Some things purified by water and some by fire

Numbers Bible Background

03.03.2018 – Old Testament: Num 31.21–24

To read the Bible in a year, read Numbers 30–31 on March 3, In the year of our Lord 2018

By Don Ruhl

After Israel attacked Midian, the Lord, through Eleazar the high priest, explained that everything they took from the Midianites needed purification,

Then Eleazar the priest said to the men of war who had gone to the battle, “This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD commanded Moses: ‘Only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, everything that can endure fire, you shall put through the fire, and it shall be clean; and it shall be purified with the water of purification. But all that cannot endure fire you shall put through water. And you shall wash your clothes on the seventh day and be clean, and afterward you may come into the camp’” (Numbers 31.21–24).

Whether by water or by fire, the Israelites, believers in the one true and living God, had defeated Midian, worshipers of false and dead gods, and plundered them. Therefore, everything Israel took needed purifying.


  • What had Midian done to Israel that the Lord wanted Midian destroyed? (See Numbers 25.16–18.)
  • How many precious metals do you own, if any?

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