English Standard Version
But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? Whoever contends for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because his altar has been broken down.”
King James Bible
And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.
American Standard Version
And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye contend for Baal? Or will ye save him? he that will contend for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him contend for himself, because one hath broken down his altar.
He answered them: Are you the avengers of Baal, that you fight for him? he that is his adversary, let him die before to morrow light appear: if he be a god, let him revenge himself on him that hath cast down his altar.
English Revised Version
And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? or will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath broken down his altar.
Webster's Bible Translation
And Joash said to all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he is a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.
Judges 6:31 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Gideon Set Apart as the Deliverer of His People. - In order to be able to carry out the work entrusted to him of setting Israel free, it was necessary that Gideon should first of all purify his father's house from idolatry, and sanctify his own life and labour to Jehovah by sacrificing a burnt-offering.
"In that night," i.e., the night following the day on which the Lord appeared to him, God commanded him to destroy his father's Baal's altar, with the asherah-idol upon it, and to build an altar to Jehovah, and offer a bullock of his father's upon the altar. "Take the ox-bullock which belongs to thy father, and indeed the second bullock of seven years, and destroy the altar of Baal, which belongs to thy father, and throw down the asherah upon it." According to the general explanation of the first clauses, there are two oxen referred to: viz., first, his father's young bullock; and secondly, an ox of seven years old, the latter of which Gideon was to sacrifice (according to Judges 6:26) upon the altar to be built to Jehovah, and actually did sacrifice, according to Judges 6:27, Judges 6:28. But in what follows there is no further allusion to the young bullock, or the first ox of his father; so that there is a difficulty in comprehending for what purpose Gideon was to take it, or what use he was to make of it. Most commentators suppose that Gideon sacrificed both of the oxen-the young bullock as an expiatory offering for himself, his father, and all his family, and the second ox of seven years old for the deliverance of the whole nation (see Seb. Schmidt). Bertheau supposes, on the other hand, that Gideon was to make use of both oxen, or of the strength they possessed for throwing down or destroying the altar, and (according to Judges 6:26) for removing the מערכה and the האשׁרה עצי to the place of the new altar that was to be built, but that he was only to offer the second in sacrifice to Jehovah, because the first was probably dedicated to Baal, and therefore could not be offered to Jehovah. But these assumptions are both of them equally arbitrary, and have no support whatever from the text. If God had commanded Gideon to take two oxen, He would certainly have told him what he was to do with them both. But as there is only one bullock mentioned in Judges 6:26-28, we must follow Tremell. and others, who understand Judges 6:25 as meaning that Gideon was to take only one bullock, namely the young bullock of his father, and therefore regard שׁ שׁ השּׁני וּפר as a more precise definition of that one bullock (vav being used in an explanatory sense, "and indeed," as in Joshua 9:27; Joshua 10:7, etc.). This bullock is called "the second bullock," as being the second in age among the bullocks of Joash. The reason for choosing this second of the bullocks of Joash for a burnt-offering is to be found no doubt in its age (seven years), which is mentioned here simply on account of its significance as a number, as there was no particular age prescribed in the law for a burnt-offering, that is to say, because the seven years which constituted the age of the bullock contained an inward allusion to the seven years of the Midianitish oppression. For seven years had God given Israel into the hands of the Midianites on account of their apostasy; and now, to wipe away this sin, Gideon was to take his father's bullock of seven years old, and offer it as a burnt-offering to the Lord. To this end Gideon was first of all to destroy the altar of Baal and of the asherah which his father possessed, and which, to judge from Jdg 6:28, Judges 6:29, was the common altar of the whole family of Abiezer in Ophrah. This altar was dedicated to Baal, but there was also upon it an asherah, an idol representing the goddess of nature, which the Canaanites worshipped; not indeed a statue of the goddess, but, as we may learn from the word כּרת, to hew down, simply a wooden pillar (see at Deuteronomy 16:21). The altar therefore served for the two principal deities of the Canaanites (see Movers, Phnizier, i. pp. 566ff.). Jehovah could not be worshipped along with Baal. Whoever would serve the Lord must abolish the worship of Baal. The altar of Baal must be destroyed before the altar of Jehovah could be built. Gideon was to build this altar "upon the top of this stronghold," possibly upon the top of the mountain, upon which the fortress belonging to Ophrah was situated. בּמּערכה, "with the preparation;" the meaning of this word is a subject of dispute. As בּנה occurs in 1 Kings 15:22 with בּ, to denote the materials out of which (i.e., with which) a thing is built, Stud. and Berth. suppose that maaracah refers to the materials of the altar of Baal that had been destroyed, with which Gideon was to build the altar of Jehovah. Stud. refers it to the stone foundation of the altar of Baal; Bertheau to the materials that were lying ready upon the altar of Baal for the presentation of sacrifices, more especially the pieces of wood. But this is certainly incorrect, because maaracah does not signify either building materials or pieces of wood, and the definite article attached to the word does not refer to the altar of Baal at all. The verb ערך is not only very frequently used to denote the preparation of the wood upon the altar (Genesis 22:9; Leviticus 1:7, etc.), but is also used for the preparation of an altar for the presentation of sacrifice (Numbers 23:4). Consequently maaracah can hardly be understood in any other way than as signifying the preparation of the altar to be built for the sacrificial act, in the sense of build the altar with the preparation required for the sacrifice. This preparation was to consist, according to what follows, in taking the wood of the asherah, that had been hewn down, as the wood for the burnt-offering to be offered to the Lord by Gideon. האשׁרה עצי are not trees, but pieces of wood from the asherah (that was hewn down).
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
will ye plead. The words are very emphatic: 'Will ye plead in earnest for Baal? Will ye really save him? If he be God, let him contend for himself, seeing his altar is thrown down.'
let him be
if he be
Then the men of the town said to Joash, "Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has broken down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it."
Therefore on that day Gideon was called Jerubbaal, that is to say, "Let Baal contend against him," because he broke down his altar.
1 Samuel 12:11
And the LORD sent Jerubbaal and Barak and Jephthah and Samuel and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in safety.
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