Judges 8 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Gideon’s Triumph and Vengeance
8 And the men of E′phraim said to him, “What is this that you have done to us, not to call us when you went to fight with Mid′ian?” And they upbraided him violently. 2 And he said to them, “What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of E′phraim better than the vintage of Abi-e′zer? 3 God has given into your hands the princes of Mid′ian, Oreb and Zeeb; what have I been able to do in comparison with you?” Then their anger against him was abated, when he had said this.
4 And Gideon came to the Jordan and passed over, he and the three hundred men who were with him, faint yet pursuing. 5 So he said to the men of Succoth, “Pray, give loaves of bread to the people who follow me; for they are faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmun′na, the kings of Mid′ian.” 6 And the officials of Succoth said, “Are Zebah and Zalmun′na already in your hand, that we should give bread to your army?” 7 And Gideon said, “Well then, when the Lord has given Zebah and Zalmun′na into my hand, I will flail your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.” 8 And from there he went up to Penu′el, and spoke to them in the same way; and the men of Penu′el answered him as the men of Succoth had answered. 9 And he said to the men of Penu′el, “When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.”
10 Now Zebah and Zalmun′na were in Karkor with their army, about fifteen thousand men, all who were left of all the army of the people of the East; for there had fallen a hundred and twenty thousand men who drew the sword. 11 And Gideon went up by the caravan route east of Nobah and Jog′behah, and attacked the army; for the army was off its guard. 12 And Zebah and Zalmun′na fled; and he pursued them and took the two kings of Mid′ian, Zebah and Zalmun′na, and he threw all the army into a panic.
13 Then Gideon the son of Jo′ash returned from the battle by the ascent of Heres. 14 And he caught a young man of Succoth, and questioned him; and he wrote down for him the officials and elders of Succoth, seventy-seven men. 15 And he came to the men of Succoth, and said, “Behold Zebah and Zalmun′na, about whom you taunted me, saying, ‘Are Zebah and Zalmun′na already in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are faint?’” 16 And he took the elders of the city and he took thorns of the wilderness and briers and with them taught the men of Succoth. 17 And he broke down the tower of Penu′el, and slew the men of the city.
18 Then he said to Zebah and Zalmun′na, “Where are the men whom you slew at Tabor?” They answered, “As you are, so were they, every one of them; they resembled the sons of a king.” 19 And he said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother; as the Lord lives, if you had saved them alive, I would not slay you.” 20 And he said to Jether his first-born, “Rise, and slay them.” But the youth did not draw his sword; for he was afraid, because he was still a youth. 21 Then Zebah and Zalmun′na said, “Rise yourself, and fall upon us; for as the man is, so is his strength.” And Gideon arose and slew Zebah and Zalmun′na; and he took the crescents that were on the necks of their camels.
22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also; for you have delivered us out of the hand of Mid′ian.” 23 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 And Gideon said to them, “Let me make a request of you; give me every man of you the earrings of his spoil.” (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ish′maelites.) 25 And they answered, “We will willingly give them.” And they spread a garment, and every man cast in it the earrings of his spoil. 26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold; besides the crescents and the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Mid′ian, and besides the collars that were about the necks of their camels. 27 And Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his city, in Ophrah; and all Israel played the harlot after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family. 28 So Mid′ian was subdued before the people of Israel, and they lifted up their heads no more. And the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.
Death of Gideon
29 Jerubba′al the son of Jo′ash went and dwelt in his own house. 30 Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives. 31 And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he called his name Abim′elech. 32 And Gideon the son of Jo′ash died in a good old age, and was buried in the tomb of Jo′ash his father, at Ophrah of the Abiez′rites.
33 As soon as Gideon died, the people of Israel turned again and played the harlot after the Ba′als, and made Ba′al-be′rith their god. 34 And the people of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hand of all their enemies on every side; 35 and they did not show kindness to the family of Jerubba′al (that is, Gideon) in return for all the good that he had done to Israel.