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Judges 8:18 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men [were they] whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou [art], so [were] they; each one resembled the children of a king.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “What kind of men [were] they whom you killed at Tabor?” And they said, “They were like you, each one resembling the son of a king.”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Then said he to Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men [were they] whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou [art], so [were] they; each one resembled the children of a king.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Then said he to Zebah and Zalmunna, What sort of men were they that ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the sons of a king.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then said he unto Zebah and unto Zalmunna, What manner of men were they, whom ye slew at Tabor? And they said, As thou art, so were they, each one, as handsome as the sons of a king.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And he saith unto Zebah and unto Zalmunna, 'How—the men whom ye slew in Tabor?' and they say, 'As thou—so they, one—as the form of the king's sons.'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And he said to Zebee and Salmana: What manner of men were they, whom you slew in Thabor? They answered: They were like thee, and one of them as the son of a king.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Then said he vnto Zebah and Zalmunna, What maner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou art, so [were] they, ech one resembled the children of a king.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And he said to Zebah{gr.Zebee} and Zalmunna{gr.Salmana}, Where [are] the men whom ye slew in Tabor{gr.Thabor}? and they said, As thou, so [were] they, according to the likeness of the son of a king.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Then said he unto Zevach and Tzalmunna, What manner of men [were they] whom ye slew at Tavor? And they answered, As thou [art], so [were] they; each one resembled the children of a king.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Then said 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
he unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
Zevaç זֶבַח 2078
{2078} Prime
זֶבַח
Zebach
{zeh'-bakh}
The same as H2077; sacrifice; Zebach, a Midianitish prince.
and Xalmunnä` צַלמֻנָּע, 6759
{6759} Prime
צַלְמֻנָּע
Tsalmunna`
{tsal-moon-naw'}
From H6738 and H4513; shade has been denied; Tsalmunna, a Midianite.
What y375
[0375] Standard
אֵיפֹה
'eyphoh
{ay-fo'}
From H0335 and H6311; what place?; also (of time) when?; or (of means) how?.
manner x375
(0375) Complement
אֵיפֹה
'eyphoh
{ay-fo'}
From H0335 and H6311; what place?; also (of time) when?; or (of means) how?.
of men y582
[0582] Standard
אֱנוֹשׁ
'enowsh
{en-oshe'}
From H0605; properly a mortal (and thus differeing from the more dignified H0120); hence a man in general (singly or collectively). It is often unexpressed in the English Version, especially when used in apposition with another word.
x376
(0376) Complement
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
[were they] whom x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
ye slew 2026
{2026} Prime
הָרַג
harag
{haw-rag'}
A primitive root; to smite with deadly intent.
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
at Tävôr תָּבוֹר? 8396
{8396} Prime
תָּבוֹר
Tabowr
{taw-bore'}
From a root corresponding to H8406; broken region; Tabor, a mountain in Palestine, also a city adjacent.
And they answered, 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
As thou 3644
{3644} Prime
כְמוֹ
k@mow
{kem-o'}
A form of the prefix K, but used separately (compare H3651); as, thus, so.
[art], so [were] they; each one 259
{0259} Prime
אֶחָד
'echad
{ekh-awd'}
A numeral from H0258; properly united, that is, one; or (as an ordinal) first.
resembled 8389
{8389} Prime
תֹּאַר
to'ar
{to'-ar}
From H8388; outline, that is, figure or appearance.
the children 1121
{1121} Prime
בֵּן
ben
{bane}
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of a king. 4428
{4428} Prime
מֶּלֶךְ
melek
{meh'-lek}
From H4427; a king.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Judges 8:18

_ _ Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? — This was one of the countless atrocities which the Midianite chiefs had perpetrated during their seven years’ lawless occupancy. It is noticed now for the first time when their fate was about to be determined.

_ _ each one resembled the children of a king — An Orientalism for great beauty, majesty of appearance, uncommon strength, and grandeur of form.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Judges 8:18-21

_ _ Judgment began at the house of God, in the just correction of the men of Succoth and Penuel, who were Israelites, but it did not end there. The kings of Midian, when they had served to demonstrate Gideon's victories, and grace his triumphs, must now be reckoned with. 1. They are indicted for the murder of Gideon's brethren some time ago at Mount Tabor. When the children of Israel, for fear of the Midianites, made themselves dens in the mountains (Judges 6:2), those young men, it is likely, took shelter in that mountain, where they were found by these two kings, and most basely and barbarously slain in cold blood. When he asks them what manner of men they were (Judges 8:18), it is not because he was uncertain of the thing, or wanted proof of it; he was not so little concerned for his brethren's blood as not to enquire it out before now, nor were these proud tyrants solicitous to conceal it. But he puts that question to them that by their acknowledgment of the more than ordinary comeliness of the persons they slew their crime might appear the more heinous, and consequently their punishment the more righteous. They could not but own that, though they were found in a mean and abject condition, yet they had an unusual greatness and majesty in their countenances, not unlike Gideon himself at this time: they resembled the children of a king, born for something great. 2. Being found guilty of this murder by their own confession, Gideon, though he might have put them to death as Israel's judge for the injuries done to that people in general, as Oreb and Zeeb (Judges 7:25), yet chooses rather to put on the character of an avenger of blood, as next of kin to the persons slain: They were my brethren, Judges 8:19. Their other crimes might have been forgiven, at least Gideon would not have slain them himself, let them have answered it to the people; but the voice of his brethren's blood cries, cries to him, now it is in the power of his hand to avenge it, and therefore there is no remedy — by him must their blood be shed, though they were kings. Little did they think to hear of this so long after; but murder seldom goes unpunished even in this life. 3. The execution is done by Gideon himself with his own hand, because he was the avenger of blood; he bade his son slay them, for he was a near relation to the persons murdered, and fittest to be his father's substitute and representative, and he would thus train him up to the acts of justice and boldness, Judges 8:20. But, (1.) The young man himself desired to be excused; he feared, though they were bound and could make no resistance, because he was yet a youth, and not used to such work: courage does not always run in the blood. (2.) The prisoners themselves desired that Gideon would excuse it (Judges 8:21), begged that, if they must die, they might die by his own hand, which would be somewhat more honourable to them, and more easy; for by his great strength they would sooner be dispatched and rid out of their pain. As is the man, so is his strength. Either they mean it of themselves (they were men of such strength as called for a better hand than that young man's to overpower quickly) or of Gideon, “Thou art at thy full strength; he has not yet come to it; therefore be thou the executioner.” From those that are grown up to maturity, it is expected that what they do in any service be done with so much the more strength. Gideon dispatched them quickly, and seized the ornaments that were on their camels' necks, ornaments like the moon, so it is in the margin, either badges of their royalty or perhaps of their idolatry, for Ashteroth was represented by the moon, as Baal by the sun. With there he took all their other ornaments, as appears Judges 8:26, where we find that he did not put them to so good a use as one would have wished. The destruction of these two kings, and that of the two princes (Judges 7:25) is long afterwards pleaded as a precedent in prayer for the ruin of others of the church's enemies, Psalms 83:11, Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, and all their princes as Zebah and Zalmunna, let them all be but off in like manner.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Judges 8:18

What manner of men — For outward shape and quality. At Tabor — Whither he understood they fled for shelter, upon the approach of the Midianites; and where he learned that some were slain, which he suspected might be them. Resembled — Not for their garb, or outward splendor, but for the majesty of their looks: by which commendation they thought to ingratiate themselves with their conqueror.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Tabor:

Judges 4:6 And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, [saying], Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?
Psalms 89:12 The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.

As thou art:

Psalms 12:2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: [with] flattering lips [and] with a double heart do they speak.
Jude 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

resembled:
Heb. according to the form of, etc
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Jg 4:6. Ps 12:2; 89:12. Jde 1:16.

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