Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and encamped beside the spring of Harod: and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
2 And Yahweh said to Gideon, The people that are with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel glorify itself against me, saying, My own hand has saved me. 3 Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return and depart from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty-two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.
4 And Yahweh said to Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down to the water, and I will try them for you there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto you, This shall go with you, the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you, This one shall not go with you, the same shall not go. 5 So he brought down the people to the water: and Yahweh said to Gideon, Every one that laps of the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, him shall you set by himself; likewise every one that bows down upon his knees to drink. 6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down on their knees to drink water. 7 And Yahweh said to Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand; and let the people go, each to his place. 8 So the people took provisions in their hand, and their trumpets; and he sent all the men of Israel, each to his tent, but retained the three hundred men: and the camp of Midian was beneath him in the valley.
9 And it came to pass the same night, that Yahweh said to him, Arise, go down into the camp; for I have delivered it into your hand. 10 But if you fear to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp: 11 And you shall hear what they say; and afterward shall your hands be strengthened to go down to the camp. Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outermost part of the armed men that were in the camp. 12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like locusts for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand which is upon the seashore for multitude. 13 And when Gideon had come, behold, there was a man telling a dream to his fellow; and he said, Behold, I dreamed a dream; and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian, and came to the tent, and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down, that the tent lay flat. 14 And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: into his hand Elohim has delivered Midian, and all the host.
15 And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation of it, that he worshiped; and he returned into the camp of Israel, and said, Arise; for Yahweh has delivered into your hand the host of Midian. 16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put into the hands of all of them trumpets and empty pitchers, with torches within the pitchers. 17 And he said to them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outermost part of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall you do. 18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all that are with me, then you blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, For Yahweh, and for Gideon.
19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came to the outermost part of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch, when they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and broke in pieces the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and broke the pitchers, and held the torches in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow; and they cried, The sword of Yahweh, and of Gideon. 21 And they stood every man in his place all around the camp; and all the host ran; and shouted, and put them to flight. 22 And they blew the three hundred trumpets, and Yahweh set every man’s sword against his fellow, and against all the host; and the host fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. 23 And the men of Israel were gathered together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after Midian.
24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all the hill-country of Ephraim, saying, Come down against Midian, and take before them the waters, as far as Beth-barah even the Jordan. So all the men of Ephraim were gathered together, and took the waters as far as Beth-barah, even the Jordan. 25 And they took two princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and they killed Oreb at the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they killed at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian: and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon beyond the Jordan.
And the men of Ephraim said to him, Why have you done this thing to us, that you did not call us, when you went to fight with Midian? And they criticized him sharply. 2 And he said to them, What have I now done in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? 3 Elohim has delivered into your hand the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison with you? Then their anger was reduced toward him, when he had said that.
4 And Gideon came to the Jordan, and crossed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing. 5 And he said to the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread to the people that follow me; for they are faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian. 6 And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your army? 7 And Gideon said, Therefore when Yahweh has delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers. 8 And he went up from there to Penuel, and spoke to them in the same manner; and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered. 9 And he spoke also to the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.
10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east; for there fell a hundred and twenty thousand men that drew swords. 11 And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and struck the host; for the host was secure. 12 And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled; and he pursued after them; and he took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and caused all the host to tremble.
13 And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle from the ascent of Heres. 14 And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and inquired of him: and he described for him the princes of Succoth, and the elders of it, seventy-seven men. 15 And he came to the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna concerning whom you taunted me, saying, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your men that are weary? 16 And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. 17 And he broke down the tower of Penuel, and killed the men of the city.
18 Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men were they whom you killed at Tabor? And they answered, As you are, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king. 19 And he said, They were my brethren, the sons of my mother: as Yahweh lives, if you had kept them alive, I would not kill you. 20 And he said to Jether his first-born, Get up, and kill them. But the youth did not draw his sword; for he feared, because he was still a youth. 21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise, and fall upon us; for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescents that were on their camels’ necks.
22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, Rule you over us, both you, and your son, and your son’s son also; for you have saved us out of the hand of Midian. 23 And Gideon said to them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: Yahweh shall rule over you. 24 And Gideon said to them, I would make a request of you, that you would give me every man the earrings of his spoil. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) 25 And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and cast in it every man the earrings of his spoil. 26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; besides the crescents, and the pendants, and the purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and besides the chains that were around their camels’ necks. 27 And Gideon made an ephod of it, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel played the harlot after it there; and it became a snare to Gideon, and to his house. 28 So Midian was subdued before the children of Israel, and they lifted up their heads no more. And the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.
29 And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house. 30 And Gideon had seventy begotten of his body; for he had many wives, 31 And his concubine that was in Shechem also bare him a son, and he called his name Abimelech. 32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
33 And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and played the harlot after the Baalim, and made Baal-berith their elohim. 34 And the children of Israel remembered not Yahweh their Elohim, who had delivered them out of the hand of all their enemies on every side; 35 Neither showed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had showed to Israel.
And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother’s brethren, and spoke with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father, saying, 2 Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Which is better for you, that all the sons of Jerubbaal, who are seventy persons, rule over you, or that one rules over you? Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh. 3 And his mother’s brethren spoke of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, He is our brother. 4 And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith, with which Abimelech hired vain and light fellows, who followed him. 5 And he went to his father’s house at Ophrah, and killed his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being seventy persons, upon one stone: but Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself. 6 And all the men of Shechem assembled themselves together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar that was in Shechem.
7 And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said to them, Listen to me, you men of Shechem, that Elohim may listen to you. 8 The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree, Reign you over us. 9 But the olive tree said to them, Should I leave my fatness, with which by me they honor Elohim and man, and go to wave to and fro over the trees? 10 And the trees said to the fig tree, Come, and reign over us. 11 But the fig tree said to them, Should I leave my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to wave to and fro over the trees? 12 And the trees said to the vine, Come, and reign over us. 13 And the vine said to them, Should I leave my wine, which cheers Elohim and man, and go to wave to and fro over the trees? 14 Then all the trees said to the bramble, Come, and reign over us. 15 And the bramble said to the trees, If in truth you anoint me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. 16 Now therefore, if you have dealt truly and uprightly, in that you have made Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done to him according to the deserving of his hands; 17 (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: 18 And you are risen up against my father’s house this day, and have killed his sons, seventy persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother;) 19 If you then have dealt truly and uprightly with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: 20 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. 21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
22 And Abimelech was prince over Israel three years, 23 And Elohim sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: 24 That the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and that their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brethren. 25 And the men of Shechem set an ambush for him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech.
26 And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem; and the men of Shechem put their trust in him. 27 And they went out into the field, and gathered their vineyards, and trod the grapes, and held festival, and went into the house of their elohim, and ate and drink, and cursed Abimelech. 28 And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Is not he the son of Jerubbaal? And Zebul his officer? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: but why should we serve him? 29 If only this people were under my hand! Then I would remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase your army, and come out.
30 And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled. 31 And he sent messengers to Abimelech craftily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren have come to Shechem; and, behold, they constrain the city to take part against you. 32 Now therefore go up by night, you and the people that are with you, and lie in wait in the field: 33 And it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you shall rise early, and rush on the city; and, behold, when he and the people that are with him come out against you, then may you do to them whatever your hand finds to do.
34 And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies. 35 And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the people that were with him, from the ambush. 36 And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there are people coming down from the tops of the mountains. And Zebul said to him, You see the shadow of the mountains as if they were men. 37 And Gaal spoke again and said, See, there are people coming down by the middle of the land, and one company is coming by the way of the oak of Meonenim. 38 Then Zebul said unto him, Where is your mouth now, that you said, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? Is not this the people that you have despised? Go out now, I pray, and fight with them. 39 And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. 40 And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and there fell many wounded, even to the entrance of the gate.
41 And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. 42 And it came to pass on the next day, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. 43 And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and he looked, and, behold, the people came forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and attacked them. 44 And Abimelech, and the companies that were with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city: and the two companies rushed upon all that were in the field, and attacked them. 45 And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and killed the people that were in it: and he beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.
46 And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard of it, they entered into the stronghold of the house of El-berith. 47 And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. 48 And Abimelech went up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it up, and laid it on his shoulder: and said to the people that were with him, What you have seen me do, hurry, and do as I have done. 49 And all the people cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the stronghold, and set the stronghold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.
50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. 51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and there fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut themselves in, and went up to the roof of the tower. 52 And Abimelech came to the tower, and fought against it, and drew near to the door of the tower to burn it with fire. 53 And a certain woman cast an upper millstone upon Abimelech’s head, and broke his skull. 54 Then he called quickly to the young man his armorbearer, and said to him, Draw your sword, and kill me, that men do not say of me, A woman killed him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died. 55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man to his place. 56 In this manner Elohim repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did to his father, in killing his seventy brethren; 57 And all the wickedness of the men of Shechem Elohim turned back upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.