Judges Chapter 8  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Judg 8
Gideon Defeats Zebah and Zalmunna

1And the men of Ephraim said to him, “What is this that you have done to us in that you did not call us when you went to fight against Midian?” And they contended against him strongly.

2He said to them, “What have I done now in comparison with you? Isn’t the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?
  3God has given into your hand the commanders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb! What was I able to do in comparison with you?” Then their fiery spirit against him calmed down when he spoke that word.

4Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted, yet pursuing.
  5And he said to the men of Sukkoth, “Please give loaves of bread to the people who follow me, for they are exhausted and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”

6But the leaders of Sukkoth said, “Is the palm of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your army?”

7So Gideon said, “Well then, when Yahweh has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, then I will thresh your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briars.”
  8And he went up from there to Penuel and spoke to them in the same way, and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Sukkoth had answered.
  9So he spoke also to the men of Penuel, saying, “When I come again in peace, I will tear down this tower.”

10Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their armies were with them, about 15,000 men, all who remained of all the army of the children of the east, for those who had fallen were 120,000 men who drew sword.
  11Gideon went up by the Road of the Tent Dwellers on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah and he struck the army; for the army was feeling secure.
  12Zebah and Zalmunna fled, but he pursued after them and he captured the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and threw the whole army into a panic.

13Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle, by the Ascent of Heres.
  14And he captured a young man of the men of Sukkoth and questioned him; and he wrote down for him the leaders of Sukkoth and its elders, 77 men.
  15And he came to the men of Sukkoth and said, “Look! Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you ridiculed me, saying, ‘Is the palm of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are exhausted?’”
  16So he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briars, and with them he taught the men of Sukkoth.
  17And he tore down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city.

18Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “What kind of men were they whom you killed at Tabor?” They answered, “As you are, so were they. Each one resembled the son of a king.”

19And he said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As Yahweh lives, if you had let them live, I would not kill you.”
  20And he said to Jether his firstborn, “Rise up and kill them!” But the youth did not draw his sword, for he was afraid because he was still a youth.

21Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Rise up yourself and fall on us; for as the man is, so is his strength.” Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescent-shaped ornaments that were on their camels’ necks.

Gideon's Ephod

22Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, even you and also your son and also your son’s son, for you have saved us out of the hand of Midian.”

23But Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. Yahweh will rule over you.”
  24Then Gideon said to them, “I have a request to request of you. Give me, each of you, an earring from his plunder” (for they had gold earrings because they were Ishmaelites).

25They answered, “We will give, yes, give them over to you.” So they spread a garment and each man threw an earring of his plunder onto it.
  26The weight of the golden earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of golda besides the crescents, and the pendants and the purple clothing that was on the kings of Midian, and besides the chains that were around their camels’ necks.
  27And Gideon made it into an ephod and put it in his city, in Ophrah, and all Israel prostituted themselves by going after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his house.

28And Midian was subdued before the children of Israel so that they lifted up their heads no more. The land had rest 40 years in the days of Gideon.
  29Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and lived in his own house.

The Death of Gideon

30Now Gideon had 70 sons who came out of his thigh,b because he had many wives.
  31And his concubine who was in Shechem, she also bore him a son, and he called his name Abimelech.
  32And Gideon the son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

33It came to pass when Gideon died that the children of Israel turned back and prostituted themselves by going after the Baals, and made Baal-berith their god.
  34The children of Israel did not remember Yahweh their God who had delivered them out of the hand of all their enemies on every side;
  35nor did they show faithfulness to the house of Jerubbaal, Gideon, in accordance with all the good things that he had done for Israel.

Roughly 42.5 pounds (19 kg)
Euphemism for genital area.

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