Eleazar sacerdotem, et ad congregationem fillerum Israel, captivitatem, et praedam, et spolia ad castra ipsa in campestribus Moab, quae sunt juxta Jordanem Jericho.
13. And Moses and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.
13. Egressi sunt ergo Moses et Eleazar sacerdos, et omnes principes congregationis in occursum eorum extra eastra.
14. And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.
14. Iratusque est Moses contra praefectos exercitus, tribunes et centuriones qui revertebantur de expeditione belli.
15. And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
15. Et dixit els Moses, Reservastisne omnes mulieres?
16. Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.
16. Ecce, ipsae fuerunt filiis Israel, consilio Balaam ad tradendum in praevaricationem contra Jehovam in negotio Phogor, et fuit plaga in congregatione Jehovae.
17. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
17. Nunc ergo occidite omnes mares in parvulis, et omnem mulierem qum cognoverit virum concubitu masculi, occidite.
18. But all the women-children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
18. Omnes autem parvulas inter mulieres, qum non cognoverint concubitum masculi, servate vivas vobis.
19. And do ye abide without the camp seven days: whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify both yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day.
19. Vos vero manete extra castra septem diebus: omnis qui occiderit aliquem, quicunqne item tetigerit occisum, purificabitis vos die tertia et die septima, vos et praeda vestra.
20. And purify all your raiment, and all that is made of skins, and all work of goats' hair, and all things made of wood.
20. Omne quoque vestimentum, et omnem supellectilem pelliceam, et omne opus e pilis caprarum, et omne vas lineum purificabitis.
21. And Eleazar the priest said unto the men of war which went to the battle, This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord commanded Moses;
21. Et dixit Eleazar sacerdos admilites qui iverant ad bellum, hoc est statutum legis quod praeceperat Jehova Mosi.
22. Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead,
22. Profecto aurum, et argentum, aes, ferrum, stannum, et plumbum, et quiequid ingreditur ignem, transire facietis per ignem, et mundabitur;
23. Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean; nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water.
23. Veruntamen aqua expiationis purificabitur, quicquid autem non ingreditur ignem, transire facietis per aquam.
24. And ye shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and ye shall be clean, and afterward ye shall come into the camp.
24. Lavabitis praeterea vestimenta vestra die septima, et mundi eritis, et postea intrabitis castra.
25. And the Lord spalke unto Moses, saying,
25. Loquutus est deinde Jehova ad Mosen, dicendo:
26. Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation;
26. Cape summam praedm captivitatis, tam de hominibus quam de jumentis, tu et Eleazar sacerdos, et capita patrum congregationis.
27. And divide the prey into two parts, between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation;
27. Et partieris in duas partes praedam, inter bellatores qui egressi sunt ad pugnam, et inter universam congregationem.
28. And levy a tribute unto the Lord of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep:
28. Tollesque censum Jehovae a viris bellatoribus qui egressi sunt ad militiam, unam animam de quingentis, ex hominibus, et ex bobus, et ex asinis, et ex pecudibus.
29. Take it of their half, and give it unto Eleazar the priest, for an heave-offering of the l,ord.
29. De media parte illorum capietis: et dabitis Eleazaro sacerdoti oblationem Jehovae.
30. And of the children of Israel's half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord.
30. Et de media parte filiorum Israel capies unam portionem ex quinquaginta, ex hominibus, ex bobus, ex asinis, et ex pecoribus, id est ex omni jumento: et dabis illa Levitis custodientibus custodiam tabernaculi Jehovae.
31. And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses.
31. Et fecit Moses et Eleazar sacerdos quemadmodum praeceperat Jehova Mosi.
32. And the booty, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught, was six hundred thousand, and seventy thousand, and five thousand sheep,
32. Et fuit praeda, residuum scilicet praedae quam praedati sunt milites, ovium sexcenta septuaginta quinque millia,
33. And threescore and twelve thousand beeves,
33. Et bovum septuaginta duo milIlia,
34. And threescore and one thousand asses,
34. Et asinorum unum et sexaginta millia,
35. And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him.
35. Et animarum hominis e mulieribus qum non cognoverant coitum masculi: omnium, inquam, animarum, duo et triginta millia.
36. And the half, which was the portion of them that went out to war, was in number three hundred thousand, and seven and thirty thousand and five hundred sheep:
36. Fuit autem dimidia pars, portio eorum, qui egressi fuerant ad militiare, numerus ovium trecenta triginta septem millia et quingentae.
37. And the Lord's tribute of the sheep was six hundred and threescore and fifteen.
37. Fuit vero census pro Jehova ex ovibus sexcentae septuagintaquinque.
38. And the beeves were thirty and six thousand, of which the Lord's tribute was threescore and twelve.
38. Et bovum, sex et triginta millia: et census eorum Jehovae, duo et septuaginta.
39. And the asses, were thirty thousand and five hundred, of which the Lord's tribute was threescore and one.
39. Et asinorum triginta millia, et quingenti: census autem eorum Jehovae unus et sexaginta:
40. And the persons were sixteen thousand, of which the Lord's tribute was thirty and two persons.
40. Et animarum hominum sedecim millia: census vero eorum Jehovae, duae et triginta animae.
41. And Moses gave the tribute, which was the Lord's heave-offering, unto Eleazar the priest; as the Lord commanded Moses.
41. Deditque Moses censum oblationis Jehovae ipsi Eleazar sacerdoti, quemadmodum praeceperat Jehova Mosi.
42. And of the children of Israel's half, which Moses divided from the men that warred,
42. Et de dimidia parte filiorum Israel, quam deduxerit Moses a viris que militaverant:
43. (Now the half that pertained unto the congregation was three hundred thousand, and thirty thousand, and seven thousand and five hundred sheep,
43. Fuit autem dimidia pars congregationis de ovibus, trecenta et triginta septem millia et quingentae.
44. And thirty and six thousand beeves,
44. Et bovum sex et triginta millia.
45. And thirty thousand asses and five hundred,
45. Et asinorum triginta millia et quingenti.
46. And sixteen thousand persons,)
46. Et animarum hominum sedecim millia.
47. Even of the children of Israel's half, Moses took one portion of fifty, both of man and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites, which kept the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord; as the Lord commanded Moses.
47. De dimidia, inquam, parte filiorum Israel tulit Moses portionem unam e quinquaginta ex hominibus et ex jumentis, et dedit eam Levitis custodientibus custodiam tabernaculi, Jehovae, quemadmodum praeceperat Jehova Mosi.
48. And the officers which were over thousands of the host, the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, came near unto Moses:
48. Et accesserunt ad, ad Mosen praefecti militum militiae, tribuni et centuriones.
49. And they said unto Moses, Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war which are under our charge, and there lackcth not one man of us.
49. Dixeruntque ad Mosen, Servi tui levarunt (vel, subduxerunt,) summam virorum bellatorum qui sunt in manu nostra, et non defuit in nobis quisquam.
50. We have therefore brought an oblation for the Lord, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, ear-rings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the Lord.
50. Propterea obtulimus oblationem Jehovae quisque quod invenit, vasa aurea, brachiale, et ornamentum manus, annulum in aurem, et subligaculum foemineum, ad expiandum animas nostras coram Jehova.
51. And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of them, even all wrought jewels.
51. Et accepit Moses et Eleazar sacerdos aurum ab illis, omnia vasa operis.
52. And all the gold of the offering that they offered up to the Lord, of the captains of thousands, and of the captains of hundreds, was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels.
52. Fuitque omne aurum oblationis quod obtulerunt Jehovae, sedecim millia, septingenti et quinquaginta sicli, a tribunis et centurionibus.
53. (For the men of war had taken spoil, every man for himself.)
53. (Viri namque exereitus praedati fuerant quisque sibi.)
54. And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tabernacle of the congregation,for a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord.
54. Accepit inquam Moses et Eleazar sacerdos aurum a tribunis et centurionibus, et intulit illud in tabernaculum conventionis, in memoriam filiis Israel coram Jehova.
That, whilst God so severely judged the Midianites, he spared the Moabites, was for the sake of Lot, who was the founder of their race. But I have already frequently reminded my readers that, when God's judgments surpass our understanding, we should, in sober humility, give glory to His secret, and to us incomprehensible, wisdom: for those who, in this respect, seek to know more than is fitting, elevate themselves too high, in order to plunge with head-long audacity into a profound abyss, in which, at length, all their senses must be overwhelmed. Why was He not at liberty to remit the punishment of the Moabites, and at the same time to repay to the Midianites the recompense which was their due? Besides, it was only for a time that he pardoned the Moabites, until their obstinacy should render them inexcusable, after they had not only abused his forbearance, but tyrannically afflicted their brethren, by whom they had been treated with kindness.
Moreover, God desired, whilst Moses was still alive, again to testify by this final act His love towards His people, in order that they might more cheerfully advance to the possession of the promised land: for this was no feeble encouragement, when they saw that God spontaneously put Himself forward to avenge them. At the same time it was expedient for Moses that, at the very moment of his death, he should feel, by a fresh instance, what care God took for the welfare of the people. For he was able joyfully to leave them in God's keeping, whose hand he had so recently seen put forth to fulfill to the utmost His gracious purposes towards them. To the same effect were the words, "Thou shalt be gathered unto thy people," which were undoubtedly spoken as a consolation in death. It was also a reason for making haste; for if the dearth of the holy Prophet had been waited for, perhaps the Israelites would not have dared to attack, with arms in their hands, a peaceful nation, from whom there was no peril or inconvenience impending. But so great was the authority of Moses over them, that they were more ready to obey his bidding than that of any other person.
Although it is said indifferently of the reprobate as well as believers, that they are gathered or congregated to their fathers by death, still this expression shews that men are born for immortality; for it would not be appropriate to say this of the brute animals, whose death is their final destruction, inasmuch as they are without the hope of another life.
Lest either of the tribes should boast itself against the others, they were each of them commanded to give the same number of soldiers. Moreover, Phinehas was sent with them, not so much that he might engage personally with the enemy, or be their General, as that he might rule and control their minds as God's messenger and interpreter. They were to be kept in the fear of God, and to be elevated to the expectation of victory, and therefore God's priest was their leader, so that the war might be a holy one; and the same was the object of the silver trumpets, with which, in obedience to the Lw, as we have elsewhere seen, 4 the Levites were accustomed to sound, that it might be manifest that their battles were not fought without the will and authority of heaven. Amongst "the holy instruments," some commentators, in my opinion rightly, include the Ark of the Covenant.
The Israelites sinned, in that, when they were only the ministers of God's vengeance, it rested not in their own discretion to relax any part of it. And this is worthy of observation, that those who are armed with the sword, must not go out of the way on either side one tittle, but faithfully execute whatever God prescribes. By the praise which: is given to the anger of Moses, the imagination of the Stoics is refuted, with whom indifference 5 (
It appears to some that David pursued the same rule, when he distributed the spoil equally amongst his followers who had gone down to the battle, and those who had stood by the baggage. (1 Samuel 30:24.) In my opinion, however, what David then decided was very different; for if the portion of those who remained with the baggage had been equal with that of those who were actually engaged, it would have been far more advantageous to remain out of the reach of the weapons. For, when a battle is fought, only a few men out of a large army are generally left with the baggage, and thus half the booty would have accrued to a few idlers. The partition, therefore, which is there mentioned, must have been an equal distribution to each individual; and very justly did David enjoin that those who remained stationed in the camp should have a full share of the spoil, lest 8 the condition of those should be dissimilar who were under the operation of the same rule. But in this case the actual warriors are justly rewarded above those who quietly attended to their own domestic cares.
Again, we perceive that God dealt more liberally with the soldiers than with the rest of the multitude; nor is this a matter of surprise, for, since He had laid a greater burden upon them, it was just that they should be enriched by more fruits of the victory, for He heaps blessings upon blessings according to His pleasure.
From this distribution we also gather that it depends upon His ordinance that some should be richer than others; for, if there were no such thing as property, there would be no test of justice and integrity.
But what becomes of the soldiers? whilst these vows are being paid for their safety, they quietly enjoy their plunder: for there is an implied comparison here, when Moses, after having praised the centurions and tribunes, presently adds the exception, that "the spoil which each man had taken was his own." It is, indeed, amazing that the soldiers, as if they had conquered by themselves, and for themselves alone, should have been so ill-conditioned and mean, as not to imitate this laudable example. And, in truth, it often happens, that the multitude indulges its meanness without shame, as well because it is ignorant of what true nobility is, as because the crowd conceals the disgrace. Meanwhile, those in office are reminded to take care, that the higher the dignity may be to which they are called, the more eminent should their virtues be.
2 Added in Fr., "s'il les eust voulu laisser impunis:" if He had been willing to leave them unpunished.
3 "Combien doncques qu'il n'y est rien exprime d'avantage, sinon que, etc.;" although, therefore, nothing more is stated than that, etc. -- Fr.
5 "De n'avoir nulle passion;" to be without any passion. -- Fr.
6 "(Eleazar) made them pass before the plate, (i.e., the golden plate engraved like a signet, Exodus 28:36,) and the face of her who was suited for marriage grew yellow as a crocus." -- See R. Sal. Jarchi, in loco. Ed. Breithaupt. p. 1270.
8 The Fr. gives a different turn to the sentence, "veu que tous a la verite guerroyoyent;" seeing that in truth all were alike engaged in the war.
9 16,750 shekels. C.'s calculations are, as far as I have observed, rarely accurate. The equivalent for the shekel in French money, which he professed to adopt, was somewhat more than 14 sous, or 14-20ths of the franc or livre. See ante, vol. 1, p. 483, and vol. 3, p 416