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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Numbers 31:1-6

Here, I. The Lord of hosts gives orders to Moses to make war upon the Midianites, and his commission no doubt justified this war, though it will not serve to justify the like without such commission. The Midianites were the posterity of Abraham by Keturah, Gen. 25:2. Some of them settled south of Canaan, among whom Jethro lived, and they retained the worship of the true God; but these were settled east of Canaan, and had fallen into idolatry, neighbours to, and in confederacy with, the... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Numbers 31:2

Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites ,.... For the injury they had done them, by sending their daughters among them, who enticed them to commit uncleanness with them, and then drew them into the worship of their idols, which brought the wrath of God upon them, and for which 24,000 persons were slain. Now, though the Moabites had a concern in this affair as well as the Midianites, yet they were spared; which some think was for the sake of Lot, from whom they descended; but why not... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Numbers 31:2

Gathered unto thy people - Where? Not in the grave surely. Moses was gathered with none of them, his burial-place no man ever knew. "But being gathered unto one's people means dying." It does imply dying, but it does not mean this only. The truth is, God considers all those who are dead to men in a state of conscious existence in another world. Therefore he calls himself the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob; now God is not the God of the dead, but of the living; because all Live to... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Numbers 31:2

The Midianites - The Moabites are not included. It would thus seem that it was the Midianites, and they only, who deliberately set themselves to work the corruption of Israel. 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

E.W. Bullinger

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes - Numbers 31:2

Avenge. Hebrew revenge the revengement. Figure of speech Polyptoton ( App-6 ). = execute due vengeance. children = sons. afterward. Samaritan Pentateuch, The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulg, read "and afterward". be gathered, &c. Compare Numbers 27:13 . read more

Thomas Coke

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible - Numbers 31:1-2

Numbers 31:1-2. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying— After Moses had repeated to the people the laws in the foregoing chapters, God determined, before he took this great lawgiver to himself, to use his ministration for the punishment of the Midianites, who had so abominably seduced the Israelites to wickedness. The Moabites, though guilty also, were now spared; some circumstances which the sacred history has suppressed, no doubt, occasioned this distinction. Probably, the Midianites... 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

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