Conduct in War
1: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2: Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people. 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. 4: Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war. 5: So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. 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. 7: And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. 8: And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword. 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. 10: And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire. 11: And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts. 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. 13: And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. 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. 15: And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 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. 17: Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. 18: But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. 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. 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. 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; 22: Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead, 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. 24: And ye shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and ye shall be clean, and afterward ye shall come into the camp. 25: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 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: 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: 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: 29: Take it of their half, and give it unto Eleazar the priest, for an heave offering of the LORD. 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. 31: And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the LORD commanded Moses. 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, 33: And threescore and twelve thousand beeves, 34: And threescore and one thousand asses, 35: And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of woman that had not known man by lying with him. 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: 37: And the LORD's tribute of the sheep was six hundred and threescore and fifteen. 38: And the beeves were thirty and six thousand; of which the LORD's tribute was threescore and twelve. 39: And the asses were thirty thousand and five hundred; of which the LORD's tribute was threescore and one. 40: And the persons were sixteen thousand; of which the LORD's tribute was thirty and two persons. 41: And Moses gave the tribute, which was the LORD's heave offering, unto Eleazar the priest, as the LORD commanded Moses. 42: And of the children of Israel's half, which Moses divided from the men that warred, 43: (Now the half that pertained unto the congregation was three hundred thousand and thirty thousand and seven thousand and five hundred sheep, 44: And thirty and six thousand beeves, 45: And thirty thousand asses and five hundred, 46: And sixteen thousand persons;) 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. 48: And the officers which were over thousands of the host, the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, came near unto Moses: 49: And they said unto Moses, Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war which are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us. 50: We have therefore brought an oblation for the LORD, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the LORD. 51: And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of them, even all wrought jewels. 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. 53: (For the men of war had taken spoil, every man for himself.) 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.
Some Tribes settle east of Jordan
1: Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle; 2: The children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spake unto Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and unto the princes of the congregation, saying, 3: Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and Nimrah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Shebam, and Nebo, and Beon, 4: Even the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle: 5: Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan. 6: And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? 7: And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD hath given them? 8: Thus did your fathers, when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land. 9: For when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the LORD had given them. 10: And the LORD's anger was kindled the same time, and he sware, saying, 11: Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: 12: Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD. 13: And the LORD's anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed. 14: And, behold, ye are risen up in your fathers' stead, an increase of sinful men, to augment yet the fierce anger of the LORD toward Israel. 15: For if ye turn away from after him, he will yet again leave them in the wilderness; and ye shall destroy all this people. 16: And they came near unto him, and said, We will build sheepfolds here for our cattle, and cities for our little ones: 17: But we ourselves will go ready armed before the children of Israel, until we have brought them unto their place: and our little ones shall dwell in the fenced cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18: We will not return unto our houses, until the children of Israel have inherited every man his inheritance. 19: For we will not inherit with them on yonder side Jordan, or forward; because our inheritance is fallen to us on this side Jordan eastward. 20: And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the LORD to war, 21: And will go all of you armed over Jordan before the LORD, until he hath driven out his enemies from before him, 22: And the land be subdued before the LORD: then afterward ye shall return, and be guiltless before the LORD, and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the LORD. 23: But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. 24: Build you cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; and do that which hath proceeded out of your mouth. 25: And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben spake unto Moses, saying, Thy servants will do as my lord commandeth. 26: Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our cattle, shall be there in the cities of Gilead: 27: But thy servants will pass over, every man armed for war, before the LORD to battle, as my lord saith. 28: So concerning them Moses commanded Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the chief fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel: 29: And Moses said unto them, If the children of Gad and the children of Reuben will pass with you over Jordan, every man armed to battle, before the LORD, and the land shall be subdued before you; then ye shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession: 30: But if they will not pass over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan. 31: And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben answered, saying, As the LORD hath said unto thy servants, so will we do. 32: We will pass over armed before the LORD into the land of Canaan, that the possession of our inheritance on this side Jordan may be ours. 33: And Moses gave unto them, even to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, and unto half the tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land, with the cities thereof in the coasts, even the cities of the country round about. 34: And the children of Gad built Dibon, and Ataroth, and Aroer, 35: And Atroth, Shophan, and Jaazer, and Jogbehah, 36: And Beth-nimrah, and Beth-haran, fenced cities: and folds for sheep. 37: And the children of Reuben built Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Kirjathaim, 38: And Nebo, and Baal-meon, (their names being changed,) and Shibmah: and gave other names unto the cities which they builded. 39: And the children of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead, and took it, and dispossessed the Amorite which was in it. 40: And Moses gave Gilead unto Machir the son of Manasseh; and he dwelt therein. 41: And Jair the son of Manasseh went and took the small towns thereof, and called them Havoth-jair. 42: And Nobah went and took Kenath, and the villages thereof, and called it Nobah, after his own name.
G Looking back and looking forward
Summary of the wanderings
1: These are the journeys of the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. 2: And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD: and these are their journeys according to their goings out. 3: And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians. 4: For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments. 5: And the children of Israel removed from Rameses, and pitched in Succoth. 6: And they departed from Succoth, and pitched in Etham, which is in the edge of the wilderness. 7: And they removed from Etham, and turned again unto Pi-hahiroth, which is before Baal-zephon: and they pitched before Migdol. 8: And they departed from before Pi-hahiroth, and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness, and went three days' journey in the wilderness of Etham, and pitched in Marah. 9: And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim: and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there. 10: And they removed from Elim, and encamped by the Red sea. 11: And they removed from the Red sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin. 12: And they took their journey out of the wilderness of Sin, and encamped in Dophkah. 13: And they departed from Dophkah, and encamped in Alush. 14: And they removed from Alush, and encamped at Rephidim, where was no water for the people to drink. 15: And they departed from Rephidim, and pitched in the wilderness of Sinai. 16: And they removed from the desert of Sinai, and pitched at Kibroth-hattaavah. 17: And they departed from Kibroth-hattaavah, and encamped at Hazeroth. 18: And they departed from Hazeroth, and pitched in Rithmah. 19: And they departed from Rithmah, and pitched at Rimmon-parez. 20: And they departed from Rimmon-parez, and pitched in Libnah. 21: And they removed from Libnah, and pitched at Rissah. 22: And they journeyed from Rissah, and pitched in Kehelathah. 23: And they went from Kehelathah, and pitched in mount Shapher. 24: And they removed from mount Shapher, and encamped in Haradah. 25: And they removed from Haradah, and pitched in Makheloth. 26: And they removed from Makheloth, and encamped at Tahath. 27: And they departed from Tahath, and pitched at Tarah. 28: And they removed from Tarah, and pitched in Mithcah. 29: And they went from Mithcah, and pitched in Hashmonah. 30: And they departed from Hashmonah, and encamped at Moseroth. 31: And they departed from Moseroth, and pitched in Bene-jaakan. 32: And they removed from Bene-jaakan, and encamped at Hor-hagidgad. 33: And they went from Hor-hagidgad, and pitched in Jotbathah. 34: And they removed from Jotbathah, and encamped at Ebronah. 35: And they departed from Ebronah, and encamped at Ezion-gaber. 36: And they removed from Ezion-gaber, and pitched in the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh. 37: And they removed from Kadesh, and pitched in mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom. 38: And Aaron the priest went up into mount Hor at the commandment of the LORD, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the first day of the fifth month. 39: And Aaron was an hundred and twenty and three years old when he died in mount Hor. 40: And king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel. 41: And they departed from mount Hor, and pitched in Zalmonah. 42: And they departed from Zalmonah, and pitched in Punon. 43: And they departed from Punon, and pitched in Oboth. 44: And they departed from Oboth, and pitched in Ije-abarim, in the border of Moab. 45: And they departed from Iim, and pitched in Dibon-gad. 46: And they removed from Dibon-gad, and encamped in Almon-diblathaim. 47: And they removed from Almon-diblathaim, and pitched in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo. 48: And they departed from the mountains of Abarim, and pitched in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho. 49: And they pitched by Jordan, from Beth-jesimoth even unto Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab.
Instructions - conquering the land
50: And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, 51: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; 52: Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: 53: And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. 54: And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man's inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit. 55: But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. 56: Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.
The March Bible readings begin with the subject of, how will Israel conduct themselves in the act of war? Then we find that some tribes settle on the eastern side of the Jordan River. The Lord brings the last instruction to Moses. The Lord says avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites and then afterwards you will die and join your fathers. This was not a personal thing for Moses but it was a judgment of God on the wickedness of that people. So Moses gathered the people and said l want you to take arms – one thousand from every tribe of the children of Israel, twelve thousand in all. Then they went to war and they killed all the males and the kings of Midian. Balaam was also killed. They took all the women and children captives with all the herds, flocks and goods. All the cities were burned with the strongholds. When Moses saw all the women he was angry and said wasn’t it the women who caused Israel to sin. So he commanded all the women to be killed with young male children, all apart from the virgin girls. Then the Lord declared that the only spoil to be saved was that which could go through fire – gold, silver etc. And the men of war were not to enter the camp for seven days because they are contaminated by blood. Then half of all the goods were to be devoted to the Lord. This was because everyone had taken what he could carry ‘every man for himself’. The gold was given to the tabernacle as a constant memorial of the victory. The tribes of Reuben and Gad had huge herds of cattle so they asked that they might settled on the east of the Jordan. But Moses replied will your brethren go to battle and you sit here? So they said we will put our cattle and sheep in safety but we will go armed to battle until every one of our brethren has his own land. He said God will hold you to this oath then you will have sinned before the Lord and ‘be sure - your sin will find you out’. They promised faithfully to keep their word. The Lord would hold them to their word. Next we have a complete summary of the wanderings of the children of Israel from Egypt right through the desert to the Promised land.
1. Departed from Rameses in Egypt 15th of first month.
2. pitched in Succoth.
3. pitched in Etham,
4. pitched before Migdol.
Through the Red Sea (In the Gulf of Aquabar)
5. pitched in Marah.
6. pitched at Elim
7. encamped by the Red sea.
8. encamped in the wilderness of Sin.
9. encamped in Dophkah.
10. encamped in Alush.
11. encamped at Rephidim,
12. pitched in the wilderness of Sinai.
13. pitched at Kibroth-hattaavah.
14. encamped at Hazeroth.
15. pitched in Rithmah.
16. pitched at Rimmon-parez.
17. pitched in Libnah.
18. pitched at Rissah.
19. pitched in Kehelathah.
20. pitched in mount Shapher.
21. encamped in Haradah.
22. pitched in Makheloth.
23. encamped at Tahath.
24. pitched at Tarah.
25. pitched in Mithcah.
26. pitched in Hashmonah.
27. encamped at Moseroth.
28. pitched in Bene-jaakan.
29. encamped at Hor-hagidgad.
30. pitched in Jotbathah.
31. encamped at Ebronah.
32. encamped at Ezion-gaber.
33. pitched in Kadesh.
34. pitched in mount Hor,
After 40 years Israel came out of the wilderness in the 1st day of the fifth month. (Aaron died 123yrs old)
35. pitched in Zalmonah.
36. pitched in Punon.
37. pitched in Oboth.
38. pitched in Ije-abarim, in the border of Moab.
39. pitched in Dibon-gad.
40. encamped in Almon-diblathaim.
41. pitched in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo.
42. pitched in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.
43. pitched by Jordan, from Beth-jesimoth even unto Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab.
Then the Lord gave specific instructions regarding the conquering of the Promised Land. They were to drive out all the inhabitants of the land in front of them. And they are to destroy all the pictures, images and high places. Contrary to most people perception they did not go into the land to kill everone but to disposses the land and occupy it. Then the land was to be divided by lot for a permenant inheritence for all generations. Those people that are not driven out of the land will be a constant irritation like a thorn in the flesh.