8:1 The Ephraimites said to him, “Why have you done such a thing to us? You did not summon us1 when you went to fight the Midianites!” They argued vehemently with him. 8:2 He said to them, “Now what have I accomplished compared to you? Even Ephraim’s leftover grapes2 are better quality than Abiezer’s harvest!3 8:3 It was to you that God handed over the Midianite generals, Oreb and Zeeb! What did I accomplish to rival that?”4 When he said this, they calmed down.5
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
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
Gideon Rejects a Crown but Makes an Ephod
8:22 The men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us – you, your son, and your grandson. For you have delivered us from Midian’s power.”42
8:23 Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The
Gideon’s Story Ends
8:28 The Israelites humiliated Midian; the Midianites’ fighting spirit was broken.55 The land had rest for forty years during Gideon’s time.56 8:29 Then Jerub-Baal son of Joash went home and settled down.57 8:30 Gideon fathered seventy sons through his many wives.58 8:31 His concubine,59 who lived in Shechem, also gave him a son, whom he named Abimelech.60 8:32 Gideon son of Joash died at a very61 old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash located in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
Israel Returns to Baal-Worship
8:33 After Gideon died, the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They made Baal-Berith62 their god.
8:34 The Israelites did not remain true63 to the