1. The people of Ephraim said to Gideon, "Why didn't you call us when you went to fight against Midian?" They argued with him violently.

2. He said to them, "What have I done in comparison with what you have done? Are not the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?

3. Yahweh has given the leaders of Midian - Oreb and Zeeb - into your hands. What have I been able to do in comparison with what you have done?" After hearing this, their anger lessened.

4. Gideon and his three hundred men came to the Jordan and crossed it. They were exhausted and hungry.

5. So he said to the people of Succoth, "Please give loaves of bread to the army that follows me, for they are exhausted and hungry, and I am still pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian."

6. But the elders of Succoth answered, "Have you by chance already restrained the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna? Why should we give bread to your army?"

7. Gideon answered them, "Well, when Yahweh has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hands, I will skin your flesh with the thorns and thistles of the desert."

8. From there he went up to Penuel and made the same request. But they answered him as those of Succoth had.

9. So Gideon said, "When I return victorious, I will tear down this tower."

10. Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their army of about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of the people of the East; a hundred and twenty thousand warriors had died!

11. Gideon went up by the road of the nomads, east of Nobah and Yogbehah, and fell upon Zebah and Zalmunna and their army.

12. Zebah and Zalmunna fled. He pursued them, took the two as prisoners and scattered all their army.

13. After the battle, Gideon, the son of Joash, returned through the slope of Heres.

14. He caught a young man of the people of Succoth and questioned him. The young man wrote down for him the names of the seventy-seven leaders and elders of Succoth.

15. Gideon went to the people of Succoth and said to them, "Here are Zebah and Zalmunna about whom you mocked me by saying: Have you by chance already restrained the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna for us to give bread to your hungry troops?"

16. So he took the elders of the town and punished the people of Succoth with thorns and thistles of the desert.

17. He tore down the tower of Penuel and killed the inhabitants of the town.

18. Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, "What did the men whom you killed at Tabor look like?" They answered, "They looked like you, they looked like sons of kings."

19. Gideon answered, "They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As Yahweh lives, if you had let them live, I would not kill you."

20. He said to Yether, his eldest son, "Courage, kill them!" But the youth did not draw his sword; he did not dare do it for he was still very young.

21. So Zebah and Zalmunna said, "Rise and kill us yourself, for as the man is, so is his courage." Gideon arose and killed them, and took the ornaments off their camels' necks.

22. The Israelites said to Gideon, "Since you have saved us from the Midianites, you shall be our king, and after you, your son and the descendants of your son."

23. But Gideon answered, "I will not rule over Israel, nor my son, for Yahweh is our king!"

24. Gideon added, "I will ask something from you. Let each of you give me an earring from your booty." Gideon said this for these Midianites wore gold earrings like all the Ishmaelites.

25. They answered him, "That we will gladly do." Then Gideon spread out his cloak and every Israelite threw in an earring from his booty.

26. The gold earrings reached one thousand seven hundred pieces of gold; not counting the brooches, the rings, the expensive garments used by the kings of Midian, and the collars of the camels.

27. With this money, Gideon made an idol and put it in his city of Ophrah. People from all Israel began to go to that place, turning away from Yahweh. That was the trap into which Gideon and his family fell.

28. In spite of this, the Midianites were humbled in such a way that peace reigned in Israel for forty years during Gideon's lifetime.

29. Gideon returned to Ophrah and remained in his house.

30. He had seventy sons of his blood, for he had many wives.

31. A woman from the city of Shechem also bore him a son whom he named Abimelech.

32. Gideon the son of Joash died at a happy old age, and he was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, in Ophrah of Abiezer.

33. After the death of Gideon, the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals and took Baal-Berith as god.

34. The Israelites no longer remembered Yahweh, their God, who had freed them from the hands of all the enemies who surrounded them.

35. Neither were they grateful to the family of Jerubaal-Gideon for all the good things he had done to Israel.

Livros sugeridos

“O homem sem Deus é um ser mutilado”. São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina


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