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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Numbers 31:13-24

We have here the triumphant return of the army of Israel from the war with Midian, and here, I. They were met with great respect, Num. 31:13. Moses himself, notwithstanding his age and gravity, walked out of the camp to congratulate them on their victory, and to grace the solemnity of their triumphs. Public successes should be publicly acknowledged, to the glory of God, and the encouragement of those that have jeoparded their lives in their country's cause. II. They were severely reproved for... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Numbers 31:18

But all the women children ,.... The females among the little ones: that have not known a man by lying with him ; which might be pretty clear, and easily concluded, from their age: keep for yourselves ; either to be handmaids to them, or to be married among them when grown up, and become proselytes, and initiated into their religion. read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - Numbers 31:1-54

Judgment on Midian (31:1-54)God now sent Israel to carry out his judgment on the Midianites (and Balaam with them) for the evil they did to Israel at Peor (see 25:1-9,14-17). Since it was a ‘holy’ war, the person who led the Israelite forces was not the army general Joshua, but the priest Phinehas (see 25:10-13). The Israelites were to destroy the Midianite fighting forces and burn their settlements. All captives and goods seized in battle were to be given to God, represented by the high... read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Numbers 31:1-24

The "vengeance" Israel was to take (Numbers 31:2) was for the spiritual and sexual seduction the Midianites had led the Moabites to practice with them. This had resulted in the defeat of God’s people (ch. 25). Her enemies had lured Israel away from her true husband, Yahweh.Moses did not give us the name of Israel’s military leader in this battle. However Phinehas, the high priest’s son, is the prominent person in the record (Numbers 31:6). This phenomenon points to the nature of the battle as... read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Numbers 31:1-54

3. Reprisal against the Midianites and the settlement of the Transjordanian tribes chs. 31-32Moses’ last campaign ch. 31The writer now recorded the fulfillment of God’s instructions to Moses that Israel should destroy the Midianites (Numbers 25:16-18). In this account, the aftermath of the battle receives more attention than the battle itself. Evidently God included this chapter here for two reasons at least. It records Israel’s victory over one of her enemies, and it explains the way she... read more

John Dummelow

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible - Numbers 31:1-54

War against MidianThis chapter contains an account of the fulfilment of the decree of extermination passed upon the Midianites as being the occasion of Israel’s apostasy in the plains of Moab: see on Numbers 25:16-18.6. The holy instruments and the trumpets] On the use of the silver trumpets in time of war see on Numbers 10:9. It is not clear whether the ark was taken into battle on this occasion. It is possible to translate ’the holy instruments, even the trumpets.’ On other occasions,... read more

Charles John Ellicott

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers - Numbers 31:18

(18) Keep alive for yourselves.—The Israelites were allowed to make slaves of their captives. Shortly after the capture of these Midianitish women, and, it may be, as arising out of it, the law concerning marriage with captives was enacted. (See Deuteronomy 21:10-14.) read more

William Nicoll

Expositor's Bible Commentary - Numbers 31:1-54

WAR AND SETTLEMENT1. THE WAR WITH MIDIANNumbers 31:1-54THE command to vex and smite the Midianites {; Numbers 25:16-17} has already been considered. Israel had not the spiritual power which would have justified any attempt to convert that people. Degrading idolatry was to be held in abhorrence, and those who clung to it suppressed. Now the time comes for an exterminating war. While hordes of Bedawin occupy the hills and the neighbouring desert, there can be no security either for morals,... read more

Arno Clemens Gaebelein

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible - Numbers 31:1-54

7. The War Against the Midianites CHAPTER 31 1. The command to fight Midian (Numbers 31:1-6 ) 2. The war (Numbers 31:7-12 ) 3. The cleansing (Numbers 31:13-24 ) 4. The spoil taken (Numbers 31:25-47 ) 5. The oblation of the officers (Numbers 31:48-54 ) War is commanded next by the Lord. The Lord said to Moses, “Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites; afterward shalt thou be gathered to thy people.” This is, therefore, the last thing in the official life of Moses. This war... read more

L.M. Grant

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible - Numbers 31:1-54

VENGEANCE ON MIDIAN (vs.1-11) The Midianites had been guilty of seducing Israel, and God required that account to be settled. This was the last charge laid upon Moses before his death (v.2). His own father in law was a Midianite (Exodus 3:1), so that it was surely a traumatic responsibility for Moses to command Israel to take vengeance for the Lord on Midian. Yet there is no indication that he even hesitated. He had learned the word of the Lord is absolute and he would not at all question... read more

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