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Jehovah’s Witnesses


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The Bible in Living English

Judges 8:1-35

8  and the men of Ephraim said to him “What is this thing you have done to us, not calling us when you went to attack the Midianites?” and upbraided him sharply. 2*  But he said to them “What have I done now that was like you? was not Ephraim’s aftermath better than Abiʽezer’s crop? 3  It was into your hands that God gave the chiefs of the Midianites, Raven and Wolf; and what was I able to do that was like you?” Then their ill humor toward him quieted down at his saying this. 4**  And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed it, he and the three hundred men that were with him, faint and pressing on the pursuit; 5  and he said to the men of Succoth “Please give some biscuits to the people at my back; for they are faint, and I am in pursuit of Zebah and Salmunnaʽ, the kings of the Midianites.” 6  And the captains of Succoth said “Are the hands of Zebah and Salmunnaʽ in your hands already, that we should give your levy bread?” 7*  And Gideon said “So when Jehovah gives Zebah and Salmunnaʽ into my hands I will thresh your flesh along with wilderness thorns and thistle-heads.” 8  And he went up from there to Penuel and said the like to them, and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had; 9  and he said to the men of Penuel too “When I come back safe I will pull down this tower.” 10  And Zebah and Salmunnaʽ were at Karkor and their camps with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of the whole camp of the Eastern Beduins; and those who had fallen were a hundred and twenty thousand fighting men. 11*  And Gideon went up to the Tent-Dwellers’ Road east of Nobah, and Jogbehah, and attacked the camp while it was off its guard; 12  and Zebah and Salmunnaʽ took flight, and he pursued them. And he took the two kings of the Midianites, Zebah and Salmunnaʽ, and put all the camp to rout. 13*  And Gideon the son of Joash came back from battle higher than the sun, 14  and caught a young man who belonged to Succoth and questioned him, and he wrote down for him the captains and elders of Succoth, seventy-seven men; 15  and Gideon came to the men of Succoth and said “Here are Zebah and Salmunnaʽ, about whom you taunted me with the question ‘Are the hands of Zebah and Salmunnaʽ in your hands already, that we should give your fainting men bread?’” 16*  and he took the elders of the city and wilderness thorns and thistle-heads and gave the men of Succoth a lesson with them. 17  And he pulled down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city. 18*  And he said to Zebah and Salmunnaʽ “What were the men you killed at Tabor like?” and they said “Just like you; either one of them looked like a king’s son.” 19  And he said “They were my brothers, my mother’s sons; by Jehovah, if you had spared their lives I would not have killed you”; 20  and he said to his oldest son Jether “Stand up and kill them.” But the boy did not draw his sword; for he was afraid, because he was still a boy. 21*  And Zebah and Salmunnaʽ said “Stand up yourself and cut us down, because a man has a man’s might”; and Gideon stood up and killed Zebah and Salinunnaʽ and took the crescents on their camels’ necks. 22  And the men of Israel said to Gideon “Rule over us, you and your son and your son’s son, because you have saved us out of the hands of the Midianites”; 23  and Gideon said to them “I will not rule over you, neither shall my son; Jehovah shall rule over you.” 24*  But Gideon said to them “I will make a request of you: give me the earrings in your booty.” (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) 25*  And they said “That we will”; and he spread out his cloak and they threw in the earrings in their booty; 26  and the weight of the golden earrings that he got for his asking was nine hundred ounce of gold, besides the crescents and pendants and purple garments that were on the kings of the Midianites, and besides the necklaces on their camels’ necks. 27  And Gideon made it into an ephod and placed it in his city Ghophrah, and all Israel prostituted themselves to go after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family. 28  But the Midianites were humbled before the sons of Israel, and no longer held their heads high. And the country was quiet forty years in Gideon’s days. 29  And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went to his home and lived there. 30  And Gideon had seventy sons, the issue of his body; for he had many wives. 31  And his concubine at Shekem also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelec. 32*  And Gideon the son of Joash died at a good old age, and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash at Ghophrath-Abi-ha-ʽEzri. 33  And when Gideon was dead the sons of Israel went back to prostituting themselves to follow the Baals and made Baal-berith their god. 34  And the sons of Israel did not remember their God Jehovah who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on all sides, 35  did not befriend the family of Jerubbaal Gideon in accordance with all the good he had done to Israel.


8:2 (aftermath) Lit. second gathering of grapes
8:4 Var. to the Jordan; he crosses it, and the
8:4 Var. faint and hungry; and he
8:7 (thistle-heads) Lit. heads of the caltrop plant
8:11 (to the Tent-Dwellers’ Road) As the Hebrew copies are pointed it is not good Hebrew; there may be some mistake
8:13 (higher than the sun) The meaning is in dispute, and there may be a mistake in the words
8:16 (gave the men of Succoth a lesson) Var. threshed the men of Succoth
8:18 Var. like you, looking like kings’ sons
8:21 The Hebrew words and their meaning are more or less uncertain in this speech; var. because your might is like a man’s
8:24 Conj. give me an earring apiece out of your booty
8:25 Var. they spread out
8:32 The form of the name of the place is uncertain here