Numbers 31:12
And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, to Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the children of Israel, to the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.
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(12) The captives, and the prey, and the spoil.—The first word denotes the women and children; the second, which in Numbers 5:11 includes both the captives and the cattle, appears in this place to refer to the animals only; whilst the third refers to the rest of the spoil.

31:7-12 The Israelites slew the Kings of Midian. They slew Balaam. God's overruling providence brought him thither, and their just vengeance found him. Had he himself rightly believed what he had said of the happy state of Israel, he would not have thus herded with the enemies of Israel. The Midianites' wicked wiles were Balaam's projects: it was just that he should perish with them, Ho 4:5. They took the women and children captives. They burnt their cities and castles, and returned to the camp.The "prey" refers to the captives and live-stock: the "spoil" to the ornaments and other effects. 8. the kings of Midian—so called, because each was possessed of absolute power within his own city or district; called also dukes or princes of Sihon (Jos 13:21), having been probably subject to that Amorite ruler, as it is not uncommon in the East to find a number of governors or pachas tributary to one great king.

Zur—father of Cozbi (Nu 25:15).

Balaam also … they slew with the sword—This unprincipled man, on his dismissal from Balak, set out for his home in Mesopotamia (Nu 24:25). But, either diverging from his way to tamper with the Midianites, he remained among them without proceeding farther, to incite them against Israel and to watch the effects of his wicked counsel; or, learning in his own country that the Israelites had fallen into the snare which he had laid and which he doubted not would lead to their ruin, he had, under the impulse of insatiable greed, returned to demand his reward from the Midianites. He was an object of merited vengeance. In the immense slaughter of the Midianitish people—in the capture of their women, children, and property and in the destruction of all their places of refuge—the severity of a righteous God fell heavily on that base and corrupt race. But, more than all others, Balaam deserved and got the just reward of his deeds. His conduct had been atrociously sinful, considering the knowledge he possessed, and the revelations he had received, of the will of God. For any one in his circumstances to attempt defeating the prophecies he had himself been the organ of uttering, and plotting to deprive the chosen people of the divine favor and protection, was an act of desperate wickedness, which no language can adequately characterize.

No text from Poole on this verse. The women and children, who were the captives, and the beasts which were the prey, and the gold, silver, &c. which were the spoil:

unto Moses and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel; that is, they were bringing the above persons things unto them, returning from the war with Midian:

unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho: see Numbers 22:1, but they were stopped, and were not admitted into the camp until seven days after.

And they brought the {d} 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.

(d) As the women and little children.

To carry out this revenge, Moses had 1000 men of each tribe delivered (ימּסרוּ, see at Numbers 31:16) from the families (alaphim, see Numbers 1:16) of the tribes, and equipped for war; and these he sent to the army (into the war) along with Phinehas the son of Eleazar the high priest, who carried the holy vessels, viz., the alarm-trumpets, in his hand. Phinehas was attached to the army, not as the leader of the soldiers, but as the high priest with the holy trumpets (Numbers 10:9), because the war was a holy war of the congregation against the enemies of themselves and their God. Phinehas had so distinguished himself by the zeal which he had displayed against the idolaters (Numbers 25:7), that it was impossible to find any other man in all the priesthood to attach to the army, who would equal him in holy zeal, or be equally qualified to inspire the army with zeal for the holy conflict. "The holy vessels" cannot mean the ark of the covenant on account of the plural, which would be inapplicable to it; nor the Urim and Thummim, because Phinehas was not yet high priest, and the expression כּלי would also be unsuitable to these. The allusion can only be to the trumpets mentioned immediately afterwards, the ו before חצצרות being the ו explic., "and in fact." Phinehas took these in his hand, because the Lord had assigned them to His congregation, to bring them into remembrance before Him in time of war, and to ensure His aid (Numbers 10:9).
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