Numbers 31:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
So Moses said to the people, "Arm some of your men to go to war against the Midianites so that they may carry out the LORD's vengeance on them.

King James Bible
And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian.

Darby Bible Translation
And Moses spoke to the people, saying, Arm from amongst you men for military service, that they go against Midian to execute Jehovah's vengeance upon Midian.

World English Bible
Moses spoke to the people, saying, "Arm men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian, to execute Yahweh's vengeance on Midian.

Young's Literal Translation
And Moses speaketh unto the people, saying, 'Be ye armed some of you for the host, and they are against Midian, to put the vengeance of Jehovah on Midian;

Numbers 31:3 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Avenge the Lord of Midian - It was God's quarrel, not their own, that they were now to take up. These people were idolaters; idolatry is an offense against God; the civil power has no authority to meddle with what belongs to Him, without especial directions, certified in the most unequivocal way. Private revenge, extension of territory, love of plunder, were to have no place in this business; the Lord is to be avenged; and through Him the children of Israel, (Numbers 31:2), because their souls as well as their bodies had been well nigh ruined by their idolatry.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

arm some

Exodus 17:9-13 And Moses said to Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek...

avenge the Lord. It was God's quarrel, not their own, that they were now to take up. These people were idolaters, and had seduced the Israelites to practise the same abominations. Idolatry is an offence against God; and the civil power has no authority to meddle with what belongs to him, without especial directions, certified, as in this case, in the most unequivocal manner. Private revenge, ambition, or avarice were to have no place in this business: Jehovah is to be avenged; and through Him, the children of Israel, because they were nearly ruined by their idolatries. If Jehovah, instead of punishing sinners by earthquakes, pestilence, or famine,is please expressly to command any person or people to avenge his cause, this commission justified, nay sanctifies, war, massacre, or devastation. Though none at present shew such a commission, yet the Israelites could; and it is therefore absurd to censure Moses, Joshua, and Israel, for the dreadful slaughter made by them. God himself passed sentence of condemnation, and employed them merely as ministers of his vengeance; and unless it could be proved that the criminals did not deserve their doom, or that God had no right to punish his rebellious creatures, such objectors only shew their enmity to God by becoming the unsolicited advocates of his enemies.

Numbers 25:11,13 Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned my wrath away from the children of Israel...

Exodus 17:16 For he said, Because the LORD has sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

Leviticus 26:25 And I will bring a sword on you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when you are gathered together within your cities...

Judges 5:2,23 Praise you the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves...

2 Kings 9:7 And you shall smite the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets...

2 Kings 10:30 And the LORD said to Jehu, Because you have done well in executing that which is right in my eyes...

Jeremiah 46:10 For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour...

Jeremiah 50:28 The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God...

Library
Numbers
Like the last part of Exodus, and the whole of Leviticus, the first part of Numbers, i.-x. 28--so called,[1] 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

Cross References
Leviticus 26:25
And I will bring the sword on you to avenge the breaking of the covenant. When you withdraw into your cities, I will send a plague among you, and you will be given into enemy hands.

Numbers 31:4
Send into battle a thousand men from each of the tribes of Israel."

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