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English Standard Version

Judges 8:1–35

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Gideon Defeats Zebah and Zalmunna

zThen the men of Ephraim said to him, “What is this that you have done to us, not to call us when you went to fight against Midian?” And they accused him fiercely. And he said to them, “What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not athe gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the grape harvest of Abiezer? bGod has given into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. What have I been able to do in comparison with you?” cThen their anger1 against him subsided when he said this.

And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and dthe 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing. So he said to the men of eSuccoth, “Please give loaves of bread to the people who follow me, for they are exhausted, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.” And the officials of Succoth said, f“Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, gthat we should give bread to your army?” So Gideon said, “Well then, when the Lord has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, hI will flail your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.” And from there he went up to iPenuel, and spoke to them in the same way, and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered. And he said to the men of Penuel, j“When I come again in peace, kI will break down this tower.”

10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their army, about 15,000 men, all who were left of all the army of lthe people of the East, for there had fallen 120,000 men mwho drew the sword. 11 And Gideon went up by the way of the tent dwellers east of nNobah and Jogbehah and attacked the army, for the army felt osecure. 12 And Zebah and Zalmunna fled, and he pursued them pand captured the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and he threw all the army into a panic.

13 Then Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle by the ascent of Heres. 14 And he captured 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 Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me, saying, q‘Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are exhausted?’ ” 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 a lesson. 17 rAnd he broke down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city.

18 Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “Where are the men whom you killed at sTabor?” They answered, “As you are, so were they. Every one of them resembled the son of a king.” 19 And he said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. tAs the Lord lives, if you had saved them alive, I would not kill you.” 20 So he said to Jether his firstborn, “Rise and kill them!” But the young man did not draw his sword, for he was afraid, because he was still a young man. 21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Rise yourself and fall upon us, for as the man is, so is his strength.” And Gideon arose and ukilled Zebah and Zalmunna, and he took vthe crescent ornaments that were on the necks of their camels.

Gideon’s Ephod

22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also, for you have saved us from the hand of Midian.” 23 Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; wthe Lord will rule over you.” 24 And Gideon said to them, “Let me make a request of you: every one of you give me the earrings from his spoil.” (For they had golden earrings, xbecause they were Ishmaelites.) 25 And they answered, “We will willingly give them.” And they spread a cloak, and every man threw in it the earrings of his spoil. 26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels2 of gold, besides ythe crescent ornaments and zthe pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian, and besides the collars that were around the necks of their camels. 27 And Gideon amade an ephod of it and put it in his city, bin Ophrah. And all Israel cwhored after it there, and it became a dsnare to Gideon and to his family. 28 So Midian was subdued before the people of Israel, and they raised their heads no more. eAnd the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.

The Death of Gideon

29 fJerubbaal the son of Joash went and lived in his own house. 30 Now Gideon had gseventy sons, his own offspring,3 for he had many wives. 31 And his concubine hwho was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he called his name Abimelech. 32 And Gideon the son of Joash died iin a good old age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, jat Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

33 kAs soon as Gideon died, the people of Israel turned again and lwhored after the Baals and made mBaal-berith their god. 34 And the people of Israel ndid not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies on every side, 35 oand they did not show steadfast love to the family of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) in return for all the good that he had done to Israel.

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