The Israelites take revenge on the Midianites for leading them into idolatry back in chapter 25. But wait! Wasn’t that the Moabites? Anyway, the Israelites kill all the men (including poor Balaam and, I assume, his donkey, who tried to protect them), but it’s not good enough. Moses yells at his generals the infamous command “kill all the boys and all the women who have had intercourse with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.” (v 17 NLT). Then the plunder is divided among the tribe – 675,000 sheep and goats, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys, and 32,000 virgin girls. All the jewelry (about 420 lbs worth of gold) was given to the priests as an offering. And not one single Israelite was lost in battle. Does this sound like a legend to you, or is it just me?
The tribes of Reuben and Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, decide to remain on the east side of the Jordan River. The Israelites have finally completed their journey and are about to enter the Promised Land. Even back then, it doesn’t seem reasonable that this journey could have taken 40 years! (Lost, much?)
Also, this might be a good place to point out that there is absolutely no evidence that the Exodus ever took place.