New International Version
Moses sent them into battle, a thousand from each tribe, along with Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, who took with him articles from the sanctuary and the trumpets for signaling.
King James Bible
And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.
Darby Bible Translation
And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand by the tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, and the holy instruments, even the alarm-trumpets in his hand.
World English Bible
Moses sent them, one thousand of every tribe, to the war, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the vessels of the sanctuary and the trumpets for the alarm in his hand.
Young's Literal Translation
and Moses sendeth them, a thousand for a tribe, to the host, them and Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest, to the host; and the holy vessels, and the trumpets of the shouting, in his hand.
Numbers 31:6 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
A thousand of every tribe - Twelve thousand men in the whole. And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar; some think he was made general in this expedition, but this is not likely. The ark and its contents must proceed to this battle, because the battle was the Lord's, and he dwelt between the cherubim over the ark; and Phinehas, who had before got a grant in the eternal priesthood, was chosen to accompany the ark in place of his father Eleazar, who was probably now too far advanced in years to undergo the fatigue. Who then was general? Joshua, without doubt, though not here mentioned, because the battle being the Lord's, he alone is to have the supreme direction, and all the glory. Besides, it was an extraordinary war, and not conducted on the common principle, for we do not find that peace was offered to the Midianites, and that they refused it; see Deuteronomy 20:10, etc. In such a case only hostilities could lawfully commence; but they were sinners against God; the cup of their iniquity was full, and God thought proper to destroy them. Though a leader there certainly was, and Joshua was probably that leader, yet because God, for the above reason, was considered as commander-in-chief, therefore no one else is mentioned; for it is evident that the sole business of Phinehas was to take care of the holy instruments and to blow with the trumpet.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
a thousand. Twelve thousand in all-a small number in proportion to all Israel, or to the forces which they encounter. As they were under the conduct of captains of thousands and hundreds, they probably had no general; for Phinehas seems to have accompanied them simply to take charge of `the holy instruments;' probably the ark and silver trumpets. Phinehas
the holy instruments
Like the last part of Exodus, and the whole of Leviticus, the first part of Numbers, i.-x. 28--so called, rather inappropriately, from the census in i., iii., (iv.), xxvi.--is unmistakably priestly in its interests and language. Beginning with a census of the men of war (i.) and the order of the camp (ii.), it devotes specific attention to the Levites, their numbers and duties (iii., iv.). Then follow laws for the exclusion of the unclean, v. 1-4, for determining the manner and amount of restitution …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
"The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come.
When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies.
Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD's covenant moved from the camp.
So twelve thousand men armed for battle, a thousand from each tribe, were supplied from the clans of Israel.
So the Israelites sent Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, to the land of Gilead--to Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
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