What does Judges 8:32 mean?
ESV: And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, at Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
NIV: Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
NASB: And Gideon the son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
CSB: Then Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
NLT: Gideon died when he was very old, and he was buried in the grave of his father, Joash, at Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer.
KJV: And 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.
NKJV: Now Gideon the son of Joash died at a good old age, and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
Verse Commentary:
Gideon's story is one of the longest and most involved of the judges described in this book. God used him to deliver Israel from her enemies (Judges 6:1–5; 8:10–12) and to bring peace for forty years (Judges 8:28). Though he rightly declined to become king (Judges 8:22–23), he served himself (Judges 8:24–26) and led Israel into idol worship (Judges 8:27). He likely openly betrayed God's law (Deuteronomy 7:3–4) in taking a Canaanite woman and having a son with her (Judges 8:31).

Still, Gideon lived a long and full life, eventually being buried in the tomb of his father Joash, in his hometown of Ophrah (Judges 6:11; 8:32). With the end of Gideon's life, the familiar pattern of Judges will eventually reset and begin to repeat (Judges 2:11–19). First, though, his son by an unnamed concubine will commit acts of brutality (Judges 9:1–5).
Verse Context:
Judges 8:29–35 describes Gideon's enormous family after God's power defeated Midianite raiders. Wealthy and influential, Gideon takes many wives and has seventy sons. This includes one son by a Canaanite concubine. Unrestrained by a deliverer after Gideon's death, the people of Israel dive deeper into worshiping false idols. They abandon God and worship Baal-berith. They also stop caring for Gideon's family. This sudden change factors into the sordid events recorded in chapter 9.
Chapter Summary:
Gideon soothes the anger of the men of Ephraim. Then, with his 300 fighting men, he chases the remnant of the Midianite army. After a difficult pursuit, he finally catches and defeats them in the wilderness. Gideon then returns to two Israelite towns who refused to help him along the way. He flogs the leaders of one town and kills the men of the other. He then executes the captured enemy kings. Gideon collects tribute from Israel but declines to become their official king. He lives to gain seventy sons, many wives, and at least one Canaanite concubine. When Gideon dies, Israel immediately returns to idol worship.
Chapter Context:
Judges 8 follows the great victory described at the end of the previous chapter. This passage begins with Gideon awkwardly soothing the anger of Ephraimites while trying to chase down an escaping enemy. After capturing the Midianite kings, Gideon punishes two towns for failing to aid their fellow Israelites. Gideon refuses to become a literal king but collects tribute from the people and lives like a king all his days, with many wives and sons. The people return to idol worship after his death. Soon after, the concubine's son, Abimelech, murders Gideon's other sons and briefly rules before meeting a gruesome death.
Book Summary:
The Book of Judges describes Israel's history from the death of Joshua to shortly before Israel's first king, Saul. Israel fails to complete God's command to purge the wicked Canaanites from the land (Deuteronomy 7:1–5; 9:4). This results in a centuries-long cycle where Israel falls into sin and is oppressed by local enemies. After each oppression, God sends a civil-military leader, labeled using a Hebrew word loosely translated into English as "judge." These appointed rescuers would free Israel from enemy control and govern for a certain time. After each judge's death, the cycle of sin and oppression begins again. This continues until the people of Israel choose a king, during the ministry of the prophet-and-judge Samuel (1 Samuel 1—7).
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