Gideon Tracks Down the Midianite Kings
8:4 Now Gideon and his three hundred men had crossed over the Jordan River, and even though they were exhausted, they were still chasing the Midianites.6 8:5 He said to the men of Succoth, “Give7 some loaves of bread to the men8 who are following me,9 because they are exhausted. I am chasing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.” 8:6 The officials of Succoth said, “You have not yet overpowered Zebah and Zalmunna. So why should we give10 bread to your army?”11 8:7 Gideon said, “Since you will not help,12 after the Lord hands Zebah and Zalmunna over to me, I will thresh13 your skin14 with15 desert thorns and briers.” 8:8 He went up from there to Penuel and made the same request.16 The men of Penuel responded the same way the men of Succoth had.17 8:9 He also threatened18 the men of Penuel, warning,19 “When I return victoriously,20 I will tear down this tower.”
8:10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their armies. There were about fifteen thousand survivors from the army of the eastern peoples; a hundred and twenty thousand sword-wielding soldiers had been killed.21 8:11 Gideon went up the road of the nomads22 east of Nobah and Jogbehah and ambushed the surprised army.23 8:12 When Zebah and Zalmunna ran away, Gideon24 chased them and captured the two Midianite kings, Zebah and Zalmunna. He had surprised25 their entire army.
8:13 Gideon son of Joash returned from the battle by the pass26 of Heres. 8:14 He captured a young man from Succoth27 and interrogated him. The young man wrote down for him the names of Succoth’s officials and city leaders—seventy-seven men in all.28 8:15 He approached the men of Succoth and said, “Look what I have!29 Zebah and Zalmunna! You insulted me, saying, ‘You have not yet overpowered Zebah and Zalmunna. So why should we give bread to your exhausted men?’ ”30 8:16 He seized the leaders31 of the city, along with some desert thorns and briers; he then “threshed” the men of Succoth with them.32 8:17 He also tore down the tower of Penuel and executed the city’s men.
8:18 He said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “Describe for me33 the men you killed at Tabor.” They said, “They were like you. Each one looked like a king’s son.”34 8:19 He said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. I swear,35 as surely as the Lord is alive, if you had let them live, I would not kill you.” 8:20 He ordered Jether his firstborn son, “Come on!36 Kill them!” But Jether was too afraid to draw his sword,37 because he was still young. 8:21 Zebah and Zalmunna said to Gideon,38 “Come on,39 you strike us, for a man is judged by his strength.”40 So Gideon killed41 Zebah and Zalmunna, and he took the crescent-shaped ornaments which were on the necks of their camels.
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