ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 273

N u mbers
Lord’s share; and 16,000 virgin girls, of whom 32 were the Lord’s share.
Moses gave all the Lord’s share to Eleazar the priest, just as the Lord had
directed him.
Half of the plunder belonged to the people of Israel, and Moses separated it from the half belonging to the fighting men. It totaled 337,500
sheep and goats, 36,000 cattle, 30,500 donkeys, and 16,000 virgin girls.
From the ­half-­share given to the people, Moses took one of every fifty
prisoners and animals and gave them to the Levites, who maintained the
Lord’s Tabernacle. All this was done as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Then all the generals and captains came to Moses and said, “We, your
servants, have accounted for all the men who went out to battle under our
command; not one of us is missing! So we are presenting the items of gold
we captured as an offering to the Lord from our share of the p­ lunder—
­armbands, bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces. This will purify our
lives before the Lord and make us right with him.”
So Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from all the military
­commanders—­all kinds of jewelry and crafted objects. In all, the gold that
the generals and captains presented as a gift to the Lord weighed about
420 pounds. All the fighting men had taken some of the plunder for themselves. So Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted the gifts from the generals
and captains and brought the gold to the Tabernacle as a reminder to the
Lord that the people of Israel belong to him.
The tribes of Reuben and Gad owned vast numbers of livestock. So
when they saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were ideally suited for
their flocks and herds, they came to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the
other leaders of the community. They said, “Notice the towns of Ataroth,
Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sibmah, Nebo, and Beon. The
Lord has conquered this whole area for the community of Israel, and it is
ideally suited for all our livestock. If we have found favor with you, please
let us have this land as our property instead of giving us land across the
Jordan River.”
“Do you intend to stay here while your brothers go across and do all
the fighting?” Moses asked the men of Gad and Reuben. “Why do you
want to discourage the rest of the people of Israel from going across to
the land the Lord has given them? Your ancestors did the same thing
when I sent them from ­Kadesh-­barnea to explore the land. After they
went up to the valley of Eshcol and explored the land, they discouraged
the people of I­ srael from entering the land the Lord was giving them.

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