Language and History English a traditional approach to grammar and composition
Gideon’s Snare
Part one

Based on Judges 8.

Gideon has been chosen by God to rid Israel of the invading Midianites, and has successfully fulfilled his commission. All that remains is for his unlikely army of just three hundred hand-picked men to capture the Midianites’ top generals, but he does not get much co-operation from his fellow Israelites.

DRIVING the Midianites from Manasseh and other tribes of Israel was weary, hungry work for just three hundred men, and not everyone was appreciative. The Ephraimites complained that although Gideon relied on them to capture some of the Midianite leaders, he had not invited them to join the fight from the start. Gideon’s reply was that Ephraim was already so favoured by God that what he and Manasseh had done was still nothing by comparison, a spot of harmless flattery that went down well.

But the people of Succoth and Penuel were not so easily won over. They were not at all convinced that the Midianites had been defeated, and fearing they might return and revenge themselves on those who had harboured Gideon, they refused to give his men food or shelter until they saw the Midianite kings Zebah and Zalmunna in chains. That wish was soon granted; but now it was Gideon’s turn to be angry with those who had let him down.

Based on Judges 8.

The Story of Gideon

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Tales from the Bible (40) The Story of Gideon (5) The Book of Judges (6)

Picture: Jim Greenhill, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: Public domain. View original
A view across the valley of the Zarqa River in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, between Amman and Jerash. It was close to this place, east of the River Jordan and south of the River Zarqa, that both Succoth and Penuel lay. Penuel was where Jacob wrestled with God, and earned his surname of Israel, ‘he who strives with God’. Both Succoth and Penuel became popular names for Nonconformist chapels in Britain, and in addition to dozens of Penuel chapels there are several Succoths in Scotland.

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