Judges 8

NSB(i) 1 Then the people of Ephraim said to Gideon: »Why did you not call us when you went to fight the Midianites? Why did you treat us like this?« They complained bitterly about it. 2 He said: »What have I accomplished compared to you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abi-ezer? 3 »God delivered the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb, to you. What was I able to do in comparison to you?« Then their anger toward him subsided at what he said. 4 Gideon and his three hundred men passed over the Jordan. Their pursuit continued. 5 He said to the men of Succoth: »Give my troops some bread. They are tired. I am still pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.« 6 The princes of Succoth said: »Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your army?« 7 Gideon said: »When Jehovah delivers Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.« 8 He went up to Penuel and made the same request of them. The men of Penuel gave the same answer as the men of Succoth. 9 He spoke to the men of Penuel: »When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.« 10 Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor. Their armies were with them, about fifteen thousand men all that were left of all the armies of the children of the east. They had already lost a hundred and twenty thousand swordsmen. 11 Gideon went up by the way of the nomads who lived in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah. They attacked the army while the camp felt secure. 12 When Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued them and captured them and routed the entire army. 13 Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun came up (at Heres Pass). 14 He captured a young man from Succoth and questioned him. He described the princes of Succoth, and the elders and even seventy-seven men. 15 Then Gideon went to the men of Sukkoth and said: »Remember when you refused to help me? You said that you could not give any food to my exhausted army because I had not captured Zebah and Zalmunna yet. Well, here they are!« 16 Then he took the elders of the town and had them crushed on a bed of thorns and sharp stems. 17 He tore down the tower at Penuel. He also killed the men of that city. 18 Then Gideon asked Zebah and Zalmunna: »What kind of men were the men you killed at Tabor?« They answered: »They looked like you, every one of them like the son of a king.« 19 He said: »They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As Jehovah lives, if you had saved them alive, I will not kill you.« 20 He said to Jether his firstborn: »Rise up and kill them.« But the youth would not draw his sword. He was afraid because he was still a youth. 21 Zebah and Zalmunna said to Gideon: »Kill us yourself. It takes a man to do this job.« Gideon killed them and took the ornaments that were on the necks of their camels. 22 The Israelites said to Gideon: »Be our ruler, you and your descendants after you. You saved us from the Midianites.« 23 Gideon answered: »I will not be your ruler, nor will my son. Jehovah will be your ruler!« 24 He also said: »Let me ask one thing of you. Every one of you must give me the earrings you took.« (The Midianites wore gold earrings.) 25 They answered: »We will gladly give them to you.« They spread out a cloth, and everyone put the earrings that he had taken on it. 26 The gold earrings that Gideon got weighed over forty pounds. This did not include the ornaments, necklaces, and purple clothes that the kings of Midian wore. It also did not include the collars that were around the necks of their camels. 27 Gideon made an idol from the gold and placed it in his hometown, Ophrah. The Israelites abandoned God and went there to worship the idol. It was a trap for Gideon and his family. 28 Midian was defeated by the Israelites and was no longer a threat. The land was at peace for forty years, until Gideon died. 29 Gideon went back to his home and lived there. 30 He had many wives and seventy sons. 31 He also kept a concubine in Shechem. She bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech. 32 Gideon son of Joash died at an old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash, at Ophrah. Ophrah was the town of the clan of Abiezer. 33 After Gideon’s death the people of Israel were unfaithful to God again. They worshiped the Baals. They made Baal-Berith their god. 34 They no longer served Jehovah their God, who had saved them from all their enemies around them. 35 They did not show kindness to the family of Gideon for all the good that he had done for Israel.