Numbers 31:20
And purify all your raiment, and all that is made of skins, and all work of goats' hair, and all things made of wood.
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31:19-24 The Israelites had to purify themselves according to the law, and to abide without the camp seven days, though they had not contracted any moral guilt, the war being just and lawful, and commanded by God. Thus God would preserve in their minds a dread and detestation of shedding blood. The spoil had been used by Midianites, and being now come into the possession of Israelites, it was fit that it should be purified.Caused ... to commit trespass - More literally, "became to the children of Israel for a cause (or, incitement) of treachery to the Lord." 19-24. abide without the camp seven days: whosoever hath killed any person … purify both yourselves and your captives—Though the Israelites had taken the field in obedience to the command of God, they had become defiled by contact with the dead. A process of purification was to be undergone, as the law required (Le 15:13; Nu 19:9-12), and this purifying ceremony was extended to dress, houses, tents, to everything on which a dead body had lain, which had been touched by the blood-stained hands of the Israelitish warriors, or which had been the property of idolaters. This became a standing ordinance in all time coming (Le 6:28; 11:33; 15:12). All your raiment, to wit, your spoil and prey. See Leviticus 8:15 14:49. All these things had contracted some ceremonial uncleanness, either from the dead bodies which wore them, or the tents or houses where they were, in which such dead bodies lay, or from the touch of the Israelitish soldiers, who were legally defiled by the slaughters they made. And purify all your raiment,.... By washing them; and this may intend not so much their own wearing apparel, as the raiment they took off of the dead bodies of the Midianites, since the person that touched a dead body was not obliged to wash his clothes, but the clean person that sprinkled the water of purification on him, Numbers 19:19, some render the words, "purify yourselves" (d), "together with the raiment", &c. which seems to be the best version of them:

and all that is made of skins; of any sort of creatures, as the covering of tents, shoes, bottles, &c. see Leviticus 11:32.

and all work of goats' hair; such as the covering of tents was also made of: and this, according to Jarchi and other Jewish writers (e) includes vessels made of the horns, hoofs, and bones of these creatures: and all things made of wood; as beds, cups, dishes, &c. all which might be purified by washing; see Leviticus 15:12.

(d) "purgatote vos", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; Vid. L'Empereur, Not. ad Kimchii p. 130. (e) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Celim, c. 2. sect. 1.

And purify all your raiment, and all that is made of skins, and all work of goats' hair, and all things made of wood.
20. all that is made of skin] such as sandals, saddles, coverings for packages &c.

work of goats’ hair] such as tent-coverings (Exodus 25:4) and bed-coverings (1 Samuel 19:13; 1 Samuel 19:16).Verse 20. - Purify all your raiment, and all that is made. Literally, "every vessel" (כְּלִי). This was in accordance with the principle laid down in chapter 19 that everything which had come into contact with a corpse needed purifying. Treatment of the Prisoners. - When Moses went out to the front of the camp with Eleazar and the princes of the congregation to meet the returning warriors, he was angry with the commanders, because they had left all the women alive, since it was they who had been the cause, at Balaam's instigation, of the falling away of the Israelites from Jehovah to worship Peor; and he commanded all the male children to be slain, and every woman who had lain with a man, and only the young girls who had hitherto had no connection with a man to be left alive. החיל פּקוּדי, lit., the appointed persons, i.e., the officers of the army, who were then divided into princes (captains) over thousands and hundreds. - "Which came from the battle," i.e., who had returned. The question in Numbers 31:15, "Have ye left all the women alive?" is an expression of dissatisfaction, and reproof for their having done this. למסר־מעל...היוּ, "they have become to the Israelites to work unfaithfulness towards Jehovah," i.e., they have induced them to commit an act of unfaithfulness towards Jehovah. The word מסר, which only occurs in this chapter, viz., in Numbers 31:5 and Numbers 31:16, appears to be used in the sense of giving, delivering, and then, like נתן, doing, making, effecting. On the fact itself, see Numbers 25:6. The object of the command to put all the male children to death, was to exterminate the whole nation, as it could not be perpetuated in the women. Of the female sex, all were to be put to death who had known the lying with a man, and therefore might possibly have been engaged in the licentious worship of Peor (Numbers 25:2), to preserve the congregation from all contamination from that abominable idolatry.
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