Numbers 31 Outline
– The Israelites attacked the Midianites (Numbers 31:1-12)
– Moses commanded the Israelites to kill every woman that has slept with a man and every boy (Numbers 31:13-24)
– The Israelites divide the spoils and spared some for the Lord’s offering and to the Levites (Numbers 31:25-54)
Numbers 31 Summary
God commanded Moses to instruct the Israelites to attack and revenge against the Midianites. After that, Moses will die and be gathered to his people. Moses did as God commanded him. He commanded 1,000 men from each tribe to go into battle against the Midianites. Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the high priest, took articles from the Most Holy Place and the trumpets for signaling the battle.
The Israelites attacked the Midianites and killed all the men but they captured the women, children, livestocks and goods. They burned down every Midianite town and their camps. They killed the 5 Midianite kings including Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba.
Later, Moses, Eleazar and the leaders went to meet the Israelites. Moses rebuked the Israelites warriors for sparing the women. Then, he commanded them to kill every woman who has slept with a man and all the boys but they can keep every virgin girl for themselves. Anyone who had killed a person must stay outside the camp for 7 days and be purified on the 3rd and 7th day.
They must wash their clothes and purify every garment made from skins, goats’ hair, and wood. Anything that can withstand fire must be purified in the fire and cleansing water. Anything that cannot withstand fire must be purified with the cleansing water. The Israelites must wash their clothes on the 7th day and then they can come back into the camp. God commanded Moses to count 1 out of every 500 of the people and animal captured and give them to Eleazar as an offering to God from half of the spoils. From another half of the spoils, Moses to count off 1 every 50 and give them to the Levites, who were responsible for taking care of the tabernacle. The total amount of gold that Moses and Eleazar presented as gifts to the Lord was 16,750 shekels. Every soldier took plunder for themselves.
Numbers 31 Bible Study
1. Idolatry is a sin
The Midianites tempted the Israelites into sexual immorality and idolatry. God was angry with them and he now ask Moses to command the Israelites to attack them. Idolatry is a sin against God. God forbids worshiping idols. You are also not allowed to keep or wear anything that related to idolatry. Idolatry also means the lust of the flesh (1 John 5:21; Jonah 2:8; Colossians 3:5; Psalm 16:4; Galatians 5:19-21; Jeremiah 11:12; 1 Corinthians 10:14).
2. Give your tithes and offerings to God
The Israelites were required to set apart 1 out of every 500 for God from half of the spoils and 1 out of every 50 for the Levites from the other half of the spoils. We must always give our tithes, which is 10% of our monthly income to the church (Malachi 3:9). We must give the offerings generously with a cheerful heart (2 Corinthians 8:12; 2 Corinthians 9:7).