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1And the men of Eʹphraim said to him, “What is this that you have done to us, not to call us when you went to fight with Midʹian?” And they upbraided him violently. 2And he said to them, “What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Eʹphraim better than the vintage of Abi-eʹzer? 3God has given into your hands the princes of Midʹian, Oreb and Zeeb; what have I been able to do in comparison with you?” Then their anger against him was abated, when he had said this.

4And Gideon came to the Jordan and passed over, he and the three hundred men who were with him, faint yet pursuing. 5So he said to the men of Succoth, “Pray, give loaves of bread to the people who follow me; for they are faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunʹna, the kings of Midʹian.” 6And the officials of Succoth said, “Are Zebah and Zalmunʹna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your army?” 7And Gideon said, “Well then, when the Lord has given Zebah and Zalmunʹna into my hand, I will flail your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.” 8And from there he went up to Penuʹel, and spoke to them in the same way; and the men of Penuʹel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered. 9And he said to the men of Penuʹel, “When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.”

10Now Zebah and Zalmunʹna were in Karkor with their army, about fifteen thousand men, all who were left of all the army of the people of the East; for there had fallen a hundred and twenty thousand men who drew the sword. 11And Gideon went up by the caravan route east of Nobah and Jogʹbehah, and attacked the army; for the army was off its guard. 12And Zebah and Zalmunʹna fled; and he pursued them and took the two kings of Midʹian, Zebah and Zalmunʹna, and he threw all the army into a panic.

13Then Gideon the son of Joʹash returned from the battle by the ascent of Heres. 14And he caught 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 Zalmunʹna, about whom you taunted me, saying, ‘Are Zebah and Zalmunʹna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are faint?’ ” 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. 17And he broke down the tower of Penuʹel, and slew the men of the city.

18Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunʹna, “Where are the men whom you slew at Tabor?” They answered, “As you are, so were they, every one of them; they resembled the sons of a king.” 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 slay you.” 20And he said to Jether his first-born, “Rise, and slay them.” But the youth did not draw his sword; for he was afraid, because he was still a youth. 21Then Zebah and Zalmunʹna said, “Rise yourself, and fall upon us; for as the man is, so is his strength.” And Gideon arose and slew Zebah and Zalmunʹna; and he took the crescents that were on the necks of their camels.

22Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also; for you have delivered us out of the hand of Midʹian.” 23Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you.” 24And Gideon said to them, “Let me make a request of you; give me every man of you the earrings of his spoil.” (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishʹmaelites.) 25And they answered, “We will willingly give them.” And they spread a garment, and every man cast in it the earrings of his spoil. 26And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold; besides the crescents and the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midʹian, and besides the collars that were about the necks of their camels. 27And Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his city, in Ophrah; and all Israel played the harlot after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family. 28So Midʹian was subdued before the people of Israel, and they lifted up their heads no more. And the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.

29Jerubbaʹal the son of Joʹash went and dwelt in his own house. 30Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives. 31And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he called his name Abimʹelech. 32And Gideon the son of Joʹash died in a good old age, and was buried in the tomb of Joʹash his father, at Ophrah of the Abiezʹrites.

33As soon as Gideon died, the people of Israel turned again and played the harlot after the Baʹals, and made Baʹal-beʹrith their god. 34And the people of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hand of all their enemies on every side; 35and they did not show kindness to the family of Jerubbaʹal (that is, Gideon) in return for all the good that he had done to Israel.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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