The Period Of The Judges

 
Chapter 26
The Success of This Attack [Judges 7.21-7.25]


Scripture

21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. 22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.
23 And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.
24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.
25 And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.


Commentary


21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.--Judges 7:21(KJV)

21 While each man kept his position around the camp, everyone in the Midianite camp began to run away, screaming as they fled.--Judges 7:21(GW)

And they stood every man in his place around the camp, to see the salvation of God, and so that it might become clear that it was the Lord’s doing; and you can be sure, if they had participated in the fight, they could have done nothing; they had no weapons in their hands; a trumpet in one hand, and a lamp in the other. The Midianites awoke to an explosion of noise, light, and movement coming down on them from all directions; no wonder they thought they were being attacked by an army even bigger than they were.

Although, by staying in their positions, it served to increase the terror of the enemy, who might have supposed that their assignment was either to light the way for a large army that was advancing from behind them; or to give light to the forces already in the midst of them, and killing them. The latter seems to be the thing that possessed their imaginations, since in all the confusion they were slaying their comrades, assuming that they were the enemy, as the following verse suggests.

Gideon’s soldiers followed their orders exactly as they were given, and stood every man in his place round about the camp, sounding his trumpet to excite them to fight one another, and holding out his torch to give the impression of being surrounded by a large army. These men were NOT using their swords, because they did not have any; they were blowing their trumpets with all their might; and they continued to blow their trumpets, which augmented and compounded the terror and confusion resulting from the panic in the enemy's camp. They did not rush into the host of Midian, as if they were greedy either for blood or booty, but patiently stood still to see the salvation of the Lord, a salvation purely of His own making. Notice how the Lord’s plan went into effect. They feared the Israelites. All the host, upon hearing the alarm immediately began to flee. The alarm flew like lightning through all their lines, and they ran, and cried, and fled. There was something unnatural about this fright. We may suppose they did not have knowledge of the great reduction of Gideon’s army, but rather, they concluded that since their last intelligence it had been growing greater and greater. Therefore, they had reason to suspect, knowing how detestable and monstrous they had made themselves appear to the Israelites, and what bold steps they had taken towards the throwing off of the Midianites yoke of oppression, that it was a very great army which was to be ushered in by all those trumpeters and torch-bearers. But there was more of a supernatural power imposing this terror upon them. God himself was doing the fighting. See how the power of imagination may become a terror at some times, while at other times it is a pleasure. Another good example of how imagination can work against a person is contained in the answer to the question, “Why did they cry out the sword of the Lord and of Gideon? Wasn't this pride on Gideon's part?”  No, it was pure wisdom, because clearly the Midianites were already afraid of the sword of Gideon [1](Judges 7:14), and shouting this would help to send them into a panic. The Midianites may not have known who the Lord was, but they knew there was a man from the Lord named Gideon. Therefore, it was appropriate for Gideon to take this leadership role. Leaders without pride must lead, and leading means putting yourself where the people can see you and respond to your leadership. But why must leaders avoid being proud. God’s word has the answer: “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Prov 6:16-19; KJV). Pride is at the top of the list of things God hates, and we should hate it too, especially if we are proud.

Several factors regarding ancient Near Eastern warfare should be noted when interpreting this incident. As a normal custom in those days, armies rarely fought at night (notice I Sam 17 where the two armies re-engaged each other day after day but did not fight at night). When an army did engage in battle at night, only a minority of men carried torches in order to light up the battlefield. In addition, only a certain number of men would carry and blow trumpets during the conflict. Therefore, when the Midianites awoke to the sight of three hundred torches and the sound of three hundred trumpets blaring at them from every conceivable direction, they could only assume that thousands upon thousands were attacking them.

and all the host ran, and cried, and fled; or you might say they "were broken"; as some interpret it, their lines were broken down; they could not put themselves in rank and file, for they were thrown into extreme confusion. Some even broke down and cried fearing their lives were in the utmost danger, and as soon as they could they ran away; see ([2]Isaiah 27:13)  ([3]Hebrews 6:18).

_______________________________verse 21 notes____________________________________

[1](Judges 7.14; GW) “His friend replied, “That can only be the sword of Gideon, son of Joash, from Israel. God is going to hand Midian and the whole camp over to him.”

[2](Isaiah 27:13; GW) “On that day a ram's horn (trumpet) will be blown loudly. Those who are dying in Assyria and those who are banished to Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.” Trumpet - God shall summon them altogether by sound of trumpet, by an eminent call of his providence. He alludes to the custom of calling the Israelites together with trumpets.

[3](Hebrews 6:18; GW) “God did this so that we would be encouraged. God cannot lie when he takes an oath or makes a promise. These two things can never be changed. Those of us who have taken refuge in him hold on to the confidence we have been given.” That by two immutable things. By his word of promise, and by his oath, neither of which could ever be broken. We might have a strong consolation in the absolute certainty of God's promises.

22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host [7]fled to Bethshittah in [8]Zererath, and to the [9]border of Abelmeholah, unto [10]Tabbath.--Judges 7:22 (KJV)

22 The 300 men kept on blowing their rams' horns, and [4]the LORD caused the whole camp of Midian to fight among themselves. They fled as far as Beth Shittah, toward Zererah, and as far as the bank of the stream at Abel Meholah near Tabbath.--Judges 7:22 (GW)

The noisy assault began at midnight during the middle watch. The sound of the horns would signal the call to battle, and the breaking of the pitchers would simulate the clash of arms. The awaking Midianites assumed that the battle had already begun and that they were outnumbered. The battle cry, the [5]sword of the LORD, and of Gideon, would strike fear in the minds of the confused Midianites and their allies. Since the invaders were a combination of at least three different language dialects, they began to attack one another in the confusion of the night. Thus, the LORD set every man’s sword against his fellow. The enemy literally put itself into disarray and collapse by attacking one another.

And the three hundred men [6]blew  the trumpets, and kept blowing them to continue and increase the terror of the enemy, and still they held the lamps in their hands, and stood as torch bearers to light the way for the Midianites and their associates to destroy one another.

Origen makes the 300 men types of preachers of the gospel; their trumpets a pictures of preaching Christ crucified; and their torch-lights are types of the holy conduct of the preachers

and the Lord  set every man's sword  against his fellow throughout the host; and so they slew one another. Either they suspected treachery, and so, acting in revenge, wrath, and indignation, they drew their swords on each other; or due to the terror and shock they were in because of the sounds they heard, and the blazing torches dazzling their eyes, they were confused and disorganized. The darkness of the night made them unable to distinguish friends from foes; hence anyone coming close fell before their swords, both friends and foes, since they supposed that the Israelites had invaded their camp. This was a easy mistake to make, since there were people of different languages among them; but the thing was of God, it was He that took away their reason and judgment, and obsessed them, and filled their imaginations with feelings of fear and dread and bewilder their minds with terror and amazement, and directed them to point their swords at one another. And the Lord had done it before.
The first phase of the battle wasn't between Israel and Midian, but the Midianites fought themselves. This is a good example of how we can be more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37); we get the spoils of victory though Jesus won the battle for us.

It is in our best interest to safeguard our own spirits so that we are never afraid with any amazement, for we cannot envision the trouble we may plunge ourselves into. Have you ever noticed how God often makes the enemies of his church instruments to destroy one another; it is a pity that the church’s friends are sometimes joined with such troublemakers.

and the host fled to Bethshittah  in Zererath ; that is, what was left of them, those that had not destroyed each other. The first of these places should be read Bethhashittah; and perhaps it got its name from the "shittah" or "shittim" trees which might have grown near it in abundance, or the houses in it might be built of shittim wood; or it may be that there was a temple there that was dedicated to some deity with this name, and near it there was a grove of "shittim" trees. Zererath and Bethshittah were probably cities in the tribe of Manasseh, and on the way to the Jordan River, by the foot of the mountains of Ephraim, where in all probability the Midianites would steer their course to escape to their own land.

They fled for their lives. Perhaps when day-light came they became aware of their mistake of fighting with one another, and concluded that as a result of this fatal error they had weakened themselves so much that now it was impossible to make any headway against Israel, and therefore they continued on their way towards their own country, although, such a rapid retreat was unnecessary since the 300 men kept their ground. “The wicked flee when none pursueth city” ( Prov. 28:1). “Terrors make him afraid on every side, and drive him to his feet"(Job 18:11).

and to the border of Abelmeholah  unto Tabbath ; the former of these was the birth place of Elisha the prophet, (1 Kings 19:16)9 and it is evident that it was in the tribe of Manasseh, being mentioned with other places in that tribe, (1 Kings 4:12)9 . Jerome says, there was at this time a village in Aulon, or the plain, ten miles from Scythopolis to the south, which was called Bethahula; and the Targum is, “to the border of the plain of Abelmeholah,” but Tabbath is not mentioned anyplace else in scripture.

________________________________verse 22 notes_____________________________________

[4]the Lord—“And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on beating down one another. Then said Saul unto the people that were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armourbearer were not there. And Saul said unto Ahiah, Bring hither the ark of God. For the ark of God was at that time with the children of Israel. And it came to pass, while Saul talked unto the priest, that the noise that was in the host of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said unto the priest, Withdraw thine hand. And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and, behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture” (1 Samuel 14:16-20). “For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.” (2 Chronicles 20:23). “Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison” (Psalms 83:9). “For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian” (Isaiah 9:4). “And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom” (Isaiah 19:2). 

[5]Sword—The Lord caused the Midianites to kill one another. That is to say, not merely man against man, but against everyone in the camp, so that there arose a terrible slaughter throughout the whole camp

[6]Blew “And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets” (Joshua 6:4; NAB). “The seventh time around, the priests blew the horns and Joshua said to the people, “Now shout, for the LORD has given you the city” (Joshua 6.16; NAB). “As the horns blew, the people began to shout. When they heard the signal horn, they raised a tremendous shout. The wall collapsed, and the people stormed the city in a frontal attack and took it” (Joshua 6.20; NAB). “But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7; NAB). In the wilderness under the old covenant God dwelt in a tent; today He dwells in the believer’s heart. This is unspeakable truth and forms the theological rationale for holy living (I Cor 6:19–20). But the stress here is upon “earthen.” An earthenware jar is a brittle one. It depicts humanity in its weakness. The gospel is not a product of human genius or clever intellect (humanity in its strength). Yet it resides in men of clay that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. The quality of the gospel ministry is calibrated by the degree to which it points attention to the God of glory.

[7]Fled to Beth-shittah—This city is also known as the "house of the acacia;" it is not mentioned anyplace else in Scripture.

[8]Zererath—This local and the city of Tabbath are not mentioned anyplace else in scripture.

[9]border of Abelmeholah — Situated, according to Eusebius 16 miles south from Scythopolis, or Bethshan. It is also known as "the meadow of the dance" “Baana, son of Ahilud, had Taanach, Megiddo, and all of Beth Shean. (This was near Zarethan, below Jezreel, from Beth Shean to Abel Meholah and over to Jokmeam.)” (1 Kings 4:12; GW). “Anoint Jehu, son of Nimshi, as king of Israel. And anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat, from Abel Meholah as prophet to take your place” (1 Kings 19:16; GW).

[10]Tabbath—Probably the town of [Oébéd] mentioned by Eusebius, 13 miles from Neapolis, or Shechem, towards Scythopolis.

23 And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.--Judges 7:23 (KJV)

23 The men of Israel were summoned from Naphtali, Asher, and all Manasseh to help pursue the troops of Midian.--Judges 7:23 (GW)

Verses 23-25 describe the events that occurred following the glorious victory. First, Gideon’s soldiers that had been dismissed, and perhaps had begun to disperse themselves, upon notice of the enemies’ flight got together again, and vigorously pursued those whom they did not have the courage to face. The men of Israel who were from Naphtali and Asher who did this were not the same as those who now came from those distant countries, but they were the same ones that had enlisted in Gideon’s army [11](ch. 6:35), but had been expelled after failing God’s water test. Those who were fearful and afraid to fight [12](v. 3)  now took heart, when the worst was over, and were ready enough to divide the spoil. Also, those that might not fight though they had a mind to do it, and were disbanded by an order from God, did not act like those mentioned in [13]2 Chr. 25:10, 13, who returned in great anger, but waited for an opportunity of doing service in pursuing the victory, though they were denied the honor of helping to force out the Midianites.

And the men of Israel gathered themselves together; they did not come out of all the tribes, but out of those which lay nearest—out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh. These were evidently the parties that were dismissed, who having lingered at a little distance from the scene of the contest, now eagerly joined in the pursuit southwestward through the valley.
out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh: and these seem to be the same persons out of the same tribes who first
joined Gideon, but were separated from his army; both those that were fearful, and those that bowed their knees to drink, and who perhaps had not gone far before they heard of the defeat and flight of the Midianites; and therefore, although they did not have enough courage to face the enemy, at least most of them didn’t, yet they had spirit enough to pursue a fleeing enemy. They headed back by the shortest way to where they figured the army (what was left of it) were headed.

{"Naphtali ... Asher ... Manasseh ..."}What is meant here is that the soldiers of these tribes, also including those of Zebulun, whose name is omitted here, as Keil noted, "Probably due solely to the brevity of the account," had evidently remained nearby the battle area instead of every man returning to his home, and, therefore, when the rout of Midian occurred, large forces of these tribes were able to join in the pursuit as Midian fled eastward across the Jordan.

and pursued after the Midianites; and those that were with them. The Israelites pursued after the Midianites and called upon the men of Ephraim to help them. They cut off the escape routes leading toward the Jordan River at Beth-barah, near The Wadi Fara’a. The Israelite army captured two princes, Oreb (raven) and Zeeb (wolf), and brought their heads as trophies of victory back to Gideon on the other side of the Jordan (i.e., Transjordan). Bruce notes that these events were actual history, not merely fabricated explanations, since they are also described in [14]Isaiah 9:4 ; [15]10:26

_____________________________________verse 23 notes_____________________________________

[11](Judges 6.35) “And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.” In the meantime, the Midianite-Amalekite-Arab alliance moved into the area with renewed aggression and pitched their tents in the valley of Jezreel, extending from Mount Carmel to the Jordan Valley. This was often a major battleground, for it cut into the heart of Palestine. In response to this challenge, the spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he rallied the men of Abiezer, his hometown, and the men of Asher … Zebulun … Nphtali joined with them. It must be assumed that Gideon was empowered by the Holy Spirit, as were the other judges.

[12](Judges 7.3) “Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.” The process of elimination may seem strange, until one understands what was actually happening. First, he asked whosoever is fearful and afraid to return home; and twenty-two thousand left, leaving only ten thousand men. Anyone who has ever been in battle will honestly admit that he was afraid. Therefore, it would not be improper to suggest that those who went home were the wisest and the most honest of the entire group.

[13](2 Chr. 25:10, 13) “Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that was come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again: wherefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah, and they returned home in great anger…But the soldiers of the army which Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria even unto Bethhoron, and smote three thousand of them, and took much spoil.”

[14] (Isaiah 9.4) “For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.”

[15](Isaiah 10.26) “And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.”

24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.--Judges 7:24 (KJV)

24 Gideon also sent messengers to the whole mountain region of Ephraim with this message, “Go into battle against Midian. Capture the watering holes as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan River.” All the men of Ephraim were also summoned to help. They captured the watering holes as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan River.--Judges 7:24 (GW)

And Gideon sent messengers throughout all Mount Ephraim; to elicit help from the Israelites that lived there, near the Jordan River. The message was for the Ephraimites to take possession of the fords (A place where a river or other body of water is shallow enough to be crossed by wading.) along the river where the Midianites were headed. They intended to cross the river at the fords, but Gideon wanted the Ephraimites to prevent them crossing, or at the least to slow them down until Gideon’s men could catch up with them.

saying, come down against the Midianites; for though he had routed them, and they had fled before him, he did not have enough men with him to destroy them; and besides, they had their camels to ride on, and he and his men were on foot, therefore they could not catch up with them.

and [16]take before  them the [18]waters unto [19]Bethbarah and [20]Jordan; namely, capture all the fords and passages over Jordan, from the Lake of Gennesaret to Bethbarah, and do the same with Bethabara, [17](John 1:28). Either there was a passage over the Jordan at Bethabara; or these were waters, as Kimchi thinks, distinct from those of Jordan; but which were waters that lay in the way of escape for the Midianites. Jarchi thinks they were waters, which divided Syria from the land of Canaan, but this is not likely; others think that these waters are also the Jordan, and they render the words, "take the waters" --even Jordan; take over the passages they might use, and so prevent their escape to their own land. The Jordan River at this time must have been at flood stage or at least it would have been dangerous to cross anyplace other than at a trusted ford, where there was shallow water.

then all the men of Ephraim; that is, great numbers of them, whose hearts were inclined to end the rein of tyranny by the Midianites. The powerful tribe of Ephraim was asked by Gideon to join in the campaign against Midian, and they promptly responded. By some chance or oversight Gideon had not sought their aid until this event; and that was to cause a complaint discussed later in Judg. 8. Gideon's diplomacy solved the problem satisfactorily.

gathered themselves together; in a body, at some place of rendezvous appointed by Gideon, which may have been previously agreed to.

and took the waters  unto Bethbarah  and Jordan; they took possession of all the passes (fords, places where the river could be crossed), and guarded them, as Gideon directed. They posted themselves along the river bank, so that the Midianites, who fled from those who pursued them, fell into the hands of those that waited to intercept them. To this place the Midianites directed their flight, hoping that they might escape into their own country; and here, being met by the Ephraimites, they appear to have been totally overthrown, and their two generals taken. Here there was fear, and the pit, and the snare, [21](Isa. 24:17). God did the great work through this small number of men; but once the great work had begun, He wanted as many as possible to get involved in the work. This is probably the same place as that mentioned [17]John 1:28 (where John the Baptist baptized), where the Hebrews forded Jordan under the direction of Joshua.

To this place the Midianites directed their flight so that they might escape into their own country; and here, being met by the Ephraimites, they appear to have been totally overthrown, and their two generals taken.

____________________________________verse 24 notes__________________________________

[16]take before—“And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over” (Judges 3.28). “And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay” they would tell him to say “Shibboleth.” If he was from Ephraim, he would say “Sibboleth,” because people from Ephraim cannot pronounce the word correctly. Then they would take him and kill him at the shallow crossings of the Jordan. In all, 42,000 Ephraimites were killed at that time. (Judges 12.5, 6; NLT).

[17](John 1:28) “These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.”

[18]The waters—That is, the passes through those waters that the Midianites are likely to use.

[19]Beth-barah— Probably the same as Betha-bara, beyond Jordan, and at the ford where the Hebrews passed under the direction of Joshua. “These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing” (John 1:28)

[20]Jordan—The fords of the Jordan River, which they must pass over in order to reach their own country.

[21](Isaiah 24.17) “Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.” The idea is that one who runs from the noise of the fear shall eventually fall into the pit, and he that climbs out of the pit shall be taken in the snare.

25 And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.

25 They also captured Oreb and Zeeb, the two Midianite commanders. They killed Oreb at the Rock of Oreb and Zeeb at the Winepress of Zeeb and kept on pursuing Midian. Then they brought the severed heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side of the Jordan River.
          Judges 7:21-25 (GW)

And they took [22]two princes  of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; the one signifies a "raven", and the other a "wolf"; which were either nicknames given to them because of their voraciousness and cruelty, or which they took upon themselves, or their ancestors took the names to make themselves terrible to others.

In all ancient nations we find generals and princes taking their names from both birds and beasts; the Romans had their Gracchi, jackdaws; Corvini, crows; Aquilini, eagles, etc. We have the same today in those with names like Crow, Wolf, Lyons, Hawkes, Bull, Kidd, etc.

A new conflict ensued, in which two secondary chiefs were seized and slain on the spots where they were taken.

and they slew Oreb upon the [23]rock  Oreb. Perhaps they found him in a cave within the rock, and after dragging him out slew him, and from that point the rock had his name.

and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb; the Targum is, “the plain of Zeeb,” which, as Kimchi and Ben Gersom suppose, had the form of a winepress with high lips or hills around it, and afterwards it was called the winepress of Zeeb taking its name from this prince that was slain in it:

and pursued Midian; the rest of the Midianites (those still alive), were chased beyond the Jordan. Events had moved very rapidly in this complete rout and defeat of the Midianites and their allies. Some of the invaders had passed over the Jordan in their flight eastward, probably at some obscure crossing not controlled by the Ephraimites; and Gideon had already crossed over the Jordan in their pursuit.

and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan; that is, when Gideon passed over the Jordan on the next morning, as Jarchi remarks. Now, there is some confusion here, for after this we read of Gideon going over the Jordan, [24](Judges 8:4). Now it could be that this phrase is said in anticipation. The phrase will bear to be rendered both ways "on this side Jordan" and “on the other side of Jordan”, for it signifies both. It seems they cut off the heads of those two princes, and presented them to Gideon, since it was customary to bring the heads of enemies to kings and conquerors as trophies of victory; see [25](1 Samuel 17:54);  [26](2 Samuel 4:2; [27](2 Samuel 4:8 ). Among barbarous nations the head of the conquered chief was often brought to the conqueror. Pompey's head was brought to Caesar; Cicero's head, to Mark Antony; the heads of Ahab's children, to Jehu, etc. These barbarous acts are not often practiced now, except among the Mohammedans or the savages of Africa; and for the discredit of human nature it is a pity that such barbarous atrocities had ever been committed
These were mighty princes of Midian; and to Ephraim went the honor of executing these leaders of the hordes of invasion. Nothing is known of "the rock" or the "winepress" where those princes met their death; but no doubt the Israelites pointed out the places for years afterward.
The memory of killing these Midianite princes was preserved for posterity in the names of the places where they were slain, to their perpetual infamy: Here fell the princes of Midian.

GOD HAD FULFILLED HIS PROMISE TO DELIVER ISRAEL FROM MIDIANITE OPPRESSION BY THE HAND OF GIDEON.

________________________________verse 25 notes___________________________________

[22]two princes“God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that.” (Judges 8:3); “Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna: Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession” (Psalms 83:11, 12).

[23]Rock—“And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb” (Isaiah 10:26)

[24](Judges 8:4) “And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them.” In the meantime Gideon and his three hundred men continued pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.

[25](1 Samuel 17:54)  “And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem…”

[26](2 Samuel 4:2; NLT)  They went into the house and found Ishbosheth sleeping on his bed. They struck and killed him and cut off his head. Then, taking his head with them, they fled across the Jordan Valley through the night."

[27](2 Samuel 4.8) “And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy…”

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