The Meaning of Numbers 31:14 Explained

Numbers 31:14

KJV: And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.

YLT: and Moses is wroth against the inspectors of the force, chiefs of the thousands, and chiefs of the hundreds, who are coming in from the host of the battle.

Darby: And Moses was wroth with the officers of the army, with the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, who came from the service of the war;

ASV: And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, who came from the service of the war.

What does Numbers 31:14 Mean?

Context Summary

Numbers 31:1-20 - The Destruction Of The Midianites
In reading such a chapter as this we must remember that the Bible is the history of the slow advance of a nation toward the knowledge of God, and its preparation to become one of the greatest of spiritual forces. That process could only be a prolonged one. Only by slow degrees could the grossness of the period be eliminated. Our Lord distinctly said that certain things were allowed for a time because of the hardness of their hearts. See Matthew 19:8. Many times He made the clear distinction between what "they of old" had said and what He said. See Matthew 5:21; Matthew 5:27; Matthew 5:33; Matthew 5:38; Matthew 5:43. The highest law for dealing with our enemies is found in his teachings.
The first steps of purification had to do with the women who might introduce heathen vices into Israelite homes, and the leisurely dealing with spoils and captives, so that passion might have time to cool. [source]

Chapter Summary: Numbers 31

1  The Midianites are spoiled, and Balaam slain
13  Moses is angry with the officers, for saving the women alive
19  How the soldiers, with their captives and spoil, are to be purified
25  The proportion in which the prey is to be divided
48  The voluntary offering unto the treasure of the Lord

What do the individual words in Numbers 31:14 mean?

But was angry Moses with the officers of the army [with] the captains over thousands and captains over hundreds who had come from the battle
וַיִּקְצֹ֣ף מֹשֶׁ֔ה עַ֖ל פְּקוּדֵ֣י הֶחָ֑יִל שָׂרֵ֤י הָאֲלָפִים֙ וְשָׂרֵ֣י הַמֵּא֔וֹת הַבָּאִ֖ים מִצְּבָ֥א הַמִּלְחָמָֽה

וַיִּקְצֹ֣ף  But  was  angry 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: קָצַף  
Sense: to be displeased, be angry, fret oneself, be wroth.
מֹשֶׁ֔ה  Moses 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: מֹשֶׁה  
Sense: the prophet and lawgiver, leader of the exodus.
פְּקוּדֵ֣י  the  officers 
Parse: Verb, Qal, QalPassParticiple, masculine plural construct
Root: פָּקַד 
Sense: to attend to, muster, number, reckon, visit, punish, appoint, look after, care for.
הֶחָ֑יִל  of  the  army 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: חַיִל 
Sense: strength, might, efficiency, wealth, army.
שָׂרֵ֤י  [with]  the  captains  over 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: סָרַר 
Sense: prince, ruler, leader, chief, chieftain, official, captain.
הָאֲלָפִים֙  thousands 
Parse: Article, Number, masculine plural
Root: אֶלֶף 
Sense: a thousand.
וְשָׂרֵ֣י  and  captains  over 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: סָרַר 
Sense: prince, ruler, leader, chief, chieftain, official, captain.
הַמֵּא֔וֹת  hundreds 
Parse: Article, Number, feminine plural
Root: מֵאָה 
Sense: hundred.
הַבָּאִ֖ים  who  had  come 
Parse: Article, Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine plural
Root: בֹּוא 
Sense: to go in, enter, come, go, come in.
הַמִּלְחָמָֽה  the  battle 
Parse: Article, Noun, feminine singular
Root: מִלְחָמָה  
Sense: battle, war.