Judges 8:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 8:14, NIV: He caught a young man of Sukkoth and questioned him, and the young man wrote down for him the names of the seventy-seven officials of Sukkoth, the elders of the town.

Judges 8:14, ESV: And he captured a young man of Succoth and questioned him. And he wrote down for him the officials and elders of Succoth, seventy-seven men.

Judges 8:14, KJV: And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and inquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, even threescore and seventeen men.

Judges 8:14, NASB: And he captured a youth from Succoth and questioned him. Then the youth wrote down for him the leaders of Succoth and its elders, seventy-seven men.

Judges 8:14, NLT: There he captured a young man from Succoth and demanded that he write down the names of all the seventy-seven officials and elders in the town.

Judges 8:14, CSB: He captured a youth from the men of Succoth and interrogated him. The youth wrote down for him the names of the seventy-seven leaders and elders of Succoth.

What does Judges 8:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Gideon's war against the Midianites is over. By God's power (Judges 6:14), he and Israel have won (Judges 8:10–12). He is returning, victorious, to his people (Judges 8:12).

Success has not made Gideon forget the betrayal of his own countrymen. Two Israelite towns refused to help him and his men in their time of need. While chasing down the enemy, Gideon's exhausted company came to the people of Succoth and asked for bread. The leaders of Succoth refused, apparently out of fear of what the Midianites would do to them if they helped Gideon and he was defeated. The same happened in Penuel (Judges 8:4–9). Gideon promised to return after his victory and pay back the towns for their lack of loyalty to Israel.

Gideon's return approach followed a different path than the one he took to pursue Midian's army (Judges 8:13). He has gone around Penuel and come back to Succoth first. This surprise visit makes it more likely he can punish the guilty without them escaping. On arriving in the area, he takes captive a young man. This man may have been a young official of some sort there. He could apparently write, meaning that he had some education. Gideon forces him to list all the elders and officials of the town. Gideon wants to know exactly who he is looking for. He holds these 77 men responsible for the decision not to provide aid to God's deliverer over the enemies of Israel.