Gideon and the Midianites
During the night, the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up now and go down to attack the Midianites. If you are still afraid, take your servant Purah and go down into their camp. Listen to what they are saying and you will be bold to fight the Midianites.”
Gideon and his servant Purah went down to the outskirts of the camp. The Midianites and Amalekites were numerous as a thick swarm of locusts.
As soon as Gideon arrived, a man told his friend about a dream he had last night. He said, “I dreamed that a barley loaf tumbled down from the hill. The barley loaf hits the tent with such a force that it topples over.”
His friend answered, “The dream must be about Gideon, the warrior whom God had given victory over the Midianites and the whole camp.”
When Gideon heard what the man said, he felt encouraged and bold to fight in the war.
Gideon divided his men into three groups and gave each of them a trumpet, and empty jar with a torch inside.
Gideon said to his men, “When I and those who are with me blow the trumpets, you are to take up your trumpets and blow them as well. You must shout, ‘A sword for the Lord and Gideon!’”
Gideon and his men arrived at the camp just after the guards changed posts. Gideon and those who were with him blew their trumpets and broke their jars. After that, the rest of his men also broke their jars and shouted, “A sword for the Lord and Gideon!”
When the Midianites heard it, they became panicked and started to flee. Gideon and his men stayed at where they were and did not made a single move. When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the enemies started to kill each other with swords.
Gideon sent messengers to ask the men from Ephraim to help them. He commanded the tribe of Ephraim to fight the Midianites and capture Jordan River. They responded to Gideon’s calling and seized the Jordan River. On that day, two Midianites leaders, Oreb and Zeeb were killed at the winepress. The heads of Oreb and Zeeb were brought back to Gideon.
The Ephramites asked Gideon, “Why didn’t you call us when you go to fight the Midianites at first?”
Gideon answered, “What was I able to do compare to you? God even gave the heads of Oreb and Zeeb into your hands.” When they heard this, they were no longer angry with Gideon.
Gideon and the three hundred men with him were tired after pursuing the Midianites. They crossed the Jordan River and came to Succoth.
They said to the men at Succoth, “We feel weary. Please give us some bread. I am still chasing after the two Midianite kings, Zebah and Zalmunna.”
The men replied, “Why should we give you bread when you haven’t capture Zebah and Zalmunna?”
Gideon said, “After God delivers Zebah and Zalmunna into my hands, I will rip off your flesh with desert thorns.”
After that, Gideon went to Peniel. He asked the men there the same question he asked the men at Succoth and they gave him the same answer.
Gideon was angry and he said, “After I capture Zebah and Zalmunna, I will come back here and tear down this tower.”
At present, Zebah and Zalmunna were with the remaining soldiers at Kakor.
Gideon overtook Zebah and Zalmunna and attacked them when they were not alert. Zebah and Zalmunna tried to escape but Gideon pursued them and he finally captured them.
As Gideon was returning through the Pass of Heres, he met a young man from Succoth and made him wrote down the names of the seventy seven officials at Succoth.
Gideon came to the men of Succoth and said, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna. Did you not taunted me and said you will not give bread to me and my men because I don’t have Zebah and Zalmunna yet in my hands?”
Gideon punished the seventy seven elders of Succoth and ripped their flesh with thorns and briars. He also tore down the tower at Peniel and killed all the men inside.
Gideon said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “What kind of men you killed at Tabor?”
Zebah and Zalmunna answered, “Men like you.”
Gideon replied, “If you had spared their lives, I would have spare yours too.”
Gideon turned to his eldest son, Jether and said, “Kill them!”
Jether was very young and didn’t have the courage to kill Zebah and Zalmunna.
Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Kill us yourself!”
Hence, Gideon stepped forward and killed both Zebah and Zalmunna. After that, he took away the ornaments on their camels.