Judges 8:9
And he spoke also to the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.
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(9) When I come again in peace.—Comp. 1Kings 22:27.

I will break down this tower.—If the strength of their citadel emboldened them to refuse food to Gideon’s fainting warriors, it would also have helped to protect them against the dreaded vengeance of Midian.

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.Succoth was in the valley or Ghor of the Jordan Judges 8:5, and Penuel apparently in the mountain. No identification of Penuel has taken place. It was south of the Brook Jabbok, and on Jacob's way to Succoth. Gideon, journeying in the opposite direction to Jacob, comes from Succoth to Penuel. 9. he spake …, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower—Intent on the pursuit, and afraid of losing time, he postponed the merited vengeance till his return. His confident anticipation of a triumphant return evinces the strength of his faith; and his specific threat was probably provoked by some proud and presumptuous boast, that in their lofty watchtower the Penuelites would set him at defiance. Your confidence in which makes you thus proud and presumptuous. He implies that he would afterwards destroy their persons, as is expressed, Judges 8:17. In a threatening way, as he had spoken to the men of Succoth: saying, when I come again in peace: having conquered all his enemies, and delivered Israel from their bondage, and restored peace and prosperity to them, of which he had no doubt:

I will break down this tower; pointing to it and which stood in their city, and in which they placed their confidence; and when he threatened them, boasted of it as their security.

And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again {f} in peace, I will break down this tower.

(f) Having gotten the victory.

When the Ephraimites met with Gideon, after they had smitten the Midianites at Oreb and Zeeb, and were pursuing them farther, they said to him, "What is the thing that thou hast done to us (i.e., what is the reason for your having done this to us), not to call us when thou wentest forth to make war upon Midian? And they did chide with him sharply," less from any dissatisfied longing for booty, than from injured pride or jealousy, because Gideon had made war upon the enemy and defeated them without the co-operation of this tribe, which was striving for the leadership. Gideon's reply especially suggests the idea of injured ambition: "What have I now done like you?" sc., as if I had done as great things as you. "Is not the gleaning of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?" The gleaning of Ephraim is the victory gained over the flying Midianites. Gideon declares this to be better than the vintage of Abiezer, i.e., the victory obtained by him the Abiezrite with his 300 men, because the Ephraimites had slain two Midianitish princes. The victory gained by the Ephraimites must indeed have been a very important one, as it is mentioned by Isaiah (Isaiah 10:26) as a great blow of the Lord upon Midian. "And what could I do like you?" i.e., could I accomplish such great deeds as you? "Then their anger turned away from him." רוּח, the breathing of the nose, snorting, hence "anger," as in Isaiah 25:4, etc.
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