SPOIL (Heb. bizzâh, meshissâh, shōd, shālāl, Gr. harpagē, skylon). The plunder taken from the enemy in war—pillage, booty, loot. The spoils of war were divided equally between those who went into battle and those who were left behind in camp (
SPOIL. “Spoil” is the KJV tr. of nine different Heb. nominal forms, and the verb “to spoil” trs. five additional different Heb. roots; thus KJV trs. some fifteen different Heb. words by this one Eng. word. “Booty” is the KJV tr. of three different Heb. words.
When Israel returned from the victory over the Midiantites, they brought the spoils to Moses and Eleazar for distribution (
Sometimes, prior to an assault, a city or tribe might be “devoted” to God, which meant that everything animate was to be destroyed, all precious metals and objects given to God, and the remainder burned or rendered useless (
J. Pedersen, Israel: Its Life and Culture, Vols III-IV (1940), 1-32; R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel (1961), 255-257.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)