Judges 8 OutlineÂ
– Ephraimites got angry with Gideon (Judges 8:1-3)
– Gideon took revenge at the leaders in Succoth and Penuel (Judges 8:4-17)
– Gideon killed Zebah and Zalmunna (Judges 8:18-21)
– The Israelites gave their gold earrings to Gideon (Judges 8:22-29)
– The death of Gideon (Judges 8:30-35)
Judges 8 Summary
The men of Ephraim asked Gideon why he didn’t call them when he was about to wage war with the Midianites. They calmed down after Gideon praised them for killing Oreb and Zeeb; which compare to him, he had done nothing at all.
Gideon and his 300 men were tired after chasing the enemies for the whole day. He happened to come to the town of Succoth. While at Succoth, he asked the people to give his men some bread because he is chasing after Zebah and Zalmunna. The men at Succoth refused to give them bread because they reasoned that he hasn’t capture Zebah and Zalmunna. Gideon swore that he will use thorns to make whip and tear their flesh out after he capture Zebah and Zalmunna. Later, Gideon came to Penuel and he asked them for food. The men of Penuel gave them the same answer. Gideon was angry and he promised to break down their tower after he managed to capture Zebah and Zalmunna.
Zebah and Zalmunna were at Karkor. Gideon and his men made a surprise attack. Zebah and Zalmunna tried to run away but Gideon managed to capture him. When Gideon was on his way back from the battle, he met a man from Succoth. The man wrote down the 77 names of the elders in Succoth. After that, Gideon made a whip out of the thorn bushes and ripped out the flesh of the 77 elders who mocked him earlier. Then, he came to Penuel and tore down the tower so that all the town officials were killed.
Gideon asked his son Jether to kill Zebah and Zalmunna but he refused so he had to killed them himself. The people wanted Gideon to rule over them but Gideon say on the Lord will rule over them. However, Gideon asked the men to give him their gold earrings. The men agreed and brought out their gold earrings. All together Gideon collected 1,700 shekels of gold. Gideon used the gold from the earrings and other ornaments to make an ephod. The ephod was placed in the city. The ephod was a snare to the Israelites as they worshipped it.
Gideon has many wives and 70 sons. He even had a son called Abimelech from a concubine who lived in Shechem. After Gideon died, the Israelites forget about what he had done to help them and worshiped Baalberith as their god.
Judges 8 Bible Study
1. God is Israel’s one and only king
Gideon set a good example by not accepting the Israelites’ request to be their king. Gideon was so popular among the Israelites that they wanted him to rule over them as king like other country. They wanted to offer this request as reward for Gideon. The Israelites was wrong in requesting him to be king because they are giving a credit that Gideon does not deserve. Since God helped Gideon to win the battle, he should get the credit from the Israelites. Before Gideon fought the battle, he was a man without much valor and courage. He kept asking God for proofs before entering into the battle. God responded to Gideon’s prayer and gave him signs to prove to him that his promises are real.
2. Having a lot of money can tempt us to sin
It wasn’t God’s will that Gideon be their king. God had chosen Gideon to be the judge of Israel, not the king of Israel. He alone is the king of Israel. Sometimes, we can be like Gideon and assert that we should take things to our own control without waiting for God’s right timing and his direction. It is important that we seek God’s direction in no matter what we do so that we can live in his perfect plan. When Gideon refused their request to rule over them, it seems that he is in the right track. He later demanded the Israelites to give him all the gold jewelry they had taken from the enemies. This makes Gideon looks like he is a greedy man. He is not only greedy but also idolatrous. He used the gold he had collected from the Israelites to make an ephod. The ephod used to be worn by the high priest along with the linen breastplate. However, the ephod that Gideon made was a different ephod used in encouraging idolatry. The golden ephod ensnare Gideon, his household, and the Israelites into idolatry. Gideon was rich because of the spoil and gold that he obtained from the Israelites. Having too much wealth can lead you into astray from God. It is important that you serve God and build your kingdom in heaven, rather than the kingdom on earth.
3. We must only love God and not have other idols in our hearts
As Christians, we should always look forward and improve our relationship with Christ. We should never look back and let the sins of our past to come back into our lives. Gideon living a large family lifestyle, indicates that he wanted to live like a king. The bible said that Gideon had many concubines and sons, just like a king.