Israel’s booty – Midianite Virgins And Livestock

Midianite virginsIn today’s lesson, Yehovah has commanded His son (Israel) to take vengeance for Him on Midian for what they did to us in the incident of Peor. We were to kill all their males and their women who had been with a male and then bring back the Midianite virgins alive. But we are still a bit new at all of this.

And they warred against the Midianites, just as Yehovah commanded Moses, and they killed all the males. They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of those who were killed–Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. Balaam the son of Beor they also killed with the sword. And Israel’s son took Midian’s women [na-shi, the possessive plural form of  ish-shah] captive, with their children [ta-phim], and plundered all their cattle, all their flocks, and all their goods. They also burned with fire all the cities where they dwelt, and all their forts. And they took all their spoil and all their booty—in man and in beast. (Num 31:7-11)

It appears that the spoil is property (gold, silver and other possessions) which belonged to Midian’s seed, and the booty is their living and breathing property in man and in beast.

Moses was angry because we left all the women and children alive and brought them all back with us. He said,

Look [HELLO!], these women caused Israel’s seed, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against Yehovah in the incident of Peor, and there was a striking among the assembly of Yehovah. Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man intimately. But keep alive for yourselves all the women who have not known a man intimately. (Num 31:16-18)

So, the Midianite virgins were set aside for the Israel’s seed along with the flocks (sheep and goats), cattle and donkeys. This chapter gives us a description of how all the booty, the living property, was divided among Israel’s seed. Each of two groups of men received 50%  of the booty taken in the war and Yehovah also claimed a portion from each group.

This chart will help you understand more completely what I am reading and describing in my audio below.

675,000 Tze-one (sheep and goats)(Num 31:32)
72,000 Cattle (Num 31:33)
61,000 Donkeys (Num 31:34)
32,000 Midianite virgins (Num 31:35)

booty splitYehovah did not ask for any of the gold or the silver or any of the “stuff” which we recovered from Midian’s seed; it appears to me the things that have real value are the living and breathing property which can multiply itself in Yehovah’s kingdom.

But what happened to these lucky Midianite virgins who were divided among Yehovah’s men instead of being killed along with their relatives? I see 5 possibilities in which they would have continued their lives.

1. They become our servants.

2. Or they can be sold to another master.

3. They become the women which we give to our male servants, in order to make more male and female servants.

“Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them: If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in baal [ed], then his woman shall go out with him. If his master has given him a woman, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my woman, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever. (Exo_21:1-6)

4. They can become our Israel’s son’s women, their concubines.

And if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. (Exo 21:9)

[Note: A concubine is a woman whom we take to ourselves who was a servant, as opposed to a free woman. Hagar, Keturah, Zilpah and Bilhah are all examples of this.]

5. They can also become our women which we take to ourselves, our concubines.

“When you go out to war against your enemies, and Yehovah your Elohim delivers them into your hand, and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and desire her and would take her for your woman, then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails. She shall put off the clothes of her captivity, remain in your house, and mourn her father and her mother a full month; after that you may go in to her and be her man, and she shall be your woman. And it shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall set her free, but you certainly shall not sell her for money; you shall not treat her brutally, because you have humbled her. (Deu 21:10-14)

Why does this woman have to shave her head? Trim her nails? And put off the clothes of her captivity? It has everything to do with “head coverings.”

Don’t forget what Pharaoh told Hagar, his daughter from one of his concubines. He said,

Yasher 15:32  “It is better for thee, my daughter, to be a handmaid in this man’s house than to be mistress in my house, after we have beheld the evil that befell us on account of this woman [Sarai].”

These Midianite virgins in the long run were blessed to come under the coverings of  Israel’s seed; a place where each one could learn to become a woman of worth in Yehovah’s kingdom.

But, if these women became our female servants (our ah-mah), where did our male servants (our eh-ve-dim) come from? I give some suggestions in my lesson.

Israel’s booty – Midianite Virgins And Livestock

2N16 Numbers 30–31
[Click to play this audio or right-click and “Save As” to download]

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