1Now the Ephraimites asked Gideon, ‘Why have you treated us like this? Why didn’t you call us when you went to fight Midian?’ And they challenged him vigorously.2But he answered them, ‘What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren’t the gleanings of Ephraim’s grapes better than the full grape harvest of Abiezer?3God gave Oreb and Zeeb, the Midianite leaders, into your hands. What was I able to do compared to you?’ At this, their resentment against him subsided.4Gideon and his three hundred men, exhausted yet keeping up the pursuit, came to the Jordan and crossed it.5He said to the men of Sukkoth, ‘Give my troops some bread; they are worn out, and I am still pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.’6But the officials of Sukkoth said, ‘Do you already have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna in your possession? Why should we give bread to your troops?’7Then Gideon replied, ‘Just for that, when the Lord has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, I will tear your flesh with desert thorns and briers.’8From there he went up to Peniel and made the same request of them, but they answered as the men of Sukkoth had.9So he said to the men of Peniel, ‘When I return in triumph, I will tear down this tower.’10Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with a force of about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of the armies of the eastern peoples; a hundred and twenty thousand swordsmen had fallen.11Gideon went up by the route of the nomads east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the unsuspecting army.12Zebah and Zalmunna, the two kings of Midian, fled, but he pursued them and captured them, routing their entire army.13Gideon son of Joash then returned from the battle by the Pass of Heres.14He caught a young man of Sukkoth and questioned him, and the young man wrote down for him the names of the seventy-seven officials of Sukkoth, the elders of the town.15Then Gideon came and said to the men of Sukkoth, ‘Here are Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me by saying, “Do you already have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna in your possession? Why should we give bread to your exhausted men?” ’16He took the elders of the town and taught the men of Sukkoth a lesson by punishing them with desert thorns and briers.17He also pulled down the tower of Peniel and killed the men of the town.18Then he asked Zebah and Zalmunna, ‘What kind of men did you kill at Tabor?’ ‘Men like you,’ they answered, ‘each one with the bearing of a prince.’19Gideon replied, ‘Those were my brothers, the sons of my own mother. As surely as the Lord lives, if you had spared their lives, I would not kill you.’20Turning to Jether, his eldest son, he said, ‘Kill them!’ But Jether did not draw his sword, because he was only a boy and was afraid.21Zebah and Zalmunna said, ‘Come, do it yourself. “As is the man, so is his strength.” ’ So Gideon stepped forward and killed them, and took the ornaments off their camels’ necks.
22The Israelites said to Gideon, ‘Rule over us – you, your son and your grandson – because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.’23But Gideon told them, ‘I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.’24And he said, ‘I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.’ (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.)25They answered, ‘We’ll be glad to give them.’ So they spread out a garment, and each of them threw a ring from his plunder onto it.26The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels, not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels’ necks.27Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshipping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.
28Thus Midian was subdued before the Israelites and did not raise its head again. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land had peace for forty years.29Jerub-Baal son of Joash went back home to live.30He had seventy sons of his own, for he had many wives.31His concubine, who lived in Shechem, also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelek.32Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.33No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god34and did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side.35They also failed to show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) in spite of all the good things he had done for them.
English Standard Version
Gideon Defeats Zebah and Zalmunna
1Then 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. (Jud 12:1; 2Sa 19:41)2And he said to them, “What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the grape harvest of Abiezer? (Isa 24:13; Jer 49:9; Ob 1:5; Mic 7:1)3God has given into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. What have I been able to do in comparison with you?” Then their anger against him subsided when he said this. (Jud 7:24; Pr 15:1)4And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing. (Jud 7:6)5So he said to the men of Succoth, “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.” (Ge 33:17; Ps 60:6)6And the officials of Succoth said, “Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your army?” (1Sa 25:11; 1Ki 20:11)7So Gideon said, “Well then, when the Lord has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, I will flail your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.” (Jud 8:16)8And from there he went up to Penuel, and spoke to them in the same way, and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered. (Ge 32:30; 1Ki 12:25)9And he said to the men of Penuel, “When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.” (Jud 8:17; 1Ki 22:27)10Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their army, about 15,000 men, all who were left of all the army of the people of the East, for there had fallen 120,000 men who drew the sword. (Jud 6:3; Jud 20:2; Jud 20:15; Jud 20:17; Jud 20:25; Jud 20:35; Jud 20:46; 2Sa 24:9; 2Ki 3:26; 1Ch 21:5)11And Gideon went up by the way of the tent dwellers east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the army, for the army felt secure. (Nu 32:35; Nu 32:42; Jud 18:27)12And Zebah and Zalmunna fled, and he pursued them and captured the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and he threw all the army into a panic. (Ps 83:11)13Then Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle by the ascent of Heres.14And 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.15And he came to the men of Succoth and said, “Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me, saying, ‘Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are exhausted?’” (Jud 8:6)16And 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.17And he broke down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city. (1Ki 12:25)18Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “Where are the men whom you killed at Tabor?” They answered, “As you are, so were they. Every one of them resembled the son of a king.” (Jud 4:6)19And he said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As the Lord lives, if you had saved them alive, I would not kill you.” (Ru 3:13)20So 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.21Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Rise yourself and fall upon us, for as the man is, so is his strength.” And Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and he took the crescent ornaments that were on the necks of their camels. (Jud 8:26; Ps 83:11; Isa 3:18)
22Then 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.”23Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you.” (1Sa 8:7; 1Sa 10:19; 1Sa 12:12; 1Sa 12:17; 1Sa 12:19)24And 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, because they were Ishmaelites.) (Ge 37:25; Ge 37:28; Ge 37:36; Ge 39:1)25And they answered, “We will willingly give them.” And they spread a cloak, and every man threw in it the earrings of his spoil.26And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold, besides the crescent ornaments and the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian, and besides the collars that were around the necks of their camels. (Jud 8:21; Isa 3:19)27And Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his city, in Ophrah. And all Israel whored after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family. (Ex 23:33; Ex 28:6; Ex 34:15; De 7:16; Jud 2:17; Jud 6:24; Jud 8:33; Jud 17:5; Jud 18:14; Jud 18:17; Ps 106:39)28So Midian was subdued before the people of Israel, and they raised their heads no more. And the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon. (Jud 3:11; Jud 5:31)
The Death of Gideon
29Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and lived in his own house. (Jud 6:32; Jud 7:1)30Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives. (Jud 9:2; Jud 9:5)31And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he called his name Abimelech. (Jud 9:1)32And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, at Ophrah of the Abiezrites. (Ge 15:15; Ge 25:8; Jud 6:24; Job 5:26)33As soon as Gideon died, the people of Israel turned again and whored after the Baals and made Baal-berith their god. (Jud 2:19; Jud 8:27; Jud 9:4; Jud 9:46)34And the people of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies on every side, (Ps 78:11; Ps 78:42; Ps 106:13; Ps 106:21)35and 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. (Jud 9:16)