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a Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt || 28 And when the men of the city arose not die.
early in the morning, behold the altar of 24 Then Gideon "built an altar there | | Baal was cast down, and the grove was unto the LORD, and called it * JEHOVAH- cut down that was by it, and the second shalom: unto this day it is yet in || bullock was offered upon the altar thal * Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites.
was built. [Practical Observations.]
29 And they said one to another 25 1 And it came to pass the same || Who hath done this thing? And when night, that the LORD said unto him, * Take they inquired and asked, they said, thy father's young bullock, + even the sec Gideon the son of Joash hath done this ond bullock of seven years old, and thing.
row down the altar of Baal that * thy || 30 Then the men of the city said unto father hath, and y cut down the grove that || Joash, - Bring out thy son, that he may is by it;
die: because he hath cast down the altar 26 And a build an altar unto the LORD || of Baal, and because he hath cut down thy God upon the top of this | rock, in the grove that was by it. & the ordered place, and take the second 31 And Joash said unto all that stood bullock, and offer a burnt-sacrifice with || against him, d Will ye plead for Baal! the wood of the grove which thou shalt will ye save him? he that will plead for cut down.
| him, e let him be put to death whilst it is 27 Then Gideon took ten men of his yet morning: 'if he be a god, let him plead servants, a and did as the LORD had said || for himself, because one hath cast down unto him: and so it was, because he fear- || his altar. ed his father's household, and the men of 32 Therefore on that day he called the city, that he could not do it by day,|| him II Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead that he did it by night.
against him, because he hath thrown down a Gen. 43:23. Ps. 85:8. John, 2 Cor. 6:15–17.
his altar. 14:27. 20:19,26. Rom. 1:7.
Matt. 10:37. Acts 4:19. 5:29. 21-4. Gen. 33:20. Josh. 22:10, y 3:7 Ex. 34.13. Deut. 7:5. 26-28. z 2 Sat 24:18.
c Jer. 26:11. 50:38. John 16:2. 11. I Cor. 8:4. . That is, The LORD send 1 Heb. strungol
| Acts 26:9. Phil. 3:6.
1. That is, Let Bacl plead. I peace. Gen. 22:14. Ex. 17:15. Or, an orderly m
in orderly manner. Jer. 23:6. 33:16. Ez. 48:35. Cor. 14:33,40.
Id Ex. 23:2. Num. 14:6. Eph. 5: Sam. 12:11. 2 Sam. 11:21. Jea Deut. 4:1,2. Matt. 16:24. John
rubbesheth: that is, Let the s 8:32. 1 Gen. 35:2. Job 22:23. Ps. 2:5. 15:14. Gal. 1:16. 1 Thes.
e Deut. 13:5,&c. 17:2-7 1 shameful thing plead. Jer. 11: 2:4. 101:2.
13. Hos. 9:10. b Ps. 112:5. John 3:2. Or, and.
fi Kings 18:27,29. Ps. 115:44g Ps. 3:1. 27:2,3. 118:10-12 u 1 Kings 18:21. Matt. 6:24.
7. Is. 41:23. 46:1,7. Jer. 10:5, Is. 8:9,10. Rom. 8:3539. V. 23. The LORD said.] Either at a second
employed in idolatry: for it was of great importappearance, or by an audible voice, or in a vision lance, that ar
ance, that a protest against the worship of Baal, as afterwards. (25)
and an arowal of JEHOVAH, as the only true God, V. 24. Gideon does not seem to have intended should introduce Israel's deliverance. (Notes, this altar for sacrifices; but for a memorial of the | Lev. 1:5--9. 17:3—7. Deut. 12:2–9. I Sam. 7:9. Lord's appearance, and gracious words to him. || 1 Kings 18:38,39.2 Kings 3:20.) (Marg. Ref. r, and on marg. reading.) It re- || V. 27. The large family of Gideon's father mained at the time when this history was written. || was grievously infected with this idolatry; which
V. 25, 26. Our translation supposes, that only the more magnifies the mercy of God in presery. one bullock was sacrificed: yet the term, “the || ing him, and in selecting him to be Israel's deliv. second bullock,” may imply that two were ap- erer. Some however, even of his servants, were pointed. It does not however appear, when or ready and willing to help in this perilous attempt. how the first bullock, if two were meant, was of- || V. 28–30. When the citizens arose betimes, fered. This second bullock of seven years old," Il (perhaps to pay their morning devotions to Baal,) (the same number as the years of Israel's oppres- and saw what had taken place, they were speed: sion,) seems to have been fattened on purpose for ily informed that Gideon had done it and nothing a public sacrifice to Baal.-Before he offered the || but his blood could satisfy the persecuting rage sacrifice, Gideon was directed to “throw down || of these infatuated idolaters! (Note, 1 Kings the altar which his father had” for the worship of || 19:2.) Baal; and “to cut down the grove;" and thus to V.'31, 32. Joash, though himself guilty of idoldeclare open war against idolatry, before he at- || atry, was unwilling to have his son punished: and tacked the enemies of his people: regarding the probably, by what had been done, he was conhonor and command of God, more than the au-l vinced of the sin and folly of worshipping an idol, thority or credit of his father; which probably which could not defend itself; and which needed had hitherto made him satisfy himself with silent to be saved by its devotees, instead of being able disapprobation.-Some think that the word ren- | to save them. If Baal were indeed a god, let dered grove, means an image of Ashtaroth, which him plead his own cause against Gideon: and if was cut in pieces; and burnt as fuel in consuming || he were not a god, they who pleaded for him de. the sacrifice offered to JEHOVAH. (Note, 2:11 | served immediate death. (Notes, 1 Sam. 5: 6: Is. 13.)-Gideon was not a priest, or even a Levite; || | 46:1,2.)-Probably Joash now recollected the law but he acted by extraordinary commission, as a against idolaters. (Note, Deut. 13:1-5.) Some prophet.-Sacrificing also was generally restrict- however think, that he spake merely as a magis. ed to the altar at Shiloh: yet on this occasion the trate, against any who should excite a tumult on Lord was pleased to dispense with the ritual ap- | account of these transactions.-On this occasion pointment; and even to command and accept al he gave his son a new name, and called him Jesacrifice offered with those things which had been Il rubbaal; as if he had said, Let Baal plead againg
the Amalekites, and the children of the 37 9 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool east, were gathered together, and i went in the floor; and if the dew be on the over and pitched in k the valley of Jez- fleece ' only, and it be dry upon all the reel.
earth beside, then shall I know that thou 34 But 'the Spirit of the Lord * came wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou upon Gideon, and he mblew a trumpet; || hast said. and " Abi-ezer + was gathered after him. 38 And it was so: for he rose up early
35 And he sent messengers through- on the morrow, and thrust the fleece toout all Manasseh; who also was gathered | gether, and wringed the dew out of the after him: and he sent messengers unto fleece, a bowl-full of water. Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto || 39 And Gideon said unto God, - Let Naphtali; and they came up to meet not thine anger be hot against me, and I
will speak but this once: Let me prove 36 | And Gideon said unto God, p If I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as let it now be dry only upon the fleece, thou hast said,
and upon all the ground let there be dew. h 3. 8:10,11. i Chr. 5:19,20.1 * Heb. clothed. Rom. 13:14.
40 And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there
was dew on all the ground. 1 3:10. 13:25. 14:19. 15:14. 1 02 Chr. 30:6–12.
q Deut. 32:2. Ps. 72:6. Hos. 6: | 1 Ps. 107:33–35. Is. 35:6,7. 43
Job 1:3. i 7:24. Josh. 3:16,17. k Josh. 17:16. 19:18.
m 3:27. Num. 10:3.
| Heb. was called after him.
Sam. 10:6. 11:6. 16:14. 1 Chr. 12:13. 2 Chr. 24:20. Ps. 51:11. 1 Cor. 12:8-11.
Ex. 4:1-9. 2
19,20. Matt. 8:12. 21:43. Acte 13:46. 22:21. 28:28. Rom. 11.1%
hiin if he be able. He was also called Jerubbe- || He has so constituted the world, that fear, shame, sheth, which signifies, let shame plead; (2 Sam. 11: and misery are the natural effects of sin, and will 21.) for what the people called Baal, or lord, was inevitably follow the commission of it; however indeed their shame. (Notes, Jer. 11:13. Hos. 9: | impenitent sinners may endeavor to evade them, 9,10. Some fragments of Phenician history ey- land for a time succeed.—Conscious guilt appals idently mention Gideon under the title of Jerom- | the heart, and reduces men to the most degrading balus, and call him the priest of Jero; doubtless expedients for self-préservation: and plenty abusfrom this sacrifice offered by him to JEHOVAH. || ed in excess must expose them, at least, to the The writer says he received some commentaries merciful chastisement of pinching want. Heavy from him, which probably mean the books of Mo afflictions often extort from sinners cries of disses, the law of JEHOVAH.
|| tress and prayers for relief: but if the Lord re V. 33, 34. It seems that a very great and sur gard these cries and prayers, he will convince prising reformation took place on this occasion, the sufferers of their guilt and lead them to rein Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites; for that city fur pentance; for without this no deliverance will nished Gideon with his first troops, when he pre eventually prove a blessing.-The ministers of pared to attack the Midianites after they had God must declare to sippers, his perfections and crossed Jordan on their annual plundering inva authority; the relations in which they stand to sion. (Note, 2,3.)
him, and their obligations to obedience; the reaV. 36–40. The view of the very great multi | sonableness of his precepts, the advantages of his tudes of the enemy perhaps rather discouraged service, the evil of sin, and the number and heinGideon; who, for the confirmation of his own ousness of their transgressions. Hence it will faith, and that of his troops, desired this miracu- || appear, that they greatly need repentance and lous sign of the Lord's presence as the seal of bis | forgiveness; and that the message of the gospel is commission. But, as it is the nature of wool to indeed worthy of their most cordial acceptation. suck in the moisture, when there is any in the || And, having brought these things home to their air, so the first token did not quite satisfy him: consciences, they must leave the rest with God, and, though conscious of his unbelief, he asked earnestly praying to him to render his word sucthe reversal of the sign, joining with his petition cessful. Yet, alas! nwnbers hear the word of a humble deprecation of the Lord's displeasure; || God, and are convinced that their conduct is in. and he obtained his request. (Noles, 7:13-15. || excusable, who notwithstanding proceed in their Ex. 4:1-7. Luke 1:18–20.)- According to this | sinful courses, even while groaning uncer the miracle, the nation of Israel was moistened by Il painful effects of them! the dew of heavenly blessings, when the whole
V. 11-24. earth besides remained dry: and now that the The Lord reserves to himself a remnan in the nations of the earth enjoy the blessings of re- || worst of times, to whom he manifests his g acious demption, the Jews remain like the dry fleece. presence; and they are never more likel: to be
thus favored, than when struggling with otward PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS. difficulties, employed in honest labor, and mediV. 1-10.
tating upon heavenly things.-Talents, sui led for The tendency of our fallen nature to apostacy peculiar services, may for a time be buried in obfrom God is so strong, that no means can of them scurity; but in due season the Lord will take the selves prevent its effect; and in all cases when candle from “under the bushel," and place it won divine grace is withheld, man as naturally does a candlestick” to give light to all around: and evil as the stone falls to the ground. The Scrip I that time must be waited for, by those who fee) tures every where teach us this humiliating truth: their hearts glow with desires of usefulness, which and in proportion as we effectually learn it, we at present they have no opportunity of executing. shall in all things depend on the special assist- -We are inore disposed to muse on our troubles, ance and blessing of God, with constant, earnest than on our transgressions: and when we du uof prayer; and upreservedly give him all the glory, I directly experience the sale deliver ao ce, as whatever good be wrought in us, or done by us.- have been afforded to other, mane apt t think
against me, saying, ' Mine own hand hath Gideon's army is tried by divine directions, and reduced to three hundred men, 18. He is sent into the enemy's canıp by night, and encouraged by hearing a dream interpreted, 915. He divides his army into three companies, giving each man a
the ears of the people, saying, : Whosotrumpet, and a lamp in a pitcher, 16-18. The Midianites are thrown into confusion and put to flight, 19–22. The Israelites ever is fearful and afraid, let him return, intercept their flight, and take their princes Oreb and Zeeb, whom they put to death, 23—25.
and depart early from mount Gilead: and MTHEN a Jerubbaal, (who is Gideon,)|| there returned of the people h twenty and
I and all the people that were with two thousand, and there remained ten him, brose up early, and pitched beside thousand. the well of Harod: so that the host of the 4 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The Midianites were on the north side of them, people are yet too many; bring them by the hill of « Moreh, in the valley.
down unto the water, and I will try them 2 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The
for thee there; and it shall be, ihat of people that are with thee, are d too many whom I say unto thee, This shall go with for me to give the Midianites into their thee, the same shall go with thee; and of hands, lest e Israel vaunt themselves whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall
not go with thee, the same shall not go. a 6:32.
1 Zech. 4:6. 12:7. 1 Cor. 1:27b Gen. 22:3. Josh. 3:1. 6:12. 29. 2:4,5. 2 Cor. 4:7. 10:4,5. f Deut. 8:17. Is. 10:13. Ez. 28: 1 h Matt. 20:16. Ec. 9.10. e Deut. 32:27. Is. 2:11,17. Jer.
2,17. Dan. 4.30. Hab. 1:16. Ti Gen. 22:1. 1 Sam. 167. Job c Gen. 12:6.
9:23. Rom. 3:27. Eph. 2:9. g Deut. 20:8. Matt. 13.21. Luke 23:10. Ps. 7:9. 66:10 Jer. 6-27 di San. 14:6. ? Chr. 14:11. | Jam. 4:6.
14:25–33. Rey. 17:14. 21:8. 1 -30. Mal. 3:2,3. that the Lord's “hand is shortened," or that she cannot always keep out disquieting fears, in cir. hath forgotten to be gracious;” not considering cumstances of peculiar danger and difficulty. In that he worketh every thing in its appointed sea
this struggle against involuntary unbelief, the son, according to the determinations of his un
Lord himself, the Author and Finisher of his peofathomable wisdom, and as best answers the pur
ple's faith, is their Refuge: to him they make apposes of his own glory.-But "before honor is hu plication, and he will help them; and when they mility:" and the delays and disappointinents, by
are encouraged, they will be enabled to strength. which he humbles those whom he delighteth to en their brethren. 'Yet the same inward enemy honor, often discourage their hearts, and induce
will repeatedly assail them; and conscious that distrust and reluctance to duty: so imperfect and
their fears dishonor the power and faithfulness so defiled with sin are our best graces! Yet hell and love of God, they will deprecate his displeas. generally employs those who are most sensible of ure, and beseech him to strengthen their faith; their own unworthiness and insufficiency: at the land he will both pardon them, and condescend to same time teaching them to exercise the courage their desires, while they endeavor to trust in him, of faith, and to grow strong by simply expecting but“cannot do the thing that they would.”_Wbat help from Him; and graciously assuring ihem of|cause have we sinners of the Gentiles to thank his direction and support.-When the Lord favors the Lord, that the dew of heavenly blessings, his servants with glimpses of his glory, and tastes once confined to Israel, now descends upon the of his love, they long for the continuance of his | inhabitants of the earth, without that limitation! gracious presence: and when the sense of his || Yet still the means of grace are dispensed in difpardoning love has banished the fear of wrath: ferent measures according to the purposes of they rise superior to discouragements, praise him
God; and even in the same congregations, one for his mercies, and are ready to say, “Here am
man's soul is like Gideon's moistened fleece, I, send me;" though the service be dangerous and another's like the dry ground. Let us then condifficult, and require much self-deuial. (Notes, Is. tinually pray for the divine blessing on the ordi6:6–8.)
nances of God to ourselves and others: not at any V. 25--40.
time forgetting the nation of Israel, to which all In attempting reformation, (which is the first other nations are so deeply indebted, and which step towards recovering prosperity,) no man must has been so long a dry fleece, whilst the earth be known according to the flesh: nay, when the | around has enjoyed the blessing. coinmands of God are concerned, even parental
NOTES. authority loses its obligation; and though the CHAP. VII. V. 2, 3. Gideon either forgot the method of procedure should be regulated by wis
law, which ordered proclamation to be made bedom, yet we must not be counselled by natural
fore the battle, that the fearful with some others affection or the fear of man. (Notes, Malt, 10:
might return home; or he thought it might be dis. 37–39. P.O. 34–42. Luke 14:25–27. 2 Cor. 5:
pensed with on so urgent an occasion. (Note, 16.)-If we do any thing effectual against the
Deut. 20:5–9.) But the Lord knew, that pride cause of Satan, his servants will certainly be en and unbelief prevailed in the army. raged, especially those who are zealous for any
had readily enlisted at first; but when they saw kind of false religion. But the Lord has all hearts the multitudes of the Midianites, their courage in his hands, and can easily intimidate the ene
sunk: yet, had they prevailed, they would have mies of his people, or convert them into friends vaunted, and ascribed the victory to their own and helpers: and persecution must always appear | valor, and not to the special help of God! Most of unreasonable and odious to a reflecting mind. them were destitute of true faith, and many doubt. JEHOVAH does not allow his servants to use carnal less disheartened with a guilty conscience. They weapons: and his friends should leave them ex- | thought that instead of being too many, they were clusively to idolaters, anti-christians and ungodly too few; and the greatest part of them availed men-Wicked men are frequently most furious, I themselves of the proclamation, and went home.when destruction is just at hand: for “when the Mount Gilead, here mentioned, must have been enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the some mountain of that name west of Jordan, of LORD lifteth up a standard against him.” Yet less note than mount Gilead which lay east of that even they who have the Spirit of God, and by the river: for Gideon's army never crossed Jordan truinpet of the gospel call others to the conflict, li till after the victory. (8:4.)
5 So he brougnt down the people unto || along in the valley like u grass-hoppers the water; and ihe LORD said unto Gide- || for multitude; and their camels were withon, Every one that lappeth of the water out number, as the sand of the sea-side with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him for multitude. shalt thou set by himself; likewise every 13 And when Gideon was come, beone that boweth down upon his knees to hold, there was a man that told a dream drink.
unto his fellow, and said, Behold, ] 6 And the number of them that lapped, || dreamed a dream; and - lo, a cake of putting their hand to their mouth, were barley-bread tumbled into the host of ihree hundred men: but all the rest of the Midian, and came unto á tent, and smote people bowed down upon their knees to it that it feil, and overturned it, that the drink water.
tent lay along. 7 And the LORD said unto Gideon, 14 And v his fellow answered and said, by the three hundred men that lapped This is nothing else save the sword of will I save you, and deliver the Midianites Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: into thine hand: and let all the other peo-ll for 2 into his hand hath God delivered ple go every man unto his place. | Midian and all the host.
8 So the people took victuals in their 15 And it was so, when Gideon heard hand, and their trumpets: and he sent the telling of the dream, and the t interall the rest of Israel every man unto his pretation thereof, that he a worshipped, tent, and retained those three hundred and returned into the host of Israel, and men. And the host of Midian was be- |said, • Arise, for the LORD hath delivered neath him m in the valley.
into your hand the host of Midian. 9 1 And it came to pass n the same
(Prostical Observations.]' night, that the LORD said unto him, "Arise, || 16 | And he divided the three hundred get thee down unto the host; for p I have men into three companies, and he put 1 a delivered it into thine hand.
trumpet in every man's hand, with 10 But " if thou fear to go down, golc empty pitchers, and 8 lamps within the thou with Phurah thy servant down to the il pitchers. host.
17 And he said unto them, Look on 11 And 'thou shalt hear what they say, me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I and afterward shall sthine hands become to the outside of the camp, it shall strengthened to go down unto the host.be, that as I do, so shall ye do. Then went he down, with Phurah his ser-1 18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and vant, unto the outside of the * arined men all that are with me, then e blow ye the that were in the host.
trumpets also on every side of all the 12 And the Midianites, and the Amal-camp, and say, 'The sword of the LORD, ekites, and all the children of the east, lay and of Gideon. k 18–22. 1 Sam. 14:6. Is. 41:14, 9. 20:17.
u 8:10. 2 Chr. 14:812. Ps. 3: 1 2 Chr. 20:18,19 I 3:27. Lev. 23:24. 25:9. Num. 13,14. Gen. 24:14. 1 Sam. 14:
| * 3:15,31. 4:9,21. 6:15. Is. 41:14, Heb. trumpets in the hand of 10:9. Josh. 6:4,20. Is. 27:13. 8-12
Neb. 6:9. Is. 35:3,4. 2 Cor. Il
My Num. 22:38. 23:5,20. 24:10_ c2 Cor. 4:7.
Or, firebrands, or, torches. 16. Matt. 1:20. 2:13. Acts 18: 4:13. 1 * Or, ranks by five. Ex. 13:18.
1. 2 Kings 7:6,7. o Josh. 1: 5 9. Is. 41:10—16. marg.
| Heb. breaking thereof. Gen. 20. 6:3,5,33. 1 Kings 4:30.
fi Sam. 17:47. 2 Chr. 20:15– p 3:10,28. 4:14,15. 2 Chr. 16:8,
a Gen. 24:26,27,48. Ex. 4:30,31. 17.
V. 447. Some of the soldiers that still remain- | tained nothing but present necessary provisions, ed, were not so courageous as they would be and perhaps all the trumpets which belonged to thought: but Gideon had done his part in that the whole arıny, without any other arms! This respect; and it pleased the Lord himself to prove was no doubt done by immediate direction from and purify the company, by an extraordinary ex God. (Notes, 1 Sam. 14:6-15. 1 Cor. 2:3 -5.) pedient. Perhaps they were led to the water V. 9-11. Marg. Ref.-Note, 6:36_40. after the fatigue of a long march, under the idea V. 12. Marg. Ref.-Notes, 1 Kings 20:27. 2 that they were going directly to attack the enemy. |Chr. 14:9—15. It seems to have been customary for them to drink V. 1315. This dream might'appear to have as the cattle do, by putting their mouths down to little coherency in it: but the event evidently the water, and drawing it in: but they who only proved that it was from the Lord, who directed took a little into their hands, and sucked it up, I the soldier to an exact interpretation; and at the (as dogs are remarked to lap a little water hastily,) | same time discovered, that the name of Gideon might be supposed to be less enslaved to their ap- had filled the hearts of the Midianites with terror. petite, more able to endure hardship, and more. The very small unarmed company which Gideon eager to engage.-It may be presumed that most headed, had the Midianites known about them, of this very small company, by whom God was I would have appeared as contemptible as the barpleased to save Israel, were men of genuine faith ley-cake, and no more likely to destroy their arand piety, as well as of steady courage.
my than that to overturn a tent.-Gideon thereV. 8. This small company seems to have re- || fore took this as a sure pledge of success; and
19 So Gideon, and the hundred men shittah * in Zererath, and to the border
24 And Gideon 9 sent messengers
and took the waters unto Beth-barah and
Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they
| * on the other side Jordan.
* Or, toward.
r 3:28. 12:5.
1 Heb. lip.
01 Kings 4:12. 19:16.
p 6:35. i Sam. 14:21,22.
u Josh. 7:26. Is. 10:26.
Thes. 5:3. Rev. 16:15.
|1 Ex. 14:13,14. 2 Chr. 20:17.
Josh. 6:4,16,1 Job 15:21,22. Prov. 28:1.
s John 1:28.
23. Ps. 83:9. Is. 9:4. 19:2.
1 Thes. 4:16.
without delay worshipped God, and returned with intercepted and slew two princes of Midian, and
takings.-But, while the Lord pursues his pur-