Judges 8-9

Before you read today I want to point out in Chapter 6:32 Gideon was given the name Jerub-Baal ‘let Baal contend’ when he broke down his father’s  (Joash’s) Baalm altar.  I wanted to point that out for this reading.  I am honest with you when I have skimmed in the past, so I will be honest with you and say I had to read this several times to comprehend all that was happening.

Chapter 8

Gideon had not invited the men of Ephraim to join him in the battle yesterday, instead, he recruited the tribes of Manasseh, Asher, Zebulon, and Naphtali.   So now that Ephariam sees the battle was a victory they say “awww man, I would have been a part of that!  Gideon must have read Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ since he defused the situation by complimenting them for past battles.😜

“Denying them the bread”.  The first time I read this I thought”what’s the big deal, Israelites are denied help all the time”.  What I did not catch was they had crossed the Jordan to the East and they were in Israelite territory (Transjordan tribes).  The Israelites denied feeding Israelites!

Gideon at this point for me starts to “lose his marbles’.  I can deal with the “needing affirmation” Gideon, but today we read a totally different Gideon.  In verse 18 he asks Zebah and Zalmunna “who did you kill?” and follows it with “those were my brothers, and if you had spared them I would have spared you”.  Ummmmm I don’t remember reading that when Moses and Joshua read the laws about entering the Promised Land!  Wrong on so many levels!

  1. This now becomes an execution (not a killing through battle)
  2. This becomes a “personal” vendetta rather than a defeat for the nation.
  3. Even his son, Jether, as a boy understood this was all wrong.

In Verse 22, the Israelites began to beg for someone to rule over them.  Gideon refuses telling them the Lord will rule over them BUT Gideon obviously has aspirations of being “king-like” deep down.

  1. He takes the rings off the Camel’s neck AND asked for the “rings” which a “kingly” request. (accumulating wealth)
  2. He takes MANY wives and concubines
  3. He names one of his sons (from his concubine, from Shechem) Abimelek: which means “My father is King”.

The chapter ends with Gideon creating an Ephod (what the Priests would wear on their chest under their breastplate) out of gold.  This became a snare to both Gideon and his family as something to worship.Mr Biblehead: Gideon, the Rest of the Story (Judges 7 & 8)

Gideon dies.  If you were to sum up the life of Gideon what would you say?  I would love to hear your comments because they would be so different depending on what the Lord “highlighted” for you.


Chapter 9:

A Totalitarianism Judge – Rip-Roar Get High On Life

The son Abimelek, his mother was the concubine,  had a meeting with his mom’s family and talked them into letting him be the ruler.  In order to do this, he had to eliminate his 70 brothers.  BUT the youngest brother (half-brother) Jotham “The Lord is Perfect”,  escaped and warned the Shechamites about Abimelek with a parable.

  • The trees represented the people (different statuses represented by olive trees, fig-trees, and vines.
  • The thornbush represents Abimelech.

(The parable could be against Kingship altogether)

Jotham defends Gideon, as the deliverer (as a judge).  Gideon risked his life to save the Israelites, only being repaid by the deaths of his sons.  Verse 19: “So have you acted honorably and in good faith toward Jerub-Baal and his family today? If you have, may Abimelek be your joy, and may you be his, too!  But if you have not, let fire come out from Abimelek and consume you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and let fire come out from you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and consume Abimelek!”


Abimelek ruled for 3 years.  Then, the Lord stirred up animosity to avenge the killing of Gideon’s 70 sons since they fell in the category above “But if you have not” Matters get worse when Gaal uses the same tactic Abimelek used earlier.  However, Abimelek’s deputy Zebul reports back to Abimelek and defeats Gaal.  War breaks out and when the Shechamites hide in a tower Abimelek burns it down,  (As Jotham said…”they were destroyed by fire”.

Abimelek continues his attacks on surrounding towns and the people in Thebez KNOW about his previous “tower fire” so they use it to lure him to the bottom of it and then a woman drops a millstone on his head…but does not kill him instantly.

52 Abimelek went to the tower and attacked it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, 53 a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.

54 Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can’t say, ‘A woman killed him.’” So his servant ran him through, and he died. 55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelek was dead, they went home. (Insert eye roll from all the women out there)

Abimelech.Death Of.BibleOutlines | The Daily Office in Quarantine

This was a complicated read (for me), keeping the names straight was the hardest part (who is on who’s team??). It is Good Friday, so I think you most certainly can find some time to read it twice.

Trivia: What does the name: “Abimelek” mean?

I am still researching something…if I figure it out, I will put it in the comments.

9 thoughts on “Judges 8-9

  1. For me- this was a tiring read. Not that God’s Word is boring at all, but exhausting in keeping up and feeling “What! They did what?” And then I insert the “(America)” from a couple of days ago in the post. I feel like if someone was to read about the present in a future time, they might say the same about current events. God must love us- there is no other explanation for His sacrifice for people (like me) who just can’t keep it all going to honor Him.

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  2. Yesterday when the angel of the Lord calls Gideon, he calls him a mighty warrior. He is seen as a mighty warrior before he has ever fought a battle and actually while he is hiding from the Midianites in a threshing floor. Then in chapter 8 I had to go to a commentary. I’m trying to figure out is some of Gideon’s bad choices because of traditions, like polygomy, or bad choices with good intention like that ephod. Gideon goes back to his home, where he started from, and the land had peace until he died. It’s like a humble beginning and humble end but what all happened in the middle.

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    1. My opinion was in the middle he got a little prideful and forget his place. Just seeing what he named his son was a shocker. But doesn’t that happen to all of us when we have victories, we forget who the glory goes to. I also think he lost his Bible for a little while (like I do).

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        1. Who would have ever thought “Old Testament” and “fun” would be said in the same breath? You should see me at work after some of these readings. I have 2 assistants and they are just sipping their coffee and I come in the door like a crazy person “Wait till you hear what happened in today’s reading!” I will say, it can be hard at times to ‘hear’ what God says directly to me about my shortcomings. My Principal is a very strong Christian and one day this week he said “how are you” (meaning my classroom), he really just wanted me to say “good” and keep walking. Tears just started flowing…I am sure the poor guy was thinking “why did I ask??” 😂

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  3. So, I live on Gideon Road. I should know more about this warrior / judge of Israel, but all I can retain over the years about him has been the way God divided the army in Ch. 7 and won the battle by throwing them into confusion. I hadn’t ever “settled” my thinking on what Gideon did next.

    “8:23 – The Lord will rule over you.” — He definitely could have created more chaos for Israel if he had allowed them to make him king. He knew better.

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    1. Well, I have a pair of boots I call my Gideon boots. They were way overpriced so I said “Lord, if I should buy these boots give me a sign”. 😂😂 There wasn’t a sign, but I bought them anyway.

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  4. I remember the Gideon boots from years ago! Lol! Good memories. Every time I read this section I always think of your boots.

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