Judges 7:1
(1) Jerubbaal, who is Gideon.--Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Esther, Daniel, St. Paul, &c, are other instances of Scriptural characters who have two names.

Beside.--Rather, above. It would have been foolish and dangerous to encamp on the plain.

The well of Harod.--The name "Harod" means "trembling," with an obvious allusion to the timidity of the people (chareed, Judges 7:3), to which there may be again an allusion in 1Samuel 28:5. The name is here used by anticipation. It occurs here only, though two Harodites are mentioned in 2Samuel 23:25; and the same fountain is obviously alluded to in 1Samuel 29:1. From the fact that Gideon's camp was on Mount Gilboa there can be little doubt that Harod must be identified with the abundant and beautiful fountain at the foot of the hill now known as Ain Jal-d, or "the spring of Goliath," from a mistaken legend that this was the scene of the giant's death; or possibly from a mistaken corruption of the name Harod itself. There is another reading, "Endor" (comp. Ps. 82:10).

By the hill of Moreh.--Bertheau renders it, "stretching from the hill of Moreh into the valley." The only hill of this name which we know from other sources is that at Shechem (Genesis 12:6; Deuteronomy 11:30), but that is twenty-five miles south of Mount Gilboa. There can be no doubt that Moreh is here used for Little Hermon, now Jebel ed-Duhy. The Vulgate renders it "of a lofty hill," perhaps to avoid a supposed difficulty. The word Moreh means "archer," and Little Hermon may have been called "the Archer's Hill," from the bowmen of the Amalekites.

Verse 1. - Jerubbaal. The mention of this name seems intended to keep before our minds that it is emphatically the servant of the Lord who is going forth to victory. The well of Harod, i.e. of trembling, so called, no doubt, from the incident recorded in ver. 3, that every one who was afraid (Hebrew, hated) departed from Mount Gilead. The well of Harod is not mentioned elsewhere, though two of David's mighty men are called Harodites (2 Samuel 23:25); but it is thought to be identical with "the fountain which is in Jezreel" (1 Samuel 29:1), on the slope of Mount Gilboa, and now called Ain Jahlood, the spring of Goliah. On the north side, etc. Gideon and his Abi-ezrites were naturally on the south side of the plain, on the hill, apparently Mount Gilboa, which there shuts in the plain. The Midianitc host was encamped to the north of him (so it is in the Hebrew), in the valley, i.e. the plain of Jezreel (Judges 6:33, note). By the hill of Moreh. Nowhere else mentioned; probably only a hillock, of which there are many in that part of the plain.

7:1-8. God provides that the praise of victory may be wholly to himself, by appointing only three hundred men to be employed. Activity and prudence go with dependence upon God for help in our lawful undertakings. When the Lord sees that men would overlook him, and through unbelief, would shrink from perilous services, or that through pride they would vaunt themselves against him, he will set them aside, and do his work by other instruments. Pretences will be found by many, for deserting the cause and escaping the cross. But though a religious society may thus be made fewer in numbers, yet it will gain as to purity, and may expect an increased blessing from the Lord. God chooses to employ such as are not only well affected, but zealously affected in a good thing. They grudged not at the liberty of the others who were dismissed. In doing the duties required by God, we must not regard the forwardness or backwardness of others, nor what they do, but what God looks for at our hands. He is a rare person who can endure that others should excel him in gifts or blessings, or in liberty; so that we may say, it is by the special grace of God that we regard what God says to us, and not look to men what they do.Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon,.... That being the name his father had lately given him, Judges 6:32.

and all the people that were with him, rose up early; encouraged by the signs and miracles wrought, by which he was assured of success; he was eager to be about his work, and therefore rose early in the morning, and got his army together, and marched to engage the enemy:

and pitched beside the well of Harod; which he might choose for the refreshment of his army on occasion; or, however, so he was directed in Providence here, where a trial was to be made of them by water: this well, or fountain, seems to be the same with that in 1 Samuel 29:1 it signifies fear and trembling, and might have its name either from the fear and trembling of the 22,000 Israelites, whose hearts were dismayed at the Midianites, and they were ordered to return home; or from the fear and trembling of the Midianites, who were discomfited here; the former seems to be the true reason, see Judges 7:3 so that the Midianites were on the north side of them; which Gideon, no doubt, judged to be an advantageous post to him:

by the hill of Moreh, in the valley; the valley of Jezreel, one of the mountains of Gilboa, as is supposed; the Targum is,"by the hill which looks to the plain;''from whence he could have a view of the Midianitish army, and the disposition of it. Some think this hill had its name from the Midianitish archers; but, according to Kimchi and Ben Melech, from there being a watch here to direct the ways, or to give notice to the inhabitants of the valley when an army came against them; though some take it to be a school of some eminent teacher in those days (z).

(z) See Weemse's Christian Synagogue, l. 1. c. 6. sect. 5.

Judges 6:40
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