Gideon Defeats Zebah and Zalmunna
1 # [ch. 12:1; 2 Sam. 19:41] Then the men of Ephraim said to him, “What is this that you have done to us, not to call us when you went to fight against Midian?” And they accused him fiercely. 2And he said to them, “What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not #Isa. 24:13; Jer. 49:9; Obad. 5; Mic. 7:1the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the grape harvest of Abiezer? 3#ch. 7:24, 25 God has given into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. What have I been able to do in comparison with you?” #[Prov. 15:1]Then their anger#8:3 Hebrew their spirit against him subsided when he said this.
4And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and #ch. 7:6the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing. 5So he said to the men of #Gen. 33:17; Ps. 60:6Succoth, “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.” 6And the officials of Succoth said, #[1 Kgs. 20:11] “Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, #[1 Sam. 25:11]that we should give bread to your army?” 7So Gideon said, “Well then, when the Lord has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, #ver. 16I will flail your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.” 8And from there he went up to #Gen. 32:30, 31; 1 Kgs. 12:25Penuel, and spoke to them in the same way, and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered. 9And he said to the men of Penuel, #[1 Kgs. 22:27, 28] “When I come again in peace, #ver. 17I will break down this tower.”
10Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their army, about 15,000 men, all who were left of all the army of #See ch. 6:3 the people of the East, for there had fallen 120,000 men #ch. 20:2, 15, 17, 25, 35, 46; 2 Sam. 24:9; 2 Kgs. 3:26; 1 Chr. 21:5who drew the sword. 11And Gideon went up by the way of the tent dwellers east of #Num. 32:35, 42 Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the army, for the army felt #ch. 18:27secure. 12And Zebah and Zalmunna fled, and he pursued them #Ps. 83:11and captured the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and he threw all the army into a panic.
13Then Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle by the ascent of Heres. 14And he captured a young man of Succoth and questioned him. And he wrote down for him the officials and elders of Succoth, seventy-seven men. 15And he came to the men of Succoth and said, “Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me, saying, #ver. 6‘Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are exhausted?’” 16And he took the elders of the city, and he took thorns of the wilderness and briers and with them taught the men of Succoth a lesson. 17#[1 Kgs. 12:25]And he broke down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city.
18Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “Where are the men whom you killed at #[ch. 4:6]Tabor?” They answered, “As you are, so were they. Every one of them resembled the son of a king.” 19And he said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. #See Ruth 3:13As the Lord lives, if you had saved them alive, I would not kill you.” 20So he said to Jether his firstborn, “Rise and kill them!” But the young man did not draw his sword, for he was afraid, because he was still a young man. 21Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Rise yourself and fall upon us, for as the man is, so is his strength.” And Gideon arose and #Ps. 83:11 killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and he took #ver. 26; Isa. 3:18the crescent ornaments that were on the necks of their camels.
22Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also, for you have saved us from the hand of Midian.” 23Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; #[1 Sam. 8:7; 10:19; 12:12, 17, 19]the Lord will rule over you.” 24And Gideon said to them, “Let me make a request of you: every one of you give me the earrings from his spoil.” (For they had golden earrings, #[Gen. 37:25, 28, 36; 39:1]because they were Ishmaelites.) 25And they answered, “We will willingly give them.” And they spread a cloak, and every man threw in it the earrings of his spoil. 26And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels#8:26 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams of gold, besides #ver. 21 the crescent ornaments and #Isa. 3:19the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian, and besides the collars that were around the necks of their camels. 27And Gideon #ch. 17:5; 18:14, 17; See Ex. 28:6-35 made an ephod of it and put it in his city, #ch. 6:24 in Ophrah. And all Israel #ver. 33; ch. 2:17; Ex. 34:15; Ps. 106:39 whored after it there, and it became a #Ex. 23:33; Deut. 7:16snare to Gideon and to his family. 28So Midian was subdued before the people of Israel, and they raised their heads no more. #[ch. 3:11; 5:31]And the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.
The Death of Gideon
29 # ch. 6:32; 7:1 Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and lived in his own house. 30Now Gideon had #ch. 9:2, 5seventy sons, his own offspring,#8:30 Hebrew who came from his own loins for he had many wives. 31And his concubine #ch. 9:1, 2who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he called his name Abimelech. 32And Gideon the son of Joash died #Gen. 15:15; 25:8; Job 5:26 in a good old age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, #ch. 6:24at Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
33 # [ch. 2:19] As soon as Gideon died, the people of Israel turned again and #See ver. 27 whored after the Baals and made #ch. 9:4, 46Baal-berith their god. 34And the people of Israel #Ps. 78:11, 42; 106:13, 21did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies on every side, 35#See ch. 9:16-18and they did not show steadfast love to the family of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) in return for all the good that he had done to Israel.