Numbers 31:25
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
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31:25-47 Whatever we have, God justly claims a part. Out of the people's share God required one in fifty, but out of the soldiers' share only one in five hundred. The less opportunity we have of honouring God with personal services, the more should we give in money or value.Brass - Render copper. See Genesis 4:22 note. The verse is curious as illustrating the variety of metals in use at this early date for domestic purposes. All these metals were common in Egypt centuries before the date of the Exodus. 25-39. Take the sum of the prey that was taken—that is, of the captives and cattle, which, having been first lumped together according to ancient usage (Ex 15:9; Jud 5:30), were divided into two equal parts: the one to the people at large, who had sustained a common injury from the Midianites and who were all liable to serve: and the other portion to the combatants, who, having encountered the labors and perils of war, justly received the largest share. From both parts, however, a certain deduction was taken for the sanctuary, as a thank offering to God for preservation and for victory. The soldiers had greatly the advantage in the distribution; for a five-hundredth part only of their half went to the priest, while a fiftieth part of the congregation's half was given to the Levites. No text from Poole on this verse. And the Lord spake unto Moses,.... After the purification of the soldiers, their captives, and spoil:

saying; as follows.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
25–54. The apportionment of the spoil. Those who fought and those who remained behind were to receive equal shares. This was an ancient custom, which was traced to the action of David (1 Samuel 30:24 f.). But before the appropriation by individuals, a religious tax was to be paid. The fighters were to pay from their share 1/500th to the priests, and the others 1/50th to the Levites. Such a tax is not mentioned elsewhere in the O.T., but perhaps, like the foregoing regulation, it had an ancient custom behind it. Mohammed, whose religion was ultimately based on the O.T., enjoined a similar tax of 1/5th (Koran viii. 42, cited by Gray).Purification of the Warriors, the Prisoners, and the Booty. - Moses commanded the men of war to remain for seven days outside the camp of the congregation, to carry out upon the third and seventh day the legal purification of such persons and things as had been rendered unclean through contact with dead bodies. Every one who had slain a soul (person), or touched one who had been slain, was to be purified, whether he were a warrior or a prisoner. And so also were all the clothes, articles of leather, materials of goats' hair, and all wooden things.
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