Begg Christopher ,
The Denouement of the Story of Gideon according to Josephus ,
Antonianum, 83/1 (2008) p. 9-23
Summary: This essay offers a detailed study of Josephus' account, in Ant. 5.227-232, of the finale of the career of the "judge" Gideon, both in relation to its biblical Vorlage (Judg 7,24-8,35, as attested by the major ancient textual witnesses) and to, e.g., Pseudo-Philo and Samaritan tradition. Among the findings of the study are the following: Ant. 5.227-232 does give some evidence of Josephus' utilization of varying text-forms of the Judges passage. The most conspicuous rewriting technique applied by him to the data of Judg 7,23-8,35 is his wide-going abbreviation of the Bible's account, this serving, inter alia, to present Gideon in a more favorable light than his Scriptural counterpart. Josephus' “reductionistic” handling of the biblical material is paralleled in Pseudo-Philo and Samaritan tradition,although each of them evidences distinctive features in its respective treatment of Gideon's end.