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BeMidbar 31:40 states that, after the war with the Midyanim, in which Bnei Yisrael were instructed to take captives and booty, and to pay taxes to HaShem from this plunder, they "paid" a total of thirty-two (32) people.

What does that mean? Were the captives enslaved? Did they perform work in the Mishkan? What was their status and what became of them?

  • IIRC, they were, in fact, made slaves, but to whom specifically remains unclear to me. Kohanim, maybe? Perhaps they were sold at a premium like other objects owned by the BhM... – Isaac Kotlicky Mar 25 '15 at 22:29

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