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Judges 8:24-27

8:24 Gideon continued, 1  “I would like to make one request. Each of you give me an earring from the plunder you have taken.” 2  (The Midianites 3  had gold earrings because they were Ishmaelites.) 8:25 They said, “We are happy to give you earrings.” 4  So they 5  spread out a garment, and each one threw an earring from his plunder onto it. 8:26 The total weight of the gold earrings he requested came to seventeen hundred gold shekels. 6  This was in addition to the crescent-shaped ornaments, jewelry, 7  purple clothing worn by the Midianite kings, and the necklaces on the camels. 8  8:27 Gideon used all this to make 9  an ephod, 10  which he put in his hometown of Ophrah. All the Israelites 11  prostituted themselves to it by worshiping it 12  there. It became a snare to Gideon and his family.

1 tn Heb “said to them.”

2 tn Heb “Give to me, each one, an earring from his plunder.”

3 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the Midianites) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 tn Heb “We will indeed give.”

5 tc In the LXX the subject of this verb is singular, referring to Gideon rather than to the Israelites.

6 sn Seventeen hundred gold shekels would be about 42.7 pounds (19.4 kilograms) of gold.

7 tn Or “pendants.”

8 tn Heb “the ornaments which were on the necks of their camels.”

9 tn Heb “made it into.”

10 sn In Exod 28:4-6 and several other texts an ephod is described as a priestly or cultic garment. In some cases an ephod is used to obtain a divine oracle (1 Sam 23:9; 30:7). Here the ephod is made of gold and is described as being quite heavy (70-75 lbs?). Some identify it as an idol, but it was more likely a cultic object fashioned in the form of a garment which was used for oracular purposes. For discussion of the ephod in the OT, see C. F. Burney, Judges, 236-43, and R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 349-52.

11 tn Heb “Israel” (a collective singular).

12 tn The words “by worshiping it” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

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