And Gideon said to them, I would desire a request of you, that you would give me every man the earrings of his prey…
Underlying Gideon's desire to fill the office of priest there was a dull perception of the highest function of one man in relation to others. It appears to the common mind a great thing to rule, to direct secular affairs, to have the command of armies and the power of filling offices and conferring dignities; and no doubt to one who desires to serve his generation well, royalty, political power, even municipal office, offer many excellent opportunities. But set kingship on this side, kingship concerned with the temporal and earthly, or at best humane aspects of life, and on the other side priesthood of the true kind which has to do with the spiritual, by which God is revealed to man and the holy ardour and Divine aspirations of the human will are sustained, and there can be no question which is the more important. A clever, strong man may be a ruler. It needs a good man, a pious man, a man of heavenly power and insight, to be in any right sense a priest — one who really stands between God and men, bearing the sorrows of his kind, their trials, doubts, cries and prayers, on his heart, and presenting them to God, interpreting to the weary and sad and troubled the messages of heaven.
(R. A. Watson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.)