Numbers 31:3
Arm some: Exo 17:9-13 avenge the Lord: It was God's quarrel, not their own, that they were now to take up. These people were idolaters, and had seduced the Israelites to practise the same abominations. Idolatry is an offence against God; and the civil power has no authority to meddle with what belongs to Him, without especial directions, certified, as in this case, in the most unequivocal manner. Private revenge, ambition, or avarice were to have no place in this business: Jehovah is to be avenged; and through Him, the children of Israel - Num 31:2, because they were nearly ruined by their idolatries. If Jehovah, instead of punishing sinners by earthquakes, pestilence, or famine,is pleased expressly to command any person or people to avenge his cause, this commission justifies, nay sanctifies, war, massacre, or devastation. Though none at present shew such a commission, yet the Israelites could; and it is therefore absurd to censure Moses, Joshua, and Israel, for the dreadful slaughter made by them. God himself passed sentence of condemnation, and employed them merely as ministers of his vengeance; and unless it could be proved that the criminals did not deserve their doom, or that God had no right to punish his rebellious creatures, such objectors only shew their enmity to God by becoming the unsolicited advocates of his enemies. Num 25:11, Num 25:13, Exo 17:16, Lev 26:25, Jdg 5:2, Jdg 5:23, 2Ki 9:7, 2Ki 10:30, Jer 46:10, Jer 50:28 Reciprocal: Gen 37:28 - Midianites Psa 149:7 - General