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Judges 8:22: The Offer of Kingship to Gideon

Verse 22:[1] Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian.


[Rule thou over us] Question: In what way and what sort of Principate was offered to Gideon by the Israelites? Response 1: Judicial power, which Gideon was already bearing; for he desired to demit this (Josephus in Serarius). But, 1. there is no mention of this in the text, no indication: 2. neither is it likely that he desired to cast off that honor, which he held even unto death (Serarius). Response 2: It was Royal power (Serarius, Lapide, Bonfrerius, Menochius, Tirinus, Martyr), which would impart the unimpeded power of commanding and determining all things (Bonfrerius, Serarius). Judges were conducting all things according to the vote of the Elders and Sanhedrin; unto which a King was not bound, but he was able to do what he pleased, provided that it was not prohibited by laws (Serarius).


[Thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son] They offered to him a hereditary principate of account of his virtue and merits (Grotius). This they offer to him unto the third degree of posterity, but not unto all descendants (Serearius, similarly Lapide). But I think that the Israelites willed that this power be transmitted unot all his posterity, even if express mention is made only of his son and grandson: for from these they wished the same to be understood concerning the rest of his posterity (Bonfrerius, Menochius).


Rule thou over us; not as a judge, for that he was already made by God; but as a king; and let the kingdom be hereditary to thee and to thy family. This miraculous and glorious deliverance by thy hands deserves no less from us.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּאמְר֤וּ אִֽישׁ־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אֶל־גִּדְע֔וֹן מְשָׁל־בָּ֙נוּ֙ גַּם־אַתָּ֔ה גַּם־בִּנְךָ֖ גַּ֣ם בֶּן־בְּנֶ֑ךָ כִּ֥י הוֹשַׁעְתָּ֖נוּ מִיַּ֥ד מִדְיָֽן׃

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Jun 09, 2018

Matthew Henry: 'Here is...Gideon's laudable modesty, after his great victory, in refusing the government which the people offered him.... It was honest in them to offer it: Rule thou over us, for thou hast delivered us, Judges 8:22. They thought it very reasonable that he who had gone through the toils and perils of their deliverance should enjoy the honour and power of commanding them ever afterwards, and very desirable that he who in this great and critical juncture had had such manifest tokens of God's presence with him should ever afterwards preside in their affairs. Let us apply it to the Lord Jesus: he hath delivered us out of the hands of our enemies, our spiritual enemies, the wors…

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