|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:4-12 Gideon's men were faint, yet pursuing; fatigued with what they had done, yet eager to do more against their enemies. It is many a time the true Christian's case, fainting, and yet pursuing. The world knows but little of the persevering and successful struggle the real believer maintains with his sinful heart. But he betakes himself to that Divine strength, in the faith of which he began his conflict, and by the supply of which alone he can finish it in triumph.
Verse 11. - Gideon went up. See ver. 8, note. Implying that his direction was eastward away from the Jordan valley. Nobah was in the half-tribe of Manasseh. Nobah, who gave his name to the city, which was before called Kenath, seems to have been of the family of Machir (Numbers 32:42). Jogbehah was in the tribe of Gad (Numbers 32:35). These two cities appear to have been on the eastern frontier of their respective tribes, but the exact site of them is utterly unknown. It is a conjecture that possibly Kunawat may be Nobah, retaining its ancient name of Kenath. East of these cities was the desert, inhabited by nomads dwelling in tents, where Karkor was, and where Zebah and Zalmunna had encamped out of reach, as they thought, of their pursuers. But Gideon, falling suddenly upon them, routed the host, and took the two kings prisoners (see Psalm 83:11).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwell in tents,.... That is of the Arabians and Kedarenes, who dwelt in tents for the sake of feeding their flocks, as the Targum and Jarchi; he did not pursue them in the direct road, but went a roundabout way, where these people dwelt, that he might surprise the host of the kings of Midian at an unawares: and he came upon them:
on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah; the first was in the tribe of Manasseh, and the latter in the tribe of Gad, and both it seems were on the confines of those tribes; see Numbers 32:35 the Targum calls the latter Ramatha; both words have the signification of height in them, this city very probably being built on an eminence. According to Bunting (x) Penuel was two miles from Succoth, Nobah two miles from Penuel, and Jogbehah four miles from Nobah and Karkor four miles from Jogbehah, whither he pursued the kings, and took them, after he had discomfited the army:
and smote the host, for the host was secure: having got over Jordan, and at night very probably, they thought themselves safe from Gideon's army, who they could have no thought that they would come up with them so soon, on foot, weary, and fatigued.
(x) Travels of the Patriarchs, &c. p. 109.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east—He tracked the fugitives across the mountain range of Gilead to the northeast of the Jabbok, and there came upon them unexpectedly while they were resting secure among their own nomadic tribes. Jogbehah is supposed to be Ramoth-gilead; and, therefore, the Midianites must have found refuge at or near Abela, "Abel-cheramim," "the plain of the vineyards."
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