But if you fear to go down, go you with Phurah your servant down to the host:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)To go down.—If thou fear to make the attack at once, without still further encouragement. Let it be borne in mind that the courage required by Gideon and his men was in many respects far beyond that of the much more vaunted 300 at Thermopylæ—(1) because they were to attack, not to defend; (2) because they were to attack a host in the plain, not to hold a narrow valley; (3) because they had not a large number of allies and attendants with them, as the 300 Spartans had (Grote’s Greece, v. 103, 121).
Phurah thy servant.—The name Phurah means “branch”; the word for “servant” is literally boy, but here means the armour-bearer. The classical reader will recall the night-raid of Diomedes and Odysseus into the camp of the Thracians at Troy (Il. x. 220, et seqq.).Judges 7:7) into their hands." so that each of the three hundred should have a trumpet and a pitcher.
9, 10. Arise, get thee down unto the host … But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant—In ancient times it was reckoned no degradation for persons of the highest rank and character to act as spies on an enemy's camp; and so Gideon did on this occasion. But the secret errand was directed by God, who intended that he should hear something which might animate his own valor and that of his troops.If thou fear to go down, to wit, without some further assurance of thy success, I will condescend so far to thee, as to give thee another sign.
go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host; in a private manner; perhaps this man was his aid-de-camp, or however a trusty servant in whom he could confide, as well as valiant: more it was not proper to take in such a secret expedition, and the fewer the better to trust, and less liable to the observation of the enemy; and yet it was proper to have one with him, being company and animating, and who would be a witness with him of what should be heard; in like manner, and for like reasons, as Diomedes and Ulysses went into the Trojan army (y).But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. thy servant] A warrior of rank Had an attendant who acted as armour-bearer, cf. Jdg 9:54, 1 Samuel 14:1; 1 Samuel 14:6. With a companion danger is more easily faced; cf. the words of Diomedes when he offers to explore the Trojan camp:
ἀλλʼ εἴ τίς μοι ἀνὴρ ἅμʼ ἕποιτο καὶ ἄλλος,
Μᾶλλον θαλπωρὴ, καὶ θαρσαλεώτερον ἔσται. Iliad X. 222 f.
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