“As a man is, so is his strength”

Judges Bible Background

04.02.2016 Old Testament: Jdg 8.18–21

To read the Bible in a year, read Judges 8–9 on April 2, In the year of our Lord 2016

By Don Ruhl

Gideon captured the two kings of Midian and he wanted them to know that they had killed his brothers. Therefore, he ordered his youngest son to kill the kings, but he would not do it,

And he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “What kind of men were they whom you killed at Tabor?” So they answered, “As you are, so were they; each one resembled the son of a king.” Then he said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As the LORD lives, if you had let them live, I would not kill you.” And he said to Jether his firstborn, “Rise, kill them!” But the youth would not draw his sword; for he was afraid, because he was still a youth. So Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Rise yourself, and kill us; for as a man is, so is his strength.” So Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescent ornaments that were on their camels’ necks (Judges 8.18–21).

We do not know how young Jether was, but young enough that killing a man still seemed a frightening experience to him. Therefore, Gideon had to do himself, but he did it because the kings challenged him. Perhaps they thought he would not do it, because he had ordered someone else to do it. However, he answered the challenge and demonstrated his strength. He had saved Israel from Midian, ultimately from its oppressive kings.


  • How strong are you?
  • Can you do what needs to be done, even if it is unpleasant?

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