Judges 8:32
And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulcher of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
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(32) And Gideon . . . died.—Gideon died in peace and prosperity (Genesis 15:15; Genesis 49:29, &c), in a good old age (Job 5:26), but the evil seed which he had sown bore bitter fruit in the next generation.

8:29-35 As soon as Gideon was dead, who kept the people to the worship of the God of Israel, they found themselves under no restraint; then they went after Baalim, and showed no kindness to the family of Gideon. No wonder if those who forget their God, forget their friends. Yet conscious of our own ingratitude to the Lord, and observing that of mankind in general, we should learn to be patient under any unkind returns we meet with for our poor services, and resolve, after the Divine example, not to be overcome of evil, but to overcome evil with good.Abimelech's mother was not reckoned among the wives, being, probably, one of the Canaanite population in Shechem Judges 9:28 : neither was Abimelech himself reckoned with the 70 other sons of Jerubbaal (Judges 9:24. Compare Judges 11:1-2). Jud 8:28. Midian Subdued.

28. Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel—This invasion of the Arab hordes into Canaan was as alarming and desolating as the irruption of the Huns into Europe. It was the severest scourge ever inflicted upon Israel; and both it and the deliverance under Gideon lived for centuries in the minds of the people (Ps 83:11).

In a good old age; his long life being crowned with the continuance of his honour, tranquility, and happiness. And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age,.... Having lived it seems forty years after his war with Midian, blessed with a large family, much wealth and riches, great credit and esteem among his people, and in favour with God and men:

and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites; a city which belonged to the family of the Abiezrites, who were of the tribe of Manasseh, in which Gideon lived, and his father before him; and where there was a family vault, in which he was interred. In the days of this judge it is supposed (m) was the famous expedition of the Argonauts to Colchis, to fetch from thence the golden fleece.

(m) Gerard. Voss Chronolog. Sacr. Dissert. 1. p. 4.

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.

32. in a good old age] Again in Genesis 15:15 JE, Genesis 25:8 P, 1 Chronicles 29:28.

Jdg 8:33-35 originally followed Jdg 8:28, according to the usual scheme. These verses are made up of the customary phrases of the Dtc. editor, with the addition of particulars derived from ch. 9; cf. Jdg 2:14; Jdg 2:18 f., Jdg 3:7; Jdg 3:12, Jdg 4:1, Jdg 6:9 and Jdg 9:4; Jdg 9:16; Jdg 9:19. Most probably, then, these verses were intended to form not an introduction to ch. 9, but a substitute for it. Ch. 9 did not fit into Rd’s scheme, so he laid it aside, and wrote Jdg 8:33-35 to take its place. A later editor, however, thought fit to incorporate the discarded chapter, and by way of an introduction he wrote Jdg 8:30-32, which, as noticed above, contain several expressions found elsewhere in writings later than the Dtc. age. Budde was the first to propose this explanation, and it has been generally accepted; Richt. u. Sam. (1890), p. 119 ff.This request of Gideon's was cheerfully fulfilled: "They spread out the cloth (brought for collecting the rings), and threw into it every one the ring that he had received as booty." Simlah, the upper garment, was for the most part only a large square piece of cloth. The weight of these golden rings amounted to 1700 shekels, i.e., about 50 lbs., (מן לבד) separate from, i.e., beside, the remaining booty, for which Gideon had not asked, and which the Israelites kept for themselves, viz., the little moons, the ear-pendants (netiphoth, lit. little drops, probably pearl-shaped ear-drops: see Isaiah 3:19), and the purple clothes which were worn by the kings of Midian (i.e., which they had on), and also apart from the neck-bands upon the necks of their camels. Instead of the anakoth or necklaces (Judges 8:26), the saharonim, or little moons upon the necks of the camels, are mentioned in Judges 8:21 as the more valuable portion of these necklaces. Even at the present day the Arabs are accustomed to ornament the necks of these animals "with a band of cloth or leather, upon which small shells called cowries are strung or sewed in the form of a crescent. The sheiks add silver ornaments to these, which make a rich booty in time of war" (Wellsted, Reise, i. p. 209). The Midianitish kings had their camels ornamented with golden crescents. This abundance of golden ornaments will not surprise us, when we consider that the Arabs still carry their luxurious tastes for such things to a very great excess. Wellsted (i. p. 224) states that "the women in Omn spend considerable amounts in the purchase of silver ornaments, and their children are literally laden with them. I have sometimes counted fifteen ear-rings upon each side; and the head, breast, arms, and ankles are adorned with the same profusion." As the Midianitish army consisted of 130,000 men, of whom 15,000 only remained at the commencement of the last engagement, the Israelites may easily have collected 5000 golden rings, or even more, which might weigh 1700 shekels.
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