Judges 8 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Judges 8)
8:1 And the men of Ephraim said unto him, a Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply.

(a) They began to object, because he had the glory of the victory.

8:2 And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of b you? [Is] not the c gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?

(b) Who have slain two princes, Oreb and Zeeb.
(c) This last act of the whole tribe is more famous, than the whole enterprise of one man of one family.

8:5 And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, d loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they [be] faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.

(d) Or, some small portion.

8:6 And the princes of Succoth said, [Are] the e hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army?

(e) Because you have overcome a handful, do you think to have overcome the whole?

8:9 And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again f in peace, I will break down this tower.

(f) Having gotten the victory.

8:10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna [were] g in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand [men], all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword.

(g) A city east of Jordan.

8:11 And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in h tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure.

(h) He went by the wilderness where the Arabians dwelt in tents.

8:13 And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle i before the sun [was up],

(i) Some read, the sun being yet high.

8:19 And he said, They [were] my brethren, [even] the k sons of my mother: [as] the LORD liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you.

(k) We all came from the same womb: therefore I will be revenged.

8:21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for l 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.

(l) Meaning, that they would be freed from their pain at once, or else have a valiant man put them to death.

8:22 Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy m son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian.

(m) That is, thy posterity.

8:24 And Gideon said unto them, n I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they [were] Ishmaelites.)

(n) His intent was to show himself thankful for this victory by restoring religion, which because it was not according to God's command, turned to their destruction.

8:27 And Gideon made an o ephod thereof, and put it in his city, [even] in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.

(o) That is, such things as pertained to the use of the tabernacle. See ephod, (Exodus 28:4,6; Judges 17:5; 1 Samuel 2:18; 2 Samuel 6:14).

8:32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in p Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

(p) A city belonging to the family of the Ezrites.

8:33 And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made q Baalberith their god.

(q) That is, Baal, to whom they had bound themselves by covenant.

8:35 Neither r shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, [namely], Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.

(r) They were unmindful of God and unkind to him, by whom they had received so great a benefit.