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CHAPTER 8 Jun. 10 
Zeba and Zalmunna
The men of Ephraim said to him, Why have you treated us this way, that you didn’t call us when you went to fight with Midian? They rebuked him sharply. 2He said to them, What have I now done in comparison with you? Isn’t the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? 3God has delivered into your hand the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb! What was I able to do in comparison with you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that. 4Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over with the three hundred men, exhausted yet pursuing. 5He said to the men of Succoth, Please give loaves of bread to the people who follow me, for they are exhausted and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian. 6The princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your possession, that we should give bread to your army? 7Gideon said Because of that, when Yahweh has delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers. 8He went up from there to Penuel and spoke to them in the same way, and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered. 9He said to the men of Penuel, When I come again in peace I will break down this tower. 10Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor and their armies with them, about fifteen thousand men, all who were left of all the army of the people of the east; one hundred and twenty thousand fighting men having been killed. 11Gideon went up by the way of those who lived in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the army, which was unsuspecting. 12Zebah and Zalmunna fled and he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and routed all the army. 13Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle from the ascent of Heres. 14He caught a young man of Succoth and asked of him, and he described for him the princes of Succoth and its elders, seventy-seven men. 15He came to the men of Succoth and said, See Zebah and Zalmunna, concerning whom you taunted me saying, ‘Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your possession, that we should give bread to your men who are weary?’ 16He took the elders of the city and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth a lesson. 17He broke down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city. 18Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, What kind of men were they whom you killed at Tabor? They answered, They were like you. Each one resembled the children of a king. 19He said, They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As Yahweh lives, if you had saved them alive, I would not kill you. 20He said to Jether his firstborn, Get up and kill them! But the youth didn’t draw his sword for he was afraid, because he was still a youth. 21Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Get up and do it yourself, for as the man is, so is his strength. Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna and took the crescents that were on their camels’ necks. 
Gideon Makes an Ephod
22Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, Rule over us, both you and your son and your son’s son also, for you have saved us out of the hand of Midian. 23Gideon said to them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you. Yahweh shall rule over you. 24Gideon said to them, I would make a request of you, that every man would give me the earrings of his spoil. They had golden earrings because they were Ishmaelites. 25They answered, We will willingly give them. They spread a garment and each man threw the earrings of his spoil into it. 26The weight of the golden earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold, besides the crescents, the pendants and the purple clothing that was on the kings of Midian, and besides the chains that were about their camels’ necks. 27Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his city, in Ophrah, and all Israel prostituted themselves by worshipping it there; and it became a snare to Gideon and to his house. 
The Death of Gideon
28So Midian was subdued before the Israelites, and they exalted their heads no more. The land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon. 29Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and lived in his own house. 30Gideon had seventy sons conceived from his body, for he had many wives. 31His concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son and he named him Abimelech. 32Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 33As soon as Gideon was dead, the people of Israel turned again and played the prostitute after the Baals, and made Baal Berith their god. 34The Israelites didn’t remember Yahweh their God Who had delivered them out of the hand of all their enemies on every side, 35neither did they show kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, that is, Gideon, according to all the kindness which he had showed to Israel.


8:3 Then their anger was abated- The Proverbs are full of allusion to Israel’s earlier history; Prov. 15:1 “a soft answer turns away wrath” clearly alludes here. Gideon could’ve responded that they could’ve come to help him in his hour of need but chose not to, and now wanted to share the glory of the victory. But he speaks humbly to them. We don’t always have to state truth as it is; rather there are times when we must follow the things which make for peace with people, however wrong they may be (Rom. 14:19). See on 12:2.
8:6  This was the exact spirit of Israel’s suspicious cousins when they were on their way from Egypt to Canaan (Num. 20:17,18). They should have learnt the lesson from Divine history. 
8:23 Here we again see how Israel were God’s Kingdom on earth; this Kingdom was overturned when the last king of Judah was removed (Ez. 21:25-27) and will be re-established on earth at Christ’s return (Acts 1:6). 
8:24-27 When Gideon received the golden earrings of the Ishmaelites, his mind should have flown back to how golden earrings were turned into the golden calf (Ex. 32:2). He was potentially given the strength to resist the temptation to turn them into an idol. But he must have blanked out that Biblical precedent in his heart; he ignored his spiritual potential, just as we are tempted to do so often. 
8:27 Twice in 1 Timothy, Paul speaks about a snare; the snare of the devil (1 Tim. 3:7), and the snare of wanting wealth (6:9). The desire for wealth in whatever form is the very epitome of the devil, our internal sinful tendencies which we must struggle against. The idea of a snare is that it results in a sudden and unexpected destruction. The implication is that those who are materialistic don't realize that in fact this is their besetting sin, and therefore their rejection in the end because of it will be so tragically unexpected. It's rather like pride; if you're proud and you don't know it, then you really are proud. And if we're materialistic and don't know it, we likewise really have a problem. The idea of riches being a snare connects with frequent references to idols as Israel's perpetual snare (Ex. 23:33; Dt. 7:16; Jud. 2:3; 8:27; Ps. 106:36; Hos. 5:1). Paul's point is surely that the desire for wealth in our generation is the equivalent of idolatry in the Old Testament. 
8:30 Although Heb. 11:32 speaks of Gideon as one of the faithful who will be resurrected to live eternally in God’s Kingdom on earth at Christ’s return, it seems that he rested on the laurels of earlier spiritual victories, and in later life became complacent. Although this is a failure we should avoid, we are comforted by God’s grace in still accepting Gideon.