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touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes ; and because he hath cut down the grove that and there rose up fire out of the rock, and was by it. consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. 31 And Joash said unto all that stood Then the angel of the LORD departed out of against him, Will ye plead for Baal ? will ye his sight.
save him ? he that will plead for him, let him 22° And when Gideon perceived that he be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, be a god, let him plead for himself, because O LORD God! ''for because I have seen an one hath cast down his altar. angel of the Lord face to face.
32 Therefore on that day he called him 23 And the Lord said unto him, Peace be Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. him, because he hath thrown down his altar.
24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto 33 | Then all the Midianites and the the LORD, and called it "Jehovah-shalom : Amalekites and the children of the east were unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abi- gathered together, and went over, and pitched ezrites.
in the valley of Jezreel. 25 | And it came to pass the same night, 34 But the Spirit of the Lord "scame upon that the LORD said unto him, Take thy Gideon, and he 'blew a trumpet; and Abifather's young bullock, even the second ezer "was gathered after him. bullock of seven years old, and throw down 35 And he sent messengers throughout all the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and Manasseh ; who also was gathered after him: cut down the grove that is by it:
and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto 26 And build an altar unto the Lord thy | Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came God upon the top of this "rock, ''in the or up to meet them. dered place, and take the second bullock, and 36 | And Gideon said unto God, If thou offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast grove which thou shalt cut down.
said, 27 Then Gideon took ten men of his ser 37 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the vants, and did as the LORD had said unto floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, him: and so it was, because he feared his and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then father's houshold, and the men of the city, shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine that he could not do it by day, that he did it hand as thou hast said. by night.
38 And it was so: for he rose up early on 28 | And when the men of the city arose the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl was cast down, and the grove was cut down full of water. that was by it, and the second bullock was 39 And Gideon said unto God, ''Let not offered upon the altar that was built.
thine anger be hot against me, and I will 29 And they said one to another, Who speak but this once : let me prove, I pray thee, hath done this thing? And when they en but this once with the fleece; let it now be quired and asked, they said, Gideon the son dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the of Joash hath done this thing.
ground let there be dew. 30 Then the men of the city said unto 40 And God did so that night: for it was Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, on all the ground. 10 Exod. 33, 20. Chap. 13. 22.
11 That is, The LORD send peace.
19 Or, and.
13 Heb, strong place. 17 Heb, was called after him. 13 Gen, 18. 32.
14 Or, in an orderly manner.
15 Heb. clothed.
16 Num. 10. 3. Chap. 3. 27.
Verse 2. Made them dens.'—That is, prepared or fitted advantage to remain there, he ranged about the plains beup as residences the dens and caves of the mountains. They tween the mountains and the sea, and found villages whose did not make them de novo in the sense of cutting out, ex inliabitants having left their houses had retired with their cavating, or constructing them, for it is said they were wives and children, their flocks and herds, into subteralready in the mountains; but they so worked upon them raneous caves. This also illustrates ch. v. 7. as to adapt them for dwelling-places and strongholds 3. · When Israel had sown.'— It will be recollected that against their enemies.
the Midianites were chiefly wandering herdsmen--that is, - Caves.'-See the note on Gen. xix. 30. Let us add | just such a people as the Bedouin Arabs are at the present a very appropriate incident here, as related by William day. The oppression to which the Israelites were at this of Tyre. "When Baldwin I. presented himself with some time subject, was, therefore, of a very different nature from troops before Askelon, the citizens were afraid to come out those which they had previously experienced ; and from to give him battle. On this, finding it would be of no the minute and expressive details which are given, we dis
cover, without difficulty, that they had never before ex one village for another, in the hope of that relief which perienced anything so grievous. Under this view let us they can nowhere find. In the Hauran, for instance, as illustrate these details by the present conduct of the Be described by Burckhardt, very few individuals die in the douins towards cultivators.
villages in which they were born. This continued wan4. · Encamped against them, and destroyed the increase dering,' says that traveller, is one of the principal reasons of the earth .... and left no sustenance for Israeli' - It may why no village in the Hauran has either orchards, or be stated as a maxim, that whenever the nomade is master fruit trees, or gardens for the growth of vegetables. “Shall of the cultivator, the impoverishment and ultimate ruin of we sow for strangers ?” was the answer of a Fellah, to the latter are inevitable. The Bedouin Arabs come up whom I once spoke on the subject, and who by the word from their deserts in the spring, and perhaps remain “strangers” meant both the succeeding inhabitants and through the summer in the territories of those cultivators the Arabs who visit the Hauran in the spring and sumwho are so unfortunate as to lie at their mercy. If there mer. Even in the pashalic of Bagdad, the government is not an established understanding between the nomades of which is enabled in ordinary circumstances to keep the and the cultivators, as to the proportion which the latter Arabian tribes of his territory in some degree of order, no are to pay for exemption, the Bedouins encamp and pas persons dare undertake the cultivation of the soil at any ture their cattle in the cultivated grounds, after securing considerable distance from the city, except the Seids, who such corn and other vegetable products as they may happen claim to be descended from Mohammed, and the supposed to require for their own use during the remainder of the sanctity of whose character renders them comparatively year. Thus the increase of the earth is destroyed,' and secure from depredation. Yet even they are often obliged . no sustenance' remains to reward the cultivator for the to erect a fort on their grounds, in which a strong guard labour and patience he has spent on its production.
is stationed at the time of harvest. These details will - Neither sheep, nor oz, nor ass.'-The Bedouins, when help to shew the distressing situation of cultivators when thus oppressing the cultivator, seize all the cattle that are exposed to the oppression of pastoral tribes. brought abroad, and add them to their own flocks and 5. • Grasshoppers.'-Rather, locusts'-a most expresherds; and as it is impossible and useless to keep them sive comparison. continually in confinement, the inhabitants soon become 11. Ĝideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it deprived of all their cattle, like the Israelites. Even their from the Midianites.'— This is a most expressive illustrapersons are not safe; as the Bedouins will not scruple to tion of the preceding remarks. Gideon was obliged to rob of his clothes and property any person whom they can thresh his wheat in a small quantity, and in an unusual find beyond the protection which the walls of the towns place, to conceal it from the Midianites. This shews that and villages afford,-if they do not kill him, or detain him the oppression of the Hebrews from the Midianites was in as a prisoner till his friends have been induced to pay the severest form, seeing that they could not retain any heavily for his ransom. We do not know whether the part of their own produce except by stealth. The smallMidianites entered the towns. It is possible that they didness of the quantity is shewn by the manner in which it not, as their visits were annual, and they do not appear to is threshed, which was not with cattle, as usual with large have taken or occupied any towns. This aggravation was quantities, but by means of the flai), which was seldom not necessary to reduce the people to ruin, and oblige employed but in threshing small quantities. And then them to relinquish their paternal fields and pleasant homes, the threshing was near the winepress, that is, in ground to retire to the dens which are in the mountains. Then appropriated to another purpose. The flail also falling on doubtless the Midianites could enter the towns, and destroy corn placed on the dead ground, not on a boarded floor as and plunder at pleasure such property as the fugitives had with us, made but little noise, whereas the bellowing of left behind. It is possible that the Israelites returned to the oxen might, in the other case, have led to detection. their homes for the season after the invaders had with. It will be observed that this threshing-ground was in the drawn for the year. The nomades usually come towards open air, else Gideon could not have expected dew to fall the end of April or beginning of May, and remain till on the ground, or on the fleece which he spread out there September. In the period of their absence, some useful (vv. 37-40). [APPENDIX, No. 25.] products might be raised, to eke out a subsistence during 15. My family is poor.'-Literally, my thousand is the period of their stay, and perhaps part of the barley the meanest or poorest.'-From Exod. xviii. 25, it appears harvest might in a favourable season be got in and carried that the Israelites were divided into tens, fifties, hundreds, off to the mountains before the Midianites arrived. This and thousands-a division recognised in Micah v.2: Thou, miserable state of things could not long be borne; and Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the accordingly we find that the period in which the Israelites thousands of Judah,' etc. These thousands' embraced, were subject to this urgent oppression of the Midianites of course, numerous families, and the assertion of Gideon was shorter than that in which any other of their oppres seems to be, that the thousand to which his belonged had sors tyrannized over them.
become not only much diminished in numbers, but also In Western Asia, those cultivators who are subject to impoverished in resources, so that they could do but little such annual incursions generally make a compromise with towards withstanding an enemy. the invaders, agreeing to pay them a heavy tribute, on the - 'And I am the least in my father's house.'— From condition that the harvests shall not be touched, or the which it would seem that he was either the youngest, or cattle driven off. Even powerful communities, which in his own apprehension the least competent for the task might be able to cope with the Bedouins, often enter into proposed to him. It would represent himself as wanting a compromise of this sort, to prevent the necessity for in the ability, rank, and influence which could alone be continual warfare and watchfulness. With these, the expected to induce his countrymen to join his standard arrangement is a matter of convenience; but miserable is against the Midianites. the condition of those with whom it is a matter of neces 19. • The flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in sity, and to whom it is the only alternative on which they a pot:'-—The circumstances of this entertainment are, to a can secure a scanty subsistence from their own fields. The considerable extent, illustrated by the notes to Gen. xviii. tribute, usually paid in produce, is generally very heavy; The broth is the most peculiar circumstance of this hastily besides which the chiefs expect extraordinary presents, prepared meal. It leaves us to infer, either that Gideon and what is received in one year as a present, is certain to boiled or stewed the kid, and served up the meat and soup be exacted in the next year as a right. Thus the pressure separately, or else that he stewed one part of the kid, and accumulates till it can no longer be borne; cultivation is roasted or broiled the other. Both methods are consonant then relinquished, and whole settlements are, abandoned to Oriental usages; and perhaps the latter is the best by their inhabitants, who disperse themselves into other hypothesis, as the animal thus divided might be the more villages or towns, or form a new settlement where they speedily dressed. In this case, the roasted part was prohope to be more at ease. This does not perhaps often bably prepared in the most usual way of providing a happen; but individual families are continually changing | hasty dish,—that is, by cutting the meat into small pieces, several of which are strung upon a skewer, like larks, and of this goddess. The signification grove' is indeed so roasted, or rather broiled: as several of these skewers utterly incongruous with 2 Kings xvii, 10, where we read of meat can be dressed together, a meal may in this way of setting up groves under every green tree.' Moreover, be very soon prepared. This dish is called kaboob, and is even the Septuagint, which may be regarded as the source very common in Western Asia. When meat is thus dressed of this strange interpretation, renders the word by 'Astarte' in two ways, the stew is generally intended for immediate in 2 Chron. xv. 16 (as the Vulgate has done in Judg. iii. use, and the kaboob for a future meal, or for the traveller 7), and conversely renders ‘Ashtoreth' by groves' in 1 Sam. to carry with him for his refreshmeut on the way. As vii. 3. On the strength of these arguments most modern Gideon' brought the meat, as distinguished from the Biblical critics conceive that Asherah is but a name for • broth,' in a basket, it was probably intended by him that Ashtoreth, and that it more especially denotes the relation the stranger should take it away with him in that basket of that goddess to the planet Venus: for although the prifor his future use. This was a proper mark of careful mary relation of Baal and Ashtoreth was to the sun and hospitality and attention. The basket was probably a moon, they came in the course of time to be connected in small hand-basket made of palm-leaves or rushes.
the religious conceptions of the Syro-Arabians with the 25. The second bullock. - Commentators are perplexed planets Jupiter and Venus as the two stars of good fortune. about the description of this bullock as the second. We 31. • Will ye plead for Baal?' etc.—The meaning of would hazard a conjecture, that as the Midianites took Gideon's father is certainly not very clearly produced in away all the cattle of the Hebrews that they could lay this translation of his speech. What he means to say, hands on, Gideon's father had very few cattle, the second according to the original, and the best versions, is to the of which, in point of age, he is directed to offer as the effect, Is it for you to become the avengers of (or to confittest for sacrifice. It is singular that one of seven years tend for] Baal? If he be, as you say, a god, he must be old should be selected, three years being the usual age. well able to avenge (or contend for] himself, and his inWas it with reference to the seven years which the op sulter, even should ye spare him, will be found dead by pression of the Midianites had lasted? or, was it that this break of day. If, therefore, he be a god, let him avenge bullock, although seven years old, was the youngest above himself upon for contend with] the man who hath cast three years of age, and therefore the most proper for down his altar. sacrifice? This alone would imply how slender the herd 32. • Jerubbaal:—The name is derived from the burden of Joash had become. Perhaps he had but two bullocks of his father's speech, `Let Baal avenge,' or, as some inabove three years of age, this being the second of the two. terpret, ‘Let Baal contend.' - The grove.'—The word translated “grove' here and
38. A bowl full of water.'-See the note on Gen, xxvii. elsewhere is 70x asherah, and the rendering is after the
| 28, which will partly explain what seems to us extraorSeptuagint. It has, however, been much doubted whether dinary in this abundant dew. It will be observed, that we this be the real signification of the word ; and the best are to look for the miracle in its having fallen at one time Hebrew scholars of this and the last age have rejected the upon the fleece, without any on the floor, and that, another interpretation. The reasons against it are of great weight. | time, the fleece remained dry while the ground was wet It is urged that the word almost always occurs with other with dew. The quantity also may have been more than words denoting idols and statues of idols; that the verbs usually abundant; but less so than would seem to us in which are employed to denote the making of an Asherah regions where dews fall lightly. We remember, while are incompatible with the idea of a grove, being such as travelling in North-western Asia, to have found all the to build, to shape, to erect; that the words used to denote baggage, which had been left in the open air, so wet, when its destruction are such as breaking to pieces, subverting; we came forth from the tent in the morning, that it seemed that the image of Asherah is described in 2 Kings xxi.7, to have been exposed to heavy rain, and we could with as being placed in the temple; and that Asherah is coupled difficulty believe that no rain had fallen. So also, when with Baal in the same way that Ashtoreth is in Judg. ii. sleeping in the open air, the sheep-skin cloak which served 13; x. 6; 1 Kings xviii. 19; 2 Kings xxiii. 4, and par for a covering has been foand in the morning scarcely ticularly in Judg. ii. 13; iii. 7, where the plural form of less wet than if it had been immersed in water, both words may be regarded as of itself denoting images ! [Verse 25, APPENDIX, No. 26.]
and afraid, let him return and depart early 7 Gideon's army of two and thirty thousand is brought
from mount Gilead. And there returned of tu three hundred. 13 He is encouraged by the dream the people twenty and two thousand ; and there and interpretation of the barley cake. 16 His stra- | remained ten thousand. tagem of trumpets and lamps in pitchers. 25 The 4 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The Ephraimites take Oreb and Zeeb.
people are yet too many ; bring them down THEN Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the unto the water, and I will try them for thee people that were with him, rose up early, and there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto pitched beside the well of Harod : so that the thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall host of the Midianites were on the north side | go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. thee, This shall not go with thee, the same
2 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The shall not go. people that are with thee are too many for me 5 So he brought down the people unto the to give the Midianites into their hands, lest water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, Mine own hand hath saved me.
as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by him3 Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears self; likewise every one that boweth down upon of the people, saying, 'Whosoever is fearful | his knees to drink.
1 Deut. 20. 8. 1 Mac. 3. 66.
6 And the number of them that lapped, | 16 | And he divided the three hundred men putting their hand to their mouth, were three into three companies, and he put 'a trumpet hundred men: but all the rest of the people in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and bowed down upon their knees to drink water. | lamps within the pitchers.
7 And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the 17 And he said unto them, Look on ine, three hundred men that lapped will I save and do likewise : and, behold, when I come to you, and deliver the Midianites into thine the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I hand : and let all the other people go every do, so shall ye do. man unto his place.
18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all 8 So the people took victuals in their hand, that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets and their trumpets : and he sent all the rest also on every side of all the camp, and say, of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained | The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. those three hundred men: and the host of 19 | So Gideon, and the hundred men that Midian was beneath him in the valley. were with him, came unto the outside of the
9 | And it came to pass the same night, camp in the beginning of the middle watch ; that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee and they had but newly set the watch : and down unto the host; for I have delivered it they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers into thine hand.
that were in their hands. 10 But if thou fear to go down, go thou 20 And the three companies blew the trumwith Phurah thy servant down to the host : pets, and brake the pitchers, and held the
11 And thou shalt hear what they say; lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in and afterward shall thine hands be strength their right hands to blow withal : and they ened to go down unto the host. Then went cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon. he down with Phurah his servant unto the 21 And they stood every man in his place outside of the 'armed men that were in the round about the camp: and all the host ran, host.
and cried, and fled. 12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites 22 And the three hundred blew the trumand "all the children of the east lay along in pets, and the Lord set every man's sword the valley like grasshoppers for multitude ; against his fellow, even throughout all the and their camels were without number, as the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah Sin sand by the sea side for multitude.
Zererath, and to the 'border of Abel-meholah, 13 And when Gideon was come, behold, unto Tabbath. there was a man that told a dream unto his 23 And the men of Israel gathered themfellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, selves together out of Naphtali, and out of and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that 24 | And Gideon sent messengers throughthe tent lay along.
out all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down 14 And liis fellow answered and said, This against the Midianites, and take before them is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan. Then son of Joash, a man of Israel : for into his all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the together, and took the waters unto Beth-barah host.
and Jordan. 15 And it was so, when Gideon heard 25 And they took ''two princes of the Mithe telling of the dream, and the interpre dianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb tation thereof, that he worshipped, and re upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at turned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise ; the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, for the Lord hath delivered into your hand and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to the host of Midian.
| after the Mout of all i Naphtalathered then
; and said, ad re-upontesOreb and Lectwo p
Gideon on the other side Jordan. ? Or, ranks by fire. 3 Chap. 6. 53. Heb. the breaking thereof. 5 Heb. trumpets in the hands of all of them. 6 Or, firebrands, or, torches.
9 Heb, lip.
7 Isa, 9.4.
8 Or, totoard.
10 Psal. 83. 11.
Isa. 10. 26.
Verse 1. The well of Harod.' - This well or fountain from the panic which here seized the Midianites, or, still was situated not far from Gilboa, on the borders of Ma- | more probably, from the fear which induced many of nasseh. It is probably the same which is mentioned in those who had joined Gideon's standard to turn back from 1 Sam. xxix. 1. As the word Harod means.fear,' or that place, as related in v. 3, where indeed the very word “trembling,' it is likely that it obtained its name either occurs. [See 2 Sam. xxiii. 25, where Harodites are spoken of.]
6. • Lappeil, putting their hand to their mouth .... And be embolden'd much, some valiant friend bowed down upon their knees to drink water.'-These two Adventring with me; for a friend may spy modes of action have been differently understood, and the Advantage ere myself, and may advise first in particular has been the subject of various inter
Its happiest uses overseen by me. pretations. The dog drinks by shaping the end of his long
He ceased, and willing to partake his toils thin tongue into the form of a spoon, which it rapidly intro
Arose no few.' duces into, and withdraws from, the water, throwing each
Among these were some of the most distinguished princes time a spoonful of the fluid into its mouth. The tongue of
in the host, as both the Ajaxes, Menelaus, and Ulysses. man is not adapted to this use; and it is physically im From the varions candidates for the distinction, Agapossible for a man, therefore, to lap, literally, as a dog memnon advised Diomede to select whichever he consilaps. The true explanation, probably, is, that these men,
dered the most deserving and best able to assist him, instead of kneeling down to take a long draught, or suc
without respect to pedigree or power. He accordingly cessive draughts, from the water, employed their hand as
chose Ulysses; and the two proceeded together on their the dog employs its tongue--that is, forming it into a
glorious enterprise. The sequel is minutely related. After hollow spoon, and dipping water with it from the stream.
gaining some information by the way from a counter-spy, We have often seen it done, and the comparison to the
whom they afterwards slew, they proceeded to the place lapping of a dog spontaneously occurred to our mind. where the Thracian allies of the Trojans lay encamped. Practice gives a peculiar tact in this mode of drinking;
• They, wearied, slept profound; beside them lay, and the interchange of the hand between the water and
In triple order regular arranged, the mouth is so rapidly managed as to be comparable to that of the dog's tongue in similar circumstances. Besides,
Their radiant armour, and their steeds in pairs.' the water is not usually sucked out of the hand into the Among the sleepers, the two illustrious spies committed termouth, but, by a peculiar knack, is jerked into the mouth, rible havoc, and returned safely, and with rich spoil and before the hand is brought close to it, so that the hand is important intelligence, to their own camp. approaching with a fresh supply almost before the pre Every one will also recollect the popularly known inceding has been swallowed: this is another resemblance stance, in our own history, of king Alfred, who did not to the action of a dog's tongue. When travelling with think it beneath his character to act as a spy, and who, small caravans, we have had opportunities of seeing both under the disguise of a harper, went to the camp of the processes. On coming to water, a person who wishes to Danes, and remained there several days, caressed and undrink cannot stop the whole party to wait for him; and suspected, making observations and collecting information therefore, if on foot, any delay would oblige him to un which tended much to the success of his subsequent enusual exertion in order to overtake his party. Therefore
terprises. he drinks in the manner we have described ; and has sa. 12. •Like grasshoppers.'-Rather, like locusts,' which tisfied his thirst in much less time than one who, having is here far more significaut. more leisure, or being disposed to more deliberate enjoy - 'And their camels.'—This alone indicates the nomade ment, looks out for a place where he may kneel or lie
or semi-nomade character of the Midianites. See the note down to briug his mouth in contact with the water, and on Num. xxxi. 2. That the Midianites abounded in camels imbibe long and slow draughts of the pleasant fluid. This at a comparatively late period, appears from Isa. Ix. 6; consumes so much time, that few but those who are and indeed we generally hear something about camels moanted indulge in it, as they can ride on before and whenever we meet with this people in Scripture. satisfy themselves by the time their party comes up, or, if 13. • A cake of varley bread tumbled into the host of they linger behind after it has passed on, can easily over Midian, and came unto a tent ... and overturned it.' — take it again. This last was the course usually adopted To understand this, it is necessary to recollect that Giby the writer and other Europeans, who were unprovided deon's force was in the hill of Moreh, and that the Miwith drinking vessels, and to whom the difference of time dianites were below in the valley. The barley-cake which was of no importance; as they were not practised in that the man saw in his dream, doubtless seemed to roll down facile and cleanly use of the hand in drinking which was the hill into the valley, overturning the tent with which so easy to the natives, and which scarcely interrupted their it came in contact. This naturally enough connected it progress. This explanation may help to shew how the with Gideon, nor less so the apparent inadequacy of the distinction operated, and why those who lapped, putting cause to produce this result. If it had been a great stone, their hand to their mouth,' were considered to evince an it would have been no wonder that the tent had been overalacrity and readiness for action which peculiarly fitted turned by it; but that it should be overturned by a barleythem for the service on which Gideon was engaged.
cake scemed as little likely, in human probability, as that 10. •Go thon with Phurah thy servant down to the host.'
Gideon with his little band should overthrow the vast host --The ideas of the Hebrews concerning the character of of Midian. That it was not only a cake, but a barley-cake, a spy were very different from those which prevail in mo. seems a circumstance designed to shew more strongly the dern Europe. The office was usually undertaken either insignificance of the cause. And that it was so understood, by the commander-in-chief himself, or by some other per seems to imply that wheat bread had already become the son of high consideration. Joshua and Caleb were among substantial food of the people, barley having become those sent as spies into Canaan; and now Gideon is in limited in its use as the food of cattle, and of the poorest structed to undertake the same office. It was much the classes of the community. It is generally stated, by old same among the Greeks: indeed there are some lines in writers, that the use of barley was known before that of the tenth book of the Iliad which seem rather a striking wheat; but it gradually sunk in importance when wheat illustration of this passage. In a night consultation came into extensive use; so that ideas of poverty and deamong the Grecian kings and chiefs, about the operations gradation became associated with cakes of barley. Among of the following day, Nestor inquired whether there was the Romans, cohorts and individual soldiers who misconno chief whom the prospect of the glorious recompense of ducted themselves were, among other punishments, allowed renown
only barley bread for food, instead of wheat; whence,
among them also, bread of barley was associated with * Extensive as the heav'ns, and fair reward,'
ideas of dishonour and insignificance. vould not induce to undertake the perilous duty of pro
16. • Pitchers.'- Made of earthenware, so as to be easily ceeding as a spy to the Trojan camp? The task was
broken. They were probably of the forms in use among
the ancient Egyptians, as represented in the annexed enaccepted by Diomede in these words:
graving, some of which were very well suited to the pur• 1, Nestor, feel such courage; and myself
pose for which they were on this occasion employed, Will enter llium's host, encamp'd so nigh :
namely, for containing the lights until the proper time But shall adventure with a livelier hope,
came for disclosing them.