Judges 8:17
And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.
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(17) Beat down the tower.—The importance of the place led to its re-fortification by Jeroboam (1Kings 12:25).

8:13-17 The active servants of the Lord meet with more dangerous opposition from false professors than from open enemies; but they must not care for the behaviour of those who are Israelites in name, but Midianites in heart. They must pursue the enemies of their souls, and of the cause of God, though they are ready to faint through inward conflicts and outward hardships. And they shall be enabled to persevere. The less men help, and the more they seek to hinder, the more will the Lord assist. Gideon's warning being slighted, the punishment was just. Many are taught with the briers and thorns of affliction, who would not learn otherwise.The men of the city - Perhaps the rulers; who, it is likely, had possession of the tower or citadel, and so could tyrannize over the people. Gideon killed the great men, and beat down their towers, but did not injure the inhabitants. 16. he took … the thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth—By refusing his soldiers refreshment, they had committed a public crime, as well as an act of inhumanity, and were subjected to a horrible punishment, which the great abundance and remarkable size of the thorn bushes, together with the thinness of clothing in the East, has probably suggested. No text from Poole on this verse.

And he beat down the tower of Penuel,.... As he threatened he would, Judges 8:9 whether this was before or after he had chastised the elders of Succoth, is not clear; one would think by the course he steered going from Succoth to Penuel, as he went, he should come to Penuel first at his return; however, he demolished their tower in which they trusted:

and slew the men of the city; perhaps they might, as Kimchi conjectures, resist when he went about to beat down their tower; on which a fray might ensue, in which they were slain; or they might upon his approach, sensible of the offence they had given him, fly to their tower for safety, and were killed in it when that was beaten down about them. In what manner this was done is not said; no doubt they had instruments in those days for demolishing such edifices.

And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.
17. Gideon’s revenge strikes us as vindictive. In return for some jeering words he treated these towns, which no doubt contained many of his own countrymen, with a barbarity which is altogether absent from his execution of the Midianite kings, who had murdered his brothers and plundered his home. We must allow for the rough and passionate temper of the age, and for the exasperating lack of patriotism in the two towns; cf. Jdg 5:23.

Verse 17. - He slew the men of the city. This makes it probable that the threshing of the men of Succoth was a capital punishment, as there is no reason why the men of Penuel should be more severely punished than the men of Succoth. Judges 8:17Gideon also inflicted upon Pnuel the punishment threatened in Judges 8:9. The punishment inflicted by Gideon upon both the cities was well deserved in all respects, and was righteously executed. The inhabitants of these cities had not only acted treacherously to Israel as far as they could, from the most selfish interests, in a holy conflict for the glory of the Lord and the freedom of His people, but in their contemptuous treatment of Gideon and his host they had poured contempt upon the Lord, who had shown them to be His own soldiers before the eyes of the whole nation by the victory which He had given them over the innumerable army of the foe. Having been called by the Lord to be the deliverer and judge of Israel, it was Gideon's duty to punish the faithless cities.
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