From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

Within Canaan no captives were to be made; all that breathed were to be destroyed ( Deuteronomy 20:14;  Deuteronomy 20:16); but outside, if resistance were offered, the women and children were to be made captives, the men slain. Pictures and images, as temptations to idolatry, were to be destroyed ( Numbers 33:52). In the ease of Amalek the very cattle Saul was commanded to destroy ( 1 Samuel 15:2-3). So also in the case of Arad ( Numbers 21:1-3) and Jericho, where everything was put under the Cherem or curse and became the Lord's ( Joshua 6:19-21). Abraham devoted one tenth of the spoil of Sodom, rescued from Chedorlaomer, to Jehovah through Melchizedek the king-priest ( Genesis 14:19-24).

David "made a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day" that the part of the army which guarded the families and baggage should share equally in the spoil with the troops actually engaged. The occasion of its enactment was upon the capture of immense spoil from Amalek, a part of it recovered property of Ziklag ( 1 Samuel 30:25, etc.). He also sent presents of the spoil to those of the eiders of Judah who were his friends. Indeed by the law ( Numbers 31:26-47) booty was to be shared equally between the army engaged and Israel; only that of the former half only one 500th part was appropriated to the priests of God, of the latter one 50th to the Levites. The spoils dedicated by David and his chiefs to the temple were freewill offerings ( 2 Samuel 8:11;  1 Chronicles 26:27).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [2]

Shâlâl (שָׁלָל, Strong'S #7998), “booty; prey; spoil; plunder; gain.” This word occurs 75 times and in all periods of biblical Hebrew. Shâlâl literally means “prey,” which an animal tracks down, kills, and eats: “Benjamin shall raven as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey [ shâlâl ], and at night he shall divide the spoil” (Gen. 49:27—the first occurrence).

The word may mean “booty” or “spoil of war,” which includes anything and everything a soldier or army captures from an enemy and carries off: “But the women, and the little ones, … even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself …” (Deut. 20:14). An entire nation can be “plunder” or a “spoil of war” (Jer. 50:10). To “save one’s own life as booty” is to have one’s life spared (cf. Jer. 21:9).

Shâlâl is used in a few passages of “private plunder”: “Woe unto them that … turn aside the needy from judgment, and … take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!” (Isa. 10:1-2).

This word may also represent “private gain”: “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil” (Prov. 31:11).

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Booty. Booty consisted of captives of both sexes, cattle, and whatever a captured city might contain, especially metallic treasures. Within the limits of Canaan, no captives were to be made,  Deuteronomy 20:14;  Deuteronomy 20:16.

Beyond these limits, in case of warlike resistance, all the women and children were to be made captives, and the men put to death. The law of booty is given in  Numbers 31:26-47. As regarded the army, David added a regulation that, the baggage guard should share equally with the troops engaged.  1 Samuel 30:24-25.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [4]

spoils taken in war,  Numbers 31:27-32 . According to the law of Moses, the booty was to be divided equally between those who were in the battle and those who were in the camp, whatever disparity there might be in the number of each party. The law farther required that, out of that part of the spoils which was assigned to the fighting men, the Lord's share should be separated; and for every five hundred men, oxen, asses, sheep, &c, they were to take one for the high priest, as being the Lord's first fruits. And out of the other moiety, belonging to the children of Israel, they were to give for every fifty men, oxen, asses, sheep, &c, one to the Levites.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

 Deuteronomy 20 16 Numbers 33:52 Numbers 31:26-47 1 Samuel 30:24-26 2 Samuel 8:11 1 Chronicles 26:27

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

Spoils taken in war were to be shared equally by those who fought and those who guarded the camp,  Numbers 31:27-32 . The Lord's portion was first deducted from the whole; and in after-times the king appropriated a large part to himself.

King James Dictionary [7]

BOOT'Y, n.

1. Spoil taken from an enemy in war plunder pillage. 2. That which is seized by violence and robbery.

To play booty is to play dishonestly with an intent to lose.

Holman Bible Dictionary [8]

 Numbers 31:53 Jeremiah 15:13 Ezekiel 25:7

Webster's Dictionary [9]

(n.) That which is seized by violence or obtained by robbery, especially collective spoil taken in war; plunder; pillage.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [10]

BOOTY . See War. Cf. Ban.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [11]


Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [12]

( בָּז , Baz,  Jeremiah 49:32, elsewhere usually " prey; מִלְקוֹחִ malko'iach,  Numbers 31:32, elsewhere usually "prey;" מְשְׁסָּה , Meshissah',  Habakkuk 2:6;  Zephaniah 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 ( Deuteronomy 20:14;  Deuteronomy 20:16); 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 ( Numbers 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 ( 1 Samuel 15:2-3;  Numbers 21:2;  Joshua 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 ( Numbers 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 ( 1 Samuel 30:24-26;  2 Samuel 8:11;  1 Chronicles 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).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

boot´i ( בּז , bāz and בּז , baz ): "Booty" is the translation of bāz or baz , usually rendered "prey" and "spoil" ( Jeremiah 49:32 ); of malḳōaḥ , "prey," "booty" ( Numbers 31:32 , "the booty - the rest of the prey," the Revised Version (British and American) "the prey, over and above the booty," bāz ); of meshiṣṣāh , "spoil" ( Habakkuk 2:7;  Zephaniah 1:13; the Revised Version (British and American) "spoil"); of ōphéleia , "gain" (2 Macc 8:20). " Booty respects what is of personal service to the captor; spoils whatever serves to designate his triumph; prey includes whatever gratifies the appetite and is to be consumed" (Crabb, English Synonymes ). Persons (for slaves, etc.) might be part of the booty. See also Spoil .