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Numbers 31:9

Context

31:9 The Israelites took the women of Midian captives along with their little ones, and took all their herds, all their flocks, and all their goods as plunder.

Numbers 31:30-47

Context
31:30 From the Israelites’ half-share you are to take one portion out of fifty of the people, the cattle, the donkeys, and the sheep – from every kind of animal – and you are to give them to the Levites, who are responsible for the care of the Lord’s tabernacle.”

31:31 So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses. 31:32 The spoil that remained of the plunder which the fighting men 1  had gathered 2  was 675,000 sheep, 31:33 72,000 cattle, 31:34 61,000 donkeys, 31:35 and 32,000 young women who had never had sexual intercourse with a man. 3 

31:36 The half-portion of those who went to war numbered 337,500 sheep; 31:37 the Lord’s tribute from the sheep was 675. 31:38 The cattle numbered 4  36,000; the Lord’s tribute was 72. 31:39 The donkeys were 30,500, of which the Lord’s tribute was 61. 31:40 The people were 16,000, of which the Lord’s tribute was 32 people. 5 

31:41 So Moses gave the tribute, which was the Lord’s raised offering, to Eleazar the priest, as the Lord commanded Moses.

31:42 From the Israelites’ half-share that Moses had separated from the fighting men, 6  31:43 there were 337,500 sheep from the portion belonging to the community, 31:44 36,000 cattle, 31:45 30,500 donkeys, 31:46 and 16,000 people.

31:47 From the Israelites’ share Moses took one of every fifty people and animals and gave them to the Levites who were responsible for the care of the Lord’s tabernacle, just as the Lord commanded Moses.

1 tn Heb “people.”

2 tn Heb “had plundered.”

3 sn Here again we encounter one of the difficulties of the book, the use of the large numbers. Only twelve thousand soldiers fought the Midianites, but they brought back this amount of plunder, including 32,000 girls. Until a solution for numbers in the book can be found, or the current translation confirmed, one must remain cautious in interpretation.

4 tn The word “numbered” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Heb “soul.”

6 tn Heb “the men who were fighting.”



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