Judges 8:21

21 Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Come, do it yourself. ‘As is the man, so is his strength.’ ” So Gideon stepped forward and killed them, and took the ornaments off their camels’ necks.

Read Judges 8:21 Using Other Translations

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.
Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, "Rise yourself and fall upon us, for as the man is, so is his strength." And Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and he took the crescent ornaments that were on the necks of their camels.
Then Zebah and Zalmunna said to Gideon, “Be a man! Kill us yourself!” So Gideon killed them both and took the royal ornaments from the necks of their camels.

What does Judges 8:21 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Judges 8:21

Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, rise thou and fall upon us
Since they must die, they chose rather to die by the hand of so great a man and valiant a commander as Gideon, which was more honourable than to die by the hand of a youth:

for as the man is, so is his strength;
signifying, that as he was a stout able man, he had strength sufficient to dispatch them at once, which his son had not, and therefore they must have died a lingering and painful death: wherefore as they consulted their honour, so their ease, in desiring to die by the hand of Gideon:

and Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna;
nor was it unusual in those early times for great personages, as judges and generals, to be executioners of others, as were Samuel and Benaiah, ( 1 Samuel 15:33 ) ( 1 Kings 2:25 1 Kings 2:34 )

and took away the ornaments that were on their camels' necks;
the Targum calls them chains, as in ( Judges 8:26 ) no doubt of gold; so the horses of King Latinus F2 had golden poitrels or collars hanging down their breasts. They were, according to Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Gersom, in the form of the moon; see ( Isaiah 3:18 ) some have thought that these were worn in honour of Astarte, or the moon, the goddess of the Phoenicians, from whom these people had borrowed that idolatry.


FOOTNOTES:

F2 Virg. Aeneid. l. 7. v. 278.
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