31:7 They fought against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses, and they killed every male.10
sn Many modern biblical scholars assume that this passage is fictitious. The text says that they killed every male, but Judges accounts for the Midianites. The texts can be harmonized rather simply—they killed every Midianite who was in the battle. Midianite tribes and cities dotted the whole region, but that does not mean Israel went and killed every single one of them. There apparently was a core of Midianites whom Balaam had influenced to pervert Israel.