The American Wisdom Series


Judges chapter 8

Caution to students of God's Word - Please remember two things when using our studies: #1. Our commentary is not God's Word. It is only our interpretation or understanding of "His Word" and even though we try our best to be accurate we may or may not be correct. #2. The King James translation, or any other translation, of the original Hebrew text has some words which were given different translations at different places probably because of the interpreters preconceived ideas of what they think God meant to say. For example: According to the notes in the "Dake's Annotated Reference Bible" the Hebrew word hayah in the KJV is Trans. (became) 67 times, (becamest or came to pass) 505 times, (become) 66 times, and (come to pass) 131 times, but for some reason in Genesis 1:2 it is translated (was)! That sure changes the way a person perceives the original creation of the earth, doesn't it?  Gen. 1:2 And the earth was (became) without form, ... Having said that, let us continue with our "Key Knowledge" lessons. These are pamphlets containing knowledge, we believe, you must have to fully and accurately unlock and understand the Word of God.

John 15:26
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:13-14
[13] Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. [14] He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

This Bible Study was originally written by Roger Christopherson,
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The American Wisdom Series  

Without the leading by the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding of the truths, for all the truth of the Scriptures are revealed to us by God's Spirit.

 Now here is our revised study of:

Judges Chapter 8

"Pursuit and Capture of Midianite kings."

We saw in the last chapter that God chose three hundred men to go against the multitude of Midianites, and chase them from their lands. We saw that God had the victory through conditioning the Midianites to the point that at the name of Gideon, they went into a stampede, and in terror ran from the land of the Israelites. So in this chapter, Gideon and his three hundred men are going to pursue after the Midianites until they have been completely destroyed and their two kings taken captive.

God gave us this story in the book of Judges so that we could know that there are no giants in the land, and with God on our side there is nothing too big for us. The point is that we follow His Word and try to be pleasing to God. We must be just and right in our ways, according to His Word. When we try to please our Heavenly Father, He will give us the victory, or blessing in our daily life.

When Gideon had the Midianites on the run, the members of the other tribes joined in on the chase, and this is where this chapter begins.

Judges 8:1 "And the men of Ephraim said unto him, "Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites?" And they did chide with him sharply."

Ephraim was one of the largest tribes, along with Manasseh and as Jacob blessed these two sons of Joseph in Genesis 48:16 he said; "The angel Which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."

Though Manasseh was the older of the two brothers, God showed Jacob [Israel] that the grandson that would carry the name of Israel to the final day of this earth age, was the younger brother Ephraim. Joseph saw his father had crossed his arms when he was blessing his sons, and giving the blessing of the Abrahamic covenant to the younger son, when it should have gone to Manasseh, and he spoke out.

Genesis 48:19 "And his father refused, and said, "I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations."

Genesis 48:20 "And he blessed them that day, saying, "In thee shall Israel bless, saying, 'God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh:' "and he set Ephraim before Manasseh."

So Ephraim became the leader and the one to carry the covenant promises that God promised to Abraham. Many today think that Judah is the tribe that God chose to carry the blessing of the covenant promises, but Judah was selected to carry the scepter, to write the laws and be the judge. I point this out here because Ephraim knows that it is his responsibility and position to be the leader of the tribes, and to carry the banner for all Israel when there is a conflict. When Gideon took his three hundred men against the Midianites, the tribe of Ephraim was left out of the battle, and it is obvious why.

The Midianites had been dominating the Israelites for many years, and during that time Ephraim did nothing to remove the Midianites from their lands and stop the thievery. They had turned their backs on God and his ways, and gone whoring after Baalism and the grove worship of Ashorath. God chose Gideon because he was willing to do exactly what God told him to do. It was God's battle, and God set the plans and carried them out through His Spirit.

The men of Ephraim were mad at Gideon for taking the three hundred men up to the battle, and leaving them out of all the fun. They wanted to take the credit for kicking out the Midianites, and now there was none for themselves, so they thought. I wonder why Ephraim didn't take the leadership during the eighteen years of bondage, and make a move then to kick the rascals out then. They were too use to running and hiding, and being afraid of the Midianites' numbers. Remember that is was God's battle, and God is the one that gave the victory to Gideon.

Judges 8:2 "And he said unto them, "What have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better then the vintage of Abiezer?"

This is the way that you get along with people, you find something that they did well and stress it as having greater value then what you have done. The men of Ephraim knew that it is not so, but they accepted Gideon's humble attitude. The point made here is that the gleaning is for the poor people, while the vintage is for the cream of the crop. Gideon is comparing all the things that the men of Ephraim had done in the victory, as the gleanings, and saying that their gleanings are far better then the best, or vintage of the battle of Gideon's men. It is a method of building up Ephraim and lowering the value of what he had done.

Remember when Gideon was back behind the grape vat in the orchard, and God called Gideon in the first place? Gideon's response was that he was from the poorest fo the poor families, and he was the youngest of the family. Why are you picking on me, God? So Gideon is blowing their horn for them.

Judges 8:3 "God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you?" Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that."

This is politics here. Gideon is pointing to the fact that Ephraim has capture the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb, and how can you compare this great act to what I have done. When the men of Ephraim heard Gideon build them up, their pride took away their anger, and Gideon looked now to be a pretty swell guy. It was written in the last verse of Judges 7 that Ephraim had taken the two princes and put them to death.

Judges 8:4 "And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them."

After the battle of the three hundred men, not one of them lost their life, and they were still together. There was a slight delay in Gideon's plans with his meeting with the men of Ephraim, but now Gideon and his men were on their way again in hot pursuit of the Midianites, and their two kings. The men had been going all night long, and it is now well into the next day. They were tired and hungry and desired something to eat.

Judges 8:5 "And he said unto the men of Succoth, "Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian."

In their pursuit of the Midianites they came upon the town of Succoth, and Gideon asked the men of Succoth for food for his men to eat. There could be no doubt what the mission of Gideon was, for the Midianites where large in numbers, and the men of Succoth did not want to face these kings if they had given comfort to their enemies.

Judges 8:6 "And the princes of Succoth said, "Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army?"

The men of Succoth have had thousands of Midianites marching through their city for the past seven years, and not one Israelite has lifted a finger to put a stop to the looting. These princes of Succoth want to know, if you have the kings Zebah and Zalmunna in your hands now, then we will help you. There these three hundred rag tag army men of Gideon, straggling into town and claiming that they are in hot pursuit of the Midianites. That was hard for the men of Succoth to believe. The men of Succoth are a bit cowardly, for they knew that there is no way that the Midianites will fall to this group that stands before them, and they refuse to give Gideons army anything. The Succothites are showing their complete lack of faith in God, or His Word.

Judges 8:7 "And Gideon said, "Therefore when the Lord hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers."

Gideon is mad, so he gave these people a promise that when he had taken the kings Zebah and Zalmunna, he would be coming back here and beat them with the thorns of the widerness and with briers. This isn't a threat of killing them, but of giving them great discomfort. There wasn't time to waste on the matter now, but latter when Gideon came back he would set the matter straight.

Judges 8:8 "And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him."

When they were turned down in Succoth, the three hundred men staggered on to the next town, Penuel, and they received the same reception there.

Judges 8:9 "And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, "When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower."

Their "tower" was a castle that they were proud of, and Gideon warned that the next time that he came here, he was going to tare down their castle.

Judges 8:10 "Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword."

Of all the hoards of people and armed men that were with them, there were very few Midianites left, for those left were men of the east. Stop and think for a moment. Gideon has not lost a man yet, nor had the others of Israel, yet God so set a panic within their camp that 120,000 men of the Midianites and their allies were killed. When the battle began they turned and killed each other. They lost their senses of who the enemy was, and drew their swords on their own brothers. The odds are getting better for Gideon and his men, with only fifteen thousand men remaining to fight against the three hundred men of Gideon. Look at it this way, this was the fifteen thousand that could run the fastest, to keep up with their kings that were on the run.

Judges 8:11 "And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehaha, and smote the host: for the host was secure."

Gideon and his men took their time, and moved against the Midianites when they were in their tents and finished them off.

Judges 8:12 "And when Zebah and Zalmanna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the hosts."

When the battle was over Zebah and Zalmanna had fled, and those left in the camp were terrified by what was going on in the camp. Here again that strange feeling that hit the camp the night before when Gideon sounded the trumpets and broke the pitchers, and shouted, "The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon". The Spirit of the Lord will put discomfort in the hearts of your enemies, when you are doing the service of the Lord.

Judges 8:13 "And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun was up,"

This battle like the last one didn't last long, it was over before the sun came up. So now Gideon has the two kings in hand, and he is heading back home with the kings of the Midianites.

Judges 8:14 "And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, even threescore and seventeen men."

Before Gideon entered into Succoth, he caught a young man from Succoth, and had the young man describe to them exactly who the elders of the city were, and those that were in charge. When the young man was finished detailing and writing down who the important men of the city were, the count was seventy seven men. There would be no person of importance in this town that would go unpunished for the rudeness that they gave Gideon and his men.

Judges 8:15 "And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, "Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, 'Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men that are weary?' "

Gideon is reminding the men of Succoth what was promised to them when they took Zebah and Zalmunna, and returned. God wants you to see that Gideon is going to be a judge, and he is reacting with God's power and with God's blessing. Gideon is going to judge these people and judge them fairly, and God is in complete agreement with the decision that Gideon is going to pass on the men of Succoth. The judgment that is passed here should be the same as you would find in a court of law.

God's law is absolute, and not like our laws of our land today. For we are under "the law of precedence" today, whereby when a judge makes a decision, that sets the standard or precedent for the next time a similar case come before the bench of any court. If it is a bad decision, the cases there after are also going to be as the first case that was decided. So we are going to see a little example of law here. The point here is that when you judge by God's law, it is just.

Judges 8:16 "And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth."

"Taught" as used here, is that he made them know that he was in the power of God. That what he was doing, he was within the power of his authority.

Judges 8:17 "And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city."

The word "Penuel" translated means "the face of God". This is the place where Jacob wrestled with God all night, and God changed Jacob's name to "Israel".

Genesis 32:28 "And He said, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed."

Genesis 32:29 "And Jacob asked Him, and said, "Tell me, I pray Thee, Thy name," And He said, "Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after My name?" And He blessed him there."

Genesis 32:30 "And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: "for I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved."

Genesis 32:31 "And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh."

Because of this wrestling with God, and the renaming of this location, God changed Jacob's name from Jacob to Israel. The very people called the Israelites, those twelve tribes that entered the promise land are the offspring of Jacob.

Jacob had twelve sons by two wives and two other women. Of these twelve sons, two of the sons were special to him, for they were born to the woman that He loved the most, Rachel. Joseph was the oldest of the two sons born to Rachel, and the two sons of Joseph were the ones that the Abrahamic covenant blessings were passed on to, as we discussed in verse one.

When Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, He in time was raised to the position second in line to the Pharaoh in Egypt. Then during a famine in the land of Canaan, Joseph brought his brothers to Egypt, and protected them there. This small family grew into a nation in Egypt, and the sons of Jacob, or Israel became the father of the tribes that took on their names. This time of Gideon then is some four hundred and seventy years after the time when Jacob passed through Penuel, and we see that there is another time of judgment taking place here. Gideon is making the stand and judging the offspring of Jacob.

That same covenant that God made with Jacob took place at this location of Penuel and it goes on even today.

Judges 8:18 "Then said he unto Zebah and Zlmunna, "What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor?" And they answered, "As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king."

It is now the time to judge these two enemy kings. Gideon asked the two kings of the Midianites to identify the manner of the men that they had killed at Tabor. The two kings, Zebah and Zimunna answered Gideon, they looked just like you do, they were stately an resembled the children of a king. They were the children of royalty, they were Gideon's brothers and many others as well. These two had boasted of this fact to the men that they had killed, and they murdered them for no just reason. However these kings are not in power now, but it is Gideon that is on the bench, and it is God's laws that these two kings are judged by.

Judges 8:19 "And he said, "They were my brethren, even the sons of my mother: as the Lord liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you.' "

There need not be any witness to this case, for the kings admitted to the acts that they had ordered. This is God's law, that if they would have saved the life of the innocent, then God would not demand the life of the slayers.

Judges 8:20 "And he said unto Jether his firstborn. "Up, and slay them." But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he was yet a youth."

When Gideon had made the judgment, he turned to his young son, who was just a child, "Up and slay them." This is quite a thing at any time to order a young child to do. The boy was just a child with the mind of a child, and to follow through on the punishment would require a lot of strength.

Judges 8:21 "Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, "Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength." And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their camels' necks.

In Zebah and Zalmunna's raids through Israel, they took much gold and fine objects, and when Gideon had slain the two kings, he took their items of royalty.

Judges 8:22 "Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, "Rule over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian."

Here the people of Israel, of all the tribes are asking Gideon to be their king. However stop and consider, Who delivered the Midianites into the hands of Gideon, and gave the victory. It was God, of course. Stop and think for a moment what Gideon was doing on that day that God called him to service. Gideon was hiding out in the orchard behind the grape vat, and so scared of the Midianites that he wouldn't even thresh the wheat out in the open. They were so poor that he was trying to get enough wheat so his family could have a loaf of bread.

It was God that told Gideon that He had chosen Gideon to deliver Israel from the Midianites, and deliver them into his hand as if they were only one man. So now after the battle is over and God had the victory, the people are telling Gideon that it was Gideon that had the victory and this is why they wanted Gideon to rule over them. Gideon knew that it was God that had the victory, and all he did was follow a few instruction.

This is something that we must remember in our lives, that we must give God the credit for all the blessings and good things that come our way. Many times we pray about something and go out and get the good breaks to have it come true, and then we forget to give God the credit and thanks that He deserves. We get to the point of thinking that we didn't need God on the matter, when it was God that made it come to pass in the first place. God is the owner and creator of all things, and it is His to do with as He chooses.

Gideon has kept this in mind, and the people have lost sight of God and are giving Gideon the credit for the victory. We will now see what kind of man that Gideon really was.

Judges 8:23 "And Gideon said unto them, ""I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you." "

Gideon is a true judge for he has all sides of the matter under consideration. Gideon knows that it was only God that gave the victory, and He had allowed Gideon and his men to have a small role in matter. Gideon had over twelve thousand men on the battle field, and God said to send them home, all except the three hundred. Gideon made a stand on that day, and refuse to allow the men of Israel to have him or any member of his family as their king. "I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you." Gideon's stand could not be any clearer.

In this theocracy it is the judge that stands between God and man, and it is God that rules and sets the standards, and the judge that carries out the commands of God. God rules and man is subject to God. Any gifts that man receives are not the man's but they are God's. They are given so that a man can be of service to God, and any glory that comes from the gift goes directly to God. When a person keeps this in mind the blessings keep flowing his or her way.

Judges 8:24 "And Gideon said unto them, "I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey." (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.)"

The heathen Midianites were loaded with gold and many riches, and Gideon's request was for the earrings of those that the men of Israel took off the slain in battle. Most of those items were stolen in the first place, and melted into the forms that they then existed in. What Gideon is trying to do over the next few verses, is to get the earthly things that can be a form of idolatry out of the hands of the Israelites, and get them focused back on God. Gideon is going to try to put those things in use for God. However, note here that God did not tell Gideon to do any of this.

Judges 8:25 "And they answered, "We will willingly give them." And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey."

The nation of Israel was happy to reward Gideon in this manner, and they had no idea at all what he was going to do with the gifts.

Judges 8:26 "And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels' necks.

Just in the earrings alone the weight in gold came to almost fifty pounds of gold. On top of the earrings Gideon was given much more in gold in other items, ornaments, collars, chains and so forth.

Judges 8:27 "And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house."

Gideon wanted to bring all booty from the war, taken off the Midianites and bring it all into God's house. An "ephod" is an image or idol in the shape of something spiritual that all the people could walk by and pay reverence to. And in the end, instead of turning the people's heart to God, their hearts and minds were turned to the image. When Gideon tried to do something on his own for the Lord, it worked in reverse. God didn't tell him to do such a thing, in fact God commanded that Israel shall have no other god's or images before Him.

Exodus 20:1 "And God spake all these words, saying,"

Exodus 20:2 "I am the Lord thy God, Which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."

Exodus 20:3 "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."

Exodus 20:4 "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:"

Exodus 20:5 "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me;"

Exodus 20:6 "And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments."

Exodus 20:7 "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain."

Exodus 20:8 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy."

These are the first ten commandments that God gave to Moses on Mount Siani, and the first five commandments deal with our relationship to God our heavenly Father. Gideon knew these commandments and in his love for God, he overlooked the very thing that our heavenly Father holds dear. When he made that ephod, or image of gold, he sought to honor God, but in his zeal he laid a trap for the rest of Israel, for they came to the house of God to give reverence to the image, and not to God. This is why it is important to study God's Word, all of it, so that we can know what pleases our Father, and what makes Him jealous and mad.

Gideon was trying to think right and honor God with his use of the fifty pounds of Gold that they gave him, and the image that was made was a priest shoulder robe. The gold was woven to make this garment and placed in the house of God for all the people to see and enjoy, and help in the restoration of worshipping the true God. This ephod robe is the robe that the priest uses when he goes in before the alter to talk with God. This was a time when the priest became lax in restoring the worship of the True God. This breastplate of the priest, the Urim and Thummim is discussed in Leviticus 8:7 - 9.

Leviticus 8:7 "And he [the priest] put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith."

Leviticus 8:8 "And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim."

Leviticus 8:9 "And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the Lord commanded Moses."

The "Urim" and the "Thummim" are the lots that the priest carried in a small bag and he used them when he went in before the Lord God to cast lots to seek direction from God. The robe was suppose to be a very righteous robe, only the people could not take their eyes off the gold, the center of attention was not God, but the robe. Gideon wasn't greedy but he wanted this man that was to approach God to have this beautiful robe. What was given as a love gift to God, had just the opposite effect towards God.

The lesson that we should learn from this is that the robe does not make the priest, And taking away the trophies of war, and turning them into something of righteousness, actually brought shame on the house of God at the city of Ophrah. When Gideon tried to make something righteous and give it to the worship of God, that gift did not work out as it was intended. It became a snare to the people in their worship of God, rather then a blessing. So the lesson to us is that before we are about to do something on our own to advance the ministry of God, search the Word of God and find the will of God, and follow the Spirit of God as to whether it is acceptable or not to Him.

Judges 8:28 "Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon."

The Midianites were so badly beaten in this war with the Midianites that these people were never respected anymore by the Israelites. Forty is the number for probation, and Gideon sat over the people for that forty years as their judge.

Judges 8:29 "And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house."

"Jerubbaal" was the name that was given Gideon when he tore down the altar of Baal, and cut down the groves in the worship of Asherah. The translation for the name "Jerubbaal" is "Let Baal plead for himself."

Judges 8:30 "And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives."

Gideon had seventy children by his many wives.

Judges 8:31 "And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech."

The next chapter of Judges deals with the life and deeds of Abimelech.

Judges 8:32 "And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites."

Judges 8:33 "And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baal-berith their god."

We have seen in this book of Judges that each time the judge of Israel died, the people drifted back into Baalism, and when Gideon died they went back to make Baal-berith their god. Lets go back and try to get a better understand of what Baal-berith, grove worship and Baal is all about. What makes this form of worship so inviting to the Israelites, that they so willingly give themselves over to it.

"Baal-berith" in the Strong's Hebrew dictionary is # 1170; "Ba'al Beriyth, bah'-al-ath beh-ayr'; from 1168 and 1285; baal of (the) covenant, Baal Berith, a special deity of the Shechemites: Baal berith." Under 1168 we are told that the Baal of the Phoenician deity, is the same Baal as the Shechemites. However in # 1285 we read, "Beriyth, ber-eeth'; comes from 1262 in a sense of cutting; a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh: a covenant or league."

Where ever Baal worship exists, the groves are mentioned, as well as this word "Asherah". The word "Asherah" is from the root "ashar", which is "to be straight, erect, or upright". It is from this word "asherah" that we get the moral reference, "to be upright", hence happy and prosper." When the word "Asherah" is used in the scripture the word is also given as "grove or groves" and is left as a proper name.

So from the summary of all the times that Baal, Asherah and groves are used in the form of worship, they are all tied together. And it deals with a tree with the tops cut off, and the trunk or stump fashioned into a certain shape.

Deuteronomy 16:21 "Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the Lord thy God, which thou shalt make thee."

When we take the word "grove" back into the Hebrew, here again we see the word "Asherah". This is not talking about just planting trees, but what you make of the trees once they have grown to maturity. It deals with how you shape the trees, and what those shapes are symbols of. These tree stumps were artificially shaped and set into the ground.

Isaiah 17:8 "And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves or the images."

Once again the groves and the images are tied together. The Hebrew text refers to the groves again as "asherah", and the images to the "sun". These groves or tree trunks were artificially fashioned and set erect in the ground. They were made of wood or the images were shaped from stone. This is why Gideon was able to cut down those groves, as we read earlier in Judges 6:26, where Gideon got his name "Jerabbaal", which means the "cutter down".

So this "asherah" can be a living tree that is cut of at the top and shaped, or the trunk of a tree that is cut off and shaped and stuck in the ground in an upright position, and when these images are coupled with "Mazzeroth" or "pillars of stone", it is connected directly to Baal-worship.

The male part called "Asherah" is distinguished from "Ashtoreth" the female goddess, yet the images are worshipped together. The Ashtoreth being representative of the productive (or passive) principle of life; and "Baal" being representative of the generative (or active) part of the process for producing life. In other words this is using the sexual process in a form of worship, and the shaping of the trunks of trees as the idols and images to excite the worshippers into the practice, and God hates the practice.

Stones of worship in Baal and Asherah are set up all over the Semitic world; and even in Arabia. Even the Mohommedian sacred stone, the "kaaba" in Mecca, remains an object of reverence. Like every form of religion, the stones and tree trunks have to do with the "flesh", and thus by the law of evolution also. Evolution is seen as the progress of man's works, because he considers himself to have begun in the simplest form in ignorance, and through the development and learning process of mistakes and failures, achieve to the point he is today.

Isaiah 57:6 "Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?"

When you put the term "smooth stones" with the word "lot", it forms the Greek word for "Stigma", and it should be a warning to us. It comes from the number 6-6-6, which has nothing to do with a actual number, but to the word stigma, which is the counting of stones worn smooth over a long period of time. The stones are the number for a man, and that man is Satan, and when you know Satan, you will know his children. This verse is addressing the identity of the Kenites.

This is written to the generation of the end times, and we are living in those times. The drink offerings and meat offerings are those things that you use in your worship service, to seek forgiveness for sin, and as love offerings to God. Today most churches have allow the Kenite traditions (the smooth stones of the stream) and their lot or traditions to become the drink offering and meat offering to God. God is asking, "Should I receive comfort in these?"

Isaiah 57:7 "Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifices."

Isaiah 57:8 "Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another then Me, and art gone up; thou shat enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it."

This bed is not something that you sleep in, but it represents something quite religious. Today instead of painting the door outside and over the top with the Lamb's blood, which is to say the blood of Jesus Christ who became our Passover, Christians paint a substitute for the blood on the inside of the door post of their hearts. The Lamb's blood forces Satan the death angel to pass over you, and when something other then the blood is on the inside (which is behind the doors and the posts), it means that they have turned back to heathenism.

The word for "bed" in the Hebrew text is a "couch", "a place for sexual joining". What it is then saying is that you enjoy the heathen religious experiences, and you have not saved yourself as a virgin for me, but you have given yourself over to another. This is exactly what Christ taught in Matthew 24:19; "And woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days."

Jesus expects you to be one of the virgins that remained true to Him, spiritually speaking, right up to the moment of His return. When you have given yourself over to the first Christ, Satan the Antichrist, then you have gone whoring and are "with child" from Satan. The subject of this verse is the word "bed", so lets take this word back to its prime root meaning.

Strong's Hebrew numbered dictionary gives us the number # 4904. "Mishkab, mish-kawb'; from 4901, a bed (fig. a bier) abstr. sleep, by euphem, carnal intercourse: bed [chamber] couch, lying with." Lets continue with # 4901; "Meshek, Meh'-shek, from 4900, a sowing; also a possession: precious price."

Lets now go to the prime for this word "bed" to see what God is talking about in Isaiah 57:7, 8; The # 4900 reads; "Mashak, maw-shak'; A prime root; to draw, used in a great variety of applications, (including to sow, to sound, to prolong, to develop, to march, to remove to delay, etc.): -draw (along out), continue, extend."

The "covenant" that God is referring to here in this eighth verse, is a "marriage contract" that you have made with Satan, when you are lying in his bed, and doing the work of his world system to draw others to him. God is saying "Thou lovest their bed", you like to crawl into Satan's bed and do his work. "Where thou lovest it" is "when you saw Satan's manhood". When Satan's system beckons to you, in ignorance you will be drawn to him joyfully for your Christian church house is training you to do so. Christians are supposed to be "the bride of Christ", however most of them won't know how how to identify their husband (Jesus) when He does arrive, or worse yet, how to identify Satan when he arrives claiming he is God.

Symbols mean everything in religious form, and the Ashrah, or the "phallus" became the symbol for the Baal worship. What started out of be the honoring of the origin of life, became corrupted into a form of worshipping the organs that produce the life. These symbols, in turn, became the incentive to all forms of impurity, which in time turned into nothing but sexual orgies. The start of these principle forms started in the ancient Canaanite religions, which originated way back in Nimrod's day, who was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah. Ham had four sons and their names were Cush, and Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan."

Genesis 10:8 "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth."

Genesis 10:9 "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, "Even as Nimrud the might hunter before the Lord."

It is from Ham that the Canaanites came, and the one to first give form to the one world religious order was Nimrod. This family of Canaanites is where the development of the Baal and Ashtoreth took hold and spread. It spread over the entire face of the earth, when Nimrod's kingdom was split, when God confused the people with different languages. In that ancient Semerian religion Nimrud was the male form, and believed to have become the sun. Nimrod's wife Semiremis, took on the goddess form after her death, when at first she was called Shamash. Then she universally took on the name of Ishtar, as well as other forms such as Diana of Corinth in the time of Paul.

All of the ancient systems of idolatry connected with Astrology and Mythology and so on, were not something that was new, but a twisting and corrupting of what was old, and accepted from the early days of the Canaanites. There can be no doubt about the origin of all "Phallic" worship, pure and simple, for this abomination was common to all the ancient nations, and relics from all over the world are found to prove this fact. What first started by the Canaanites in the world system of Nimrod, spread when God scattered the people at the tower of Babel.

Genesis 11:4 "And they said, "Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."

In the Hebrew text "let us make us a great name", reads, "let us provide our own salvation". These same people lived to hear and remember from those that went through the great flood of Noah's day. All of the souls that went through the flood were alive in the day that Nimrod was setting up this new world order. They were banded together to keep from being spread abroad. They also knew that God had made a covenant with Noah that mankind would never be destroyed by flood waters again. However, they did not believe God, nor did they trust Him.

They knew of Nimrod's strength, and the people relied on him for their security. They trusted Nimrod. Hitler and the Nazi's rose to power under the same conditions, protection, security, law and order. The Germans also had faith in Hitler to bring them peace and prosperity, however they did not consider the cost. In the phrase "a name" shows that the people desired their independence from God.

Genesis 11:5 "And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded."

God has stated in His Word what man has to do to be saved, however, man continues even today to build his towers to reach his own false peace and salvation. They try to move to bypass the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, and His shed blood on the cross. They have rejected God's plan for their own man made forms of religions.

The term "come down" in the Hebrew is "anthropopatheia". This is ascribing to God the things that belong to human and rational beings, irrational creatures, or inanimate things.

Genesis 11:6 "And the Lord said, "Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do."

Genesis 11:7 "Go to, let us go down, and there confounded their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."

In the phrase "let us go down" in the Hebrew text shows that Judgment is going to take place to these people.

Genesis 11:8 "So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city."

Genesis 11:9 "Therefore is the name of it called Babel: because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth."

Keep in mind that this event is called "Babel", not the location. The subject is what the people are doing, and that is to create a way on their own for their own salvation. The word Babel in the Hebrew tongue means "confusion". It was through the confusion of languages, that God scattered the peoples of the earth. It was also the confusion of man substituting God's plan and covenants for their own, that man formed his religions. It is from confusion that the word "Babylon" came. These early Canaanites were the founders of the ancient Babylon, the Babylon prior to the Babylon of Nebuchadzeddar's kingdom of Daniel's day.

This was the main reason that God gave the commandment for the children of Israelites to destroy the Canaanites, for these Canaanites were the mixture and descendants of the "Nephilim", the fallen angels that came to earth to breed with women in the second influx. This is what the book of Jude is all about; the time when the fallen angels left their first habitation and came to earth, disregarding God's orders to them. The Israelites did not destroy the Canaanites but made them their neighbors instead, and took on their gods. That is what this book of Judges is all about, for continually when their judges died the Israelites fell back into the way of Baal and Ashtoreth, the grove worship.

It was after the death of Solomon that the Israelite nation split into two nations or houses, and because of the sins of the house of Israel in following these heathen religious forms, that God separated Himself from the House of Israel. Then after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the way was made so that we, of the house of Israel could be drawn back to God.

The practices of these heathen forms may not look the same today, but the symbols of those ancient forms are just as much present today in the Christian Churches as they were then, only we like to cover them over by redefining what they are. In ignorance man seems to think that because he can con himself, he can also con God. Our Heavenly Father hates all forms of those ancient religious practices, and He is a jealous God, which most Christians don't understand.

Today much of Baal and Ashtoreth is preserved in veiled language in secret fraternities, Freemasonry, Theosophy, and in the Roman Church. The language of these religious forms are so concealed that those using it probably have little idea at all what it is pertaining to, or what they are perpetuating. In those ancient symbols "I O" proclaims "sex as the true God of Hosts," as the Jewish Kabala declares.

The reason that I went into such detail here on Baal and Ashtoreth or grove worship, is that it is what we will be bumping into for the rest of the book of Judges, and we had better understand what it is that God so hated and despised. Many of those thing have come down through the centuries, and are appearing in new forms in our Christian church house today. There is nothing new under the sun, for today the movement is to drive God completely out of schools, and they have cleaned up their orgy act and renamed ideas with names like evolution, Darwinism, as well as bringing in forms of Baalism by condoning Sodomy as a different life style.

Judges 8:34 "And the children of Israel remembered not the Lord their God, Who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side:"

It wasn't Gideon that delivered the Israelites out of the hand of their enemies, but God delivered them. And when Gideon the judge died, they forgot God and his ways and return to those heathen forms of Baal and Ashtoreth, or grove worship.

Judges 8:35 "Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, namely, Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel."

The Israelite people seem to forget so quickly who they are, where they came from, and the ones that they should remember of importance. Is it human nature? Well, it goes on where one generation forgets the lessons of what the prior generation learned. In just one generation a complete language can change, along with the morals and interests of the people. Even though there is a change from generation to generation, the one thing that is important to keep is ones common sense, the normal way of doing things. The entire Word of God is common sense, and it is God's instructions to man of how we are to live in these flesh bodies in health and with peace of mind. It is God's way of doing things.

Stop and think the next time there is a blessing that comes your way. It is God that is to get the credit and the thanks for it, for all blessings come from God.


To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.  We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

The American Wisdom Series


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Here at the American Wisdom Series our goal is to make you think about and question the wisdom of the current:
doctrine of many of our Christian churches, (The Man on a White Horse)
political direction of our country, (The Man on a Red Horse)
economic direction our country has taken, (The Man on a Black Horse)
 and teaching of our schools and media, (The Man on a Pale Horse)

The Four Hidden Dynasties of the New World Order Revelation 6:1-8
"The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse"
Did you know all four are being ridden by Satan?