Judges 8:27
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.

New Living Translation
Gideon made a sacred ephod from the gold and put it in Ophrah, his hometown. But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family.

English Standard Version
And Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his city, in Ophrah. And all Israel whored after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family.

New American Standard Bible
Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah, and all Israel played the harlot with it there, so that it became a snare to Gideon and his household.

King James Bible
And Gideon made an 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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Gideon made an ephod from all this and put it in Ophrah, his hometown. Then all Israel prostituted themselves with it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his household.

International Standard Version
Gideon crafted the booty into an ephod and enshrined it in his home town of Ophrah. Then all of Israel committed spiritual adultery with it there, and it became a snare for Gideon and his household.

NET Bible
Gideon used all this to make an ephod, which he put in his hometown of Ophrah. All the Israelites prostituted themselves to it by worshiping it there. It became a snare to Gideon and his family.

New Heart English Bible
Gideon made an ephod of it, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel prostituted themselves after it there; and it became a snare to Gideon, and to his house.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then Gideon used the gold to make an idol and placed it in his hometown, Ophrah. All Israel chased after it there as though it were a prostitute. It became a trap for Gideon and his family.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah; and all Israel went astray after it there; and it became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.

New American Standard 1977
And Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah, and all Israel played the harlot with it there, so that it became a snare to Gideon and his household.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Gideon made an ephod of them and kept it in his city of Ophrah, and all Israel fornicated after it in that place, and it became a snare unto Gideon and to his house.

King James 2000 Bible
And Gideon made an ephod of it, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went there and played the harlot with it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.

American King James Version
And Gideon made an 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 to Gideon, and to his house.

American Standard Version
And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel played the harlot after it there; and it became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Gedeon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city Ephra. And all Israel committed fornication with it, and it became a ruin to Gedeon and to all his house.

Darby Bible Translation
And Gideon made an ephod of them, and put it in his city, in Ophrah. And all Israel went thither a whoring after it; and it became a snare to Gideon, and to his house.

English Revised Version
And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went a whoring after it there: and it became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Gideon made of it an ephod, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither astray after it: which thing became a snare to Gideon, and to his house.

World English Bible
Gideon made an ephod of it, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel played the prostitute after it there; and it became a snare to Gideon, and to his house.

Young's Literal Translation
and Gideon maketh it into an ephod, and setteth it up in his city, in Ophrah, and all Israel go a-whoring after it there, and it is to Gideon and to his house for a snare.
Study Bible
Gideon's Ephod
26The weight of the gold earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold, besides the crescent ornaments and the pendants and the purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and besides the neck bands that were on their camels' necks. 27Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah, and all Israel played the harlot with it there, so that it became a snare to Gideon and his household. 28So Midian was subdued before the sons of Israel, and they did not lift up their heads anymore. And the land was undisturbed for forty years in the days of Gideon.…
Cross References
Exodus 28:6
"They shall also make the ephod of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen, the work of the skillful workman.

Deuteronomy 7:16
"You shall consume all the peoples whom the LORD your God will deliver to you; your eye shall not pity them, nor shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.

Deuteronomy 7:25
"The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, or you will be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the LORD your God.

Judges 8:26
The weight of the gold earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold, besides the crescent ornaments and the pendants and the purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and besides the neck bands that were on their camels' necks.

Judges 8:28
So Midian was subdued before the sons of Israel, and they did not lift up their heads anymore. And the land was undisturbed for forty years in the days of Gideon.

Judges 17:5
And the man Micah had a shrine and he made an ephod and household idols and consecrated one of his sons, that he might become his priest.

Judges 18:14
Then the five men who went to spy out the country of Laish said to their kinsmen, "Do you know that there are in these houses an ephod and household idols and a graven image and a molten image? Now therefore, consider what you should do."
Treasury of Scripture

And Gideon made an 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 to Gideon, and to his house.

an ephod

Judges 17:5 And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, …

Judges 18:14,17 Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, …

Exodus 28:6-12 And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of …

1 Samuel 23:9,10 And David knew that Saul secretly practiced mischief against him; …

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this …

Ophrah

Judges 8:32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried …

Judges 6:11,24 And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was …

Deuteronomy 12:5 But to the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all …

a whoring

Exodus 23:33 They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against …

Psalm 73:27 For, see, they that are far from you shall perish: you have destroyed …

Psalm 106:39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with …

Hosea 2:2 Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am …

Hosea 4:12-14 My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declares to …

a snare

Judges 8:33 And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children …

Deuteronomy 7:16 And you shall consume all the people which the LORD your God shall …

(27) Made an ephod.--The high priest's ephod is described in Exodus 28:6-14. It was a sleeveless coat of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, with two ouches of onyx on the shoulders, bound by a rich girdle. Over this was worn the splendid jewelled breastplate, the choshen, with the Urim and Thummim. This ephod, with its "oracular gems," was by far the most splendid and sacred adjunct of worship which the Israelites possessed, and hence was regarded with extreme reverence (1Samuel 21:9; 1Samuel 23:9; 1Samuel 30:7), and it seems clear that Gideon's object was to provide a counter-attraction to it in an ephod of equally precious materials. It is a mistake to suppose (as Gesenius and others do, following the Peshito and Arabic versions) that ephod here means an idol or some unauthorised symbol of Jehovah, like the later "calves." Ewald, too (Alterthmer, p. 232), assumes that the "ephod" was really "a gilded household idol." But we may hope that Gideon, though guilty of a great sin, had not sunk quite so low as Jeroboam did. On the other hand, we cannot believe, with the Rabbis, that his ephod was only intended as a memorial of his victory.

Thereof.--This does not necessarily imply that he devoted the whole of his mass of gold to this object. In Hosea 2:13, "decking herself with earrings" is one of the signs of the "days of Baalim." Hence, perhaps, an earring is called in Chaldee kaddisha.

Put it in his city, even in Ophrah.--This gives us a clue to Gideon's motive. Shiloh, the national sanctuary, was in the precincts of the fierce tribe of Ephraim, and Gideon may have been as anxious as Jeroboam afterwards was to keep some direct hold on the nation's worship, as one of the secrets of political power. It was the endeavour to secure and perpetuate by unworthy political expedients a power which he had received by Divine appointment.

Went thither a whoring after it.--The phrase and the metaphor are sufficiently explained in Judges 8:33, Judges 2:12; Leviticus 17:7, Leviticus 20:5; Hosea 1:2; Psalm 106:39, &c. As to the nature of the schismatic service we are told nothing further. The strange narrative of Judges 18 shows us the decadence and disintegration of the national worship at this period, and it is far from improbable that Gideon may have associated his worship with an unauthorised priesthood and modes of diviuation, if not with teraphim, &c. (Judges 17:5; Hosea 3:4). (See on Judges 17:3.) His already existing altar (Judges 6:24) would promote his object. It does not seem likely that the high priest at Shiloh would abandon the use of his own proper "breastplate of judgment;" but his acquiescence during this epoch of oppression would go far to invalidate his authority. If Hierombalos be meant for Jerubbaal (see Judges 6:32), he is represented as having been a priest.

A snare.--The word used is mokesh, which implies not only a stumbling-block (LXX., skandalon), but also "a cause of ruin" (in ruinam., Vulg., Exodus 10:7; Exodus 23:33).

Verse 27. - Gideon made an ephod thereof. There is great difference of opinion among commentators as to the significance of this statement. The ephod (Exodus 28:4, 6-30) was that part of the high priest's dress (1 Samuel 14:3; 1 Samuel 21:9) which covered the breast in front, and the upper part of the back behind, the two parts being clasped together by two large onyx stones, one on each shoulder, and kept together by the curious girdle, just above which was fastened the breastplate of judgment. In a modified form the "linen ephod" was worn by all priests; but it was especially worn by the high priest when he inquired of God by Urim and Thummim (1 Samuel 23:9; 1 Samuel 30:7). Hence it was also connected with idolatrous worship, as we see by ch. Judges 17:5, and Hosea 3:4, being probably used for purposes of divination, as we know that idolatrous kings of Israel, instead of inquiring of the Lord, inquired of the false gods (2 Kings 1:2, 3). What, then, was Gideon's purpose in making this costly ephod? We may infer from his proved piety that at all events his intention was to do honour to the Lord, who had given him the victory. Then, as he was now at the head of the State, though he had declined the regal office, and as it was the special prerogative of the head of the State to "inquire of the Lord" (Numbers 27:21; 1 Samuel 22:13; 1 Samuel 23:2, 4, etc.; 1 Samuel 28:6, etc.), he may have thought it his right, as well as a matter of great importance to the people, that he should have the means ready at hand of inquiring of God. His relations with the great tribe of Ephraim may have made it inconvenient to go to Shiloh to consult the high priest there, and therefore he would have the ephod at his own city of Ophrah, just as Jephthah made Mizpeh his religious centre (ch. Judges 11:11). Whether he sent for the high priest to come to Ophrah, or whether he made use of the ministry of some other priest, we have no means of deciding. The people, however, always prone to idolatry, made an idol of the ephod, and Gideon, either because it was a source of gain or of dignity to his house, or thinking it was a means of keeping the people from Baal-worship (ver. 33), seems to have connived at it. This seems to be the explanation best supported by the little we know of the circumstances of the case. A snare, i.e. as in Judges 2:3, that which leads a person to eventual destruction. See Exodus 10:7, where Pharaoh's servants say of Moses, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? See also Exodus 23:33; Exodus 34:12; Deuteronomy 7:16; 1 Samuel 18:21, etc. Observe in this verse how the narrative runs on far beyond the present time, to return again at ver. 28 (see note to Judges 2:1-6; Judges 7:25; Judges 8:4). And Gideon made an ephod thereof,.... That is, of some of this gold; for such a quantity could never have been expanded on an ephod only, even taking it not for a linen ephod, but such an one as the high priest wore, made of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, with curious work, together with a curious girdle of the same work; unless we suppose such a breastplate with it, of twelve precious stones, as Aaron had; and with little images of teraphim or cherubim in it, as Dr. Spencer thinks (i). The Jewish commentators generally understand this ephod to be made as a memorial of the great salvation God had wrought by his hands for Israel, and of the wonderful things done by him; so Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Gersom; but such a garment, whether worn by him, or hung up in some certain place, seems not so proper and pertinent to perpetuate the memory of his victories, as a monument or pillar would have been; it looks therefore more likely to be done with a religious view, which afterwards was perverted to superstitious uses; and whereas Gideon had built an altar already by the command of God, and had sacrificed upon it, he might think himself authorized as a priest, and therefore provided this ephod for himself; or however for a priest he might think of taking into his family, and so use it as an oracle to consult upon special occasions, without going to Shiloh, the Ephraimites having displeased him in their rough expostulations with him; and so R. Isaiah interprets it of a kind of divination or oracle which gave answers:

and put it in his city, even in Ophrah; hung it up in some proper place as a monument of his victories, as is generally thought; or in a structure built on purpose for it, to which he might resort as to an oracle:

and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: made an idol of it and worshipped it, and so committed spiritual fornication, which is idolatry. Some render it, "after him" (k); not after the ephod, but after Gideon; that is, after his death, so Jarchi; no ill use was made of it in Gideon's time, though he cannot be altogether excused from sin and weakness in making it; but after his death it was soon made an ill use of:

which thing proved a snare to Gideon and to his house; it was a snare to him if he consulted it as an oracle, which could not be without sin, since the only Urim and Thummim to be consulted were in the breastplate of the high priest at the tabernacle; and it was what led his family into idolatry, and was the ruin of it, as well as it reflected great discredit and disgrace upon so good and brave a man: some read the words (l): "to Gideon, that is, to his house"; or family; he being so good a man himself, it is not thought that he could be ensnared into idolatry itself; though it is apparent that men as wise and as good have fallen into it, as particularly Solomon.

(i) De leg. Heb. l. 3. c. 3. Dissert. 7. sect. 5. (k) "post ipsum", Vatablus. (l) So Junius & Tremellius, Noldius, p. 280. No. 1205. 27. Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, … Ophrah—That no idolatrous use was in view, nor any divisive course from Shiloh contemplated, is manifest from Jud 8:33. Gideon proposed, with the gold he received, to make an ephod for his use only as a civil magistrate or ruler, as David did (1Ch 15:27), and a magnificent pectoral or breastplate also. It would seem, from the history, that he was not blamable in making this ephod, as a civil robe or ornament merely, but that it afterward became an object to which religious ideas were attached; whereby it proved a snare, and consequently an evil, by perversion, to Gideon and his house [Taylor, Fragments].8:22-28 Gideon refused the government the people offered him. No good man can be pleased with any honour done to himself, which belongs only to God. Gideon thought to keep up the remembrance of this victory by an ephod, made of the choicest of the spoils. But probably this ephod had, as usual, a teraphim annexed to it, and Gideon intended this for an oracle to be consulted. Many are led into false ways by one false step of a good man. It became a snare to Gideon himself, and it proved the ruin of the family. How soon will ornaments which feed the lust of the eye, and form the pride of life, as well as tend to the indulgences of the flesh, bring shame on those who are fond of them!
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OT History: Judges 8:27 Gideon made an ephod of it (Jd Judg. Jdg) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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