|GIDEON OR JERUBBAAL |
Of the tribe of Manasseh, a valiant and prudent judge of Israel, particularly the eastern and northern tribes, B. C. 1249 to 1209. He resided in Ophrah, east of the Jordan, a region often ravaged in harvest-time by the wandering tribes on its eastern border. Being called of God to deliver his people, and encouraged by signs from heaven, he defeated the Midiantites, and caused Israel to dwell in safety for many years. In punishing the refractory cities Succoth and Penuel, and the fratricides Zeba and Zalmunna- in soothing the jealousy of the Ephraimites, and in declining the crown offered him by the Jews, he evinced those qualities which made him a successful judge. In the matter of the golden ephod, however, he fell into a sin and a snare; for this memorial of the wonders God had wrought became ere long an object of idolatrous veneration, Judges 8:35 1 Samuel 12:11 Hebrews 11:32.