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Numbers 31:22-23

Context
31:22 ‘Only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, 31:23 everything that may stand the fire, you are to pass through the fire, 1  and it will be ceremonially clean, but it must still be purified with the water of purification. Anything that cannot withstand the fire you must pass through the water.

Numbers 31:50-54

Context
31:50 So we have brought as an offering for the Lord what each man found: gold ornaments, armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and necklaces, to make atonement for ourselves 2  before the Lord.” 3  31:51 Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from them, all of it in the form of ornaments. 31:52 All the gold of the offering they offered up to the Lord from the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds weighed 16,750 shekels. 4  31:53 Each soldier had taken plunder for himself. 31:54 So Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from the commanders of thousands and commanders 5  of hundreds and brought it into the tent of meeting as a memorial 6  for the Israelites before the Lord.

1 sn Purification by fire is unique to this event. Making these metallic objects “pass through the fire” was not only a way of purifying (burning off impurities), but it seems to be a dedicatory rite as well to the Lord and his people. The aspect of passing through the fire is one used by these pagans for child sacrifice.

2 tn Heb “our souls.”

3 sn The expression here may include the idea of finding protection from divine wrath, which is so common to Leviticus, but it may also be a thank offering for the fact that their lives had been spared.

4 sn Or about 420 imperial pounds.

5 tn The Hebrew text does not repeat the word “commanders” here, but it is implied.

6 tn The purpose of the offering was to remind the Lord to remember Israel. But it would also be an encouragement for Israel as they remembered the great victory.



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