Judges 8:22 MEANING

Judges 8:22
(22) Then the men of Israel.--Here begins the third great phase of the life of Gideon. which was characterised by his noblest act--the refusal of the kingdom--and his most questionable act--the setting up of a schismatic worship.

Rule thou over us.--The energy and success of Gideon had shown them the advantage of united action under one great leader; but they forgot that Gideon had received a special call from God. and that, as Gideon reminded them. God was their king. Yet no doubt the memory of Gideon deepened the wish which Samuel was afterwards commanded to grant (2 Samuel 8:5-7; 2 Samuel 12:12; 2 Samuel 12:17).

Verses 22, 23. - Rule thou, etc. The gratitude of Israel to their great deliverer, added to a sense that it would be for their own security, and to a desire, already perhaps beginning to he felt, to be like the nations around them (1 Samuel 8:5), naturally led to the offer, "Rule thou over us." But the time predicted by Moses (Deuteronomy 17:14, 15) was not yet come. And so Gideon returned an answer replete with moderation and piety: "I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you" (cf. 1 Samuel 8:7; 1 Samuel 10:19; 1 Samuel 12:12).

8:22-28 Gideon refused the government the people offered him. No good man can be pleased with any honour done to himself, which belongs only to God. Gideon thought to keep up the remembrance of this victory by an ephod, made of the choicest of the spoils. But probably this ephod had, as usual, a teraphim annexed to it, and Gideon intended this for an oracle to be consulted. Many are led into false ways by one false step of a good man. It became a snare to Gideon himself, and it proved the ruin of the family. How soon will ornaments which feed the lust of the eye, and form the pride of life, as well as tend to the indulgences of the flesh, bring shame on those who are fond of them!Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon,.... Some time after his return, the chief men of Israel having met in a body, and consulted matters among themselves, sent a deputation to Gideon with an offer of the government of them:

rule thou over us, both thou and thy son, and thy son's son also; by which they meant, that he would take the kingly government of them, and which they proposed to settle in his posterity for ages to come; for, as a judge in Israel, he had a sort of rule and government of them under God already, but amounted not to regal power and authority; and this was what the people of Israel were fond of, that they might be like their neighbours; and this they tempted Gideon with, who had done such very wonderful and extraordinary things for them, which they allege as a reason:

for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian; from the bondage they were in to them, and therefore fit to be a king over them.

Courtesy of Open Bible