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

“palm...hand.” The Hebrew text uses two different words for hand. There was a practice in the ancient near east and Egypt of cutting off the hand of the dead enemy to count the number of defeated men. It may be in this case that the leaders of Succoth were saying that Gideon had not yet defeated the Midianites and cut off their hands. In any case, the leaders of Succoth were afraid that Gideon would not succeed in putting an end to Zebah and Zalmunna and were afraid of their revenge for supporting Gideon.


Commentary for: Judges 8:6