Judges 8:10: Zebah and Zalmunna's Surviving War-band

Verse 10:[1] Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of (Judg. 7:12) all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword (or, an hundred and twenty thousand, everyone drawing a sword,[2] Judg. 20:2,[3] 15, 17, 25; 2 Kings 3:26).


[Now, Zebah and Zalmunna were resting] In Hebrew it is בַּקַּרְקֹר, in Karkor, although there is a suspicion that something has been lost from our text (Bonfrerius). [Bochart otherwise:] The Vulgate (says he) translates that בַּקַּרְקֹר, they were resting; for to the Arabs קַרְקַרַה/CARCARA is a land in which life is passed safely and peaceful; and the verb קַרַּ/CARRA, whence is קַרְקַרַ/CARCARA, signifies to rest and to be in safety, especially in the tenth conjugation. Thus in Psalm 107:29, the waves of the sea אסתקרת, were calm (Bochart’s Sacred Geography “Canaan” 1:23:505). There is no mention of the קַרְקַר/Carcar of this passage anywhere else in Scripture or in Josephus (Bonfrerius). It was a city beyond Jordan (Vatablus).


Men that drew sword: that is, Persons expert and exercised in war, besides the retainers to them, Judges 6:5.

[1] Hebrew: וְזֶ֙בַח וְצַלְמֻנָּ֜ע בַּקַּרְקֹ֗ר וּמַחֲנֵיהֶ֤ם עִמָּם֙ כַּחֲמֵ֤שֶׁת עָשָׂר֙ אֶ֔לֶף כֹּ֚ל הַנּ֣וֹתָרִ֔ים מִכֹּ֖ל מַחֲנֵ֣ה בְנֵי־קֶ֑דֶם וְהַנֹּ֣פְלִ֔ים מֵאָ֙ה וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים אֶ֛לֶף אִ֖ישׁ שֹׁ֥לֵֽף חָֽרֶב׃


[2] Hebrew: מֵאָ֙ה וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים אֶ֛לֶף אִ֖ישׁ שֹׁ֥לֵֽף חָֽרֶב׃.


[3] Judges 20:2: “And the chief of all the people, even of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen that drew sword (אַרְבַּ֙ע מֵא֥וֹת אֶ֛לֶף אִ֥ישׁ רַגְלִ֖י שֹׁ֥לֵֽף חָֽרֶב׃).” Similarly in Judges 20:15, 17, 25; 2 Kings 3:26.

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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