Judges 8:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 8:5, NIV: He said to the men of Sukkoth, 'Give my troops some bread; they are worn out, and I am still pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.'

Judges 8:5, ESV: So he said to the men of Succoth, “Please give loaves of bread to the people who follow me, for they are exhausted, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”

Judges 8:5, KJV: And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.

Judges 8:5, NASB: And he said to the men of Succoth, 'Please give loaves of bread to the people who are following me, for they are exhausted, and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.'

Judges 8:5, NLT: When they reached Succoth, Gideon asked the leaders of the town, 'Please give my warriors some food. They are very tired. I am chasing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.'

Judges 8:5, CSB: He said to the men of Succoth, "Please give some loaves of bread to the troops under my command, because they are exhausted, for I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian."

What does Judges 8:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Gideon and his 300 men (Judges 7:8) are chasing down the last remnant of the Midianites and their allies (Judges 7:22–25) who had been oppressing Israel (Judges 6:1–5). Israel's task force has crossed the Jordan River, heading east with the goal of destroying the Midianite raiders. And yet, Gideon is aware that his men are exhausted, and they need food to keep going.

The group has arrived at the town of Succoth, just east of the Jordan River and close to a river called Jabbok (Genesis 32:22–24). The people of Succoth are Israelites living in the region of the tribe of Gad. Gad is often described as one of the "Transjordan" tribes because its territory was east of the Jordan River. Gideon asks the people of the town to give loaves of bread to his men. He explains how they are chasing down two kings of Midian: Zebah and Zalmunna.

Unlike the Midianite princes killed by the men of Ephraim, who were likely commanders or generals, these two kings would have ruled towns or regions within Midian. Capturing and killing such leaders was more likely to bring an end to the annual raids on Israel.