8Then the people of Ephraim asked Gideon, "Why have you treated us this way? Why didn't you send for us when you first went out to fight the Midianites?" And they argued heatedly with Gideon.H376H669H559H4100H6213H1697H7121H1980H3898H4080H7378H2394 2But Gideon replied, "What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren't even the leftover grapes of Ephraim's harvest better than the entire crop of my little clan of Abiezer?H559H6213H5955H669H2896H1210H44 3God gave you victory over Oreb and Zeeb, the commanders of the Midianite army. What have I accomplished compared to that?" When the men of Ephraim heard Gideon's answer, their anger subsided.H430H5414H3027H8269H4080H6159H2062H3201H6213H7307H7503H1697H1696 4Gideon then crossed the Jordan River with his 300 men, and though exhausted, they continued to chase the enemy.H1439H935H3383H5674H7969H3967H376H5889H7291 5When they reached Succoth, Gideon asked the leaders of the town, "Please give my warriors some food. They are very tired. I am chasing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian."H559H582H5523H5414H3603H3899H5971H7272H5889H7291H310H2078H6759H4428H4080 6But the officials of Succoth replied, "Catch Zebah and Zalmunna first, and then we will feed your army."H8269H5523H559H3709H2078H6759H3027H5414H3899H6635 7So Gideon said, "After the LORD gives me victory over Zebah and Zalmunna, I will return and tear your flesh with the thorns and briers from the wilderness."H1439H559H3068H5414H2078H6759H3027H1758H1320H6975H4057H1303 8From there Gideon went up to Peniel and again asked for food, but he got the same answer.H5927H6439H1696H2063H582H6439H6030H582H5523H6030 9So he said to the people of Peniel, "After I return in victory, I will tear down this tower."H559H582H6439H559H7725H7965H5422H4026 10By this time Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with 15,000 warriors—all that remained of the allied armies of the east, for 120,000 had already been killed.H2078H6759H7174H4264H2568H6240H505H3498H4264H1121H6924H5307H3967H6242H505H376H8025H2719 11Gideon circled around by the caravan route east of Nobah and Jogbehah, taking the Midianite army by surprise.H1439H5927H1870H7931H168H6924H5025H3011H5221H4264H4264H983 12Zebah and Zalmunna, the two Midianite kings, fled, but Gideon chased them down and captured all their warriors.H2078H6759H5127H7291H310H3920H8147H4428H4080H2078H6759H2729H4264 13After this, Gideon returned from the battle by way of Heres Pass.H1439H1121H3101H7725H4421H4608H2775 14There he captured a young man from Succoth and demanded that he write down the names of all the seventy-seven officials and elders in the town.H3920H5288H582H5523H7592H3789H8269H5523H2205H7657H7651H376 15Gideon then returned to Succoth and said to the leaders, "Here are Zebah and Zalmunna. When we were here before, you taunted me, saying, 'Catch Zebah and Zalmunna first, and then we will feed your exhausted army.'"H935H582H5523H559H2078H6759H2778H559H3709H2078H6759H3027H5414H3899H582H3287 16Then Gideon took the elders of the town and taught them a lesson, punishing them with thorns and briers from the wilderness.H3947H2205H5892H6975H4057H1303H3045H582H5523 17He also tore down the tower of Peniel and killed all the men in the town.H5422H4026H6439H2026H582H5892 18Then Gideon asked Zebah and Zalmunna, "The men you killed at Tabor—what were they like?" "Like you," they replied. "They all had the look of a king's son."H559H2078H6759H375H582H2026H8396H559H3644H259H8389H1121H4428 19"They were my brothers, the sons of my own mother!" Gideon exclaimed. "As surely as the LORD lives, I wouldn't kill you if you hadn't killed them."H559H251H1121H517H3068H2416H3863H2421H2026 20Turning to Jether, his oldest son, he said, "Kill them!" But Jether did not draw his sword, for he was only a boy and was afraid.H559H3500H1060H6965H2026H5288H8025H2719H3372H5288 21Then Zebah and Zalmunna said to Gideon, "Be a man! Kill us yourself!" So Gideon killed them both and took the royal ornaments from the necks of their camels.H2078H6759H559H6965H6293H376H1369H1439H6965H2026H2078H6759H3947H7720H1581H6677 22Then the Israelites said to Gideon, "Be our ruler! You and your son and your grandson will be our rulers, for you have rescued us from Midian."H376H3478H559H1439H4910H1121H1121H1121H3467H3027H4080 23But Gideon replied, "I will not rule over you, nor will my son. The LORD will rule over you!H1439H559H4910H1121H4910H3068H4910 24However, I do have one request—that each of you give me an earring from the plunder you collected from your fallen enemies." (The enemies, being Ishmaelites, all wore gold earrings.)H1439H559H7592H7596H5414H376H5141H7998H2091H5141H3459 25"Gladly!" they replied. They spread out a cloak, and each one threw in a gold earring he had gathered from the plunder.H559H5414H5414H6566H8071H7993H376H5141H7998 26The weight of the gold earrings was forty-three pounds, not including the royal ornaments and pendants, the purple clothing worn by the kings of Midian, or the chains around the necks of their camels.H4948H2091H5141H7592H505H7651H3967H2091H7720H5188H713H899H4428H4080H6060H1581H6677 27Gideon made a sacred ephod from the gold and put it in Ophrah, his hometown. But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family.H1439H6213H646H3322H5892H6084H3478H2181H310H4170H1439H1004 28That is the story of how the people of Israel defeated Midian, which never recovered. Throughout the rest of Gideon's lifetime—about forty years—there was peace in the land.H4080H3665H6440H1121H3478H5375H7218H3254H776H8252H705H8141H3117H1439 29Then Gideon son of Joash returned home.H3378H1121H3101H3212H3427H1004 30He had seventy sons born to him, for he had many wives.H1439H7657H1121H3409H3318H7227H802 31He also had a concubine in Shechem, who gave birth to a son, whom he named Abimelech.H6370H7927H3205H1121H8034H7760H40 32Gideon died when he was very old, and he was buried in the grave of his father, Joash, at Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer.H1439H1121H3101H4191H2896H7872H6912H6913H3101H1H6084H33 33As soon as Gideon died, the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping the images of Baal, making Baal-berith their god.H1439H4191H1121H3478H7725H2181H310H1168H7760H1170H430 34They forgot the LORD their God, who had rescued them from all their enemies surrounding them.H1121H3478H2142H3068H430H5337H3027H341H5439 35Nor did they show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-baal (that is, Gideon), despite all the good he had done for Israel.H6213H2617H1004H3378H1439H2896H6213H3478
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