Judges - Chapter 8
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3 God delivered Oreb and Zeeb, the chieftains of Midian, into your power. What was I able to do, in comparison with what you have done?' At these words, their anger with him died down.
4 Gideon reached the Jordan and crossed it, but he and his three hundred companions were exhausted with the pursuit.
5 So he said to the men of Succoth, 'Please give my followers some loaves of bread, since they are exhausted, and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna the kings of Midian.'
7 'Very well,' retorted Gideon, 'when Yahweh has put Zebah and Zalmunna into my power, I shall tear your flesh off with desert-thorn and thistles.'
10 Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their army, about fifteen thousand men, all that was left of the entire army of the sons of the East. Of men bearing arms, a hundred and twenty thousand had fallen.
12 Zebah and Zalmunna fled. He pursued them; he took the two kings of Midian prisoner -- Zebah and Zalmunna -- and the whole army he routed in panic.
13 After the battle Gideon came back by the Ascent of Heres.
15 Gideon son of Joash then went to the people of Succoth and said, 'Here you see Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me and said, "Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your grasp, that we should give bread to your exhausted troops?" '
19 Gideon replied, 'They were my brothers, the sons of my own mother; as Yahweh lives, if you had spared their lives I would not kill you.'
21 Zebah and Zalmunna then said, 'Stand up yourself, and strike us down; for as a man is, so is his strength.' Then Gideon stood up and killed Zebah and Zalmunna; and he took the crescents from round their camels' necks.
26 The weight of the gold rings which he had asked for amounted to seventeen hundred shekels of gold, besides the crescents and the earrings and purple garments worn by the kings of Midian, and besides the collars round their camels' necks.
28 Thus Midian was humbled before the Israelites. He did not raise his head again, and the country had peace for forty years, as long as Gideon lived.
32 Gideon son of Joash died after a happy old age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, at Ophrah of Abiezer.
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 65:10, 11, 12-13, 14
Gospel, Matthew 13:1-23
Reading 2, Romans 8:18-23
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