Numbers 31* War with Midian. (1-6) Balaam slain. (7-12) Those slain whocaused sin. (13-38) Purification of the Israelites. (39-24)Division of the spoil. (25-47) Offerings. (48-54)1-6 All who, without commission from God, dare to executeprivate revenge, and who, from ambition, covetousness, orresentment, wage war and desolate kingdoms, must one day answerfor it. But if God, instead of sending an earthquake, apestilence, or a famine, be pleased to authorize and command anypeople to avenge his cause, such a commission surely is just andright. The Israelites could show such a commission, though nopersons now can do so. Their wars were begun and carried onexpressly by Divine direction, and they were enabled to conquerby miracles. Unless it can be proved that the wicked Canaanitesdid not deserve their doom, objectors only prove their disliketo God, and their love to his enemies. Man makes light of theevil of sin, but God abhors it. This explains the terribleexecutions of the nations which had filled the measure of theirsins. 7-12 The Israelites slew the Kings of Midian. They slew Balaam.God's overruling providence brought him thither, and their justvengeance found him. Had he himself rightly believed what he hadsaid of the happy state of Israel, he would not have thus herdedwith the enemies of Israel. The Midianites' wicked wiles wereBalaam's projects: it was just that he should perish with them,#Ho 4:5|. They took the women and children captives. They burnttheir cities and castles, and returned to the camp. 13-18 The sword of war should spare women and children; but thesword of justice should know no distinction, but that of guiltyor not guilty. This war was the execution of a righteoussentence upon a guilty nation, in which the women were the worstcriminals. The female children were spared, who, being broughtup among the Israelites, would not tempt them to idolatry. Thewhole history shows the hatefulness of sin, and the guilt oftempting others; it teaches us to avoid all occasions of evil,and to give no quarter to inward lusts. The women and childrenwere not kept for sinful purposes, but for slaves, a customevery where practised in former times, as to captives. In thecourse of providence, when famine and plagues visit a nation forsin, children suffer in the common calamity. In this caseparents are punished in their children; and for children dyingbefore actual sin, full provision is made as to their eternalhappiness, by the mercy of God in Christ. 19-24 The Israelites had to purify themselves according to thelaw, and to abide without the camp seven days, though they hadnot contracted any moral guilt, the war being just and lawful,and commanded by God. Thus God would preserve in their minds adread and detestation of shedding blood. The spoil had been usedby Midianites, and being now come into the possession ofIsraelites, it was fit that it should be purified. 25-47 Whatever we have, God justly claims a part. Out of thepeople's share God required one in fifty, but out of thesoldiers' share only one in five hundred. The less opportunitywe have of honouring God with personal services, the more shouldwe give in money or value. 48-54 The success of the Israelites had been very remarkable,so small a company overcoming such multitudes, but it was stillmore wonderful that not one was slain or missing. They presentedthe gold they found among the spoils, as an offering to theLord. Thus they confessed, that instead of claiming a reward fortheir service, they needed forgiveness of much that had beenamiss, and desired to be thankful for the preservation of theirlives, which might justly have been taken away.
Copyright information for MHCC
Welcome to STEP Bible
From Tyndale House, Cambridge UK
Use the search box to find Bibles, commentaries, passages, search terms, etc. Here are some examples:
This shows how to quickly lookup a passage.
Looking up a passage in three different translations is also easy.
This asks STEP to search for the Greek word for 'brother' and show the results in the ESV.
This example runs both a 'Hebrew word search' and a 'Text' search and shows the results in both the NIV and ESV.
You can mix most searches. This finds any word translated as 'throne' in the Prophets and the New Testament, but only in verses concerning the topic 'David'. This excludes verses which refer to a 'throne' in other contexts.
Interlinear Hebrew & Greek is available for some translations with grammar (and more soon). To reverse the interlinear order, click on a version abbreviation under the verse number.
© Tyndale House, Cambridge, UK - 2018