Judges 7:24-8:35

  1. Note
    (a) Gideon’s dealings with the complaints of Ephraim and with the lack of co-operation of the elders of Succoth and Penuel;
    (b) the vigour of his pursuit and capture of Zebah and Zalmunna, and the respect that these princes showed him.
    What various aspects of character are revealed here?
  2. What temptation did Gideon overcome?
    Contrast, however, the frequent references to God’s guidance in the earlier part of the narrative with the entire absence of this in 8:24-27.
    Why did Gideon, who had given such able leadership in the national crisis, fail to give adequate leadership in a time of peace?
    Is it true that we tend to reply on God only when are ‘up against it’?

 

Note. The ephod of the high priest (Exod. 28) was a shoulder garment covering the breast and back, ornamented with gems and gold, and having in front the breastplate containing the Urim and Thummin, which were manipulated to discover God’s will. Gideon’s ephod (8:24-27) may have been an elaborate reproduction, or it may have been some kind of free-standing image. In any case it was used to ascertain God’s answer in a particular situation, but the people came to regard it as a kind of idol.