Judges 8

 

וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו אִישׁ אֶפְרַיִם מָה־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה עָשִׂיתָ לָּנוּ לְבִלְתִּי קְרֹאות לָנוּ כִּי הָלַכְתָּ לְהִלָּחֵם בְּמִדְיָן   8:1

וַיְרִיבוּן אִתּוֹ בְּחָזְקָה׃

Judg. 8:1   And the men of Ephraim said to him, “What is this thing you have done to us, not to call us when you went to fight with Midian?”  And they contended with him sharply.

They are speaking to Gideon.

וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם מֶה־עָשִׂיתִי עַתָּה כָּכֶם הֲלוֹא טוֹב עֹלְלוֹת אֶפְרַיִם מִבְצִיר אֲבִיעֶזֶר׃   8:2

Judg. 8:2   And he said to them, “What have I done now?  As you!  Are not the gleanings of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?”

Gideon is making a very wise and consoling metaphor here.  He is of the family of Abiezer.  So he is saying that the last efforts of Ephraim (the gleanings) were more significant than the fighting of Ephraim (the vintage).  By his clever words he may have prevented a civil war.

בְּיֶדְכֶם נָתַן אֱלֹהִים אֶת־שָׂרֵי מִדְיָן אֶת־עֹרֵב וְאֶת־זְאֵב וּמַה־יָּכֹלְתִּי עֲשׂוֹת כָּכֶם אָז רָפְתָה רוּחָם   8:3

מֵעָלָיו בְּדַבְּרוֹ הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה׃

Judg. 8:3   “God delivered the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb into your hand; and what was I able to do? As you!”  Then their anger abated from off him by his speaking this word.

וַיָּבֹא גִדְעוֹן הַיַּרְדֵּנָה עֹבֵר הוּא וּשְׁלֹשׁ־מֵאוֹת הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ עֲיֵפִים וְרֹדְפִים׃   8:4

Judg. 8:4   And Gideon came to the Jordan to cross over, he and the three hundred men who were with him, weary, but pursuing.

וַיֹּאמֶר לְאַנְשֵׁי סֻכּוֹת תְּנוּ־נָא כִּכְּרוֹת לֶחֶם לָעָם אֲשֶׁר בְּרַגְלָי כִּי־עֲיֵפִים הֵם וְאָנֹכִי רֹדֵף אַחֲרֵי זֶבַח   8:5

וְצַלְמֻנָּע מַלְכֵי מִדְיָן׃

Judg. 8:5   And he said to the men of Succoth, “Give, please, loaves of bread to the people who are at my feet, for they are weary, and I am pursuing after Zebach and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”

וַיֹּאמֶר שָׂרֵי סֻכּוֹת הֲכַף זֶבַח וְצַלְמֻנָּע עַתָּה בְּיָדֶךָ כִּי־נִתֵּן לִצְבָאֲךָ לָחֶם׃   8:6

Judg. 8:6   And the princes of Succoth said, “Is the power of Zebach and Zalmunna already in your hand for us to give bread to your army?”

Considering the words spoken here, I’m guessing that the princes of Succoth might have been concerned lest the Midianite kings escape from Gideon and they would retaliate against them if they helped Gideon.

וַיֹּאמֶר גִּדְעוֹן לָכֵן בְּתֵת יְהוָה אֶת־זֶבַח וְאֶת־צַלְמֻנָּע בְּיָדִי וְדַשְׁתִּי אֶת־בְּשַׂרְכֶם אֶת־קוֹצֵי הַמִּדְבָּר   8:7

וְאֶת־הַבַּרְקֳנִים׃

Judg. 8:7   And Gideon said, “Therefore when the Lord delivers Zebach and Zalmunna into my hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briars.”

וַיַּעַל מִשָּׁם פְּנוּאֵל וַיְדַבֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם כָּזֹאת וַיַּעֲנוּ אוֹתוֹ אַנְשֵׁי פְנוּאֵל כַּאֲשֶׁר עָנוּ אַנְשֵׁי סֻכּוֹת׃   8:8

Judg. 8:8   And he went up from there to Penuel and spoke to them in the same way, and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered.

וַיֹּאמֶר גַּם־לְאַנְשֵׁי פְנוּאֵל לֵאמֹר בְּשׁוּבִי בְשָׁלוֹם אֶתֹּץ אֶת־הַמִּגְדָּל הַזֶּה׃   8:9

Judg. 8:9   And he spoke again to the men of Penuel saying, “With my returning in peace, I will break down this tower.”

וְזֶבַח וְצַלְמֻנָּע בַּקַּרְקֹר וּמַחֲנֵיהֶם עִמָּם כַּחֲמֵשֶׁת עָשָׂר אֶלֶף כֹּל הַנּוֹתָרִים מִכֹּל מַחֲנֵה בְנֵי־קֶדֶם   8:10

וְהַנֹּפְלִים מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים אֶלֶף אִישׁ שֹׁלֵף חָרֶב׃

Judg. 8:10   Now Zebach and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts were with them, about fifteen thousand, all who were left from all the host of the children of the east, and the fallen were a hundred and twenty thousand men of drawn sword.

וַיַּעַל גִּדְעוֹן דֶּרֶךְ הַשְּׁכוּנֵי בָאֳהָלִים מִקֶּדֶם לְנֹבַח וְיָגְבֳּהָה וַיַּךְ אֶת־הַמַּחֲנֶה וְהַמַּחֲנֶה הָיָה בֶטַח׃   8:11

Judg. 8:11   And Gideon went up by way of the dwellers in tents from the east to Nobach and Jogbehah, and smote the host, though the camp had been secure.

וַיָּנוּסוּ זֶבַח וְצַלְמֻנָּע וַיִּרְדֹּף אַחֲרֵיהֶם וַיִּלְכֹּד אֶת־שְׁנֵי מַלְכֵי מִדְיָן אֶת־זֶבַח וְאֶת־צַלְמֻנָּע וְכָל־הַמַּחֲנֶה   8:12

הֶחֱרִיד׃

Judg. 8:12   But Zebach and Zalmunna fled and he pursued after them and captured the two kings of Midian, Zebach and Zalmunna, and all the host was discomfited.

וַיָּשָׁב גִּדְעוֹן בֶּן־יוֹאָשׁ מִן־הַמִּלְחָמָה מִלְמַעֲלֵה הֶחָרֶס׃   8:13

Judg. 8:13   And Gideon son of Joash returned from the battle around the rise of Heres.

וַיִּלְכָּד־נַעַר מֵאַנְשֵׁי סֻכּוֹת וַיִּשְׁאָלֵהוּ וַיִּכְתֹּב אֵלָיו אֶת־שָׂרֵי סֻכּוֹת וְאֶת־זְקֵנֶיהָ שִׁבְעִים וְשִׁבְעָה אִישׁ׃   8:14

Judg. 8:14   And he caught a lad from the men of Succoth and he asked him, and he described to him the princes of Succoth and its elders, seventy-seven men.

וַיָּבֹא אֶל־אַנְשֵׁי סֻכּוֹת וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה זֶבַח וְצַלְמֻנָּע אֲשֶׁר חֵרַפְתֶּם אוֹתִי לֵאמֹר הֲכַף זֶבַח וְצַלְמֻנָּע   8:15

עַתָּה בְּיָדֶךָ כִּי נִתֵּן לַאֲנָשֶׁיךָ הַיְּעֵפִים לָחֶם׃

Judg. 8:15   And he came to the men of Succoth and he said, “Behold Zebach and Zalmunna by whom you taunted me saying, ‘Is the power of Zebach and Zalmunna already in your hand for us to give bread to your weary men?’”

וַיִּקַּח אֶת־זִקְנֵי הָעִיר וְאֶת־קוֹצֵי הַמִּדְבָּר וְאֶת־הַבַּרְקֳנִים וַיֹּדַע בָּהֶם אֵת אַנְשֵׁי סֻכּוֹת׃   8:16

Judg. 8:16   Then he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness, and with them taught the men of Succoth.

וְאֶת־מִגְדַּל פְּנוּאֵל נָתָץ וַיַּהֲרֹג אֶת־אַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר׃   8:17

Judg. 8:17   And he broke down the tower of Penuel and slew the men of the city.

וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־זֶבַח וְאֶל־צַלְמֻנָּע אֵיפֹה הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר הֲרַגְתֶּם בְּתָבוֹר וַיֹּאמְרוּ כָּמוֹךָ כְמוֹהֶם אֶחָד   8:18

כְּתֹאַר בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

Judg. 8:18   Then he said to Zabach and to Zalmunna, “Of what kind were the men whom you slew in Tabor?”  And they said, “Like you are, so were they, one same appearance, of the children of a king.”

וַיֹּאמַר אַחַי בְּנֵי־אִמִּי הֵם חַי־יְהוָה לוּ הַחֲיִתֶם אוֹתָם לֹא הָרַגְתִּי אֶתְכֶם׃   8:19

Judg. 8:19   And he said, “They were my brothers, sons of my mother. As life of the Lord is His, if you had let them live, I would not have slain you.”

וַיֹּאמֶר לְיֶתֶר בְּכוֹרוֹ קוּם הֲרֹג אוֹתָם וְלֹא־שָׁלַף הַנַּעַר חַרְבּוֹ כִּי יָרֵא כִּי עוֹדֶנּוּ נָעַר׃   8:20

Judg. 8:20   And he said to Jether, his first born, “Arise, slay them.”  But the youth did not draw his sword, for he was frightened, because he was still a boy.

וַיֹּאמֶר זֶבַח וְצַלְמֻנָּע קוּם אַתָּה וּפְגַע־בָּנוּ כִּי כָאִישׁ גְּבוּרָתוֹ וַיָּקָם גִּדְעוֹן וַיַּהֲרֹג אֶת־זֶבַח וְאֶת־   8:21

צַלְמֻנָּע וַיִּקַּח אֶת־הַשַּׂהֲרֹנִים אֲשֶׁר בְּצַוְּארֵי גְמַלֵּיהֶם׃

Judg. 8:21   Then Zebach and Zalmunna said, “You arise, and fall upon us, for as a man is, is his strength.”  Then Gideon rose and slew Zebach and Zalmunna, and he took the crescents that were on the necks of their camels.

וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־גִּדְעוֹן מְשָׁל־בָּנוּ גַּם־אַתָּה גַּם־בִּנְךָ גַּם בֶּן־בְּנֶךָ כִּי הוֹשַׁעְתָּנוּ מִיַּד מִדְיָן׃   8:22

Judg. 8:22   And the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, both you and your son, and your son's son, for you rescued us from the hand of Midian.”

וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם גִּדְעוֹן לֹא־אֶמְשֹׁל אֲנִי בָּכֶם וְלֹא־יִמְשֹׁל בְּנִי בָּכֶם יְהוָה יִמְשֹׁל בָּכֶם׃   8:23

Judg. 8:23   And Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.”

וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם גִּדְעוֹן אֶשְׁאֲלָה מִכֶּם שְׁאֵלָה וּתְנוּ־לִי אִישׁ נֶזֶם שְׁלָלוֹ כִּי־נִזְמֵי זָהָב לָהֶם כִּי   8:24

יִשְׁמְעֵאלִים הֵם׃

Judg. 8:24   And Gideon said to them, “I will ask a request from you that you give to me, each man, the earrings of his spoil.”  For they had earrings of gold, because they were Ishmaelites.

I believe the Midiatnites and the Ishmaelites were of the same peoples.  It was they who wore the rings (most likely nose rings, not earrings)

וַיֹּאמְרוּ נָתוֹן נִתֵּן וַיִּפְרְשׂוּ אֶת־הַשִּׂמְלָה וַיַּשְׁלִיכוּ שָׁמָּה אִישׁ נֶזֶם שְׁלָלוֹ׃   8:25

Judg. 8:25   And they said, “We give willingly.”  And they spread the garment and they cast each man, the earrings of his spoil, thereon.

וַיְהִי מִשְׁקַל נִזְמֵי הַזָּהָב אֲשֶׁר שָׁאָל אֶלֶף וּשְׁבַע־מֵאוֹת זָהָב לְבַד מִן־הַשַּׂהֲרֹנִים וְהַנְּטִפוֹת וּבִגְדֵי   8:26

הָאַרְגָּמָן שֶׁעַל מַלְכֵי מִדְיָן וּלְבַד מִן־הָעֲנָקוֹת אֲשֶׁר בְּצַוְּארֵי גְמַלֵּיהֶם׃׃

Judg. 8:26   And the weight of the earrings of gold that he obtained was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold apart from the crescents and the pendants and the garments of purple that were on the kings of Midian, and apart from the chains that were on the necks of their camels.

וַיַּעַשׂ אוֹתוֹ גִדְעוֹן לְאֵפוֹד וַיַּצֵּג אוֹתוֹ בְעִירוֹ בְּעָפְרָה וַיִּזְנוּ כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחֲרָיו שָׁם וַיְהִי לְגִדְעוֹן   8:27

וּלְבֵיתוֹ לְמוֹקֵשׁ׃

Judg. 8:27   And Gideon made it for an Ephod and set it in his city, in Ophrah, and all of Israel went astray after it there, and it was a snare for Gideon and for his house.

The ephod he made, which was the term for a priestly shoulder cape or mantle, must have been enormous.  Gideon presumably used all the gold he received, 1,700 shekels, for the ephod.  Thus it must have been like an idol, albeit not of or dedicated to a pagan god.  Apparently, Gideon at this point in time exhibited the root of his own and the people’s corruption.

וַיִּכָּנַע מִדְיָן לִפְנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא יָסְפוּ לָשֵׂאת רֹאשָׁם וַתִּשְׁקֹט הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה בִּימֵי גִדְעוֹן׃   8:28

Judg. 8:28   So Mideon was subdued before the children of Israel and they were not to lift up their heads any more.  And the land had rest forty years in the time of Gideon.

וַיֵּלֶךְ יְרֻבַּעַל בֶּן־יוֹאָשׁ וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּבֵיתוֹ׃   8:29

Judg. 8:29   And Jerubbaal son of Joash went and dwelled in his house.

וּלְגִדְעוֹן הָיוּ שִׁבְעִים בָּנִים יֹצְאֵי יְרֵכוֹ כִּי־נָשִׁים רַבּוֹת הָיוּ לוֹ׃   8:30

Judg. 8:30   And there were seventy sons to Gideon out of his body, for he had many wives.

וּפִילַגְשׁוֹ אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁכֶם יָלְדָה־לּוֹ גַם־הִיא בֵּן וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת־שְׁמוֹ אֲבִימֶלֶךְ׃   8:31

Judg. 8:31   And his concubine, who was in Shechem, bore for him, likewise she, a son, and he called his name Abimelech.

וַיָּמָת גִּדְעוֹן בֶּן־יוֹאָשׁ בְּשֵׂיבָה טוֹבָה וַיִּקָּבֵר בְּקֶבֶר יוֹאָשׁ אָבִיו בְּעָפְרָה אֲבִי הָעֶזְרִי׃   8:32

Judg. 8:32   And Gideon son of Joash died in a good old age, and he was buried in the sepulcher of Joash, his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר מֵת גִּדְעוֹן וַיָּשׁוּבוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּזְנוּ אַחֲרֵי הַבְּעָלִים וַיָּשִׂימוּ לָהֶם בַּעַל בְּרִית לֵאלֹהִים׃   8:33

Judg. 8:33   And it came to pass as Gideon died that the children of Israel turned back again and went astray after the Baalim, and they set up for themselves Baal-brith for a god.

וְלֹא זָכְרוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם הַמַּצִּיל אוֹתָם מִיַּד כָּל־אֹיְבֵיהֶם מִסָּבִיב׃   8:34

Judg. 8:34   And the children of Israel did not remember the Lord, their God, Who delivered them from the hand of all their enemies from all around.

וְלֹא־עָשׂוּ חֶסֶד עִם־בֵּית יְרֻבַּעַל גִּדְעוֹן כְּכָל־הַטּוֹבָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה עִם־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃   8:35

Judg. 8:35   And they did not deal kindly with the house of Jerubbaal -- Gideon -- according to all the good that he had done with Israel.

 

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