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Judges 8Amplified Bible (AMP)

Zebah and Zalmunna Routed

And the men of [the tribe of] Ephraim said to Gideon, “What is this thing that you have done to us, not calling us when you went to fight with Midian?” And they quarreled with him vehemently. But he said to them, “What have I done now [that is so significant] in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning (leftovers) of the grapes of [your tribe of] Ephraim better than the vintage (entire harvest) of [my clan of] Abiezer? God has given the leaders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb into your hands; and what was I able to do in comparison with you?” Then their anger toward him subsided when he made this statement.

So Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over [the river], he and the three hundred men who were with him—exhausted, yet [still] pursuing [the enemy]. He said to the men of Succoth, “Please give loaves of bread to the people who are following me since they are exhausted, and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.” But the leaders of Succoth said, “Are Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hands, that we should give bread to your army?” Gideon said, “For that [response], when the Lord has handed over Zebah and Zalmunna to me, I will thrash your bodies with the thorns and briars of the wilderness.” He went from there up to Penuel and spoke similarly to them; and the men of Penuel answered him just as the men of Succoth had answered. So Gideon said also to the men of Penuel, “When I come again in peace, I will tear down this tower.”

10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their armies, about fifteen thousand [fighting] men, all who were left of the entire army of the sons of the east; for a hundred and twenty thousand swordsmen had fallen. 11 Gideon went up by the route of those who lived in tents to the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and he attacked their camp when the camp was unsuspecting. 12 When Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued them and captured the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and terrified the entire army.

13 Then Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle by the ascent of Heres. 14 He captured a young man of Succoth and questioned him. And the youth wrote down for him [the names of] the leaders of Succoth and its elders, seventy-seven men. 15 He came to the men of Succoth and said, “Look here, Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me, saying, ‘Are Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are exhausted?’” 16 He took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briars, and with them he [a]punished the men of Succoth. 17 He tore down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city.

18 Then Gideon said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “What kind of men were they whom you killed at Tabor?” And they replied, “They were like you, each one of them resembled the son of a king.” 19 He said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As the Lord lives, if only you had let them live, I would not kill you.” 20 So [to humiliate them] Gideon said to Jether his firstborn, “Stand up, and kill them!” But the youth did not draw his sword, because he was afraid, for he was still [just] a boy. 21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Rise up yourself and strike us; for as the man is, so is his strength.” So Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescent amulets that were on their camels’ necks.

22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule [as king] over us, both you and your son, also your son’s son, for you have rescued us from the hand of Midian.” 23 But Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you.” 24 And Gideon said to them, “I would make a request of you, that each one of you give me an earring from his spoil.” For the Midianites had gold earrings, because they were [b]Ishmaelites [who customarily wore them]. 25 They answered, “We will certainly give them to you.” And they spread out a garment, and every one of them threw an earring there from his spoil. 26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was [c]seventeen hundred shekels of gold, apart from the crescent amulets and pendants and the purple garments which were worn by the kings of Midian, and apart from the chains that were on their camels’ necks. 27 Gideon made [all the golden earrings into] an ephod [a sacred, high priest’s garment], and put it in his city of Ophrah, and all Israel [d]worshiped it as an idol there, and [e]it became a trap for Gideon and his household.

Forty Years of Peace

28 So Midian was subdued and humbled before the sons of Israel, and they no longer lifted up their heads [in pride]. And the land was at rest for forty years in the days of Gideon.

29 Jerubbaal (Gideon) the son of Joash went and lived in his own house. 30 Now Gideon had seventy sons born to him, because he had many wives. 31 And his [f]concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelech. 32 Gideon the son of Joash died at a good advanced age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

33 Then it came about, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the Israelites again played the prostitute with the Baals, and made Baal-berith their god. 34 And the Israelites did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hand of all their enemies on every side; 35 nor did they show kindness to the family of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) in return for all the good that he had done for Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 8:16 Or taught them humility. The Hebrew is uncertain.
  2. Judges 8:24 A general term for the descendants of Keturah, the woman Abraham married after Sarah’s death (Gen 25:1); synonymous with Midianite.
  3. Judges 8:26 I.e. about 40 lbs. of gold.
  4. Judges 8:27 Lit played the prostitute with.
  5. Judges 8:27 The reason Gideon chose to make the golden ephod is unclear, but the fact that he did so, and that it became an object of worship for Israel, casts a shadow over his otherwise remarkable accomplishments.
  6. Judges 8:31 Perhaps originally one of Gideon’s slaves, this woman became a type of secondary wife who lived at home with her family and was visited on occasion by her husband.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Judges 8King James Version (KJV)

And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply.

And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?

God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that.

And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them.

And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.

And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army?

And Gideon said, Therefore when the Lord hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.

And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him.

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

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.

11 And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host; for the host was secure.

12 And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host.

13 And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun was up,

14 And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, even threescore and seventeen men.

15 And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men that are weary?

16 And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth.

17 And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.

18 Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king.

19 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.

20 And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, and slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he was yet a youth.

21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their camels' necks.

22 Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian.

23 And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you.

24 And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.)

25 And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey.

26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels' necks.

27 And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.

28 Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.

29 And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house.

30 And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives.

31 And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech.

32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

33 And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god.

34 And the children of Israel remembered not the Lord their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side:

35 Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, namely, Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.

Judges 8Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The men of Ephraim said to him, “Why have you done this to us, not calling us when you went to fight against the Midianites?” And they argued with him violently.

So he said to them, “What have I done now compared to you? Is not the gleaning of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? God handed over to you Oreb and Zeeb, the two princes of Midian. What was I able to do compared to you?” When he said this, their anger against him subsided.

Gideon Pursues the Kings of Midian

Gideon and the 300 men came to the Jordan and crossed it. They were exhausted but still in pursuit. He said to the men of Succoth, “Please give some loaves of bread to the people who are following me,[a] because they are exhausted, for I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”

But the princes of Succoth asked, “Are[b] Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hands that we should give bread to your army?”

Gideon replied, “Very well, when the Lord has handed Zebah and Zalmunna over to me, I will trample[c] your flesh on thorns and briers from the wilderness!” He went from there to Penuel and asked the same thing from them. The men of Penuel answered just as the men of Succoth had answered. He also told the men of Penuel, “When I return in peace, I will tear down this tower!”

10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and with them was their army of about 15,000 men, who were all those left of the entire army of the Qedemites. Those who had been killed were 120,000 warriors.[d] 11 Gideon traveled on the caravan route[e] east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked their army while the army was unsuspecting. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna fled, and he pursued them. He captured these two kings of Midian and routed the entire army.

13 Gideon son of Joash returned from the battle by the Ascent of Heres. 14 He captured a youth from the men of Succoth and interrogated him. The youth wrote down for him the names of the 77 princes and elders of Succoth. 15 Then he went to the men of Succoth and said, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna. You taunted me about them, saying, ‘Are[f] Zebah and Zalmunna now in your power that we should give bread to your exhausted men?’” 16 So he took the elders of the city, and he took some thorns and briers from the wilderness, and he disciplined the men of Succoth with them. 17 He also tore down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city.

18 He asked Zebah and Zalmunna, “What kind of men did you kill at Tabor?”

“They were like you,” they said. “Each resembled the son of a king.”

19 So he said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother! As the Lord lives, if you had let them live, I would not kill you.” 20 Then he said to Jether, his firstborn, “Get up and kill them.” The youth did not draw his sword, for he was afraid because he was still a youth.

21 Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Get up and kill us yourself, for a man is judged by his strength.” So Gideon got up, killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescent ornaments that were on the necks of their camels.

Gideon’s Legacy

22 Then the Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you as well as your sons and your grandsons, for you delivered us from the power of Midian.”

23 But Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you.” 24 Then he said to them, “Let me make a request of you: Everyone give me an earring from his plunder.” Now the enemy had gold earrings because they were Ishmaelites.

25 They said, “We agree to give them.” So they spread out a mantle, and everyone threw an earring from his plunder on it. 26 The weight of the gold earrings he requested was about 43 pounds[g] of gold, in addition to the crescent ornaments and ear pendants, the purple garments on the kings of Midian, and the chains on the necks of their camels. 27 Gideon made an ephod from all this and put it in Ophrah, his hometown. Then all Israel prostituted themselves with it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his household.

28 So Midian was subdued before the Israelites, and they were no longer a threat.[h] The land was peaceful 40 years during the days of Gideon. 29 Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) son of Joash went back to live at his house.

30 Gideon had 70 sons, his own offspring, since he had many wives. 31 His concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech. 32 Then Gideon son of Joash died at a ripe old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

33 When Gideon died, the Israelites turned and prostituted themselves with the Baals and made Baal-berith[i] their god. 34 The Israelites did not remember the Lord their God who had delivered them from the power of the enemies around them. 35 They did not show kindness to the house of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) for all the good he had done for Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 8:5 Lit are at my feet
  2. Judges 8:6 Lit Are the hands of
  3. Judges 8:7 Or tear
  4. Judges 8:10 Lit men who drew the sword
  5. Judges 8:11 Lit on the route of those who live in tents
  6. Judges 8:15 Lit Are the hands of
  7. Judges 8:26 Lit 1,700 shekels
  8. Judges 8:28 Lit they no longer raised their head
  9. Judges 8:33 Lit Baal of the Covenant, or Lord of the Covenant

Judges 8New International Version (NIV)

Zebah and Zalmunna

Now the Ephraimites asked Gideon, “Why have you treated us like this? Why didn’t you call us when you went to fight Midian? And they challenged him vigorously.

But he answered them, “What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren’t the gleanings of Ephraim’s grapes better than the full grape harvest of Abiezer? God gave Oreb and Zeeb, the Midianite leaders, into your hands. What was I able to do compared to you?” At this, their resentment against him subsided.

Gideon and his three hundred men, exhausted yet keeping up the pursuit, came to the Jordan and crossed it. He said to the men of Sukkoth, “Give my troops some bread; they are worn out, and I am still pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”

But the officials of Sukkoth said, “Do you already have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna in your possession? Why should we give bread to your troops?”

Then Gideon replied, “Just for that, when the Lord has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, I will tear your flesh with desert thorns and briers.”

From there he went up to Peniel[a] and made the same request of them, but they answered as the men of Sukkoth had. So he said to the men of Peniel, “When I return in triumph, I will tear down this tower.”

10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with a force of about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of the armies of the eastern peoples; a hundred and twenty thousand swordsmen had fallen. 11 Gideon went up by the route of the nomads east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the unsuspecting army. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna, the two kings of Midian, fled, but he pursued them and captured them, routing their entire army.

13 Gideon son of Joash then returned from the battle by the Pass of Heres. 14 He caught a young man of Sukkoth and questioned him, and the young man wrote down for him the names of the seventy-seven officials of Sukkoth, the elders of the town. 15 Then Gideon came and said to the men of Sukkoth, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me by saying, ‘Do you already have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna in your possession? Why should we give bread to your exhausted men?’” 16 He took the elders of the town and taught the men of Sukkoth a lesson by punishing them with desert thorns and briers. 17 He also pulled down the tower of Peniel and killed the men of the town.

18 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.”

19 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.” 20 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.

21 Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Come, do it yourself. ‘As is the man, so is his strength.’” So Gideon stepped forward and killed them, and took the ornaments off their camels’ necks.

Gideon’s Ephod

22 The Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.”

23 But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.” 24 And he said, “I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.” (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.)

25 They answered, “We’ll be glad to give them.” So they spread out a garment, and each of them threw a ring from his plunder onto it. 26 The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels,[b] not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels’ necks. 27 Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.

Gideon’s Death

28 Thus Midian was subdued before the Israelites and did not raise its head again. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land had peace forty years.

29 Jerub-Baal son of Joash went back home to live. 30 He had seventy sons of his own, for he had many wives. 31 His concubine, who lived in Shechem, also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelek. 32 Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

33 No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god 34 and did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. 35 They also failed to show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) in spite of all the good things he had done for them.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 8:8 Hebrew Penuel, a variant of Peniel; also in verses 9 and 17
  2. Judges 8:26 That is, about 43 pounds or about 20 kilograms
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Judges 8The Message (MSG)

Then the Ephraimites said to Gideon, “Why did you leave us out of this, not calling us when you went to fight Midian?” They were indignant and let him know it.

2-3 But Gideon replied, “What have I done compared to you? Why, even the gleanings of Ephraim are superior to the vintage of Abiezer. God gave you Midian’s commanders, Oreb and Zeeb. What have I done compared with you?”

When they heard this, they calmed down and cooled off.

4-5 Gideon and his three hundred arrived at the Jordan and crossed over. They were bone-tired but still pressing the pursuit. He asked the men of Succoth, “Please, give me some loaves of bread for my troops I have with me. They’re worn out, and I’m hot on the trail of Zebah and Zalmunna, the Midianite kings.”

But the leaders in Succoth said, “You’re on a wild goose chase; why should we help you on a fool’s errand?”

Gideon said, “If you say so. But when God gives me Zebah and Zalmunna, I’ll give you a thrashing, whip your bare flesh with desert thorns and thistles!”

8-9 He went from there to Peniel and made the same request. The men of Peniel, like the men of Succoth, also refused. Gideon told them, “When I return safe and sound, I’ll demolish this tower.”

10 Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with an army of about fifteen companies, all that was left of the fighting force of the easterners—they had lost 120 companies of soldiers.

11-12 Gideon went up the caravan trail east of Nobah and Jogbehah, found and attacked the undefended camp. Zebah and Zalmunna fled, but he chased and captured the two kings of Midian. The whole camp had panicked.

13-15 Gideon son of Joash returned from the battle by way of the Heres Pass. He captured a young man from Succoth and asked some questions. The young man wrote down the names of the officials and leaders of Succoth, seventy-seven men. Then Gideon went to the men of Succoth and said, “Here are the wild geese, Zebah and Zalmunna, you said I’d never catch. You wouldn’t give so much as a scrap of bread to my worn-out men; you taunted us, saying that we were on a fool’s errand.”

16-17 Then he took the seventy-seven leaders of Succoth and thrashed them with desert thorns and thistles. And he demolished the tower of Peniel and killed the men of the city.

18 He then addressed Zebah and Zalmunna: “Tell me about the men you killed at Tabor.”

“They were men much like you,” they said, “each one like a king’s son.”

19 Gideon said, “They were my brothers, my mother’s sons. As God lives, if you had let them live, I would let you live.”

20 Then he spoke to Jether, his firstborn: “Get up and kill them.” But he couldn’t do it, couldn’t draw his sword. He was afraid—he was still just a boy.

21 Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Do it yourself—if you’re man enough!” And Gideon did it. He stepped up and killed Zebah and Zalmunna. Then he took the crescents that hung on the necks of their camels.

22 The Israelites said, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson. You have saved us from Midian’s tyranny.”

23 Gideon said, “I most certainly will not rule over you, nor will my son. God will reign over you.”

24 Then Gideon said, “But I do have one request. Give me, each of you, an earring that you took as plunder.” Ishmaelites wore gold earrings, and the men all had their pockets full of them.

25-26 They said, “Of course. They’re yours!”

They spread out a blanket and each man threw his plundered earrings on it. The gold earrings that Gideon had asked for weighed about forty-three pounds—and that didn’t include the crescents and pendants, the purple robes worn by the Midianite kings, and the ornaments hung around the necks of their camels.

27 Gideon made the gold into a sacred ephod and put it on display in his hometown, Ophrah. All Israel prostituted itself there. Gideon and his family, too, were seduced by it.

28 Midian’s tyranny was broken by the Israelites; nothing more was heard from them. The land was quiet for forty years in Gideon’s time.

29-31 Jerub-Baal son of Joash went home and lived in his house. Gideon had seventy sons. He fathered them all—he had a lot of wives! His concubine, the one at Shechem, also bore him a son. He named him Abimelech.

32 Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age. He was buried in the tomb of his father Joash at Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Abimelech

33-35 Gideon was hardly cool in the tomb when the People of Israel had gotten off track and were prostituting themselves to Baal—they made Baal-of-the-Covenant their god. The People of Israel forgot all about God, their God, who had saved them from all their enemies who had hemmed them in. And they didn’t keep faith with the family of Jerub-Baal (Gideon), honoring all the good he had done for Israel.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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