(Sefer Bamidbar) Numbers 30:2
31:1-"And YHVH spoke unto Moshe,
2- Avenge the children of Yisrael of
the Midianites: afterward shall thou be
gathered unto thy people.
3- And Moshe spoke unto the people,
saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the
war, and let them go
against the Midianites, and avenge
YHVH of Midian.
4- Of every tribe a thousand,
throughout all the tribes of Yisrael,
shall ye send to the war.
6- And Moshe sent them to the war, a
thousand of every tribe, them and
Pinchas the son of Eliezar the
kohain, to the war, with the holy
instruments, and the trumpets to blow in
7- And they warred against the
Midianites, as YHVH commanded Moshe; and
they slew all the males.
8- And they slew the kings of Midian
beside them that were pierced; namely,
Evi, and Rekem, and Tzur,
and Chur and Reva, five kings of
Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they
slew with the sword.
9- And the children of Yisrael took
all the women of Midian captives, and
their little ones, and took the
spoil of all their cattle, and all
their flocks, and all their goods.
10- And they burnt all their cities
wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly
castles, with fire.
11- And they took all the spoil, and
all the prey, both of men and of beasts.
12- And they brought the captives,
and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moshe
and Eliezar the kohain, and
unto the congregation of the
children of YIsrael, unto the camp at
the plains of Moav which are by
Yarden near Yericho.
15- And Moshe said unto them, Have ye
saved all the women alive?
16- Behold, these caused the children
of Yisrael, through the counsel of
Balaam, to commit trespass
against YHVH in the matter of
Peor, and there was a plague among the
congregation of YHVH.
17- So, now kill every male among the
little ones and every woman who has
known man, lying with him.
18- But all the women children, that
have not known a man by lying with him,
keep alive for yourselves.
48- And the officers which were over
thousands of the host, the captains of
thousands, and captains of
hundreds, came near unto Moshe:
49- And they said unto Moshe, Thy
servants have taken the sum of the men
of war which are under our
charge, and there lacks not one
man of us.
32:6- And Moshe said unto the children
of Gad and to the children of Reuven,
Shall your brethren go to
war, and shall ye sit here?
7- And wherefore discourage ye the
heart of the children of Yisrael from
going over into the land which
YHVH has given them?"
"And Elohim said, Let the earth
bring forth grass, the herb
yielding seed, and the fruit
tree yielding fruit after his
kind, whose seed is in itself,
upon the earth: and it was so."
"Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou
shall not let thy cattle gender
with a diverse kind:
shall not sow thy field with
mingled seed: neither shall a
garment mingled of
linen and wool come upon thee."
"Thine hand shall find out all
thine enemies: thy right hand
shall find out those that
hate thee... Their fruit shall
thou destroy from the earth, and
their seed from among
the children of men."
(Psalms 21:8 & 10)
"And when YHVH thy Elohim shall
deliver them before thee; thou
shall smite them, and
utterly destroy them; thou
shall make no covenant with
them, nor show mercy unto
them... For they will turn away
thy son from following me, that
they may serve other
gods: so will the anger of YHVH
be kindled against you, and
destroy thee suddenly."
(Deuteronomy 7:2 & 4)
"So Yehoshua smote all the
country of the hills, and of the
south, and of the vale, and
of the springs, and all their
kings: he left none remaining,
but utterly destroyed all
that breathed, as YHVH the
Elohim of Yisrael commanded."
"Blessed be YHVH my strength,
which teaches my hands to war,
and my fingers to fight."
1. The Inherited Task of Utterly
Slaying the Seed of the Opposition:
While some would dare to challenge the
Justice from the Almighty, esteeming the
slaughter of the Midianite men of all
ages as ruthless and “overkill,”
sparing only the virgin daughters
from among them, the execution against
Yisrael’s foes, had purpose to its
punch. Though the maidens of Midian had
been the snare to the sons of Yaakov, it
would be the destruction of the male
children that had covenantal design that
would be met. In accordance to promise
made earlier by Elohim to Avraham in
Genesis 12:7, as it is written:
“And YHVH appeared unto Avram, and said,
Unto thy seed will I give this
it was of necessity that the seed of the
Midianites, passed down through
the men, not be
mingled with the daughters of the Twelve
Tribes. Just as it had been delineated
earlier in Numbers 26:55,
"...the land shall be divided by lot:
by the names of the tribes of their
fathers they shall inherit."
Before we begin to let pity persuade our
convictions elsewhere, we best remember
the reaction which occurred a few
centuries later when a disobedient Saul
was rhetorically asked in 1 Samuel
"What means then this bleating
of the sheep in mine ears, and the
lowing of the oxen which I hear?"
By refusing to exercise the full
annihilation of the Amalekite nemesis,
the son of Kish, had the kingdom rent
from his house. For this chosen
nation's welfare, negotiation with an
enemy who sought its destruction was
never an option. Nothing has changed.
To insure an enduring victory, be it in
the natural or spiritual realm, and in
light of His heavenly vision compliance
to HaShem's strictest commands must be
followed. Indeed, oftentimes it is our
denial of historic decrees which entices
us to "ease up" on the enemy of our
soul; in these times, Psalms 143:3
reminds us of his ultimate plans:
"For the enemy has persecuted my
soul; he has smitten my life down
to the ground; he has made
me to dwell in darkness, as
those that have been long dead."
Possessing a determination to
eradicate those things detrimental and
even injurious to our soul, we must
refuse negotiation with those practices,
habits, and destructive tendencies which
do not profit the cause of HaShem's
Everlasting Kingdom within us. Seeds of
doubt, faithlessness, and rebellion will
flourish if cultivated. Like uninvited
weeds, they must be uprooted. For this
Elohim sends his servants; Jeremiah 1:10
speaks of the exploits of such
messengers we are privileged to
encounter, as it is written:
"See, I have this day set thee
over the nations and over the
kingdoms, to root out, and to
and to destroy, and to
throw down, to build, and
Truly, the prophetic voice is needed
in our day as we overcome those opposing
forces in our life. Then are the words
of Shlomo HaMelech understood,
Ecclesiastes 3:2-3 declares the
purpose for all things, namely :
"A time to be born, and a time to
die; a time to plant, and a
time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to
heal; a time to break down, and a
time to build up;
Vowing to Fight the Foe on Behalf of the
With a parasha that begins
with the ramifications and limitations
of vows taken, it ends in a related
application, as the children of Reuven
and Gad, take their own vows in Numbers
"We will not return to our
houses, until the sons of Yisrael
have inherited every man his
In the context, the marvel of this
statement is not the commitment but
rather the unrelenting consequences that
would befall their failure to comply.
For sure, to aid their brothers in
securing all the tribes inheritance was
their obligation. In Numbers 32:23,
Moshe clearly warns of calamity to
follow, if their vow be broken:
"But if ye will not do so, behold,
ye have sinned against YHVH and be sure
your sin will find you out."
It the vow that gives the
empowerment with obedience, and it is
the vow, which if broken, brings the
curse. Both Reuven and Gad would show
themselves true to their words, as
Joshua 22:2 chronicled the completion of
military support for the other ten
tribes, as is written:
"And said unto them, Ye have
kept all that Moshe the servant
of YHVH commanded you, and
have obeyed my voice in all
that I commanded you."
Our call to community is a call to
contend for one another, meeting a need
as Proverbs 17:17 aptly declares:
"A friend loves at all times, and
a brother is born for adversity."