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Judges 8:14: Gideon's Return in (Discriminating) Vengeance

Verse 14:[1] And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described (Heb. writ[2]) unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, even threescore and seventeen men.

[He asked the names of the princes, etc., וַיִּשְׁאָלֵ֑הוּ וַיִּכְתֹּ֙ב אֵלָ֜יו] And he asked him, and he recorded (Munster); he recorded for him (Tigurinus); he wrote for him (Jonathan, Arabic, Pagnine); or, unto him (Montanus), or, in his presence (Septuagint); who, having been asked, described for him (Arabic). That young man described (Drusius, thus the Arabic), or, as others have it, Gideon described. He wrote for himself the princes, etc., that is, the names of the Princes (Munster), namely, who had been participants in the crime (Menochius); so that he might not punish the innocent with the guilty (Munster, Menochius). Here both his prudence and his severity in avenging evils are commended: He spare the multitude, and punishes the offenders, namely, the Princes, who alone had responded insolently to Gideon (Estius). It is mild, to punish the Princes as the authors of the evil, and to pardon the multitude; Concerning the Law of War and Peace 3:11:5 (Grotius). Something here is to be understood in order to perfect the sense, in this manner, He asked him who the princes and elders of the city were; who enumerated and wrote (Vatablus).

He described…the princes, etc.: He told him their names and qualities.

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּלְכָּד־נַ֛עַר מֵאַנְשֵׁ֥י סֻכּ֖וֹת וַיִּשְׁאָלֵ֑הוּ וַיִּכְתֹּ֙ב אֵלָ֜יו אֶת־שָׂרֵ֤י סֻכּוֹת֙ וְאֶת־זְקֵנֶ֔יהָ שִׁבְעִ֥ים וְשִׁבְעָ֖ה אִֽישׁ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיִּכְתֹּב.

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