Judges 81 And the men of Ephraim said to him, “What is this, that you wanted to do, so that you would not call us when you went to fight against Midian?” And they rebuked him strongly, and came close to using violence. 2 And he responded to them: “But what could I have done that would be so great as what you have done? Is not one bunch of grapes of Ephraim better than the vintages of Abiezer? 3 The Lord has delivered into your hands the leaders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. What could I have done that would be so great as what you have done?” And when he had said this, their spirit, which was swelling up against him, was quieted. 4 And when Gideon had arrived at the Jordan, he crossed over it with the three hundred men who were with him. And they were so weary that they were unable to pursue those who were fleeing. 5 And he said to the men of Succoth, “I beg you, give bread to the people who are with me, for they are greatly weakened, so that we may be able to pursue Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.” 6 The leaders of Succoth answered, “Perhaps the palms of the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna are in your hand, and for this reason, you request that we give bread to your army.” 7 And he said to them, “So then, when the Lord will have delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into my hands, I will thresh your flesh with the thorns and briers of the desert.” 8 And going up from there, he arrived at Penuel. And he spoke to the men of that place similarly. And they also answered him, just as the men of Succoth had answered. 9 And so he said to them also, “When I will have returned as a victor in peace, I will destroy this tower.” 10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were resting with their entire army. For fifteen thousand men were left out of all the troops of the eastern people. And one hundred twenty thousand warriors that drew the sword had been cut down. 11 And Gideon ascended by the way of those who were dwelling in tents, to the eastern part of Nobah and Jogbehah. And he struck the camp of the enemies, who were confident and were suspecting nothing adverse. 12 And Zebah and Zalmunna fled. And Gideon pursued and overtook them, sending their entire army into confusion. 13 And returning from the war before sunrise, 14 he took a boy from among the men of Succoth. And he asked him the names of the leaders and elders of Succoth. And he described seventy-seven men. 15 And he went to Succoth, and he said to them: “Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, over whom you rebuked me, saying: ‘Perhaps the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna are in your hands, and for this reason, you request that we give bread to men who are languishing and weakened.’ ” 16 Therefore, he took the elders of the city, and, using the thorns and briers of the desert, he threshed them with these, and he cut the men of Succoth to pieces. 17 He also overturned the tower of Penuel, and he killed the men of the city. 18 And he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “What kind of men were those whom you killed at Tabor?” They responded, “They were like you, and one of them was like the son of a king.” 19 He answered them: “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As the Lord lives, if you had preserved them, I would not kill you.” 20 And he said to Jether, his firstborn son, “Rise up, and put them to death.” But he did not draw his sword. For he was afraid, being still a boy. 21 And Zebah and Zalmunna said: “You should rise up and rush against us. For the strength of a man is in accord with his age.” Gideon rose up, and he killed Zebah and Zalmunna. And he took the ornaments and studs, with which the necks of the royal camels are usually adorned. 22 And all the men of Israel said to Gideon: “You should rule over us, and your son, and your son’s son. For you freed us from the hand of Midian.” 23 And he said to them: “I will not rule over you. Neither shall my son rule over you. Instead, the Lord shall rule over you.” 24 And he said to them: “I petition one request from you. Give me the earrings from your spoils.” For the Ishmaelites were accustomed to wear gold earrings. 25 They responded, “We are very willing to give them.” And spreading a cloak on the ground, they cast upon it the earrings from the spoils. 26 And the weight of the earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold, aside from the ornaments, and necklaces, and purple garments, which the kings of Midian were accustomed to use, and aside from the gold chains on the camels. 27 And Gideon made an ephod from these, and he kept it in his city, Ophrah. And all of Israel committed fornication with it, and it became a ruin to Gideon and to all his house. 28 But Midian was humbled before the sons of Israel. Neither were they able any longer to lift up their necks. But the land rested for forty years, while Gideon presided. 29 And so Jerubbaal, the son of Joash, went and lived in his own house. 30 And he had seventy sons, who went forth from his own thigh. For he had many wives. 31 But his concubine, whom he had in Shechem, bore him a son named Abimelech. 32 And Gideon, the son of Joash, died in a good old age, and he was buried in the sepulcher of his father, at Ophrah, of the family of Ezri. 33 But after Gideon died, the sons of Israel turned away, and they committed fornication with the Baals. And they struck a covenant with Baal, so that he would be their god. 34 And they did not remember the Lord their God, who rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on all sides. 35 Neither did they show mercy to the house of Jerubbaal Gideon, in accord with all the good that he had done for Israel.
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