And the Lord spoke to Moses and said: take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. And then you shall be sent to your ancestors. And Moses spoke to the people and said: arm people for war against the Midianites so that they can carry out the Lord’s vengeance upon them. From every tribe 1000 men and all tribes are to be ordered. 12,000 men were thus armed. Moses sent them into battle with Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the priest and he had the holy articles and trumpets of war with him. Thus they made their way to the battle against the Midianites and killed everything that was male. The kings as well, namely: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba, these five. They also killed Balaam, the son of Beor with the sword. They took they women and children captive, all of their cattle and possessions and goods, plundered and razed all of their cities and camps. They took what there was to take and brought it to Moses and Eleazar, to the community of Israelites in the camp in the Jordan valley, namely the captives and cattle they had taken, the plundered goods. One went out to meet them.
Moses became wrathful with the leaders of the army and said: Why have you let all the women live? Behold, was it not them that enticed the Israelites to follow Balaam’s advice that they sin against the Lord with Baal of Peor, so that the community of the Lord was subjected to a plague. So now kill all the male children and all the women who are no longer virgins.
However, all the girls, who are untouched, let them live. Camp before the camp. All who have killed or touched the dead, redeem yourselves on the third and seventh day. All clothing, furs, leather wear and wooden tools must also be redeemed.
Eleazar spoke to the warriors: this is the law that the Lord commanded to Moses: gold, silver, copper, iron, tin and lead, all that withstands fire, you shall let pass through the fire, that it becomes clean and is redeemed with the cleansing water. However, all that cannot pass through the fire you shall let pass through water. Wash your clothing on the seventh day. Then come into the camp.
And the Lord spoke to Moses and said: take all of the spoils and give half to those who were in the battle, the other half you shall give to the community. As a tithe to the Lord from the warriors, one of every 500 people, cattle, sheep and donkeys. From their half shall you take them as an offering to the Lord.
However, from the half of the Israelites you shall take one of every 50 and give them to the Levites who serve at the dwelling of the Lord. Moses and Eleazar did thus.
As plunder which remained alive there was: 675,000 sheep, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys, 32,000 untouched girls. And the half that belonged to those who were in battle amounted to 337500 sheep, tribute to the Lord 675 sheep; Cattle 36,000, tribute to the Lord 72, 30,500 donkeys, tribute to the Lord 61; 16,000 people, tribute 32.
Moses gave these tributes to Eleazar the priest as offerings for the Lord as the Lord had commanded him to do. However, the other half that Moses set apart from the portion allotted to the warriors, namely half which was given to the community amounted to; 337,500 sheep, 36,000 cattle, 30,500 donkeys, 16,000 people.
And Moses took from the Israelites’ half one of every 50 animals and people and gave them to the Levites as the Lord had commanded.
The thousands of warriors came to Moses and said: we, your servants have counted the warriors under our command and there is not one missing and for this reason we bring the Lord the articles of gold that have been has found, chains, armbands, rings, earrings and clips to make atonement with the Lord. Moses and Eleazar took it that weighed 16,750 shekels.
However, the warriors had each taken plunder for themselves. And Moses and Eleazar took the offering of plunder and brought it to the tabernacle before the Lord, so that he would be merciful to the Israelites.