Summary: The war having ended, Gideon disbanded his army, and retired to his own house; not that he lived altogether a private life there, but he continued as a judge in Israel, where he was successful in preserving and maintaining their religion and liberties.
He Died In Honor [Judges 8.29-8.32]
GIDEON'S LONG LIFE; HIS DEATH AND BURIAL
29And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house.
30And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives.
31And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech.
32And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
29And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house. (Judges 8:29; KJV)
29 Jerubbaal, son of Joash, went home to live. (Judges 8:29; GW)
And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house…The subject is Gideon, who was also called Jerubbaal; see (Judges 6:32) and (Judges 7:1). After his great victory over the Midianites, he went to Ophrah (his city) and lived in his own house; see (Judges 9:5). The war having ended, he disbanded his army, and retired to his own house; not that he lived altogether a private life there, but he continued as a judge in Israel, where he was successful in preserving and maintaining their religion and liberties.
the son of Joash …The importance of Joash, who was the father of Gideon is evident in a number of things: (1) His clout in the cultic establishment at Ophrah indicating that he was wealthy and influential; (2) his forceful, compelling remarks in the altercation; (3) the mention of his sepulcher (the only one mentioned in Judges); and (4) his undoubted wealth." All of these things are a testimony of the wealth, power, and prestige of Gideon's family, despite Gideon's protest before the Angel of Jehovah in Judges 6:15.
Hervey has this interesting summary of Gideon's life: "He did not return to poverty and obscurity like the early Roman Consuls. He was judge over Israel for forty years, with an immense household and a harem, living like a great prince in his paternal city, with himself and his ephod the center around which the affairs of church and state gathered. He directed the affairs of his country, both civil and ecclesiastical so that Israel had peace for forty years. He suppressed Baal-worship, and having lived in peace and prosperity for a long life, he died in peace and was laid to rest in the sepulcher of his father;" See Judges 8.33. He declined the people’s offer of kingship, but in general, he lived like a king.
We have here the conclusion of the story of Gideon. We can realistically say some good things about this great man: he was a good man and an obedient servant of God. He lived privately, he was not puffed up with his great honors, and he did not covet a palace or castle to reside in, which is what the people desired, but retired to the same house he had lived in before his rise to the political and spiritual leader of Israel. However, there were blemishes in the life of Gideon. The idolatry which he encouraged by setting up his ephod would return as soon as he died, overwhelming Israel in another episode of oppression and sorrow. His own sons would, all except one, be ruthlessly slain by the son of his concubine. God's severe judgment did indeed fall upon Gideon in the person of his descendants.
_____________________________verse 29 notes_____________________________
(Judges 6:32) “Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him because he hath thrown down his altar.” The name Jerubbaal means “Let Baal Plead.”
(Judges 7:1; GW) “Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the troops with him got up early and camped above En Harod. Midian's camp was north of him at the hill of Moreh in the valley.” It appears that Jerubbaal was now a surname of Gideon—Adam Clarke's Commentary
(Judges 9:5; ASV) “And he went unto his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: but Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself."
(Judges 6:15) “And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” The angel of the LORD who spoke to him (Gideon) was the LORD Himself! He reminded Gideon that thou shalt save Israel, that is, he would be the next judge-deliverer. However, Gideon immediately began to make excuses for himself. He objected that his family in Manasseh was poor and that he was least in my father’s house (i.e., he was the youngest son of his family, and they were an insignificant family from a militarily impoverished tribe). In essence, he was saying that he was not qualified for this task, neither was his family, and neither was his tribe— KJV Bible Commentary. Adam Clarks Commentary has this to say about Gideon’s claim, “my family is poor”. Behold, my family is poor in Manasseh—???? ???? ????, Behold, my thousand is impoverished. Tribes were anciently divided into tens, and fifties, and hundreds, and thousands; the thousands, therefore, marked grand divisions, and consequently numerous families; Gideon here intimates that the families of which he was a part of, were very much diminished. But if we take ?????? alpey for the contracted form of the plural, which is frequently in Hebrew nouns joined with a verb in the singular, then the translation will be, "The thousands in Manasseh are thinned;" i.e., this tribe is greatly reduced and can do little against their enemies.