Zebah and Zalmunna Routed
1Then the men of Ephraim said to #8.1: Lit himGideon, “What is this thing that you have done to us, not calling upon us when you went to fight against Midian?” And they quarreled with him vehemently. 2But he said to them, “What have I done now in comparison with you? Is the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim not better than the vintage of Abiezer? 3God has handed over to you the leaders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and what was I able to do in comparison with you?” Then their #8.3: Lit spiritanger toward him subsided when he said #8.3: Lit this thingthat.
4Then Gideon and the three hundred men who were with him came to the Jordan and crossed over, exhausted yet still pursuing. 5And he said to the men of Succoth, “Please give loaves of bread to the people who are #8.5: Lit at my feetfollowing me, for they are exhausted, and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.” 6But the leaders of Succoth said, “#8.6: Lit Is the palm of...; i.e., are you so sure of victory thatAre the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your army?” 7So Gideon said, “For this answer, when the Lord has handed over to me Zebah and Zalmunna, I will #8.7: Or tramplethrash your #8.7: Lit fleshbodies with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.” 8Then he went up from there to #8.8: In Gen 32:30, PenielPenuel and spoke similarly to them; and the men of Penuel answered him just as the men of Succoth had answered. 9So he said also to the men of #8.9: Lit Penuel, saying,Penuel, “When I return safely, I will tear down this tower.”
10Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their #8.10: Or campsarmies with them, about fifteen thousand men, all who were left of the entire #8.10: Or camparmy of the #8.10: Lit sonspeople of the east; for the fallen were 120,000 #8.10: Lit men who drew the swordswordsmen. 11Gideon went up by the way of those who lived in tents to the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and he #8.11: Lit struckattacked the camp when the camp was unsuspecting. 12When Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued them and captured the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and routed the entire #8.12: Or camparmy.
13Then Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle #8.13: Or fromby the ascent of Heres. 14And he captured a youth from #8.14: Lit the men ofSuccoth and questioned him. Then the youth wrote down for him the leaders of Succoth and its elders, seventy-seven men. 15And he came to the men of Succoth and said, “Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me, saying, ‘#8.15: Lit Is the palm of...; i.e., are you so sure of victoryAre the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are weary?’ ” 16Then he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and he #8.16: Lit taughtdisciplined the men of Succoth with them. 17And he tore down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city.
18Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “Where were the men whom you killed at Tabor?” But they said, “You and they were alike, each one #8.18: Lit like the form of the sonsresembling the son of a king.” 19And he said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As the Lord lives, if only you had let them live, I would not kill you.” 20So he said to Jether his firstborn, “Rise, 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 attack us; for as the man, so is his strength.” So Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescent amulets which were on their camels’ necks.
22Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, both you and your son, your son’s son as well, for you have saved us from the hand of Midian!” 23But Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you.” 24Yet Gideon said to them, “I would #8.24: Lit request a requestrequest of you, that each of you give me #8.24: Or a nose ringan earring from his plunder.” (For they had gold earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) 25And they said, “We will certainly give them to you.” So they spread out a garment, and every one of them tossed an earring there from his plunder. 26The weight of the gold earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold, apart from the crescent amulets, the ear pendants, and the purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and apart from the neck chains that were on their camels’ necks. 27Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah; but all Israel #8.27: I.e., against Godcommitted infidelity with it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his household.
Forty Years of Peace
28So Midian was subdued before the sons of Israel, and they did not lift up their heads anymore. And the land was undisturbed for forty years in the days of Gideon.
29Then Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and lived in his own house. 30Now Gideon had seventy sons who #8.30: Lit came from his loinswere his direct descendants, for he had many wives. 31And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he #8.31: Lit appointed his namenamed him Abimelech. 32And Gideon the son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
33Then it came about, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the sons of Israel again #8.33: I.e., against Godcommitted infidelity with the Baals, and made Baal-berith their god. 34So the sons of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had saved them from the hands of all their enemies on every side; 35nor did they show kindness to the household of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) in accordance with all the good that he had done for Israel.