1. Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

2. "Fully avenge the Israelites for what they have suffered from the Midianites. After that you will be joined to your people."

3. Moses said to the people, "Let some of you go off to the war and attack the Midianites, for you have to carry out Yahweh's vengeance.

4. Put a thousand men in the field from each of the tribes of Israel."

5. In this way the Israelites provided twelve thousand men equipped for war, one thousand from each tribe.

6. Moses put them in the field, one thousand from each tribe, with Phinehas, son of Eleazar the priest, to go with them carrying the sacred vessels and the trumpets for sounding the alarm.

7. They attacked the Midianites, as Yahweh had commanded Moses, and they put every male to death.

8. And further, they killed the kings of Midian, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba, the five Midianite kings; they also put Balaam son of Beor to the sword.

9. The sons of Israel took the Midianite women captive with their young children, and took for themselves all their cattle, all their flocks and all their goods.

10. They set fire to the towns where they lived and all their camps.

11. Then, taking all the spoils, all that they had captured, man and beast,

12. they brought the captives and the spoils to Moses, Eleazer the priest, and all the community of the sons of Israel, at the camp in the plains of Moab, near the Jordan River opposite Jericho.

13. Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the community went out of the camp to meet them.

14. Moses was angry with the commanders of the army, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, who had come back from this battle.

15. He said, "Why have you spared the lives of all the women?

16. These were the very ones who, on Balaam's advice, tempted the people of Israel and made them unfaithful to Yahweh at Peor: hence the epidemic which struck the community of Israel.

17. So kill all the male children. Kill also all the women who have slept with a man.

18. Spare the lives only of the young girls who have not slept with a man, and take them for yourselves.

19. As for you, you must camp for seven days outside the camp, all of you who have killed a man or touched a corpse. Purify yourselves, you and your prisoners, on the third and seventh days;

20. purify also all clothing, everything made of skin, everything woven of goats' hair and everything made of wood."

21. Eleazar, the priest, said to the soldiers who had come back from this battle, "These are the regulations given by Yahweh to Moses.

22. The gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin and lead, everything that is not melted by fire, must be passed through the fire to become clean, and also be purified by the water for purification.

23. But whatever would be melted by fire you must pass through water.

24. On the seventh day you will wash your clothes and then be clean. You may then come back to the camp."

25. Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

26. "With Eleazar, the priest, and the heads of families in the community, count the prizes of battle and the captives, man and beast.

27. Then share out the spoils, half and half, between those who fought the battle and the rest of the community.

28. As Yahweh's share you will set aside, from the share of the soldiers who took part in the battle, one out of every 500 persons, oxen, donkeys and sheep.

29. These are to be taken from the half share which is their due, and given to Eleazar, the priest, as an offering to Yahweh.

30. From the half which is due to the community of Israel, you will take one out of every fifty persons, oxen, donkeys, sheep, and all other animals, and give them to the Levites who have charge of the Holy Tent of Yahweh."

31. Moses and Eleazar, the priest, did as Yahweh had commanded Moses.

32. The prizes of battle, the remainder of the spoil captured by the soldiers, came to 675,000 head of sheep and goats,

33. 72,000 head of cattle,

34. 61,000 donkeys,

35. and, in persons, women who had never slept with a man, 32,000 in all.

36. The half assigned to those who had taken part in the war amounted to 337,500 head of sheep and goats,

37. of which Yahweh's share was 675;

38. 36,000 head of cattle, of which Yahweh's share was seventy-two;

39. 30,500 donkeys, of which Yahsweh's share was sixty-one,

40. and 16,000 persons, of which Yahweh's share was thirty-two.

41. Moses gave Eleazar, the priest, the share set aside for Yahweh, in accordance with Yahweh's instructions to Moses.

42. As for the half due to the Israelite community, which Moses had separated from that of the soldiers,

43. this half, the community's share, came to 337,500 head of sheep and goats,

44. 36,000 head of cattle,

45. 30,500 donkeys

46. and 16,000 persons.

47. From this half, the share of the community of Israel, Moses took one out of every fifty, man and beast, and gave them to the Levites who had charge of the Holy Tent of Yahweh, according to what Yahweh said to Moses.

48. Then the officers of the army, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, came to Moses

49. and said, "Your servants have numbered the soldiers under their command; not one is missing.

50. And further, we bring as an offering for Yahweh the gold ornaments we have found, armlets and bracelets, signet rings, earrings and necklaces, to make atonement for ourselves before Yahweh."

51. Moses and Eleazar, the priest, accepted this gold from them, all this jewelry.

52. This offering of gold given by them to Yahweh weighed over 400 pounds, all given by the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds.

53. Each of the soldiers took his own loot.

54. But Moses and Eleazar, the priest, received the gold from the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and carried it to the Tent of Meeting as a reminder to Yahweh of the people of Israel.

“Menosprezai vossas tentações e não vos demoreis nelas. Imaginai estar na presença de Jesus. O crucificado se lança em vossos braços e mora no vosso coração. Beijai-Lhe a chaga do lado, dizendo: ‘Aqui está minha esperança; a fonte viva da minha felicidade. Seguro-vos, ó Jesus, e não me aparto de vós, até que me tenhais posto a salvo’”. São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina