The life of Gideon (Judg 8:22-8:28)

“Then the Israelites said to Gideon. ‘Rule over us, you, your son and your grandson also. You have delivered us out of the hand of Midian.’ Gideon said to them. ‘I will not rule over you. My son will not rule over you. Yahweh will rule over you.’ Then Gideon said to them. ‘Let me make a request of you. Each of you give me an earring that he has taken as booty.’ The enemy had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites. ‘We will willingly give them.’ They answered. So they spread a garment. Each threw into it an earring he had taken as booty. The weight of the golden earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold. This is apart from the crescents, the pendants, and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian, and the collars that were about the necks of their camels. Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his town, in Ophrah. All Israel prostituted themselves to it there. It became a snare to Gideon and to his family. So Midian was subdued before the Israelites. They lifted up their heads no more. So the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.”

The Israelites wanted Gideon and his family to rule over them as some kind of king. He suggests that only Yahweh is the king ruler. However, he asks that each one give an ear ring taken from the Ishmaelites that is from the sons of Ishmael. He then made an ephod, which is a sacred ephod like the high priest. This must have been some kind of shrine in Ophrah. Peace then reigned in Israel for forty years. Gideon is judge #5.

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