New International Version
Gideon replied, "Those were my brothers, the sons of my own mother. As surely as the LORD lives, if you had spared their lives, I would not kill you."
King James Bible
And he said, They were my brethren, even the sons of my mother: as the LORD liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you.
Darby Bible Translation
And he said, They were my brethren, the sons of my mother. [As] Jehovah liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you.
World English Bible
He said, "They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As Yahweh lives, if you had saved them alive, I would not kill you."
Young's Literal Translation
And he saith, 'My brethren -- sons of my mother -- they; Jehovah liveth, if ye had kept them alive -- I had not slain you.'
Judges 8:19 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? - We have no antecedent to this question; and are obliged to conjecture one: it seems as if Zebah and Zalmunna had massacred the family of Gideon, while he was absent on this expedition. Gideon had heard some confused account of it, and now questions them concerning the fact. They boldly acknowledge it, and describe the persons whom they slew, by which he found they were his own brethren. This determines him to avenge their death by slaying the Midianitish kings, whom he otherwise was inclined to save. He might have heard that his brethren had been taken prisoners, and might have hoped to have exchanged them for the kings now in his hand; but when he found they had been all slain, he decrees the death of their murderers. There is something in this account similar to that in the 12th Aeneis of Virgil: - When Turnus was overthrown, and supplicated for his life, and Aeneas was inclined to spare him; he saw the belt of his friend Pallas, whom Turnus had slain, and which he now wore as a trophy: this immediately determined the Trojan to sacrifice the life of Turnus to the manes of his friend. The story is well told: -
Stetit acer in armis
Aeneas, volvens oculos, dextramque repressit.
Et jam jamque magis cunctantem flectere sermo
Coeperat: infelix humero cum apparuit ingens
Balteus, et notis fulserunt cingula bullis
Pallantis pueri; victum quem vulnere Turnus
Straverat, atque humeris inimicum insigne gerebat.
Ille oculis postquam saevi monumenta doloris
Exuviasque hausit: furiis accensus et ira
Terribilis: Tune hinc spoliis indute meorum
Eripiare mihi? - Pallas, te hoc vulnere Pallas
Immolat; et poenam scelerato ex sanguine sumit.
Hoc dicens furrum adverso sub pectore condit Fervidus.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibrarySeptember 21. "Faint, yet Pursuing" (Judges viii. 4).
"Faint, yet pursuing" (Judges viii. 4). It is a great thing thus to learn to depend upon God to work through our feeble resources, and yet, while so depending, to be absolutely faithful and diligent, and not allow our trust to deteriorate into supineness and indolence. We find no sloth or negligence in Gideon, or his three hundred; though they were weak and few, they were wholly true, and everything in them ready for God to use to the very last. "Faint yet pursuing" was their watchword as they followed …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
Of the Power of Making Laws. The Cruelty of the Pope and his Adherents, in this Respect, in Tyrannically Oppressing and Destroying Souls.
Then he asked Zebah and Zalmunna, "What kind of men did you kill at Tabor?" "Men like you," they answered, "each one with the bearing of a prince."
Turning to Jether, his oldest son, he said, "Kill them!" But Jether did not draw his sword, because he was only a boy and was afraid.
Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the LORD lives I will do it. Lie here until morning."
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