Matot – Sheini

The War Against Midian

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

You may recall that G-d had previously told Moshe to attack the Midianites for their plot against the Jews. (See the first aliyah of parshas Pinchas, chapter 25.) Here, the army of Israel mobilizes for the assault. They took 1,000 volunteers from each Tribe, for a total of 12,000 troops. They were sent into battle under the command of Pinchas.

Israel routed Midian, killing the men and taking the women and children captive. Among the casualties were the Midianite kings and Balaam. The Jews took the spoils of war and razed the cities. The army returned victorious and brought the spoils to Moshe, Elazar and the people.

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