Judges 8:33 MEANING

Judges 8:33
(33) Turned again.--Ad vomitum recdierunt (Serarius) (Psalm 106:13; Psalm 106:21).

Went a whoring after Baalim.--It was shown again afterwards, in the reign of Ahab, how rapidly unauthorised symbols degenerate into positive idolatry. After all that had occurred it would have been impossible for a Jerubbaal to be a Baal-worshipper, but his little deflection from the appointed ritual soon became a wide divergence from the national faith.

Made Baal-berith their god.--Baal-berith means "Lord of the covenant." The Hebrew will bear the meaning given it by some of the versions: "They made a covenant with Baal that he should be their god" (comp. Joshua 24:25, Heb.), but the E.V. is probably correct. Bochart vainly tries to represent Baal-berith as some female deity of Berytus.

Verse 33. - And it came to pass, etc. Cf. Judges 2:11, 12, 19; Judges 3:7; Judges 4:1; Judges 5:1; Judges 10:6; Judges 13:1. Baal-berith. See Judges 2:13, note. He was like the Ζευς Ορκιος of the Greeks, the god of covenants.

8:29-35 As soon as Gideon was dead, who kept the people to the worship of the God of Israel, they found themselves under no restraint; then they went after Baalim, and showed no kindness to the family of Gideon. No wonder if those who forget their God, forget their friends. Yet conscious of our own ingratitude to the Lord, and observing that of mankind in general, we should learn to be patient under any unkind returns we meet with for our poor services, and resolve, after the Divine example, not to be overcome of evil, but to overcome evil with good.And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again,.... from God, and the pure worship of him, to idolatry:

and went a whoring after Baalim; the gods of the Phoenicians and Canaanites, the several Baals of other nations, the lords many which they served; these they committed spiritual whoredom with; that is, idolatry: particularly

and made Baalberith their god; which was the idol of the Shechemites, as appears from a temple being built at Shechem for it, Judges 9:4 and had its name either from Berytus, a city of Phoenicia, of which Mela (n) and Pliny (o) make mention, and where this Baal might be first worshipped; it was fifty miles from Sidon, and was in later times a seat of learning (p); of this city was Sanchoniatho, a Phoenician historian, who is said to receive many things he writes about the Jews from Jerombalus, supposed to be Jerubbaal, or Gideon; See Gill on Judges 6:32 and who tells (q) us, that Cronus or Ham gave this city to Neptune and the Cabiri, and who also relates (r) that Beruth is the name of a Phoenician deity. Though it may be rather this idol had its name from its supposed concern in covenants, the word "Berith" signifying a covenant; and so the Targum and Syriac version call him the lord of covenant; and the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions are,"and they made a covenant with Baal, that he should be their god;''as if he had his name from hence; though rather from his presiding over covenants, as Janus is said (s) to do, and from his avenging the breach of them, and rewarding those that kept them; the same with Jupiter Fidius Ultor, and Sponsor (t) with the Romans, and Horcius (u) with the Greeks.

(n) De Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 12. (o) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 20. (p) Eunapius in Vita Proaeresii, p. 117. (q) Apud Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 1. p. 38. (r) Apud Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 1. p. 36. (s) Servius in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 12. "Latonaeque genus", &c. Vid. Liv. Hist. l. 8. c. 5, 6. (t) Vid. Kipping. Antiqu. Roman. l. 1. c. 1. p. 48. (u) Pausan. Eliac. 1. sive. l. 5. p. 336. Sophocles in Philoctete, prope finem.

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