Today’s reading is: Num. 30-31
Numbers Chapter Thirty
- The new generation is given reminders concerning vows, and how seriously the Lord takes every vow (Num. 30:1,2).
- A father has a veto over his daughter’s vow (Num. 30:3-5).
- A groom has a veto over his bride’s pre-marital vow (Num. 30:6-8).
- A widow and a divorced woman has no spiritual protection in the form of a veto (Num. 30:9).
- A husband has a veto over his wife’s vow (Num. 30:10-12).
- The father’s, groom’s, or husband’s veto must be expressly declared in order to annul the vow. Silence = confirmation of the vow (Num. 30:13-16).
Numbers Chapter Thirty-One
- Moses’ final work-assignment as the national leader of Israel is to take vengeance upon the Midianites (Num. 31:1,2) for the Baal-Peor incident (Num. 25).
- The military expedition was a select force of 12,000 soldiers (Num. 31:3-6).
- They were led by Phinehas the priest.
- They had the holy vessels and trumpets among them.
- The holy vessels were not a magical guarantee of military victory, as a subsequent Phinehas will learn (1st Sam. 4:3-11).
- The war against Midian is a total victory for Israel.
- Every male Midianite soldier is killed (Num. 31:7).
- The five kings of Midian are slain (Num. 31:8a).
- Balaam the Gentile Prophet is also killed (Num. 31:8b).
- Women, children, cattle, flocks, and goods were plundered (Num. 31:9,11,12).
- Civilian cities & military encampments were destroyed (Num. 31:10).
- Moses’ after-action debriefing was not a pleasant one (Num. 31:13-18).
- Moses & Eleazar provided instructions for Israel’s ritual cleansing from the defilements of war (Num. 31:19-24).
- The Lord gave instructions for the division of booty (Num. 31:25-31).
- The military forces receive 50% and the civilian congregation receives 50% (Num. 31:27).
- The Lord’s “booty tax” was .2% for the military forces who captured the booty (Num. 31:28,29).
- The Lord’s “booty tax” was 2% for the civilian congregation’s share (Num. 31:30).
- Thus, the Lord’s total booty tax = 1.1%, of which the civilian congregation pays the 1% portion, and the military forces pay the .1% portion of the tax.
- The total booty of the Israel/Midianite War is then detailed (Num. 31:32-47).
- 675,000 sheep
- 337,500 to Israel minus the booty tax of 6,750 sheep (Num. 31:47).
- 337,500 to the military forces minus the booty tax of 675 sheep (Num. 31:37).
- 72,000 cattle
- 36,000 to Israel minus the booty tax of 720 cattle (Num. 31:47).
- 36,000 to the military forces minus the booty tax of 72 cattle (Num. 31:38).
- 61,000 donkeys
- 30,500 to Israel minus the booty tax of 610 donkeys (Num. 31:47).
- 30,500 to the military forces minus the booty tax of 61 donkeys (Num. 31:39).
- 32,000 virgins
- 16,000 to Israel minus the booty tax of 320 virgins (Num. 31:47).
- 16,000 to the military forces minus the booty tax of 32 virgins (Num. 40).
- 675,000 sheep
- The military also kept their “cash bonuses” without the 50% sharing agreement with Israel, and brought a freewill grace gift offering to the Lord (Num. 31:48-54).