New American Bible (Revised Edition)
5 So he said to the people of Succoth, “Will you give my followers some loaves of bread? They are exhausted, and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.” 6 But the princes of Succoth replied, “Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your possession, that we should give food to your army?”[a] 7 Gideon said, “Very well; when the Lord has delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into my power, I will thrash your bodies with desert thorns and briers.” 8 He went up from there to Penuel and made the same request of them, but the people of Penuel answered him as had the people of Succoth. 9 So to the people of Penuel, too, he said, “When I return in peace, I will demolish this tower.”
10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their force of about fifteen thousand men; these were all who were left of the whole Kedemite army, a hundred and twenty thousand swordsmen having fallen. 11 Gideon went up by the route of the tent-dwellers east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and attacked the force when it felt secure. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna fled and Gideon pursued them. He captured the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, terrifying the entire force.
13 Then Gideon, son of Joash, returned from battle by the pass of Heres. 14 He captured a young man of Succoth and questioned him, and he wrote down for him the seventy-seven princes and elders of Succoth. 15 So he went to the princes of Succoth and said, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom you taunted me, ‘Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your possession, that we should give food to your weary men?’” 16 He seized the elders of the city, and with desert thorns and briers he thrashed the people of Succoth.Read full chapter
- 8:6 Are the hands…already in your possession…?: i.e., can you already boast of victory? The hands of slain enemies were sometimes cut off and counted as trophies.