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the same DIVINE Being, who had before appeared spake to him words of consolation, assuring him, that he should not die. JEHOVAH SHALOM signifies the God of peace.
The reproof which Joash gave to the people for their foolish anger against Gideon, shews, that he was hims "self convinced that idolatry was a great sin ; and that though he had been a priest of Baal, he now clearly perceived Baal must be an impotent Deity, since he had not been able to defend his own altar.
From this tiine, Gideon bore the name of Jerub-baal, that is, the opposer of Baal.
How deplorable was the condition to which the Israelites, through their apostasy, had reduced themselves! All those evils Moses had foretold fell upon them, because they forsook the Lord; and we may consider it as an instance of Divine mercy, that they were not to. tally extirpated; but the Lord had graciously promised, that if they would repent and seek His aid, He would return unto them, and deliver them for the sake of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and in remembrance of His covenant: and we find in this section a remarkable proof of the faithfulness of God; for no sooner did His people cry unto Him, than He sent a prophet to remind them of His former mercies, and their breach of duty, in order to excite them to a thorough repeptance. This should teach us to place a firm trust in the divine promises.
SECTION LII. GIDEON REQUESTS ANOTHER SIGNPREPARES FOR
From Judges, Chap. vi. vii. TAEN all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel.
But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him.
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.
And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, behold I will put a fleece of wool in the floor: and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.
And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.
And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove I pray thee, but this once with the fleece : let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.
And God did so that night: for it was dry upon fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early; and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley. :
And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him
return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand: and there remained ten thousand.
And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many, bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there : and it shall be that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.
So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself: likewise every one that boweth down upon
his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.
And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand; and let all the other people go every man unto his place.
So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel, every man unto his 'tent, and retained those three hundred
And the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.
And it came to pass the same night that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.
But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host : and thou shalt hear what they say; and afterwards shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down
with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.
And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea-side for multitude.
And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and lo a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell and overturned it, that the tent lay along
And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian and all the host.
And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and the interpretation thereof, that he wor. shipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise, for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.
And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.
And he said unto them, Look on me and do likewise: and behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that as
do, so shall
do. When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
So Gideon and the hundred men that were with him came into the outside of the camp in the middle watch: and they had but newly set the watch, and they blew
the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands, to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
And they stood every man in his place round about the camp; and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.
And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host : and the host fled to Bethshittah, in Zererah, and to the border of Abel-meholah, unto Tabbath.
And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Ma. nasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.
And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Came down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together and took the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan.
And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew upon the wine-press of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
It is here said that the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, from which we may understand, that when the