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.
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(25) We will willingly give.—Literally, giving, we will give.

They spread.—Perhaps the true reading should be “he spread,” as in the LXX. (aneptuxe).

A garment.—Perhaps his own upper garment (Simlah), or “a large general’s cloke” (Ewald, Gesch. ii. 506).

8:22-28 Gideon refused the government the people offered him. No good man can be pleased with any honour done to himself, which belongs only to God. Gideon thought to keep up the remembrance of this victory by an ephod, made of the choicest of the spoils. But probably this ephod had, as usual, a teraphim annexed to it, and Gideon intended this for an oracle to be consulted. Many are led into false ways by one false step of a good man. It became a snare to Gideon himself, and it proved the ruin of the family. How soon will ornaments which feed the lust of the eye, and form the pride of life, as well as tend to the indulgences of the flesh, bring shame on those who are fond of them!They spread ... - The Septuagint reads "He spread his garment." 24-26. Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you—This was the contribution of an earring (singular). As the ancient Arabians (Ishmaelites and Midianites being synonymous terms, Ge 37:25, 28) were gorgeously adorned with barbaric pearl and gold, an immense amount of such valuable booty had fallen into the hands of the Israelitish soldiers. The contribution was liberally made, and the quantity of gold given to him is estimated at £3113 sterling. No text from Poole on this verse.

And they answered, we will willingly give them,.... Or, "in giving we will give" (d); give them with all their hearts, most freely and cheerfully:

and they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey; every man one, which would amount to no more than three hundred; though perhaps those who joined in the pursuit might take many more, or otherwise the weight of them would not amount to what in the next verse they are said to weigh.

(d) "dando dabimus", Pagninus, Montanus.

And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey.
Verse 25. - A garment. Rather, the cloak. Probably Gideon's military cloak (see Isaiah 9:5), which lay in his tent ready for use as a cloak by day or a coverlet by night (Deuteronomy 22:17). Judges 8:25This request of Gideon's was cheerfully fulfilled: "They spread out the cloth (brought for collecting the rings), and threw into it every one the ring that he had received as booty." Simlah, the upper garment, was for the most part only a large square piece of cloth. The weight of these golden rings amounted to 1700 shekels, i.e., about 50 lbs., (מן לבד) separate from, i.e., beside, the remaining booty, for which Gideon had not asked, and which the Israelites kept for themselves, viz., the little moons, the ear-pendants (netiphoth, lit. little drops, probably pearl-shaped ear-drops: see Isaiah 3:19), and the purple clothes which were worn by the kings of Midian (i.e., which they had on), and also apart from the neck-bands upon the necks of their camels. Instead of the anakoth or necklaces (Judges 8:26), the saharonim, or little moons upon the necks of the camels, are mentioned in Judges 8:21 as the more valuable portion of these necklaces. Even at the present day the Arabs are accustomed to ornament the necks of these animals "with a band of cloth or leather, upon which small shells called cowries are strung or sewed in the form of a crescent. The sheiks add silver ornaments to these, which make a rich booty in time of war" (Wellsted, Reise, i. p. 209). The Midianitish kings had their camels ornamented with golden crescents. This abundance of golden ornaments will not surprise us, when we consider that the Arabs still carry their luxurious tastes for such things to a very great excess. Wellsted (i. p. 224) states that "the women in Omn spend considerable amounts in the purchase of silver ornaments, and their children are literally laden with them. I have sometimes counted fifteen ear-rings upon each side; and the head, breast, arms, and ankles are adorned with the same profusion." As the Midianitish army consisted of 130,000 men, of whom 15,000 only remained at the commencement of the last engagement, the Israelites may easily have collected 5000 golden rings, or even more, which might weigh 1700 shekels.
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