Judges 8:10
Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword.
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(10) In Karkor.—This was the scene of the third battle, or massacre. When they had reached this distant point they probably felt secure. Karkor means, “a safe enclosure,” and the Vulg., regarding it as an ordinary noun, renders it, “where Zebah and Zalmunna were resting.” Eusebius and Jerome identify Karkor with a fortress named Karkaria, a day’s journey north of Petra; but, from the mention of Nobah and Jogbehah in the next verse, this seems to be too far south. If so, it may be Karkagheisch, not far from Amman (Rabbath Ammon), mentioned by Burckhardt. It was, however, “at a very great distance” (Jos., Antt. viii. 6, § 5 from the original scene of battle.

Jdg 8:10. There fell a hundred and twenty thousand men — Such a terrible execution did they make among themselves, and so easy a prey were they to Israel. That drew the sword — That is, persons expert and exercised in war, besides the retainers to them.8:4-12 Gideon's men were faint, yet pursuing; fatigued with what they had done, yet eager to do more against their enemies. It is many a time the true Christian's case, fainting, and yet pursuing. The world knows but little of the persevering and successful struggle the real believer maintains with his sinful heart. But he betakes himself to that Divine strength, in the faith of which he began his conflict, and by the supply of which alone he can finish it in triumph.Zebah and Zalmunna seem to have fled nearly due east to Karkor, which was probably an enclosure of some kind (perhaps a walled sheepfold, compare Numbers 31:32 note). Its site is unknown; but it was near Nobah, in the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead Numbers 32:40, and Jogbehah was in the tribe of Gad Numbers 32:34-35. Gideon, perhaps taking a circuit so as to come upon them from the east, fell suddenly upon them, apparently at night, surprised them, and smote them. Jud 8:10-27. Zebah and Zalmunna Taken.

10. Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor—a town on the eastern confines of Gad. The wreck of the Midianite army halted there.

i.e. Persons expert and exercised in war, besides the retainers to them, Judges 6:5. Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor..... Jerom (u) under this word says, there was in his time a castle called Carcuria, a day's journey from Petra, which was the metropolis of Idumea; but whether the same with this is not clear:

and their host with them, about fifteen thousand men; to which number Gideon and his three hundred men were very unequal; and yet, faint and weary as they were, closely pursued them, attacked and conquered them. Josephus (w) very wrongly makes this number to be about 18,000:

all that were left of the hosts of the children of the east; the Arabians, who with the Amalekites joined the Midianites in this expedition; and perhaps the remainder of the army chiefly consisted of Arabians, the others having mostly suffered in the valley of Jezreel, and at the fords of Jordan:

for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword; besides infirm men, women, and children, which may reasonably be supposed; so that this host consisted of 135,000 fighting men.

(u) De loc. Heb. fol. 90. B. (w) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 6. sect. 5.

Now Zebah and Zalmunna were {g} in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword.

(g) A city east of Jordan.

10. Karkor] Site unknown, probably near the edge of the Syrian desert.

all that were left … drew sword] These words have the appearance of an attempt to bring the present narrative into harmony with the account of the panic and flight in Jdg 7:22-25. The exaggerated numbers recall those of Numbers 31 (overthrow of Midian); that drew sword is an expression which often goes with large figures, e.g. Jdg 20:2; Jdg 20:15; Jdg 20:17; Jdg 20:46; 2 Samuel 24:9 etc.Verse 10. - Karkor. Or, rather, the Karkor. We are still on unknown ground. The situation assigned to it by Eusebius and Jerome, as being the same as a castle called Carcaria, near Petra, is quite out of the question, as being greatly too far south. As an appellative it suggests the idea of a walled-in space (kir = a wall; kir-kir = a space walled all round; cf. the Latin carcer, a prison); possibly an enclosed sheep or cattle fold on a large scale (see Numbers 32:36: "built ... folds for sheep"), affording some protection to the Midianite soldiers. Pursuit and Complete Overthrow of the Midianites. - That the Midianites whom God had delivered into his hand might be utterly destroyed, Gideon pursued those who had escaped across the Jordan, till he overtook them on the eastern boundary of Gilead and smote them there.

Judges 8:4-5

When he came to the Jordan with his three hundred men, who were exhausted with the pursuit, he asked the inhabitants of Succoth for loaves of bread for the people in his train. So far as the construction is concerned, the words from עבר to ורדפים form a circumstantial clause inserted as a parenthesis into the principal sentence, and subordinate to it: "When Gideon came to the Jordan, passing over he and the three hundred men ... then he said to the men of Succoth." "Exhausted and pursuing," i.e., exhausted with pursuing. The vav is explanatory, lit. "and indeed pursuing," for "because he pursued." The rendering πεινῶντες adopted by the lxx in the Cod. Alex. is merely an arbitrary rendering of the word רדפים, and without any critical worth. Gideon had crossed the Jordan, therefore, somewhere in the neighbourhood of Succoth. Succoth was upon the eastern side of the valley of the Jordan (Joshua 13:27), not opposite to Bethshean, but, according to Genesis 33:17, on the south side of the Jabbok (Zerka).

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