Judges 6:35
And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers to Asher, and to Zebulun, and to Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(35) Throughout all Manasseh.—The loyalty with which his own clan, the Abi-ezrites, rallied round him gave him a right to claim still wider support.

Asher.—This tribe, by faithfulness on this occasion, partly redeemed its honour from the tarnish attached of its former defection. This time Asher did not linger on the sands of Accho or the rocks of the Tyrian Ladder. Issachar, however, as before, “bowed his shoulder to the yoke.” Perhaps the fact that the Plain of Jezreel, the battle-field of Palestine, was in the domains of this tribe, though not far from the border of Manasseh (Joshua 17:16), was unfavourable to their independence and strength. The fierce and haughty character of the tribe of Ephraim, and their jealousy of any leader who did not come from themselves, may have prevented Gideon from risking a rebuff by sending to them.

Zebulun, Naphtali.—These tribes again distinguished themselves, as in the campaign against Jabin (Judges 5:18).

Jdg 6:35. All Manasseh — On both sides of Jordan. Unto Asher, &c. — Because these tribes were nearest, and so could soonest join with him; and were nearest the enemy also, (Jdg 6:33,) and therefore were most sensible of the calamity, and would in all reason be most forward to rescue themselves from it.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.His own tribe, Manasseh, and the three northern tribes of Asher, Zebulon, and Naphtali hastened to join him. Issachar was probably unable to do so, because the Midianites were encamped in the heart of their country. Asher no longer "abode in his breaches," as in the time of Jabin Judges 6:17, perhaps ashamed of their former backwardness, and stung by the rebuke of Deborah; perhaps, too, from feeling the Midianite yoke much more galling than that of Jabin. 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. Throughout all Manasseh, on both sides of Jordan.

Unto Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali; because these tribes were nearest to him, and so could soonest join with him; and were nearest the enemy also, Judges 6:33, and therefore were most sensible of the calamity, and would in all reason be most forward to rescue themselves from it. And he sent messengers through all Manasseh,.... Of which tribe he was; not only he called by the trumpet that part of the tribe, the Abiezrites, who were within the sound of it, but the rest of the tribe at a greater distance from him he sent messengers to, acquainting them with his design, and inviting them to his assistance. Some think this refers both to the half tribe of Manasseh within Jordan, and the other half tribe on the other side Jordan; but that is not very probable, only the half tribe within it is meant:

who also was gathered after him; obeying the summons and invitation he gave them by the messengers:

and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; which three tribes lay nearest to him on the north; but he sent not to the inhabitants of the tribe of Ephraim, which lay to the south, and which afterwards occasioned a quarrel, Judges 8:1.

and they came up to meet them; that is, the inhabitants of the above three tribes, at least many of them, came up from the places of their habitations to meet Gideon, and those that were associated with him, at their place of rendezvous.

And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
35. In Jdg 7:23 these tribes, with the exception of Zebulun, gather together after the battle: here Gideon summons them before. It is difficult to reconcile the two statements. Some notice of a general muster is wanted to account for the large numbers with Gideon in Jdg 7:2-8; probably this was the reason why the verse was inserted here.

to meet them] i.e. the Midianites; the previous verb means they went up for war, as in Jdg 6:3, Jdg 1:1, Jdg 12:3 etc.Verse 35. - He sent messengers, etc. Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali were the adjacent tribes - Manasseh (i.e. the half tribe of Manasseh, west of Jordan) on the south, Asher on the west, and Zebulun and Naphtali on the north. Three of these were the very tribes who had fought under Barak, and it is pleasing to see Asher now joined with them instead of abiding in his breaches. This ready compliance with the call was the consequence of the Spirit of the Lord being upon Gideon. Came up. No doubt Gideon was eneamped upon one of the southern hills that overlooked the plain, probably Gilboa, just as Barak was on Mount Tabor (see ch. 8:8-12). To meet them, i.e. Gideon and the Abi-ezrites. But on the following morning, when the people of the town found the altar of Baal destroyed and the asherah upon it hewn down, and the bullock sacrificed upon the (newly) erected altar (the bullock would not be entirely consumed), they asked who had done it, and soon learned that Gideon had done it all. The accusative חשּׁני הפּר את is governed by the Hophal העלה (for העלה see Ges. s. 63, Anm. 4), according to a construction that was by no means rare, especially in the earlier Hebrew, viz., of the passive with את (see at Genesis 4:18). "They asked and sought," sc., for the person who had done it; "and they said," either those who were making the inquiry, according to a tolerably safe conjecture, or the persons who were asked, and who were aware of what Gideon had done.
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