Booty (בָּז, baz, Jer 49:32, elsewhere usually " prey; מִלקוֹחִ malko'iach, Nu 31:32, elsewhere usually "prey;" משׁסָּה, meshissah', Hab 2:6; Zep 1:13, elsewhere "spoil"). This consisted of captives of both sexes, cattle, and whatever a captured city might contain, especially metallic treasures (Michaelis, Mos. Recht, 3:235 sq.). Within the limits of Canaan no captives were to be made (De 20:14,16); beyond those limits, in case of warlike resistance, all the women and children were to be made captives, and the men put to death. A special charge was given to destroy the " pictures and images" of the Canaanites, as tending to idolatry (Nu 33:52). The case of Amalek was a special one in which Saul was bidden to destroy the cattle. So also was that of the expedition against Arad, in which the people-took a vow to destroy the cities, and that of Jericho, on which the curse of God seems to have rested, and the gold and silver, etc., of which were viewed as reserved wholly for Him (1Sa 15:2-3; Nu 21:2; Jos 6:19). SEE ACCURSED. The law of booty was that it should be divided equally between the army who won it and the people of Israel, but of the former half one head in every 500 was reserved to God, and appropriated to the priests, and of the latter one in every 50 was similarly reserved and appropriated to the Levites (Nu 31:26-47). As regarded the army, David added a regulation that the baggage-guard should share equally with the troops engaged. The present made by David out of his booty to the elders of towns in Judah was an act of grateful courtesy merely, though perhaps suggested by the law, Numbers 1. c. So the spoils devoted by him to provide for the Temple must be regarded as a free-will offering (1Sa 30:24-26; 2Sa 8:11; 1Ch 26:27). These doubtless were the best of the booty, SEE AKROTHINION, (comp. Herod. 8:121; Pausan. i, 28, 2; Livy, 10:46; Flor. i, 7) which fell to the king. SEE SPOIL.

Definition of booty

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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