Gideon is a great folk tale. First, you have Gideon requiring God to perform miracles, but not to see how powerful God is, just, you know, to confirm it’s really God. Then, after they raise the army, God keeps having Gideon send people home until there is only 300 to fight the “Midianites, Amalekits, and others from the east.” Ultimately, he splits up in the three groups of 100, surround them while they are sleeping and makes it seem as if a massive force is attacking them. Thusly, God delivers them into Gideon’s hands. This story includes a couple of times the battle cry, “For the Lord, and for Gideon” as they charge. Interesting.
Then Gideon chases down the kings of Midian. He does not get help from the elders of Sucoth and Peniel. So, after capturing the kings, he comes back through those territories and takes vengeance on those folks. And, in case you didn’t have enough of a Soprano’s feel from Gideon, we have this scene.
19 And he said, They were my brethren, even the sons of my mother: as the Lord liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you.
20 And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, and slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he was yet a youth.
21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their camels’ necks.
Gideon actually turns down being king, but does have everyone make him an ephod. An ephod that is ultimately worship as idol. So weirdly seems like a mixed bag for Gideon.
Also, his kids do NOT get along.