SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
30:1 Moses told the leaders of the tribes concerning the Israelites, “This is what the Lord has commanded: 2 If a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath of binding obligation on himself, he must not break his word, but must do whatever he has promised.
3 “If a young woman who is still living in her father’s house makes a vow to the Lord or places herself under an obligation, 4 and her father hears of her vow or the obligation to which she has pledged herself, and her father remains silent about her, then all her vows will stand, and every obligation to which she has pledged herself will stand. 5 But if her father overrules her when he hears about it, then none of her vows or her obligations that she has pledged for herself will stand. And the Lord will release her from it, because her father overruled her.
6 “And if she marries a husband while under a vow, or she uttered anything impulsively by which she has pledged herself, 7 and her husband hears about it but remains silent about her when he hears about it, then her vows will stand and her obligations that she has pledged for herself will stand. 8 But if when her husband hears it he overrules her, then he will nullify the vow she has taken, and whatever she uttered impulsively that she has pledged for herself. And the Lord will release her from it.
9 “But every vow of a widow or of a divorced woman which she has pledged for herself will remain intact. 10 If she made the vow in her husband’s house or put herself under obligation with an oath, 11 and her husband heard about it, but remained silent about her, and did not overrule her, then all her vows will stand, and every obligation which she pledged for herself will stand. 12 But if her husband clearly nullifies them when he hears them, then whatever she says by way of vows or obligations will not stand. Her husband has made them void, and the Lord will release her from them.
13 “Any vow or sworn obligation that would bring affliction to her, her husband can confirm or nullify. 14 But if her husband remains completely silent about her from day to day, he thus confirms all her vows or all her obligations which she is under; he confirms them because he remained silent about her when he heard them. 15 But if he should nullify them after he has heard them, then he will bear her iniquity.”
16 These are the statutes that the Lord commanded Moses, relating to a man and his wife, and a father and his young daughter who is still living in her father’s house.
31:1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Exact vengeance for the Israelites from the Midianites—after that you will be gathered to your people.”
3 So Moses spoke to the people: “Arm men from among you for the war, to attack the Midianites and to execute the Lord’s vengeance on Midian. 4 You must send to the battle 1,000 men from every tribe throughout all the tribes of Israel.” 5 So 1,000 from every tribe, 12,000 armed for battle in all, were provided out of the thousands of Israel.
6 So Moses sent them to the war, 1,000 from every tribe, with Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest, who was in charge of the holy articles and the signal trumpets. 7 They fought against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses, and they killed every male. 8 They killed the kings of Midian in addition to those slain—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba—five Midianite kings. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword.
9 The Israelites took the women of Midian captive along with their little ones, and took all their herds, all their flocks, and all their goods as plunder. 10 They burned all their towns where they lived and all their encampments. 11 They took all the plunder and all the spoils, both people and animals. 12 They brought the captives and the spoils and the plunder to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the Israelite community, to the camp on the rift valley plains of Moab, along the Jordan River across from Jericho. 13 Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the community went out to meet them outside the camp.
14 But Moses was furious with the officers of the army, the commanders over thousands and commanders over hundreds, who had come from service in the war. 15 Moses said to them, “Have you allowed all the women to live? 16 Look, these people through the counsel of Balaam caused the Israelites to act treacherously against the Lord in the matter of Peor—which resulted in the plague among the community of the Lord! 17 Now therefore kill every boy, and kill every woman who has been intimate with a man in bed. 18 But all the young women who have not experienced a man’s bed will be yours.
19 “Any of you who has killed anyone or touched any of the dead, remain outside the camp for seven days; purify yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day. 20 You must purify each garment and everything that is made of skin, everything made of goats’ hair, and everything made of wood.”
21 Then Eleazar the priest said to the men of war who had gone into the battle, “This is the ordinance of the law that the Lord commanded Moses: 22 ‘Only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, 23 everything that may stand the fire, you are to pass through the fire, and it will be ceremonially clean, but it must still be purified with the water of purification. Anything that cannot withstand the fire you must pass through the water. 24 You must wash your clothes on the seventh day, and you will be ceremonially clean, and afterward you may enter the camp.’”