« PreviousContinue »
Jssue of the conflict.
How he was entertained.
people for 20 years, when they repented and were again delivered. han delivered They were delivered this time by Deborah, a prophetess, and Barak, a military chief, who collected an army, and boldly marched against Sis'era, the captain of Jabin's army.
The two armies met; the Canaanites were routed, and Sis'era fled for refuge to the tent of Heber, the Kenite.
He was received with great hospitality; but Jael, the wife of Heber, murdered him while he slept, by
, driving a tent-nail through his temples. After which, the land again had rest for 40 years. (B.C. 1281.)
Deborah composed a song on this occasion, which is one of the most beautiful compositions
in the world. (See Judges, chapter v.) Tho fourth. The fourth oppression occurred soon after the death of Deborah, when the people "again did evil in the sight of the Lord.”
were punished. They were then delivered for
chastisement into the hands of the Midianites, who held them in servitude for seven years. (B.c. 1248.)
This oppression was so grievous that the people fled to the mountains, and sought refuge in caves. During this dreadful affliction, Elimelech and Nao'mi, the parents of Ruth, migrated to the
land of Moab. How they were delivered.
The people at length asked God to help them, and He sent an angel to tell Gideon to lead them forth to battle.
Gideon requested that God would shew him a sign in confirmation of his appointment, and God consented to do so.
The request was this: that a certain fleece of wool exposed in the fields all night, might become saturated with dew, while the field itself remained perfectly dry.
Noticed and commented on in Dr. Brewer's Guide to Science, p. 218.
God performed this miracle, and
Gideon makes a request.
Nature of the request.
How Gideon proceeded.
then Gideon requested that the converse might occur next night; viz., that the fleece might remain dry, while the earth was covered with dew.
This second miracle fully satisfied Gideon that his commission was from God; and he immediately set about it.
He first raised an army of 32,000 men to go against the Midiapites; but as God wished to convince the people that He was himself the giver of all victory, he had the number reduced to 300.
When the army was assembled, Gideon gave all those who had the least fear leave to depart, upon which 22,000 went away to their homes.
He then led the residue to the
bank of a river, and selected those only who “lapped the water as a dog lappeth with his tongue;" by which means the 10,000 were reduced
How it was reduced.
How it was still further reduced.
His plan of operation.
Object of these equipments.
to 300, and the rest were dismissed from the service.
His plan of operation was this: he divided his band into three equal parts, giving to every man a sword, a trumpet, and a pitcher, with a lighted lamp concealed in it.
The attack was to be made at night; and, at a given signal, every man 'was to blow a blast on his trumpet, to dash to pieces his pitcher, hold up his lantern, and rush on the foe, shouting, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” What oc- The Midianites were so panicstruck with this strange occurrence, that a complete victory was obtained. (B.C. 1241.) How the people The Israelites, infatuated with joy, urged Gideon, or one of his sons, to become their king; but he resolutely refused, saying, "I will not rule over you, neither shall my sons rule over you, but the Lord shall rule over you.
Gideon continued to judge Israel for nine years, and the land remained at peace for 40 years, during which time nothing of importance oc
curred. The fifth op
The fifth oppression was from pression. the Ammorites and Philistines combined. It was more severe than any of the preceding, because the sins of the people were more grievous. By whom they The deliverer from this bondage was Jephthah, who made a vow, if he prospered, to devote to God whatever creature first came to greet him after the battle. (Judges xi. 30, 31.) wheelco Jephthah gained the victory, and his daughter was the first to come and greet him with timbrels and dances. Jephthah was very sad, but at his daughter's request, “ did unto her according to his vow.' (B.C. 1183.)
The last clause of v. 31, should be translated thus: and I will offer up to Him. (i.e. the Lord) a burnt-offering; instead of, "and I will offer IT up for a burnt-offering.”
A person devoted to God was never allowed to marry, but lived as a religieuse in the service of God; as the vestal virgins among the Romans,