About Jesus Steve Sweetman
And Zalmunna (ch. 8:1 - 21)
verse 1 we see Ephraim mentioned. Ephraim
at this point in Israeli history was the largest and most powerful of
the twelve tribes of Israel. They were upset that
Gideon did not ask them to help fight the Midianites. The problem is
that Ephraim, along with other tribes, did not want to fight.
The twelve tribes were not always united in purpose.
I suggest that the church is in the same situation today, and has
been for centuries.
verse 2 Gideon attempts to defuse the situation by saying, "what
have I accomplished compared to you".
Simply put, "you've done many more heroic things than
the name Abiezer in verse 2. He
was in the lineage of Joseph. Gideon
was in the lineage of Joseph. Another attempt to defuse this situation
was that Gideon said that the leftovers, the gleanings of grapes in
Ephraim are more than the full harvest of grapes in the territory where
Gideon lived. Gideon was
basically saying that no matter what he or his tribe did, they could
never be greater than Ephraim.
see the names Oreb and Zeeb in verse 3.
After Gideon and his men won their battle with the Midianites,
Ephraim was able to capture these two Midianite leaders, something that
Gideon suggests was a great feat. This
settled the issue between Gideon and the leaders of Ephraim.
need to understand that Israel
consisted of twelve tribes. This
was long before
verses 4 through 6 we see the town of Succoth. This town was on the east
side of the
verse 6 the officials of Succoth figured that they shouldn't help Gideon
because Gideon hadn't captured the two enemy leaders.
Well, Gideon hadn't, and in verse 7 we see that when the battle
was over, Gideon would return to Succoth and retaliate against these
leaders. Again we see the
stress between tribes.
have to acknowledge who was in the right here.
It was God who sent Gideon out to battle, therefore those who did
not help Gideon, as those in Succoth, were actually hurting the will of
God. We thus can ask,
"when Gideon retaliated, was it God's will'?
At the moment, I think it was.
You might say the Abrahamic Covenant is seen to be in affect
here. "Those who bless Israel
will be blessed and those who curse
see in verses 9 and 10 that Gideon made the same request of the town of
historical significance of Peniel was where Jacob wrestled with God in
verse 10 you the names Zebah and Zalmunna. These were two kings of the
Midianites as seen in verse 12. Gideon
verses 13 through 17 we see Gideon returning to Succoth and Peniel, the
two cities that refused to help him in the fight.
He punished them for their lack of help as he said he would.
verses 18 to 22 we see that Gideon himself killed the two kings of the
Midianites because they had killed his brothers.
is one important lesson to learn from this passage of the Bible and that
is not all of God's people do God's will.
Those who do God's will are often opposed by those who don't.
Those who do God's will must stand up for God's will despite the
consequences. This was true
back in Old Testament times and it is true today.
Not all those who call themselves Christian, and fall under the
umbrella of what is called church do God's will.
We must stand up against these people.
We don't kill them as Gideon did.
We live in New Testament times. We do, however, speak up for the
truth in the face of the opposition.
the ornaments spoken of in verse 21. These ornaments were the
"crescent moon", the symbol for moon god worship that goes as
far back as the days before Abraham left
Ephod (ch. 8:22 - 28)
verse 22 we see that some of Israeli leaders wanted Gideon to be their
king. Gideon decline,
although he did request some of the plunder from war.
24 tells us that Ishmaelite men wore gold ear-rings.
I'm not sure if this means anything or is significant, but men
wearing ear-rings might be more pagan than that of the Lord.
27 states that Gideon took the gold and made a gold ephod.
An ephod was a vest that the priests wore.
This tells us that Gideon might not want to be king, but it seems
that he did want to be a priest, someone that only the Levites could be.
Gideon was in the wrong but calling himself a priest.
Gideon might have won the battle, but he fell in the end. Gideon,
a man once used of God. started an unholy practice that remained in
27 states that
Death (ch. 8:28 - 35)
28 says that Midian did not raise it's head again.
From this point on in the Bible you don't see much of the
in verse 30 that as well as having seventy wives, Gideon had at least
one concubine. In Acts 17:30 the apostle Paul says that "in the
past God overlooked such ignorance".
I believe that it is quite possible that multiple wives was one
of the things God overlooked. Paul
goes on to say that things are now different.
We must repent of these things that God once overlooked, and that
would include multiple wives.
finally died and immediately