8:1-23. Pursuit and Cature.

z  c  1-3. Men of Ephraim, and Gideon.
    d  e  g  4-7. Succoth. Colloquy.
           h  8,9. Penuel. Colloquy.
            f  10-12. Kings taken.
    d  e  g  13-16. Succoth. Retribution.
           h  17. Penuel. Retribution.
            f  18-21. Kings slain.
   c  22,23. Men of Israel, and Gideon.

1219-1218 B.C.

Judges 8)

1: And the men of Ephraim said to him, “Why have you served us thus, that you called us not, when you went to fight with the Midianites?” And they did chide with him sharply (this was the beginning of the strife which ended in the division of the kingdom [1 Kings 12]).
2: And he said to them, “What have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abi-ezer?
3: God has delivered into your hands the princes of Midian (Elohim delivered His creatures; not Yehovah the Covenant-God), Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you?” Then their anger (Heb. rûach, spirit, Fig. put for the angry manifestation of it) was abated toward him, when he had said that.

4: And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them.
5: And he said to the folk of Succoth (Heb. = booths), “Give, I pray you, loaves of bread to the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.”
6: And the princes of Succoth said, “Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your army?”
7: And Gideon said, “Therefore when the Lord has delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.”

8: And he went up from that place to Penuel (Heb. = face of El [God]), and spoke to them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him.
9: And he spoke also to 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 camps with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the camps of the sons 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 camp: for the camp 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 camp.

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 inquired of him: and he described to him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, even threescore and seventeen men.
15: And he came to the men of Succoth, and said, “Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom you all did upbraid me, saying, ‘Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your 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 to Zebah and Zalmunna, “What manner of men were they whom you all slew at Tabor?” And they answered, “As you are, so were they; each one resembled the son of the king.”
19: And he said, “They were my brethren, even the sons of my mother: as Yehovah lives, if you all had saved them alive, I would not slay you.”
20: And he said to 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 you, 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 (crescent-shaped ornaments used still on the necks of horses and camels).

22: Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule you over us, both you, and your son, and your son's son also: for you have delivered us from the hand of Midian.”
23: And Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you.”

24: And Gideon said to them, “I would desire a request of you, that you all would give me every man the earrings of his prey.” (Heb. nezem. Any ring worn in the ear or nose = a nose-ring in Gen. 24:47. Prov. 11:22. Isa. 3:11. Ezek. 16:12; and "earring" in Gen. 35:4. and Ex. 32:2. Other passages doubtful [v.25. Job 42:11. Prov. 25:12. Hos. 2:13]) {For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites (this parenthetical remark solves the difficulty of Gen.37:25,28,36, and 39:1. Ishmael and Midian were half-brothers, sons of Abraha by Haga and Keturah [Gen.16:11,12; 25:1,2]. All Midianites were Ishmaelites, but all Ishmaelites were not Midianites.).}
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 (= aprox. 34 pounds); 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 (probably the priests were lax in restoring the worship of the true God. So that Gideon would have meant well and desired to rule well. Cp. 17:5, where Micah made another. The reason given being that, "there was no king, and every man did what was right in his own eyes", 17:6; and 18:5, where it was used to, ask council"; and for the same reason, 18:1), and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went to tat place a whoring after it: which thing became a snare to Gideon, and to his house.

28: Thus was Midian subdued before the sons of Israel, so that they made no more attempts to vex. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon (see 3:11).

1218 to 1178 B.C.

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 (= father of the king).
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 Abi-ezrites.
33: And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the sons of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim (= lords), and made Baal-berith (= the covenant of Baal [= lord]) their god.
34: And the sons 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 to Israel.

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