Judges 8
International Standard Version

Gideon Assuages the Anger of Ephraim

1Later on, the descendants of Ephraim spoke to Gideon.a They argued vehemently, “What are you doing to us? You never called us! But you went out to fight Midian!”

2“What have I accomplished compared to you?” he responded. “Isn’t what’s left from Ephraim’s harvest better than the best vintage of Abiezer? 3God gave Oreb and Zeeb, the leaders of Midian, into your control. What was I able to do compared to you?” When he said this, their anger calmed down.

4Meanwhile, Gideon and the 300 soldiers with him came to the Jordan, exhausted but continuing their pursuit. 5He told the men of Succoth, “Please give loaves of bread to the soldiers who are following behind me. They’re tired, and I’m pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”

6But the officials of Succoth replied, “Do you have Zebah and Zalmunna in custodyb already, so that we should give food to your army?”

7So Gideon responded, “Okay then, but when the LORD has turned over Zebah and Zalmunna into my control, I’m going to whip you with thorns and briers from the desert!”

8Then he left there to go to Penuel and asked the same thing from them, but the men of Penuel responded the same way the men of Succoth did. 9So he responded the same way to the men of Penuel, “When I come back safely,c I’m going to tear down this tower.”

10Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, along with their armies, about 15,000 men who survived from the entire army of the group fromd the east, since 120,000 swordsmen had already fallen. 11Gideon went up by a caravan route east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked their encampment when they were off guard. 12When Zebah and Zalmunna escaped, he pursued them, captured those two kings of Midian,e and threw the entire army into a panic.

13Then Joash’s son Gideon returned from the battle along the Heres Ascent. 14He caught a young man from Succoth and interrogated him. He wrote out for Gideonf a list of the 77 officials of Succoth, including its elders. 15Then Gideong approached the men of Succoth and announced, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna. You criticized me about them when you said, ‘Do you have Zebah and Zalmunna in custodyh already, so that we should give food to your weary army?’” 16So he took the elders of the city and disciplined the men of Succoth with thorns and briers from the desert. 17He also demolished the tower in Penuel and killed the men of the city.

18Afterwards, he asked Zebah and Zalmunna, “What were the men like whom you killed at Tabor?”

They answered, “Like you, each one like the son of a king…”

19Gideon replied, “They were my brothers—sons from my own mother. As the LORD lives, if you had let them live, I wouldn’t be killing you.” 20Then he told his firstborn son Jether, “Get up and kill them!” But he was afraid, since he was still only a youngster.

21Then Zebah and Zalmunna responded, “Get up and attack us yourself, since a man’s valor is only as good as the man himself.” So Gideon got up, killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the crescent-shaped necklaces that adorned the necks of their camels.

22Then the men of Israel asked Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son, and your grandsons—because you have delivered us from Midian’s domination.”

23But Gideon told them, “I won’t rule over you and my son won’t rule over you. The LORD will rule you.”

Gideon Falls into Idolatry

24But Gideon also added, “I would like to ask that each of you give me a ring from his war booty” because, as Ishmaelites, the Midianitesi had been wearing gold rings.

25They responded, “We’ll be happy to give them.” So they laid out a garment, and each of them contributed a ring from his war booty. 26The weight of the rings that he had asked for was 1,700 gold coins,j not counting the crescent-shaped necklaces, pendants, and purple garments worn by the Midian kings, and also not counting the bands adorning the necks of their camels.

27Gideon crafted the booty into an ephodk and enshrined it in his home town of Ophrah. Then all of Israel committed spiritual adultery with it there, and it became a snare for Gideon and his household.

Gideon Dies

28Midian remained subjugated to the Israelis, and they didn’t so much as raise their heads anymore, so the land was peaceful for 40 years during the lifetime of Gideon. 29Afterwards, Joash’s son Jerubbaal went home and retired.l 30Gideon raised 70 sons as his direct descendants, since he had many wives. 31His mistressm in Shechem bore him a son whom he named Abimelech.n 32Later, Joash’s son Gideon died at a ripeo old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash at Ophrah, which belonged to the descendants of Abiezer.

33Later on, as soon as Gideon was dead, the Israelis again committed spiritual adultery with various Canaanite deitiesp and appointed Baal-berithq to be their god. 34The Israelis did not remember the LORD their God, who continually delivered them from the domination of their enemies who surrounded them on every side. 35And they showed no gracious love to the household of Jerubbaal—also known as Gideon—despite all the good that he had done for Israel.


Footnotes:
a 8:1 Lit. him
b 8:6 Lit. have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna
c 8:9 Lit. return in peace
d 8:10 Lit. the sons of
e 8:12 Lit. Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna,
f 8:14 Lit. him
g 8:15 Lit. he
h 8:15 Lit. have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna
i 8:24 Lit. they
j 8:26 The Heb. lacks coins
k 8:27 cf. Lev 8:7; a golden garment rightly worn only by the Levitical high priest
l 8:29 Lit. lived
m 8:31 Or concubine; i.e. a secondary wife
n 8:31 The Heb. name Abimelech means My father is king
o 8:32 Lit. good
p 8:33:1 Lit. baals
q 8:33 The Heb. name Baal-berith means Lord of the Covenant



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