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Translation for Translators - Judges

Judges 8

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1Then the descendants of Ephraim said to Gideon, “Why have you acted toward us like this? When you went out to fight against the people of Midian, why did you not summon us to help you?” They rebuked Gideon severely.
2But Gideon replied, “I have done RHQ very little compared with what you have done! My small clan of descendants of Abiezer only started the battle, but your very large group of descendants of Ephraim helped me to finish the task very well. It is like the final grapes of the harvest being much better than the first grapes that are picked.
3God enabled you to defeat Oreb and Zeeb, the generals of the army from Midian. That is RHQ much more important than what I did!” After Gideon told them that, they no longer resented what he had done.
4Then Gideon and his 300 men went east and crossed the Jordan River. Although they were very tired, they continued to pursue their enemies.
5When they arrived at Succoth town, Gideon said to the town leaders, “Please give my men some food! They are very tired. We are pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”
6But the leaders of Succoth replied, “You have not caught RHQ Zebah and Zalmunna yet. So why should we give food to your troops now? Catch them first, and then we will give you food.”
7Gideon replied, “ Because you said that, after Yahweh enables us to defeat Zebah and Zalmunna, we will return. And then we will make whips from thorns from the desert, and with them we will rip the flesh off your bones!”
8From there, Gideon and his 300 men went to Peniel and asked for food there, but the people gave him the same answer.
9So he said to the men of Peniel, “After I defeat those kings, I will return and tear down this tower!”
10By that time, Zebah and Zalmunna had gone to Karkor town with 15,000 troops. They were all that were left of the armies that had come from the east. 120,000 of their men had already been killed.
11Gideon and his men went east along the road on which caravans travel. They went past Nobah and Jogbehah villages and arrived at the enemy camp by surprise.
12Zebah and Zalmunna fled, but Gideon's men pursued them and captured them and all their warriors.
13After that, Gideon and his men took Zebah and Zalmunna with them and started to return, going through Heres Pass.
14There he captured a young man from Succoth, and demanded that he write down the names of all of the leaders in the town. The young man wrote down seventy-seven names.
15Then Gideon and his men returned to Succoth and said to those leaders, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna. When we were here before, you made fun of me and said ‘You have not RHQ caught Zebah and Zalmunna yet! After you catch them, we will give your exhausted men some food.’ ”
16Then Gideon's men took the town leaders and whipped them with whips made from briers from the desert, to teach them that they deserved to be punished for not giving them any food.
17Then they went to Peniel and tore down the tower, and killed all the men in the town.
18Then Gideon said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “The men you killed near Tabor Mountain, what did they look like?” They replied, “They were like you; they all looked like they were sons of a king.”

19Gideon replied, “They were my brothers! Just as surely as Yahweh lives, I would not kill you if you had not killed them.”
20Then he turned to his oldest son, Jether. He said to him, “Kill them!” But Jether was only a boy, and he was afraid, so he did not pull out his dagger to kill them.
21Then Zebah and Zalmunna said to Gideon, “Do not ask a young boy to do the work that a man should do!” So Gideon killed both of them. Then he took the gold ornaments from the necks of their camels.
22Then a group of Israeli men came to Gideon and said to him, “You be our ruler! We want you and your son and your grandsons to be our rulers, because you rescued us from the Midian army.”
23But Gideon replied, “No, I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you. Yahweh will rule over you.”
24Then he said, “I request only one thing. I request that each of you give me one earring from the things you captured after the battle.” All the men descended from Ishmael wore gold earrings.
25They replied, “We will be glad to give earrings to you!” So they spread a cloth on the ground, and each man threw on it one gold earring that he had taken from a man he had killed in the battle.
26The weight of all the earrings was ◄43 pounds/19.4 kg.►. That did not include other things that they gave to Gideon —the other ornaments or the pendants or the clothes that the kings of Midian wore or the gold chains that were on the necks of their camels.
27Gideon made/decorated a sacred vest from the gold, and later he put it in his hometown, Ophrah. But soon the Israeli people started to worship the vest. So it became like a trap MET for the people, causing them to worship it instead of worshiping only God.
28That is how the Israelis defeated the people from Midian. The people of Midian did not become strong enough to attack Israel again. So while Gideon was alive, there was peace in the land for forty years.
29Gideon went back home to live there.
30He had many wives, and they bore him seventy sons.
31He also had a slave wife in Shechem town, who bore him a son whom he named Abimelech.
32Gideon died when he was very old. They buried his body in the grave where his father Joash was buried, at Ophrah, in the land belonging to the descendants of Abiether.
33But as soon as Gideon died, the Israelis stopped worshiping God and started worshiping the images of the god Baal, like MET adultresses leave their husbands and go to sleep with other men. They made a statue of a new god called Baal-Berith.
34They forgot about Yahweh, the one who had rescued them from all their enemies that surrounded them.
35And even though Gideon had done many good things for the Israelis, they were not kind to Gideon's family.