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Commentary » Judges 8:13-Judges 8:23 » Family-Times.net
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Gideon’s Sense of Justice

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During the time of the Iranian Hostage Crisis, Greg Livingstone was asked to give a “missions minute” at a large evangelical church on the East Coast. Since he had only one minute to speak, he decided to ask them only two questions. The first one was, “How many of … More


Returning from the battle, Gideon caught a young man who lived in Succoth. Gideon asked him who the town officials of Succoth were, and the young man wrote down seventy-seven names (vv. 13-14). Gideon went to a couple of the town officials, Zebah and Zalmunna and questioned them as to how they had made fun of him (v. 15). Then he made a whip from thorn plants and used it to beat the town officials (v. 16). Afterwards he went to Penuel, where he tore down the tower and killed all the town officials (v. 17). Then Gideon asked Zebah and Zalmunna to tell him about the men they killed at Tabor (v. 18).” “ They were dignified and a lot like you,” the two kings answered.”

Gibeon told them that if they had not killed these men at Tabor he would spare them (v. 19). He then told his son Jether to go ahead and kill them but he was young and afraid (v. 20). “What’s the matter with you,” Zebah and Zalmunna told Gideon? “If you was not such a coward you would kill us.” At that point Gideon jumped up and killed them both (v. 21). Now that the Israelites had defeated their great foe and oppressor they requested that Gideon become their king (v. 22). Gideon’s reply was a model of noble unselfishness when he refused to accept the authority offered to him and said. “you already have a king if you will only acknowledge Him (v. 23).”


How do I respond to the praise of men? Do I tend to want to accept the praise for myself or truly acknowledge that it was all the Lord’s doing?

Judges 8:13-23 (English Standard Version)

Then Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle by the ascent of Heres. And he captured a young man of Succoth and questioned him. And he wrote down for him the officials and elders of Succoth, seventy-seven men. And he came to the men of Succoth and said, "Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me, saying, 'Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are exhausted?'" And he took the elders of the city, and he took thorns of the wilderness and briers and with them taught the men of Succoth a lesson. And he broke down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city. Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, "Where are the men whom you killed at Tabor?" They answered, "As you are, so were they. Every one of them resembled the son of a king." And he said, "They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As the LORD lives, if you had saved them alive, I would not kill you." So he said to Jether his firstborn, "Rise and kill them!" But the young man did not draw his sword, for he was afraid, because he was still a young man. Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, "Rise yourself and fall upon us, for as the man is, so is his strength." And Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and he took the crescent ornaments that were on the necks of their camels. Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, "Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also, for you have saved us from the hand of Midian." Gideon said to them, "I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the LORD will rule over you."

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