Verse 35. "Neither showed they kindness to the house of- Gideon" - They were both unthankful and unholy. Though they had the clearest proofs of God's power and goodness before their eyes, yet they forgot him. And although they were under the greatest obligations to Gideon, and were once so sensible of them that they offered to settle the kingdom on him and his family, yet they forgot him also; for, becoming foes to GOD, they could not be friends to MAN. Jerubbaal, namely, Gideon. - This is improper; it should be Jerubbaal Gideon, as we say Simon Peter, or call any man by his Christian name and surname. THE ancients, particularly St. Ambrose and Augustine, have endeavoured to find out a parallel between our blessed Lord and Gideon. We have already seen what Origen has made of the whole account, who is followed in the main by the above Latin fathers. As I believe no such parallel was intended by the Spirit of God, I must be excused from going into their details. It is no credit either to Christ or Christianity to be compared to such persons and their transactions. 1. Of Gideon the most we can say is that which the angel said, he was a mighty man of valor. 2. He was also a true patriot, he loved his country, and hazarded his life for it; and yet he would not stir till he had the most incontestable proofs that God would, by his supernatural assistance, make him victorious. 3. He was most evidently disinterested, and void of ambition; he refused the kingdom when it was offered to him and to his heirs after him. But, consistently with the belief he had in God, he could not accept it, as this would have been a complete alteration of the Jewish constitution, which acknowledged no ruler but God himself. 4. His motive in making the ephod is not well understood; probably it was done with no reprehensible design. But the act was totally wrong; he had no Divine authority to make such an innovation in the religious worship of his country. The ark was at Shechem; and there was the proper and only accredited priest. The act therefore can never be excused, whatever may be said of his motive. 5. His private character does not appear to have been very exemplary; he had many wives, and seventy sons by them, besides one by a concubine, which he kept at Shechem, where he was often obliged to go as judge, for the purpose of administering justice. In short, there is scarcely a trait in his character worthy to be compared with any thing in the conduct of the Redeemer of mankind. 6. Parallels to Christ, and the work of his Spirit in the salvation of men, have been diligently sought in the sacred writings, by both commentators and preachers; and we have had voluminous treaties on types and antitypes; and how little has sound doctrine or true piety derived from them! They have often served to unsettle the former, and have been rather inimical than favourable to the interests of the latter. When the Spirit of God says such things are types and such things are allegories, it is our duty to believe and examine; when men produce their types and metaphors, it may be our duty to doubt, be suspicious, and pass on.