New International Version
Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,
King James Bible
Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
Darby Bible Translation
And now slay every male among the little ones, and slay every woman that hath known man by lying with him,
World English Bible
Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him.
Young's Literal Translation
'And now, slay ye every male among the infants, yea, every woman known of man by the lying of a male ye have slain;
Numbers 31:17 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Kill every male among the little ones - For this action I account simply on the principle that God, who is the author and supporter of life, has a right to dispose of it when and how he thinks proper; and the Judge of all the earth can do nothing but what is right. Of the women killed on this occasion it may be safely said, their lives were forfeited by their personal transgressions; and yet even in this case there can be little doubt that God showed mercy to their souls. The little ones were safely lodged; they were taken to heaven and saved from the evil to come.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
kill every male. The sword of war should spare women and children, as incapable of resisting; but the sword of justice knows no distinction, except that of guilty or not guilty, or more or less guilty. This was the execution of a righteous sentence upon a guilty nation, in which the women were the greatest criminals; and it may safely be said, that their lives were forfeited by their personal transgressions. With respect to the execution of the male infants, who cannot be supposed to have been guilty, God, the author and supporter of life, who has a right to dispose of it when and how he thinks proper, commanded it; and 'shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?'
him. Heb. a male
Like the last part of Exodus, and the whole of Leviticus, the first part of Numbers, i.-x. 28--so called, rather inappropriately, from the census in i., iii., (iv.), xxvi.--is unmistakably priestly in its interests and language. Beginning with a census of the men of war (i.) and the order of the camp (ii.), it devotes specific attention to the Levites, their numbers and duties (iii., iv.). Then follow laws for the exclusion of the unclean, v. 1-4, for determining the manner and amount of restitution …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.
However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.
So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children.
"This is what you are to do," they said. "Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin."
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