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Judges 7:24--8:3

Context
Gideon Appeases the Ephraimites

7:24 Now Gideon sent messengers throughout the Ephraimite hill country who announced, “Go down and head off the Midianites. 1  Take control of the fords of the streams 2  all the way to Beth Barah and the Jordan River.” 3  When all the Ephraimites had assembled, 4  they took control of the fords 5  all the way to Beth Barah and the Jordan River. 7:25 They captured the two Midianite generals, Oreb and Zeeb. 6  They executed Oreb on the rock of Oreb and Zeeb 7  in the winepress of Zeeb. They chased the Midianites 8  and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was now on the other side of the Jordan River. 9 

8:1 The Ephraimites said to him, “Why have you done such a thing to us? You did not summon us 10  when you went to fight the Midianites!” They argued vehemently with him. 8:2 He said to them, “Now what have I accomplished compared to you? Even Ephraim’s leftover grapes 11  are better quality than Abiezer’s harvest! 12  8:3 It was to you that God handed over the Midianite generals, Oreb and Zeeb! What did I accomplish to rival that?” 13  When he said this, they calmed down. 14 

1 tn Heb “to meet Midian.”

2 tn Heb “capture before them the waters.”

3 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarification (also later in this verse).

4 tn Heb “And all the men of Ephraim were summoned.”

5 tn Heb “they captured the waters.”

6 sn The names Oreb and Zeeb, which mean “Raven” and “Wolf” respectively, are appropriate because the Midianites had been like scavengers and predators to Israel.

7 tn The Hebrew text repeats the verb “executed.” This has not been repeated in the translation for stylistic reasons.

8 tn Heb “Midian.”

9 tn Heb “beyond the Jordan.” The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation for clarity (also in 8:4).

10 tn Heb “by not summoning us.”

11 tn Heb “gleanings.”

12 sn Ephraim’s leftover grapes are better quality than Abiezer’s harvest. Gideon employs an agricultural metaphor. He argues that Ephraim’s mopping up operations, though seemingly like the inferior grapes which are missed initially by the harvesters or left for the poor, are actually more noteworthy than the military efforts of Gideon’s family.

13 tn Heb “What was I able to do compared to you?”

14 tn Heb “Then their spirits relaxed from against him, when he spoke this word.”



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