Moses instructs the Israelites to fight the Midianites with 12,000 men, 1,000 from each tribe. They killed every man, the five kings of Midian are listed. Balaam is also killed in the battle.
“Moses was angry with the officers of the army…have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident” Numbers 31:14-16
Moses commanded them to kill the boys and every woman who was not a virgin. I have a hard time typing that sentence, but trust God’s bigger plan is for the greater good.
The Transjordan Tribes
The Reubenites and Gadites were pleased with the land they were living in, not part of the Promised Land, so they asked Moses, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.” Moses is ticked! “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here?” But the tribes are sincere, they really like the land where they were, it was perfect for their livestock so they pleaded with Moses,
we will arm ourselves for battle and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place…we will not return to our homes until each of the Israelites has received their inheritance. We will not receive any inheritance with them on the other side of the Jordan, because our inheritance has come to us on the east side of the Jordan. Numbers 32:17-19
Moses is pleased with this pledge and reiterates the conditions for inheriting the land they possess. “The Gadites and Reubenites answered, ‘Your servants will do what the Lord has said. We will…'”
The Lord commands them to drive out the inhabitants and destroy the idols. If they don’t, “those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides.” As the book of Numbers is coming to an end, these prophetic words will remind us again and again of the importance of purity.