Then all the Midianites, Amalekites, and other people of the east gathered together, crossed over the Jordan, and camped in the Valley of Jezreel.
I. THE ENEMY PRESENTS HIMSELF IN SUDDEN, OVERWHELMING FORCE. A remarkable juncture. Esdraelon, the battle-field of Canaan. Here thrones and kingdoms had been lost and won. To the heart of flesh it would have been the death-knell of hope. There was no proportion between the extent of his possible preparation and the magnitude of the crisis. Many would have advised a policy of temporizing inaction. To the sent of God the circumstances pointed all the other way. Elijah at Horeb. Paul at Athens. The Son of man longing for his "hour." Are you in a minority; the only Christian in your office; with everything to discourage and tempt you? "Let not your heart be troubled." Outward difficulties are balanced and overpowered by spiritual reinforcements. "The Spirit of the Lord came upon him."
II. GIDEON'S SUMMONS TO ARMS MEETS WITH UNEXPECTED SUCCESS. "He blew a trumpet," i.e. he used the means. But probably he did not expect anything like the result. He was touching chords that vibrated in unforeseen directions. He didn't know the moral power he had acquired by his first work. We never can gauge the extent of our moral influence. Jerubbaal is the magnet. Strong in God, in himself, at home, throughout the nation. We are all guilty herein; we think God's people fewer and worse than they are. How much one steadfast, heroic soul can effect; how many others he can fire with enthusiasm and endue with courage by his example and actions!
III. SUDDEN SUCCESS OCCASIONS HUMILITY AND DOUBT. Clearly this man is not as others. He becomes strong against odds and vast oppositions, weak and hesitating when all goes well. Adversity and difficulty are plainer in their problems to the spiritual man than prosperity. But perhaps it was the quality of his soldiery he mistrusted. They did not seem of the right stuff for a duel a outrance. Perhaps the very suddenness of his power terrified him.
IV. HE SEEKS FOR WISDOM AND CONFIRMATION OF THE HEAVENLY GRACE.
1. Probably the very scene of his first vision - Association helps an imaginative, spirit. Spiritual associations are mightiest.
2. He proposes a sign that shall reveal his duty. Under ordinary circumstances this is dangerous and misleading. But the whole background of Gideon's career is miraculous, and he had a warrant to expect miracles. We have a complete revelation and a Divine example. The dew abundant in Canaan; the wetting of the fleece a rustic idea. The doubt is then suggested, What if all this be natural? Therefore -
3. The proof is reversed. As in experimental science the test of variations is employed, so here in spiritual divination. God accommodates himself to our weakness that he may vanquish it. Henceforth the path is clear and his mind is made up. Have we done all that conscience and revelation have made plain and obligatory? Have we gone to the Divine footstool for the wisdom and strength we required? - M.
The Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east.Isaiah 57:20, 21). Life is a state of conflict, both for the virtuous and the evil. The virtuous, however, strive on the side of heaven, and they are assisted by heavenly powers, and by the Saviour Himself. They have often cessations of warfare, seasons of blessing, and their end is peace. The wicked struggle against their better part; they oppose their inner convictions; they stifle the voice of conscience; they smother their nobler impulses; they harden themselves against God and goodness. It is in reflecting light upon these mental struggles, and affording guidance to the earnest Christian, that the history of the wars of the Israelites is of inestimable value. Let us trace and apply the lesson in the narrative before us. The Israelites had been much infested by three nations in their immediate neighbourhood, the Amalekites, the Midianites, and a people called the children of the east. They oppressed them with a cruel hand: they destroyed even the means of subsistence. These people — at least the Amalekites and the Midianites — were descendants from Abraham indirectly, and inhabited the borders of Canaan on the south, south-east, and east. They were at the land, but not in the land. Hence they correspond to the principles of those who border on the Church, but are not in it. They know and believe what the gospel teaches in a certain fashion, but do not love and do it. They are opposed to, and hasten to destroy, a growing and progressive religion. They assailed Israel most cruelly on their march, and came, as recorded in the narrative before us, to destroy the rising corn. They were all at this time deadly enemies of Israel. The Amalekites were the most malignant. It is recorded of them that they insidiously hung around the Israelites on their march, and when any remained behind from weakness or weariness they were put to death by these lurking and harassing foes (Deuteronomy 25:17, 18). Amalek was the most powerful foe of Israel during the pilgrimage in the wilderness, as well as the most malignant (Numbers 24:20). Amalek has an awful peculiarity of notice from Jehovah (Exodus 17:14-16). From all this it is not difficult to draw the inference that Amalek must be the representative of some peculiarly deadly principle, some malignant strong delusion, to which the Spirit of the Lord is incessantly opposed. There are times in our journey of life when we feel weary and toilworn; when we are tired of our struggles against our evils and our difficulties, and become almost hopeless. Life seems hollow and a blank. We are weary with the world and with ourselves. Perhaps high hopes have been blighted. At such times the deadly fallacy will break in upon us, "Give up; throw all good aside; strive no longer. Do as other people do; get as much sinful pleasure and sinful gain as you can, and take your chance with the millions who are reckless." This is Amalek. Many a poor weak soul, battered and downcast in the struggle of life, has sunk under this direful despairing suggestion. Oh! that men would learn to remember that this principle of despairing delusion is abhorrent to the Divine love. "Jehovah has war with Amalek, from generation to generation." "Never despair," should be the motto of life. The Midianites were not always enemies of Israel. They were traders and intermediate between Egypt and Canaan. Midianites drew Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites, thus saving his life. That they were representatives is evident from their being mentioned in the prophetical part of the Scriptures as taking part in operations of the future Church, in times when Midian, as a distinct nation or tribe, would long have ceased to be (Isaiah 60:6). On the other hand, in that sublime and mysterious vision of the prophet Habakkuk the prophet says (Habakkuk 3:7, 8). Midian, then, sometimes the friend and sometimes the foe of the Church; sometimes assisting the praises of the Lord, and sometimes covering the soul with curtains which tremble before the judgment and presence of the Lord, is the type of that kind of general belief in the doctrines of religion which may lead to something better, but in which great numbers often rest, so as to make a profession of a kind of faith which is not saving, because neither grounded in love, nor flowing into practice. The children of the east, the coadjutors of the two former, represent all such portions of the Scriptures as can be pressed into the service of an inward aversion to God and goodness, but combined with an outward profession of piety and regard for holiness.
(J. Bailey, . Ph. D.)
PeopleAbiezer, Abiezrites, Amalek, Amalekites, Amorites, Asher, Egyptians, Ephah, Gideon, Israelites, Jerubbaal, Jezreel, Joash, Manasseh, Midianites, Naphtali, Ophrah, Zebulun
PlacesEgypt, Gaza, Jezreel Valley, Jordan River, Midian, Ophrah
TopicsAmalek, Amalekites, Amal'ekites, Assembled, Banding, Camped, Crossed, Crossing, East, Eastern, Encamp, Encamped, Forces, Gathered, Jezreel, Joined, Jordan, Midian, Midianites, Mid'ianites, Pass, Passed, Peoples, Pitched, Sons, Tents, Themselves, Valley
Outline1. The Israelites for their sin are oppressed by Midian
8. A prophet rebukes them
11. An angel sends Gideon for their deliverance
17. Gideon's present is consumed with fire
24. Gideon destroys Baal's altar; offers a sacrifice upon the altar Jehovah-shalom
28. Joash defends his son, and calls him Jerubbaal
33. Gideon's army
36. Gideon's signs
Dictionary of Bible ThemesJudges 6:33
'Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovah- shalom [God is peace].'--JUDGES vi. 24. I need not tell over again, less vividly, the picturesque story in this chapter, of the simple husbandman up in the hills, engaged furtively in threshing out a little wheat in some hollow in the rock where he might hide it from the keen eyes of the oppressors; and of how the angel of the Lord, unrecognised at first, appeared to him; and gradually there dawned upon his mind the suspicion …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Jehovam-Shalem, the Lord Send Peace. Judg 6:24
Whether it is a Sin to Tempt God?
Man Now Deprived of Freedom of Will, and Miserably Enslaved.
The Unity of the Divine Essence in Three Persons Taught, in Scripture, from the Foundation of the World.
Subterraneous Places. Mines. Caves.
Jesus Calls Four Fishermen to Follow Him.
Of the Sacraments.
The Doctrine of God
And thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, too little to be among the thousands of Judah
Seasonable Counsel: Or, Advice to Sufferers.
LinksJudges 6:33 NIV
Judges 6:33 NLT
Judges 6:33 ESV
Judges 6:33 NASB
Judges 6:33 KJV
Judges 6:33 Bible Apps
Judges 6:33 Parallel
Judges 6:33 Biblia Paralela
Judges 6:33 Chinese Bible
Judges 6:33 French Bible
Judges 6:33 German Bible
Judges 6:33 Commentaries