8:14 He captured a young man from Succoth 1 and interrogated him. The young man wrote down for him the names of Succoth’s officials and city leaders – seventy-seven men in all. 2 8:15 He approached the men of Succoth and said, “Look what I have! 3 Zebah and Zalmunna! You insulted me, saying, ‘You have not yet overpowered Zebah and Zalmunna. So why should we give bread to your exhausted men?’” 4 8:16 He seized the leaders 5 of the city, along with some desert thorns and briers; he then “threshed” the men of Succoth with them. 6
1 tn Heb “from the men of Succoth.”
2 tn Heb “wrote down for him the officials of Succoth and its elders, seventy-seven men.”
3 tn Heb “Look!” The words “what I have” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
4 tn Heb “Are the palms of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give to your exhausted men bread?”
sn Gideon changes their actual statement (see v. 6) by saying exhausted men rather than “army.” In this way he emphasizes the crisis his men were facing and highlights the insensitivity of the men of Succoth.
5 tn Heb “elders.”
6 tc The translation follows the reading of several ancient versions (LXX, the Syriac Peshitta, and Vulgate) in assuming the form וַיָּדָשׁ (vayyadash) from the verb דּוֹשׁ (dosh, “thresh”) as in v. 7. The MT reads instead the form וַיֹּדַע (vayyoda’, “make known”), a Hiphil form of יָדַע (yadah). In this case one could translate, “he used them [i.e., the thorns and briers] to teach the men of Succoth a lesson.”