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Judges 8:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with Midian? And they did chide with him sharply.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then the men of Ephraim said to him, “What is this thing you have done to us, not calling us when you went to fight against Midian?” And they contended with him vigorously.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And the men of Ephraim said to him, Why hast thou treated us thus, that thou calledst us not when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? and they chid with him sharply.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And the men of Ephraim said to him, What is this thing thou hast done to us, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with Midian? And they disputed with him sharply.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And the men of Ephraim said unto him—What is this thing thou hast done to us, in not calling us, when thou wentest to fight with Midian? And they did chide with him, sharply.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And the men of Ephraim say unto him, 'What [is] this thing thou hast done to us—not to call for us when thou didst go to fight with Midian?' and they strive with him severely;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And the men of Ephraim said to him: What is this that thou meanest to do, that thou wouldst not call us, when thou wentest to fight against Madian? And they chid him sharply, and almost offered violence.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And the men of Ephraim said vnto him, Why hast thou serued vs thus, that thou calledst vs not when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharpely.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the men of Ephraim said to Gideon{gr.Gedeon}, What [is] this [that] thou hast done to us, in that thou didst not call us when thou wentest to fight with Midian{gr.Madiam}? and they chode with him sharply.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And the men of Efrayim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midyanim? And they did chide with him sharply.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And the men 376
{0376} Prime
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
of ´Efrayim אֶפרַיִם 669
{0669} Prime
אֶפְרַיִם
'Ephrayim
{ef-rah'-yim}
Dual of a masculine form of H0672; double fruit; Ephrajim, a son of Joseph; also the tribe descended from him, and its territory.
said 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
him, Why x4100
(4100) Complement
מָּה
mah
{maw}
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
hast thou y4100
[4100] Standard
מָּה
mah
{maw}
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
served 6213
{6213} Prime
עָשָׂה
`asah
{aw-saw'}
A primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application.
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
us thus, y1697
[1697] Standard
דָּבָר
dabar
{daw-baw'}
From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially a cause.
x2088
(2088) Complement
זֶה
zeh
{zeh}
A primitive word; the masculine demonstrative pronoun, this or that.
that thou calledst 7121
{7121} Prime
קָרָא
qara'
{kaw-raw'}
A primitive root (rather identical with H7122 through the idea of accosting a person met); to call out to (that is, properly address by name, but used in a wide variety of applications).
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
us not, x1115
(1115) Complement
בִּלְתִּי
biltiy
{bil-tee'}
Constructive feminine of H1086 (equivalent to H1097); properly a failure of, that is, (used only as a negative particle, usually with prepositional prefix) not, except, without, unless, besides, because not, until, etc.
when x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
thou wentest 1980
{1980} Prime
הָלַךְ
halak
{haw-lak'}
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
to fight 3898
{3898} Prime
לָחַם
lacham
{law-kham'}
A primitive root; to feed on; figuratively to consume; by implication to battle (as destruction).
z8736
<8736> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 240
with the Miðyänîm מִדיָנִים? 4080
{4080} Prime
מִדְיָן
Midyan
{mid-yawn'}
The same as H4079; Midjan, a son of Abraham; also his country and (collectively) his descendants.
And they did chide 7378
{7378} Prime
רִיב
riyb
{reeb}
A primitive root; properly to toss, that is, grapple; mostly figuratively to wrangle, that is, hold a controversy; (by implication) to defend.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
with x854
(0854) Complement
אֵת
'eth
{ayth}
Probably from H0579; properly nearness (used only as a preposition or adverb), near; hence generally with, by, at, among, etc.
him sharply. 2394
{2394} Prime
חָזְקָה
chozqah
{khoz-kaw'}
Feminine of H2392; vehemence (usually in a bad sense).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Judges 8:1

_ _ Judges 8:1-9. The Ephraimites offended, but pacified.

_ _ the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus? — Where this complaint was made, whether before or after the crossing of the Jordan, cannot be determined. By the overthrow of the national enemy, the Ephraimites were benefited as largely as any of the other neighboring tribes. But, piqued at not having been sharers in the glory of the victory, their leading men could not repress their wounded pride; and the occasion only served to bring out an old and deep-seated feeling of jealous rivalry that subsisted between the tribes (Isaiah 9:21). The discontent was groundless, for Gideon acted according to divine directions. Besides, as their tribe was conterminous with that of Gideon, they might, had they been really fired with the flame of patriotic zeal, have volunteered their services in a movement against the common enemy.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Judges 8:1-3

_ _ No sooner were the Midianites, the common enemy, subdued, than, through the violence of some hot spirits, the children of Israel were ready to quarrel among themselves; an unhappy spark was struck, which, if Gideon had not with a great deal of wisdom and grace extinguished immediately, might have broken out into a flame of fatal consequence. The Ephraimites, when they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon as general, instead of congratulating him upon his successes and addressing him with thanks for his great services, as they ought to have done, picked a quarrel with him and grew very hot upon it.

_ _ I. Their accusation was very peevish and unreasonable: Why didst thou not call us when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? Judges 8:1. Ephraim was brother to Manasseh, Gideon's tribe, and had the pre-eminence in Jacob's blessing and in Moses's, and therefore was very jealous of Manasseh, lest that tribe should at any time eclipse the honour of theirs. Hence we find Manasseh against Ephraim and Ephraim against Manasseh, Isaiah 9:21. A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and their contentions are as the bars of a castle, Proverbs 18:19. But how unjust was their quarrel with Gideon! They were angry that he did not send for them to begin the attack upon Midian, as well as to follow the blow. Why were they not called to lead the van? The post of honour, they thought, belonged to them. But, 1. Gideon was called of God, and must act as he directed; he neither took the honour to himself nor did he himself dispose of honours, but left it to God to do all. So that the Ephraimites, in this quarrel, reflected upon the divine conduct; and what was Gideon that they murmured against him? 2. Why did not the Ephraimites offer themselves willingly to the service? They knew the enemy was in their country, and had heard of the forces that were raising to oppose them, to which they ought to have joined themselves, in zeal for the common cause, though they had not a formal invitation. Those seek themselves more than God that stand upon a point of honour to excuse themselves from doing real service to God and their generation. In Deborah's time there was a root of Ephraim, Judges 5:14. Why did not this appear now? The case itself called them, they needed not wait for a call from Gideon. 3. Gideon had saved their credit in not calling them. If he had sent for them, no doubt may of them would have gone back with the faint-hearted, or been dismissed with the lazy, slothful, and intemperate; so that by not calling them he prevented the putting of those slurs upon them. Cowards will seem valiant when the danger is over, but those consult their reputation who try not their courage when danger is near.

_ _ II. Gideon's answer was very calm and peaceable, and was intended not so much to justify himself as to please and pacify them, Judges 8:2, Judges 8:3. He answers them, 1. With a great deal of meekness and temper. He did not resent the affront, nor answer anger with anger, but mildly reasoned the case with them, and he won as true honour by this command which he had over his own passion as by his victory over the Midianites. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty. 2. With a great deal of modesty and humility, magnifying their performances above his own: Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim, who picked up the stragglers of the enemy, and cut off those of them that escaped, better than the vintage of Abiezer — a greater honour to them, and better service to the country, than the first attack Gideon made upon them? The destruction of the church's enemies is compared to a vintage, Revelation 14:18. In this he owns their gleanings better than his gatherings. The improving of a victory is often more honourable, and of greater consequence, than the winning of it; in this they had signalized themselves, and their own courage and conduct, or, rather, God had dignified them; for thought, to magnify their achievements, he is willing to diminish his own performances, yet he will not take any flowers from God's crown to adorn theirs with: “God has delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, and a great slaughter has been made of the enemy by your numerous hosts, and what was I able to do with 300 men, in comparison of you and your brave exploits?” Gideon stands here a very great example of self-denial, and this instance shows us, (1.) That humility of deportment is the best way to remove envy. It is true even right works are often envied, Ecclesiastes 4:4. Yet they are not so apt to be so when those who do them appear not to be proud of them. Those are malignant indeed who seek to cast down from their excellency those that humble and abase themselves, (2.) It is likewise the surest method of ending strife, for only by pride comes contention, Proverbs 13:10. (3.) Humility is most amiable and admirable in the midst of great attainments and advancements. Gideon's conquests did greatly set off his condescensions. (4.) It is the proper act of humility to esteem others better than ourselves, and in honour to prefer one another.

_ _ Now what was the issue of this controversy? The Ephraimites had chidden with him sharply (Judges 8:1), forgetting the respect due to their general and one whom God had honoured, and giving vent to their passion in a very indecent liberty of speech, a certain sign of a weak and indefensible cause. Reason runs low when the chiding flies high. But Gideon's soft answer turned away their wrath, Proverbs 15:1. Their anger was abated towards him, Judges 8:3. It is intimated that they retained some resentment, but he prudently overlooked it and let it cool by degrees. Very great and good men must expect to have their patience tried by the unkindnesses and follies even of those they serve and must not think it strange.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Judges 8:1

Why haft thou, &c. — Why hast thou neglected and despised us, in not calling us in to thy help, as thou didst other tribes? These were a proud people, puffed up with a conceit of their number and strength, and the preference which Jacob gave them above Manasseh, of which tribe Gideon was, who by this act had seemed to advance his own tribe, and to depress theirs.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Judges 8:1

And the men of Ephraim said unto him, (a) Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply.

(a) They began to object, because he had the glory of the victory.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the men:

Judges 12:1-6 And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. ... Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce [it] right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.
2 Samuel 19:41 And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said unto the king, Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and have brought the king, and his household, and all David's men with him, over Jordan?
Job 5:2 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.
Ecclesiastes 4:4 Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This [is] also vanity and vexation of spirit.
James 4:5-6 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? ... But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Why:
etc. Heb. What thing is this thou hast done unto us, sharply. Heb. strongly.
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Jg 12:1. 2S 19:41. Jb 5:2. Ec 4:4. Jm 4:5.

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