|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:33-40 These signs are truly miraculous, and very significant. Gideon and his men were going to fight the Midianites; could God distinguish between a small fleece of Israel, and the vast floor of Midian? Gideon is made to know that God could do so. Is Gideon desirous that the dew of Divine grace might come down upon himself in particular? He sees the fleece wet with dew to assure him of it. Does he desire that God will be as the dew to all Israel? Behold, all the ground is wet. What cause we sinners of the Gentiles have, to bless the Lord that the dew of heavenly blessings, once confined to Israel, is now sent to all the inhabitants of the earth! Yet still the means of grace are in different measures, according to the purposes of God. In the same congregation, one man's soul is like Gideon's moistened fleece, another like the dry ground.
Verse 34. - The Spirit of the Lord, etc. See Judges 3:10; Judges 11:29; Judges 13:25; Judges 14:6, 19; cf. Isaiah 11:2; Isaiah 61:1; John 20:22; Acts 13:2; Acts 20:28; and 1 Corinthians 12:4. Abi-ezer. His own family (ver. 11; see Joshua 17:2). In Numbers 26:30 the name appears as Jeezer, by a very defective transliteration - Aiezer represents the Hebrew letters. The b has probably fallen out by accident. Here we have the immediate fruit of Gideon s daring in the cause of God. The whole family of Abi-ezer, numbering probably thousands, sprang to his side.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon,.... Not the spirit of prophecy, as Maimonides (x), who calls this spirit the first degree of prophecy, but a spirit of fortitude and courage, as the Targum; the Spirit of God filled him, or, as in the Hebrew text, "clothed" (y) him with zeal, strength, and might, moved and animated him to engage with this great body of people come into the land, to ravage and waste it, and to attempt the deliverance of Israel from their bondage:
and he blew a trumpet; as an alarm of war, and as a token to as many as heard to resort to him, and join with him in the common cause against the enemy:
and Abiezer was gathered after him; the Abiezrites, one of the families of the tribe of Manasseh, of which Gideon and his father's house were; and even it is probable the inhabitants of Ophrah, who were Abiezrites, being now convinced of their idolatry, and having entertained a good opinion of Gideon as a man of valour, and who, in the present emergence, they looked upon as an hopeful instrument of their deliverance, and therefore joined him.
(x) Moreh Nevochim, par. 2. c. 45. (y) "induit", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. Vid. Maimon. ut supra. (T. Bab. Temurah, fol. 28. 2. & 29. 1.) So Homer often represents his heroes as clothed with fortitude and courage; see Iliad. 17.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
34. the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon—Called in this sudden emergency into the public service of his country, he was supernaturally endowed with wisdom and energy commensurate with the magnitude of the danger and the difficulties of his position. His summons to war was enthusiastically obeyed by all the neighboring tribes. On the eve of a perilous enterprise, he sought to fortify his mind with a fresh assurance of a divine call to the responsible office. The miracle of the fleece was a very remarkable one—especially, considering the copious dews that fall in his country. The divine patience and condescension were wonderfully manifested in reversing the form of the miracle. Gideon himself seems to have been conscious of incurring the displeasure of God by his hesitancy and doubts; but He bears with the infirmities of His people.
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