R. Yehudah ben Shomeyr
Num. 31:1-2 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.
Perhaps we can look at this verse in regards to unfinished business. When people are about to die they try and tie up the loose ends of their lives so they can leave this world in peace and not leave unfinished business that may burden their family and friends. Because after all it was Moses who fumbled the ball and Pinchas (Phineas) who picked it up (Num.25).
It was on Moses watch that the Nasi (Prince) of Simeon took a Midianite Princess to his tent to commit fornication in front of all Israel and it was Pinchas that put a stop to it. So this transgression was not handled as it should have been by Moses and so he has to make this up before he is permitted to pass from this world to the next. Moses, not handling this issue with the Nasi of Simeon was a sin of omission on Moses’ part and to rectify the situation he had to “avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites.” Just was Rav Sha’ul (Paul) tells us to do.
II Cor. 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.