Daily Tanach, Thursday: Chapter 8: The aftermath of the battle against Midian

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 8: The aftermath of the battle against Midian

1.       The tribe of Efraim confronts Gideon:

  • The tribesmen of Efraim confronted Gideon saying: What is this that you did that you waged war alone against Midian and did not call us [to begin with]. They forcefully confronted Gideon regarding this.
  • The reply of Gideon: Gideon replied to them that indeed they took a much greater part in the battel than he [as they killed the kings of Midian] and your weakest warriors are greater than the strongest of the family of Aviezer.[1] G-d handed to you the ministers of Oreiv, and Zeiv, and what could I have done like you.
  • The tribesmen of Efraim then had their anger soothed and backed away from Gideon upon them hearing his reply.

2.       Gideon attempts to get food for his soldiers and is refused:

  • The soldiers are exhausted: Gideon and his three hundred men arrived at the Jordon river, and crossed it [giving chase to the kings of Midian called Zevach and Tzalmuna], and they were very exhausted from the chase.
  • The people of Sukkos refuse to feed them: They approached the people of Sukkos and requested bread for the exhausted soldiers who were in route to chasing after Zevach and Tzalmuna the kings of Midian. The ministers of Sukkos replied: Is the palm of Zevach and Tzalmuna already in your hands that we should give your soldiers bread.
  • Gideon threatens the people of Sukkos: Gideon replied to them: When G-d does hand over to me the kings Zevach and Tzalmuna, I will [return] and thresh your flesh with the thorns of the desert.
  • The people of Penuel refuse to feed them: Gideon went from there to Penuel and repeated the above statements of asking for bread, and the people of Penuel refused to give them bread just as the people of Sukkos had replied.
  • Gideon threatens the people of Penuel: Gideon replied to them: When I return in peace [from the battle] I will destroy this tower.

3.       The battle against the kings Zevach and Tzalmuna:

  • The whereabouts and remaining soldiers of Zevach and Tzalmuna: Zevach and Tzalmuna were in [an area called[2]] Karkor with their entire armies, which numbered around 15,000 soldiers. This was the remains of the entire army of Bnei Kedem which numbered 120,000 men with drawn swords [who had already] fallen in battle.
  • Gideon attacks and captured the two kings: Gideon went up [with his army] through the path of the tents of the nomad shepherds, which was south of Novach and Yagbaha, and he smote the camp [of Zevach and Tzalmuna] as the camp thought that they were safe [and hence were unprepared for the attack of Gideon[3]]. Zevach and Tzalmuna ran away and Gideon and his army chased after them. They captured the two kings of Midian Zevach and Tzalmuna and the entire camp was frightened [and unable to save their king].


[1] See Rashi 8:2 and other Mefarshim ibid

[2] Rashi 8:10

[3] Metzudos David 8:11

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