Judges 8:10
Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) In Karkor.—This was the scene of the third battle, or massacre. When they had reached this distant point they probably felt secure. Karkor means, “a safe enclosure,” and the Vulg., regarding it as an ordinary noun, renders it, “where Zebah and Zalmunna were resting.” Eusebius and Jerome identify Karkor with a fortress named Karkaria, a day’s journey north of Petra; but, from the mention of Nobah and Jogbehah in the next verse, this seems to be too far south. If so, it may be Karkagheisch, not far from Amman (Rabbath Ammon), mentioned by Burckhardt. It was, however, “at a very great distance” (Jos., Antt. viii. 6, § 5 from the original scene of battle.

Jdg 8:10. There fell a hundred and twenty thousand men — Such a terrible execution did they make among themselves, and so easy a prey were they to Israel. That drew the sword — That is, persons expert and exercised in war, besides the retainers to them.

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.Zebah and Zalmunna seem to have fled nearly due east to Karkor, which was probably an enclosure of some kind (perhaps a walled sheepfold, compare Numbers 31:32 note). Its site is unknown; but it was near Nobah, in the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead Numbers 32:40, and Jogbehah was in the tribe of Gad Numbers 32:34-35. Gideon, perhaps taking a circuit so as to come upon them from the east, fell suddenly upon them, apparently at night, surprised them, and smote them. Jud 8:10-27. Zebah and Zalmunna Taken.

10. Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor—a town on the eastern confines of Gad. The wreck of the Midianite army halted there.

i.e. Persons expert and exercised in war, besides the retainers to them, Judges 6:5.

Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor..... Jerom (u) under this word says, there was in his time a castle called Carcuria, a day's journey from Petra, which was the metropolis of Idumea; but whether the same with this is not clear:

and their host with them, about fifteen thousand men; to which number Gideon and his three hundred men were very unequal; and yet, faint and weary as they were, closely pursued them, attacked and conquered them. Josephus (w) very wrongly makes this number to be about 18,000:

all that were left of the hosts of the children of the east; the Arabians, who with the Amalekites joined the Midianites in this expedition; and perhaps the remainder of the army chiefly consisted of Arabians, the others having mostly suffered in the valley of Jezreel, and at the fords of Jordan:

for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword; besides infirm men, women, and children, which may reasonably be supposed; so that this host consisted of 135,000 fighting men.

(u) De loc. Heb. fol. 90. B. (w) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 6. sect. 5.

Now Zebah and Zalmunna were {g} in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword.

(g) A city east of Jordan.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. Karkor] Site unknown, probably near the edge of the Syrian desert.

all that were left … drew sword] These words have the appearance of an attempt to bring the present narrative into harmony with the account of the panic and flight in Jdg 7:22-25. The exaggerated numbers recall those of Numbers 31 (overthrow of Midian); that drew sword is an expression which often goes with large figures, e.g. Jdg 20:2; Jdg 20:15; Jdg 20:17; Jdg 20:46; 2 Samuel 24:9 etc.

Verse 10. - Karkor. Or, rather, the Karkor. We are still on unknown ground. The situation assigned to it by Eusebius and Jerome, as being the same as a castle called Carcaria, near Petra, is quite out of the question, as being greatly too far south. As an appellative it suggests the idea of a walled-in space (kir = a wall; kir-kir = a space walled all round; cf. the Latin carcer, a prison); possibly an enclosed sheep or cattle fold on a large scale (see Numbers 32:36: "built ... folds for sheep"), affording some protection to the Midianite soldiers. Judges 8:10The Midianitish kings were at Karkor with all the remnant of their army, about fifteen thousand men, a hundred and twenty thousand having already fallen. Gideon followed them thither by the road of the dwellers in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbeha; and falling upon them unawares, smote the whole camp, which thought itself quite secure, and took the two kings prisoners, after discomfiting all the camp. The situation of Karkor, which is only mentioned here, cannot be determined with certainty. The statement of Eusebius and Jerome (Onom. s. v. Καρκὰ, Carcar), that it was the castle of Carcaria, a day's journey from Petra, is decidedly wrong, since this castle is much too far to the south, as Gesenius (Thes. p. 1210) has shown. Karkor cannot have been very far from Nobah and Jogbeha. These two places are probably preserved in the ruins of Nowakis and Jebeiha, on the north-west of Ammn (Rabbath-ammon; see at Numbers 21:31). Now, as Burckhardt (Syr. p. 612) also mentions a ruin in the neighbourhood, called Karkagheisch, on the left of the road from Szalt to Ammn, and at the most an hour and a half to the north-west of Ammn, Knobel (on Numbers 32:42) is inclined to regard this ruin as Karkor. If this supposition could be proved to be correct, Gideon would have fallen upon the camp of the enemy from the north-east. For "the way of the dwellers in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbeha" cannot well be any other than the way which ran to the east of Nobah and Jogbeha, past the most easterly frontier city of the Gadites, to the nomads who dwelt in the desert. באללים השּׁכוּני has the article attached to the governing noun, which may easily be explained in this instance from the intervening preposition. The passive participle שׁכוּן has an intransitive force (see Ewald, 149, a.). The verb החריד in the circumstantial clause acquires the force of the pluperfect from the context. When he had startled the camp out of its security, having alarmed it by his unexpected attack, he succeeded in taking the two kings prisoners.
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