Judges 8:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 8:11, NIV: Gideon went up by the route of the nomads east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the unsuspecting army.

Judges 8:11, ESV: And Gideon went up by the way of the tent dwellers east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the army, for the army felt secure.

Judges 8:11, KJV: And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure.

Judges 8:11, NASB: Gideon went up by the way of those who lived in tents to the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and he attacked the camp when the camp was unsuspecting.

Judges 8:11, NLT: Gideon circled around by the caravan route east of Nobah and Jogbehah, taking the Midianite army by surprise.

Judges 8:11, CSB: Gideon traveled on the caravan route east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked their army while the army felt secure.

What does Judges 8:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Gideon and his 300 fighters (Judges 7:8) followed the remnant of the Midianite raiders: bandits from the east who had been oppressing Israel (Judges 6:1–5). Just more than a tenth of the original enemy army remains (Judges 7:22–25). They are led by kings named Zebah and Zalmunna and making their way back to their homeland (Judges 8:4–10).

This verse gives insight into how Gideon and his men were able to flank the Midianites and catch them by surprise. The Midianites feel secure; they rest as they camp in the region known as Karkor. They assume any large force pursuing them would be easy to notice. What did they have to fear from the Israelites now that they were so far from the Jordan River?

Gideon follows a path called the "way of the tent dwellers" to catch up to the Midianites. This takes his group east of two towns called Nobah and Jogbehah. Nobah is unknown to modern scholars. Jogbehah is thought to be a town along an old caravan route, northwest of Rabbah in modern-day Amman, Jordan. Gideon and his men once again use the element of surprise to attack on the unprepared enemy.