Judges 6:22
And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face.
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(22) When Gideon perceived.—The last sign gave him a deeper sense than before of the grandeur of the messenger who had come to him.

Alas !—There is no need to supply “I shall die” at the end of the clause, but that this was the apprehension in Gideon’s mind is shown by his cry of alarm.

For because.—Rather, for to this end. The belief that death or misfortune would be the result of looking on any Divine being was universal among the Jews. We find it in Judges 13:22; Genesis 16:13; Genesis 32:30; Exodus 20:19; Deuteronomy 5:24-25. He said, “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live” (Exodus 33:20; Isaiah 6:5; Luke 5:8). The existence of the same belief among the heathen is shown in the legends of Semele, Actæon, Psyche, &c.; and Callimachus sings, “Whosoever, save by God’s own choice, looks on any of the immortals, sees them only to his own great cost.”

6:11-24 Gideon was a man of a brave, active spirit, yet in obscurity through the times: he is here stirred up to undertake something great. It was very sure that the Lord was with him, when his Angel was with him. Gideon was weak in faith, which made it hard to reconcile the assurances of the presence of God with the distress to which Israel was brought. The Angel answered his objections. He told him to appear and act as Israel's deliverer, there needed no more. Bishop Hall says, While God calls Gideon valiant, he makes him so. God delights to advance the humble. Gideon desires to have his faith confirmed. Now, under the influences of the Spirit, we are not to expect signs before our eyes such as Gideon here desired, but must earnestly pray to God, that if we have found grace in his sight, he would show us a sign in our heart, by the powerful working of his Spirit there, The Angel turned the meat into an offering made by fire; showing that he was not a man who needed meat, but the Son of God, who was to be served and honoured by sacrifice, and who in the fulness of time was to make himself a sacrifice. Hereby a sign was given to Gideon, that he had found grace in God's sight. Ever since man has by sin exposed himself to God's wrath and curse, a message from heaven has been a terror to him, as he scarcely dares to expect good tidings thence. In this world, it is very awful to have any converse with that world of spirits to which we are so much strangers. Gideon's courage failed him. But God spoke peace to him.Alas, O Lord GOD! - Compare Joshua 7:7. "because I have seen an angel of the Lord" Compare the marginal references, in which the notion that it was death for mortal man to see God appears clearly. The same notion prevailed among the pagan. 19-23. Gideon went in, and made ready a kid; … the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot—(See on [219]Ge 18:7). The flesh seems to have been roasted, which is done by cutting it into kobab, that is, into small pieces, fixed on a skewer, and put before the fire. The broth was for immediate use; the other, brought in a hand-basket was intended to be a future supply to the traveller. The miraculous fire that consumed it and the vanishing of the stranger, not by walking, but as a spirit in the fire, filled Gideon with awe. A consciousness of demerit fills the heart of every fallen man at the thought of God, with fear of His wrath; and this feeling was increased by a belief prevalent in ancient times, that whoever saw an angel would forthwith die. The acceptance of Gideon's sacrifice betokened the acceptance of his person; but it required an express assurance of the divine blessing, given in some unknown manner, to restore his comfort and peace of mind. I am an undone man; I must die, and that speedily; for that he feared, Judges 6:23, according to the common opinion in that case; of which see Genesis 16:13 32:30 Exodus 33:20 Deu 5:25,26.

For because, or, for therefore, &c., i.e. therefore God hath showed me this sight as a presage of my death.

And when Gideon perceived he was an angel of the Lord,.... By the miracle wrought, and the manner of his departure:

Gideon said, alas! O Lord God; woe to me, what will become of me, or befall me, I shall surely die:

for because I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face; and whom he had reason to believe was the Lord himself, a divine Person, by the miracle wrought; and it was a commonly received notion even among good men, in those times, that the Lord was not to be seen by them and live, as appears from Jacob, Manoah, and others; at least the appearance of a divine Person, and even of any messenger from heaven, was startling, surprising, and frightful to them; which arose from a sense they had of the divine Being, and of their own sinfulness and frailty.

And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O LORD God! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face.
22. Now at last Gideon recognizes the nature of his Guest; he is overwhelmed with terror, for he has intruded upon the holiness of God, and death must be the penalty; cf. Jdg 13:22 and Genesis 16:13; Genesis 32:30, Exodus 33:20 (all J), Deuteronomy 4:33; Deuteronomy 5:24; Deuteronomy 5:26, Isaiah 6:5.

Verse 22. - Gideon perceived, etc. Gideon's suspicious were now turned into a certainty. It was indeed God that had spoken to him by his angel (ver. 17). Alas, etc. Gideon speaks thus in terror of the death which he thought must be the penalty of seeing the angel of the Lord (see Judges 13:22, and note). Because. Rather, therefore, or to this end, viz., that I should die. Judges 6:22In this miracle Gideon received the desired sign, that the person who had appeared to him was God. But the miracle filled his soul with fear, so that he exclaimed, "Alas, Lord Jehovah! for to this end have I seen the angel of the Lord face to face." יהוה אדני אההּ is an exclamation, sometimes of grief on account of a calamity that has occurred (Joshua 7:7), and sometimes of alarm caused by the foreboding of some anticipated calamity (Jeremiah 1:6; Jeremiah 4:10; Jeremiah 32:17; Ezekiel 4:14, etc.). Here it is an expression of alarm, viz., fear of the death which might be the necessary consequence of his seeing God (see Exodus 20:16-19, and the remarks on Genesis 16:13). The expression which follows, "for to this end," serves to account for the exclamation, without there being any necessity to assume an ellipsis, and supply "that I may die." כּי־על־כּן is always used in this sense (see Genesis 18:5; Genesis 19:8; Genesis 33:10, etc.).
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