Page images


2 Cor. 4:8,9,16. Gal. 6:9. Heb.
Gen. 33:17. Ps. 60:6.
Gen. 14:18. Deut. 23:4. 1
Sam. 25:18. 2 Sam. 17:28,29.
3 John 6-8.


3 God hath delivered into your hands The Ephraimites take offence, but are pacified by Gideon cousi | the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb:

insolently refuse relief to his company: he threatens to chas: and what was I able to do in comparison munna, 6–17. He puts Zebah and Zalmunna to death, because of you? Then their * anger was abated ment offered him but asks the ear-rings out of the spoil, and toward him when he had said that. of these he makes an ephod, which proves an occasion of 4 And Gideon came to Jordan and idolatry, 22—27. Midian is subdued, 28. Gideon's family and death; and Israel's idolatry and ingratitude, 2935. passed over, he, and the three hundred ND a the men of Ephraim said unto | men that were with him, ' faint, yet pur

him, * Why hast thou served us suing them. thus, that thou calledst us not when thou 5 And he said unto the men of & Sucwentest to fight with the Midianites? And | coth, Give, I pray you, bloaves of bread they did chide with him + sharply. Ž And he said unto them, What have be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah

unto the people that follow me; for they I done now in comparison of you? is not and Zalmunna, kings of Midian. the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim 6 And the princes of Succoth said, better than the vintage of " Abi-ezer?

d 7:24,25. Ps. 44:3. 115:1. 118: a 12:1–6. 2 Sam. 19:41. Job 5: b1 Cor. 13:47. Gal. 5:14,15. 14-16. John 4:37. Rom. 12:3, 2. Ee. 4:4. Jam. 4:5,6.

Pbil. 2:2,3. Jam. 1:19,20. 3:13 6. 15.18,19. * Heb. What thing is this thou -18.

e Prov. 15:1. 16:32, 25:11,15. hast done un to us? c 6:11,34.

Heb. spirit. + Heb. strongly.

fi Sam. 14:28,29,31,32. 30:10. rious, and establish their hearts in confidence. one another; whilst the host of Israel shall look (Notes, Acts 18:9—11. 23:11. 27:20–26. 28:15. on, and have nothing to do but to blow the trumDreams generally savor of our waking thoughts | pet of the gospel, and read the meaning of such or dispositions, and frequently discover the sin singular events in the light of prophecy: and in that dwells in us: we have therefore often cause the world to come, the wicked, by mutual enmity, to be humbled on recollecting our sleeping im- upbraidings, and contempt, will increase their aginations, or to feel thankful that they were not own and each other's misery. What then have realities; and we should be reminded to pray the people of God to fear, except unbelief and sin? against terrifying or polluting dreams. Some- || what have they to do, but to believe his word, to times, however, they may afford us a salutary trust his power and promise, to obey his orders, bint; which, agreeing with the truth and precepts to wait his time, and to help one another, as occaof God's word, may be made useful, without ex- sions are afforded and circumstances require? actly ascertaining how it was brought into our For they, who are incapable of one service, may mind: and if we can get any benefit from the| be useful in another. Their victory is sure, and dreams of others, we should readily and thank- || will soon be complete over their most numerous fully embrace it.— In discovering the disposition and powerful opponents. of those with wliom we are concerned, faith may frequently discern the secret operation of God,

NOTES. and both take encouragement from it and point it CHAP. VIII. v. 1-3. Gideon was of the out to others.

tribe of Manasseh, and the Ephraimites were V. 16-25.

perhaps jealous of him, as baving the chief comThe feeblest and most improbable methods, mand in this war. It is probable, that they were when divinely appointed and used in faith, pro- | averse to take any part in the perilous and arduduce the most decisive consequences.—The min- ous attempt of delivering Israel: yet it served as a isters of Christ are frail, sinful men, and seldom pretence for their anger, that they had not been adorned with the embellishments of worldly wis- called upon to assist, though Gideon acted ex. dom, large capacities, or great eloquence; but pressly by divine command! But he modestly are rather comparable to mean carthen pitchers: threw a veil over his own achievements, and yet the light of divine truth and grace which re- || spoke highly of theirs, and thus prevented the fa. sides in them, accompanied by the trumpet of the tal effects of their resentment. "He represented gospel preached by them in their several stations, his own victory, by the three hundred men, who is the power of God to the salvation of his people, were chiefly of Abi-ezer, as little in comparison and to the subversion of the kingdom of sin and of their taking the princes of Midian; though the Satan, Nor should they shrink from danger, or former might be called the vintage, and the other fear death: the earthen pitcher must be broken: ) the gleaning: and he intimated that the whole and frequently the light of their testimony, set | glory belonged neither to them nor bim, but to off by the recollection of their example, shines the Lord. This is an argument of the singular brightest after their decease; especially when they | 'modesty and prudence of Gideon, and no less have been honored, by being called to lay down 'conspicuous in him than his courage; which is a their lives in so good' a cause. The same light 'mixture that rarely meets together, but is absoand sound of heavenly truth, which save the Is-lutely necessary to make a truly great man; who rael of God, confound and dismay his enemies: 'never appears so great, as when he treats insoand if threatened vengeance so appals the sinner's 'lent men with humility, and angry men with alarmed conscience in this world; what will be 'meekness. Bp. Patrick. (Notes, 12:1–7. Prov. the effect of the archangel's trumpet, the voice of 15:1. 16:32.) the Judge, and the shout of the redeemed, at the V. 4. None, except Gideon and his three hun great day of account! and of that full blaze ofdred chosen men, seem to have passed over Jorlight, which will manifest all hearts, display every dan in pursuit of the two kings of Midian, who character, and shew every impenitent sinner his with fifteen thousand men had got over before the deserved and inevitable doom!—In this world the fords were taken. (10) This small company, wicked are often left, under the power of their though deserted by some, and chidden and abused own delusions and the fury of their mad passions, || by others of Israel, and though the remaining to avenge the cause of God upon each other: a Midianites so far exceeded them in number; yet, period is approaching when we may expect that in the courage, self-denial, and patience of faith, the persecuting foes of Christianity will destroy pursued them, faint and hungry as they were,

[713 Vol. I.


Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna 14 And caught a young man of the now in thine hand, that we should give men of Succoth, and inquired of him: and bread unto thine army?

he described unto him the princes of 7 And Gideon said, Therefore when Succoth, and the elders thereof, even the Lord hath delivered Zebah and Zal-threescore and seventeen men. munna into mine hand, then I will * tear 15 And he came unto the men of Sucyour flesh with the thorns of the wilder-coth, and said, Behold, Zebah and Zalness, and with briers.

munna, with whom ye did ' upbraid me, 8 And he went up thence to Penuel, saying, Are the hands of Zebah and and spake unto them likewise; and the Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we men of Penuel answered him as the men should give bread unto thy men that arı of Succoth had answered him.

weary? 9 And he spake also unto the men of 16And he took u the elders of the city, Penuel, saying, When 'I come again in and thorns of the wilderness, and briers, peace,

m I will break down this tower. and with them he || taught the men of Suc10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were coth. in Karkor, and their hosts with them, 17 And y he beat down the tower of about fifteen thousand men, all that were Penuel, and slew the men of the city. left of all the hosts of n the children of

(Practical Observations.] the east: for there o fell tan hundred and 18 I Then said he unto Zebah and twenty thousand men that drew sword. Zalmunna, What manner of men were

11 And Gideon went up by the way they whom ye slew at ? Tabor? And they of them that dwelt in tents, on the cast of answered, * As thou art, so were they: P Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the each one resembled the children of a host: for the host was 9 secure.

king. 12 And when Zebah and Zalmunna 19 And he said, They were my brethfled, he pursued after them, and took ren, even the sons of my mother: as the the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zal- LORD liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I munna, and + discomfited all the host.

would not slay you. 13 And Gideon the son of Joash re- 20 And he said unto Jether his firstturned from battle before the sun was up, born, Up, and slay them: but the youth i 5:23. 1 Sam. 25:10,11. 1 Rings thousand, every one drawing

drew not his sword; for he feared, because 20:11. 2 Kings 14:9. Prov. 18: a sword. 20:2,15,17,25,35,48. || he was yet a youth.

2 Kings 3:26.
p Nurn, 32:35,42

21 Then Žebah and Zalmunna said, k Gen. 32:30,31. 1 Kings 12:25. 11 Kings 22:27,28.

y 9. 1 Kings 12-95. r Josh. 10:16--18,22—25. Job | Heb. uerit. u 7. Prov. 10:13. 19:29. Ez. 2:1 Heb. according to the form

of, &c. t Or, an hundred and troenty | | Heb. terrified.

1 Sam. 15:33.

|| Heb. made to know. with long watching, fasting, and fatigue.-We do V. 8, 9. (Gen. 32:30,31.). The inhabitants of not find, that any one of them was either slain or Penuel probably boasted of their tower, and conmissing. (Note, Num. 31:48--54.)

fided in it, to secure them both from the MidianV. 5, 6. The services of Gideon and his men || ites, and from Gideon: he therefore destroyed it; were very great, their necessity urgent, and their and, as some at least of the men of Penuel were request moderate: the behavior therefore of the still more culpable than those of Succoth, he men of Succoth and Penuel was extremely inso- || put them to death. (17. Noles, 5:23. Matt. 12: lent and base, and proved them disaffected to Is- || 29,30.) rael and the God of Israel. (Note, Prov. 18:23.) V. 10–12. Marg. Ref.-Notes, 4-6. They despised Gideon's feeble army, depreciated V. 14–16. This young man seems to have his former success, attempted to weaken his con- || written down (marg.) the names of the principal fidence of completing their delivery, and would persons in Succoth, or of those chiefly concerned. not afford him the least assistance in his patriotic || By this information, Gideon was enabled to disand pious undertaking! (Note, 1 Sam. 25:10,11.) || tinguish between the guilty and the innocent, -Succoth.] Nole, Gen. 33:17.

and so to inflict punishment upon the offenders V. 7. Gideon “deferred his indignation;" and only. intimated to the princes or rulers of Succoth, that

V. 18, 19. In the troubles of Israel, these kings if the kings of Midian escaped him, they also of Midian had slain the brethren of Gideon by the might; but if the Lord enabled him to destroy the mother's side; and therefore he determined on kings, as he was confident he would, this would || this occasion to act as “the avenger of blood." make it plain, that he was appointed judge of Is- They were not of the devoted nations of Canaan, rael, and in that character he would punish their so that he might otherwise have spared them, and ill behavior, and teach them to behave in future he declared that he would.-It seems that Gidemore consistently with the character of Israelites. || on, though little in his own eyes, was a man of a - It is not agreed, in what manner he used these very majestic appearance; and that his brethren briers and thorns, in tearing the flesh of the men greatly resembled him. (Note, 6:15.) Perhaps of Succoth: but though he doubtless put them to this excited the jealousy of these kings against great pain, it is not at all probable that he slew them, who slew them for their own security, them. (Note, 14-16.)

though it eventually proved their ruin. 714)

23. Pbil. 2:21. Heb. thresh. 16.

9 18:27.

1 Sam. 15:32. 30:16. 1 Thes. 5:3

$ 1:24,25. 1 Sam. 30:11-15.

t 6,7.

z 4:6. Ps. 89:12.
a Ps. 12:2. Jude 16.

m 17.

7:12. o 7:22. 2 Chr. 13:17. 28:6,8. Is. 37:36.

12:16-21. 34:19. Ps. 83:11.
Amos 2:14. Rev. 6:15,16. 19:19

x Mic. 7:4.

b Josh. 10:24
Ps. 149.9.

d Ps. 83:1.

32:3. 1 Pet. 3:3—5.

• Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the beside the chains that were about their man is, so is his strength. And Gideoncamels' necks. arose, and a slew Zebah and Zalmunna, 27 And Gideon made m an ephod and took away the * ornaments that were thereof, and put it in his city, even in on their camels' necks.

Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a 22 | Then the men of Israel said unto whoring after it: which thing became Pa Gideon, e Rule thou over us, both thou, || snare unto Gideon, and to his house. and thy son, and thy son's son also: for 28 Thus 9 was Midian subdued before thou hast delivered us from the hand of the children of Israel, so that they lifted Midian.


their heads no more: and the country 23 And Gideon said unto them, 'I will was in quietness ' forty years in the days not rule over you, neither shall my son of Gideon. rule over you; & the LORD shall rule over 29 And Jerubbaal the son of Joash you.

went and dwelt ' in his own house. 24 And Gideon said unto them, I 30 And Gideon had • threescore and would desire a request of you, that yeten sons # of his body begotten: for he would give me every man the ear-rings had * many wives. of his prey. (For they had golden ear- 31 And his concubine that was in rings, because they were Ishmaelites.) || Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose

25 And they answered, We will wil- | name he / called ? Abimelech. lingly give them. And they spread a 32 | And Gideon the son of Joash garment, and did cast therein every man - died in a good old age, and was buried the ear-rings of his prey:

in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in 26 And the weight of the golden ear-Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites. rings, that he requested, was a thousand 33 And it came to pass,


as soon as and seven hundred shekels of gold, beside Gideon was dead, that the children of Isornaments, and collars, and purple rai- | 1 21.

|| Heb. going out of his thigh.

m 17:5. 18:14,17. Ex. 29:6-12. Gen. 2:24. 7:7. Deut. 17:17. ment that was on the kings of Midian, and

1 Sam. 23:9,10. Is. 8:20.

2 Sam. 3:25. 5:13-16. 1 n 32. 6:11,24. Deut. 12:5.

Kings 11:3. Mal. 2:15. Matt. c 9:54. 1 Sam. 31:3,5. Rev. 9:6. & 1 Sam. 8:6,7. 10:19. 12:12.

o Ex. 23:33. Ps. 73:27. 106:39. 19:5—3. Eph. 5:31-33. h Gen. 24:22,53. Ex. 12:35.

Hos. 2:2. 4:12_14.

y 9:1-5. Gen. 16:15. 22:24. * Or, ornaments like the moon.

p 33. Deut. 7:16.

Heb. set.
Is. 3:18.
i Gen. 16:10,11. 25:13. 37:25,

q Ps. 83:9–12. Is. 9:4. 10:26. z Gen. 20:2.
r 3:11.30. 5:31.

a Gen. 15:15. 25:8. Josh. 24
† Or, sweet jewels.
s 6:32. 1 Sam. 12:11.

29,30. Job 5:26. 42.17. f 2:18. 10:18. 11:9-11. Lukek Esth. 8:15. Jer. 10:9.

t Neh. 5:14,15.

b 27. 6:24. 22:24–27. 2 Cor. 1:24. 1 Pet. 27:7. Luke 16:19. John 19:2,5.

u 9:2,5. 10:4. 12:9,14. Gen. 46: c 2:7-10,19. Josh. 24:31. ? Rev. 17:4. 18:12,16.

26. Ex. 1:5. 2 Kings 10:1. Kings 12:2. 2 Chr. 24:17,18. V. 20, 21. Gideon desired to inure his son to small arıny seems to have been preserved in the execute vengeance on the enemies of God and

same manner: (Note, Num. 31:48—54.) and that Israel: (Nole, Josh. 10:24.) but the youth was the want of accurate knowledge of the divine law timorous and declined the service; and the kings | led him thus to misapply them. The “ephod" themselves entreated, that they might be slain, seems to have been a very rich garment, like (if they must die,) by the hand of Gideon; who that worn by the high priest: and some think, was in his full strength, and of great reputation: | that Gideon also made “a breast-plate of judg. for their death would be ignominious and linger- ment,” in order to ivquire of God by it; (Notes, ing, if a feeble, timid youth were their execu- Ex. 28:6–30.) and even that other things re tioner.-The ornaments from the camel's necks, | quisite were added, and sacrifices offered at Oph being in the shape of the moon, had probably rah. Indeed otherwise it is difficult to discover been used for idolatrous purposes. (Marg.—7: how so much treasure could have been expend 12.).

ed. (Notes, 17:25.) Gideon had been command22, 23. Gideon was willing to fight for his ed, in an extraordinary manner, to offer a sacripeople, to administer justice, and reform religion, fice in the place where the Lord appeared to him: as the Lord's deputy, and so long as he pleased: (Note, 6:25,26.) and it is not improbable he might but he would not accept of the perpetual govern- be led to conclude, that this authorized him to of ment, or the hereditary succession to his chil- ficiate as a priest occasionally at his own house dren, to which God had not called him. Let JE- without going to the tabernacle: and perhaps the HOVAH the King of Israel appoint whom he pleas- | people's humor and love of ease were by this ed, either during his life, or after his decease. means gratified. (Notes, 18:30,31. 1 Kings 12: This shews, how deeply the more reflecting per- 26–31.), But whether this was the case, or sons in Israel were convinced, that the constitu- whether he merely intended to form a memorial tions of the law of Moses, were of divine authori- of his victory; his conduct was evidently impropty, and ought implicitly to be complied with.Jer, and proved a snare to him, the cause of his (Noles, 9:1-6. Deut. 17:14,15. 1 Sam. 8:6-9, family's ruin, and an occasion of idolatry to Isra19–22.) In this respect Gideon imitated also the el after his death. (Notes, 33. 9:1–20.) disinterested conduct of Moses, whose sons were V. 28. Forty years.) Probably from the time left among the ordinary Levites.

when he was constituted Judge of Israel; (Note, V. 24–26. Marg. Ref.-Ishmaeliles. (24)| 5:31.) except as interrupted by Abimelech's usurNotes, Gen. 25:1-4. 37:25.

pation. (Notes, 9:) V. 27. It is highly probable that Gideon re- V. 30. Many wives.] Marg. Ref. Notes, Gen. quested the golden ear-rings, with a view to | 2:24. Deut. 17:17. 2 Sam. 5:13—16. 1 Kings 11. make some religious use of them, after the exam- || 1–8. ple of the officers in the time of Moses; as his V. 31. Notes, 11:1,2. Gen. 25:5,6.


e 9:8-15. 1 Sam. 8:5. 12:12. John 6:15.




delivered them out of the hands of all A NDAbimelech, the son of Jerub

a 8:31.
b Gen. 33:18. 34:2.



Jer. 2:32.

d 8:30.

e 9.4.

Jotham, by a parable, exposes their ingratitude, and foretels rael turned again, and I went a whoring

their ruin, 7–21. The Shechemites conspire with Gaal after Baalim, and made • Baal-berith their against Abimelech; Zebul sends him word; be overcomes

them, and sows their city with salt, 22-45. They retire to the temple of Baal-berith, apd are burnt in it, 4f-49. Abim

elech is slain at Thebez, by a woman, with a piece of a mill34 And the children of Israel ' remem

stone, and Jotham's curse is fulfilled, 56-57. bered not the LORD their God, who had



Shechem unto his their enemies on every side:

mother's brethren, and communed with 35 Neither shewed they kindness to them, and with all the family of the house the house of Jerubbaal, namely, Gideon, of his mother's father, saying, according to all the goodness which he

2 Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all had shewed unto Israel.

the men of Shechem, Whether is better CHAP. IX.

for you, either that all the sons of JerubAbimelech, son of Gideon by a concubine, conspires with the baal (which are a threescore and ten perShechemites, murders his brethren, and is made king, 1-6.

Ps. 83:21. Jer. 18-19. d 27. 2:17. Ex. 34:15,16. Jer. f Ps. 78:11. 106:13,21. Ec. 12:

1 Kings * Heb. What is good? zhether, g 9:5,16. Ee. 9.14,15.

c 2 Sam. 15:6. 1 Kings 12:3,20. V. 33. After the death of Gideon, the people ters also must warn and severely rebuke such, as proceeded, from an irregular worship, to re- discourage the hearts of their fellow-servants; nounce Jehovah entirely, and to worship Baal as and the Lord himself will execute vengeance their God, under the name of “Baal-berith," or upon all who oppose his people in obeying his the lord of the covenant; having, as it seems, gen-commands. In the mean time we must “defer erally covenanted to be his people. (Marg. Refour anger," and go on with our work, not atNoles, 9:4–6,46--49.)

tempting to avenge ourselves. (Notes, Prov. 19: PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS. 11. Rom. 12:17—21.) V. 1-17.

V. 18–35. It is one vanity incident to human affairs, that sfor every right work a man is envied by his be torn from them: and sinners are never so ex

Whatever earthly object men glory in, it will neighbor."--They who will not attempt or venture any thing in the cause of God, are common

posed to danger, as when they deem themselves

most secure. ly the most ready to censure such as are of a more counted for to God; and sinful methods of self

Sins long forgotten must be aczealous and enterprising spirit: and the charge of pride and ambition will be bronght against the preservation only hasten and aggravate the transmost unexceptionable undertakings. (Notes, 1 || blood has been shed. The execution of atrocious

gressor's destruction, especially when innocent Sam. 17:28,29.) When calumny is silenced in one criminals is, in some circumstances, an honorable respect by the event, it will assume another form: service; yet we may well be thankful, if employand they who were most reluctant to the periled in saving men's lives rather than in destroying and hardship of difficult services, will be the most them. What a miserable consolation in death is exasperated if excluded from the credit, of them. derived from the hope of suffering less pain, and But, “only by pride cometh contention:” it is the dying with less disgrace, than some others! yet wisdom of Christians to turn away wrath by a soft answer; and their most noble victory is the many are more anxious on these accounts, than conquest of their own spirits. In those things consequences!—No bonor should be sought, or so

concerning the future judgment and its eternal which pertain to the truth, authority, and glory much as accepted, but that which comes from of God, they should be unmoved as the sturdy God, and consists with his sole authority and oak; but in the little concerns of their own inter-| glory: nor is it allowable to seek for our children est or reputation, they should resemble the pliant those things, which we may not desire for our willow that yields to every gust. If by throwing selves. Whatever deputies are employed, and a shade over what the Lord has done by them, whoever has the external precedency in the and making honorable mention of what he baschurch; God is the only real Judge, Defender, done by others,-if by giving obliging language and Ruler of his people. -How soon will those in return for rough words, and commendations in ornaments, which feed the lust of the eye and lieu of bitter chidings-envy may be avoided, form the pride of life, as well as the indulgences anger abated, and contention prevented; the of the flesh, become the shame of those who loved common cause will be more advantaged, than by them!—The characters of mere men have generthe most successful controversy, which always ally a grievous and wonderful mixture; nor may takes Christians off from their spiritual warfare. we follow any of them farther than they follow

- The active servants of God frequently meet Christ. Things sanctioned by venerable names, with more dangerous opposition from degenerate and clothed with fair pretexts, are often found, by professors of the gospel than from open epemies: the light of God's word, to be vile abominations; but they must not regard the unreasonable beha- and are proved by experience to be dangerous and vior of those, who are Israelites in name, but fatal snares, to those especially who pay too much Midianites in heart, or who vainly wish to observe veneration to their fellow creatures. Small devia neutrality. Notwithstanding manifold tribula- || ations from our rule afford a dangerous precedent, tions, they must carry on their warfare, though and open the way for more flagrant enormities: ready to faint through inward conflicts and out- and even in marriage, when once the original in ward hardships. And they shall be enabled thus stitution is disregarded, the sensual heart of inan, to persevere: for the less men help them, and the like a bumored child, will bear no contradiction, more they attempt to hinder them, the more ef- and be confined by no limitations. But, as we all fectually will they be helped and prospered by need so much mercy from our God, we should God himself.—It behoves magistrates to distin- learn the more patiently to bear the ingratitude of guish between the guilty and the innocent, and our fellow sinners, and the unsuitable returns we to punish those who injure their brethren; yet meet with for our poor services; and to resolve, this should be done with temper, and in order to after the divine example, "not to be overcome of teach them to behave better in future.—Minis-llevil, but to overcome evil with good.”

sons,) reign over you, or that one reign and said unto them, Hearken unto me, over you? remember also that I am your ye men of Shechem, that God may hearkbone and your flesh.

en unto you. 3 And his mother's brethren 'spake of 8 The trees went forth on a time to him in the ears of all the men of Shechem anoint a king over them; and they said all these words: and their hearts inclined unto the olive-tree, Reign thou over us. * to follow Abimelech; for they said, He 9 But the olive-tree said unto them, is our brother:

Should I leave my fatness, 'wherewith 4 And they gave him threescore and by me they honor God and man, and go ten pieces of silver out of the house of 1 to be promoted over the trees? Baal-berith; wherewith Abimelech hired 10 And the trees said to the fig-tree,

vain and light persons, which followedCome thou, and reign over us. him.

11 But the fig-tree said unto them, 5 And he went unto his father's house Should I forsake my sweetness, and my kat Ophrah, and 'slew his brethren, the good fruit, and go to be promoted over sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and the trees? ten persons, upon one stone: notwith- 12 Then said the trees unto the vine, standing yet Jotham the youngest son of Come thou, and reign over us. Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself. 13 And the vine said unto them,

6 And all the men of Shechem gather- Should I leave my wine, which cheereth ed together, and all the m house of Millo, God and man, and go to be promoted and went and made Abimelech king by over the trees? the plain of the pillar that was in She- 14 Then said all the trees unto the chem.

bramble, Come thou, and reign over us. 7 | And when they told it to Jotham, 15 And the bramble said unto the trees, he went and stood in the top of mount If in truth ye anoint me king over you, Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, then come and put your trust in my

e Gen. 29:14. 2 Sam. 19:13. 1 k 6:24.

o Ps. 18:40,41. 50:15-21. Prov. 104:15. Acts 4:27. 10:38. Chr. 11:1. Eph. 5:30. Heb. 2: 1 2 Kings 10:17. 11:1,2. 2 Chr. 1:28,29. 21:13. 28:9. Is. 1:15. John 2:20. 21:4. Matt. 2:16,20.

58:6-10. Matt. 18:26–34. Heb. up and down for other f Ps. 10:3. Prov. 1:11-14. m 2 Sam. 5:9. 2 Kings 12:20. Jam. 2:13.

trees. Job 1:7. 2:2. * Heb, after

Or, oak. Josh. 24:26. 1 Kings | p2 Kings 14:9. Ez. 17:3,&c. s Luke 13:6,7.
Gen. 29:15.
Dan. 4:10,&c.

t Num. 15:5,7,10. Ps. 104:15. h 46-49. 8:33.

Deut. 11:29. 27:12. Josh. 8:
q 8:2,23.

Prov. 31:6. i 11:3. 1 Sam. 22:2. Job 30:8. 33. John 4:20.

r Ex. 29:2,7. 35:14. Lev. 2:1. Or, thistle. 2 Kings 14:9. Prov. 12:11. Acts 17:5.

1 King's 19:15,16. Ps. 89:20.


V. 4–6. The Israelites seem to have presentCHAP. IX. V. 1-3. Gideon and his family haded this money as an oblation to their new god; misled the people, through the ephod at Ophrah; ||(Note, 8:33.) and the men of Shechem borrowed and the people grievously offended in joining it of him to supply their upstart king! It does not themselves to Baal-berith. (Notes, 8:27,33.) And appear of what value these pieces of silver were; the Lord manifested his displeasure, not by de- but probably of more value than shekels: and they livering them into the hand of foreign invaders, sufficed for Abimelech's present purpose. Thus but by giving them up to their own base passions. he became a pensioner of Baal, and seemed en-Gideon had, very properly and disinterestedly, gaged to employ his authority to promote his worrefused the proffered kingdom for himself and his ship; as if determined to shew himself as unlike sons: and it does not appear that his other sons as possible to his father, who had destroyed the aimed at dominion either before or after his death. || altar and worship of Baal. (Notes, 6:25–32.) (Note, 8:22,23.) Abimelech's name, (which signi- | With this supply he hired a set of unprincipled fies my father the king,) may however be suppos- men fit for any villany; and with their assistance ed to have been given him by his mother from barbarously murdered all the numerous family of ambitious motives. The concubines, whose chil- || Gideon, except one son who escaped him! By dren did not inherit, would naturally set up an such infamous measures and persons was this base interest opposite to the rest of the family; and as born, but baser spirited man made king in Israel! Abimelech's mother was a native of Shechem, a being the first who expressly bore that title among principal city of Ephraim, he conceived the idea the descendants of Jacob. (Notes, 2 Sam. 15:1-of obtaining the kingdom by her means. In order 11. 16:20–23. 2 Chr. 21:4,12—19.)— House of to succeed in this project, he accused his brethren Millo. (6) Notes, 16—20. 2 Sam. 5:9. 2 Kings of intending to seize upon the government, and 12:20,21. possess it with joint authority: and, assuming this V.7. Mount Gerizim lay near to Shechem: as an undoubted fact, he pleaded that it would be and from it Jotham spake to the Shechemites, better to be governed by one prince, than by so (who are supposed to have been assembled on many petty tyrants; and that if they, who were so some public occasion,) so that at least many of nearly related to him, would raise him to the them would hear him, and report what he said to throne, he would be peculiarly attentive to their the rest. (Notes, Deut. 27:12,13.) He solemnly interests. In this manner, by the help of his called on them “to hearken to him, that God mother's relations, he acquired the government, might hearken unto them:" for if they did not rewithout either merit or capacity for such an im- pent of their ungrateful treatment of his father's portant situation; in a total disregard to the divine family, and desist from their malicious intentions law; (Notes, Deut. 17:14,15.) and in direct oppo- against him, they could not expect that God would sition to the method which God the King of Israel hear their cry, when anguish and distress came had hitherto employed, of raising up rulers of his upon them. (Notes, Prov. 1:24–31. 21:13. ls. 1: people, from time to time, as he saw good. 10—15. 58:8—12. Mic. 3:1--4.)


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