1And the men of Ephraim said to Gideon, What is this thing, that thou wouldest do, that thou calledest not us, when thou wentest to battle against Midian? And they chided with him strongly, and well nigh they did to him violence. (And the men of Ephraim said to Gideon, What is this that thou hast done, that thou did not call us when thou wentest to battle against the Midianites? And they strongly complained to him, and they almost did violence to him.) 2To whom he answered, And what such thing might I have done, what manner thing ye have done? (But he answered to them, Could I have done such a thing as ye have done?) Whether a raisin of Ephraim is not better than the vintages of Abiezer? 3And the Lord hath betaken into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. What such thing might I have done, what manner thing ye have done? (For the Lord hath delivered Oreb and Zeeb, the princes of the Midianites, into your hands. Could I have done such a thing as ye have done?) And when he had spoken this thing, the spirit of them rested, by which they swelled against him.
4And when Gideon had come to (the) Jordan, he passed it with three hundred men, that were with him; and for weariness they might not pursue them that fled. (And when Gideon had come to the Jordan River, he crossed over it with the three hundred men who were with him; and for weariness they might not pursue those who had fled before them.) 5And he said to the men of Succoth, I beseech (thee), give ye (some) loaves to the people, that is with me; for they failed greatly (for they faint now), (so) that we may then pursue Zebah and Zalmunna, (the) kings of Midian. 6And the princes of Succoth answered in scorn, (and said,) In hap the palms of the hands of Zebah and of Zalmunna be in thine hands, and therefore thou askest, that we give (some) loaves to thine host. 7To whom Gideon said, Therefore, when the Lord shall betake Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hands, and when I shall turn again (as an) overcomer in peace, I shall rend your flesh with thorns and briars of the desert. (To whom Gideon said, And so, when the Lord shall deliver Zebah and Zalmunna into my hands, and when I shall return to you in victory, I shall tear, or shall cut, your flesh with thorns and briars from the desert.) 8And Gideon went up from thence, and came into Penuel; and he spake like things to men of that place, to whom also they answered, as the men of Succoth had answered (and they answered him just like the men of Succoth had answered him). 9And so he said to them, When I shall turn again (as an) overcomer in peace (When I shall return to you in victory), I shall destroy this tower.
10Forsooth Zebah and Zalmunna rested with all their host; for fifteen thousand men (were) left of all the companies of the peoples of the east, when an hundred and twenty thousand of fighters and of men drawing out sword were slain. (And Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their army; and fifteen thousand men were all who were left of the companies of the peoples of the east, for a hundred and twenty thousand fighting men drawing out swords had been killed.) 11And Gideon ascended by the way of them that dwelled in tabernacles at the east coast of Nobah and of Jogbehah, and smote the tents of [the] enemies, that were secure, and supposed not anything of adversity. 12And Zebah and Zalmunna fled, whom Gideon pursued, and (he) took (hold of them), when all their host was troubled.
13And he turned again from battle before the rising of the sun, (And Gideon returned from the battle by way of the Ascent of Heres,) 14and he took (hold of) a young man of the men of Succoth; and he asked him the names of the princes, and of the elder men of Succoth; and he described (to Gideon) seven and seventy men in number. 15And he came to Succoth, and said to them, Lo, (here be) Zebah and Zalmunna! of which ye upbraided me (of whom ye upbraided me), and said, In hap the hands of Zebah and of Zalmunna be in thine hands, and therefore thou askest, that we give (some) loaves to (thy) men, that be weary and failed. 16Therefore Gideon took the elder men of the city, and thorns and briars of (the) desert, and he rent with those, and all-brake the men of Succoth; (And so Gideon took hold of the city elders, and some thorns and briars from the desert, and he tore, or cut, them with those, and broke the men of Succoth all to pieces;) 17also he destroyed the tower of Penuel, when the dwellers of the city were slain. (and he also destroyed the tower of Penuel, and killed the inhabitants of that city.)
18And he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner men were they, that ye killed in Tabor? Which answered, They were like thee, and one of them was as the son of a king (and one of them was like a king’s son). 19To whom Gideon said, They were (all) my brethren, the sons of my mother; (as) the Lord liveth, if ye had saved them, I would not slay you. 20And he said to Jether, his first begotten son, Rise thou (up), and slay them. And Jether drew not his sword; for he dreaded, for he was yet a boy (But Jether would not draw out his sword; for he was afraid, for he was still a boy). 21And Zebah and Zalmunna said (to Gideon), Rise thou (up thyself), and fall on us; for thou art by the age and strength of [a] man. (So) Gideon rose (up), and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and (then he) took the ornaments, and (the) bells, with which the necks of (the) kings’ camels be wont to be made fair.
22And all the men of Israel said to Gideon, Be thou lord of us, thou, and thy son, and the son of thy son; for thou deliveredest us from the hand of Midian. 23To whom he said, I shall not be lord of you, neither my son shall be lord on you, but the Lord shall be lord on you. (To whom he said, I shall not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you, but the Lord shall rule over you.) 24And Gideon said to them, I ask one asking of you, give ye to me the earrings of your prey; for Ishmaelites were wont to have golden earrings. 25Which answered, We shall give (you them) most gladly. And they spreaded forth a mantle on the earth, and casted forth therein [the] earrings of the prey; 26and the weight of the earrings that he asked (for) was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold, without [the] ornaments, and brooches, and cloak of purple, which the kings of Midian were wont to use, and besides [the] golden bands of camels (and without the gold bands for the camels). 27And Gideon made thereof (an) ephod, that is, a priest’s cloak, and he put it in his city (of) Ophrah; and all Israel did fornication, that is idolatry, therein (therewith); and it was made to Gideon, and to all his house, into falling.
28But Midian was made low before the sons of Israel, and they might no more raise up their nolls; and the land rested forty years, in which Gideon was sovereign.
29And so Jerubbaal, the son of Joash, went, and dwelled in his house; 30and he had seventy sons, that went out of his thigh, for he had many wives. 31And a concubine, that is, (the) secondary wife, of him, whom he had in Shechem, engendered to him a son, Abimelech by name. 32And Gideon, the son of Joash, died in [a] good eld [age], and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash, his father, in Ophrah, of the family of Abiezrites.
33And after that Gideon was dead, the sons of Israel turned away, and they did fornication, that is, idolatry, with Baalim; and they smote (a) bond of peace with Baal(berith), that he should be to them into God (and they made a covenant with Baalberith, so that he would be their god), 34neither Israel had mind of their Lord God, that had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies by compass/about; (and the people of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies around them;) 35neither they did mercy to the family of Jerubbaal, that is, Gideon, after all the good things that he did to Israel. (nor were they grateful, or loyal, to Jerubbal’s family, after all the good that he had done for Israel.)
Wycliffe’s Old Testament
Wycliffe’s New Testament
and JOHN PURVEY
A modern-spelling edition of their
14TH century Middle English translation,
the first complete English vernacular version,
with an Introduction by
TERENCE P. NOBLE
Used by Permission