The Meaning of Judges 8:23 Explained

Judges 8:23

KJV: And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you.

YLT: And Gideon saith unto them, 'I do not rule over you, nor doth my son rule over you; Jehovah doth rule over you.'

Darby: Gideon said to them, "I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the LORD will rule over you."

ASV: And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: Jehovah shall rule over you.

What does Judges 8:23 Mean?

Context Summary

Judges 8:13-28 - The Snare Of Success
Clearly Gideon's family had passed through some terrible tragedy previous to this war of emancipation. He had not learned our Lord's teaching of forgiveness and acted on the usual maxims of his age. Possibly, also, he felt that he was the executioner of God's vengeance upon these chiefs, whose names, "Immolation" and "Trouble," were derived from their desperate deeds. As they stood anticipating death, they uttered a memorable sentence, "As the man is, so is his strength." The usefulness of our lives is not to be gauged by what we say or have or think, but by what we are. It is not gift but grace that leaves the deepest dint upon other lives. If you want to be strong in the arm, you must be pure and true at heart.
The gold and purple of the spoil enabled Gideon to make an ephod, presumably on the pattern of that described in Exodus 28:1-43. It was not exactly an idol but a kind of fetish, and it diverted the thoughts of the people from Shiloh and the spiritual worship of the unseen and eternal God. So apt is the human heart to cling to some outward emblem-it may be a crucifix, a wafer, or a church-and miss that worship in spirit and in truth for which the Father seeks. [source]

Chapter Summary: Judges 8

1  Gideon pacifies the Ephraimites
4  Succoth and Penuel refuse to deliver Gideon's army
10  Zebah and Zalmunna are taken
13  Succoth and Penuel are destroyed
17  Gideon revenges his brothers's death on Zebah and Zalmunna
22  He refuses government
24  His ephod the cause of idolatry
28  Midian subdued
29  Gideon's children, and death
33  The Israelites' idolatry and ingratitude

What do the individual words in Judges 8:23 mean?

But said to them Gideon not will rule I over you nor shall rule my son over you Yahweh over you
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲלֵהֶם֙ גִּדְע֔וֹן לֹֽא־ אֶמְשֹׁ֤ל אֲנִי֙ בָּכֶ֔ם וְלֹֽא־ יִמְשֹׁ֥ל בְּנִ֖י בָּכֶ֑ם יְהוָ֖ה בָּכֶֽם

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר  But  said 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
אֲלֵהֶם֙  to  them 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine plural
Root: אֶל  
Sense: to, toward, unto (of motion).
גִּדְע֔וֹן  Gideon 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: גִּדְעֹון  
Sense: youngest son of Joash of the Abiezrites, fifth judge of Israel who led the Israelites against the Midianites.
אֶמְשֹׁ֤ל  will  rule 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, first person common singular
Root: מָשַׁל  
Sense: to rule, have dominion, reign.
בָּכֶ֔ם  over  you 
Parse: Preposition, second person masculine plural
וְלֹֽא־  nor 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adverb, Negative particle
Root: הֲלֹא 
Sense: not, no.
יִמְשֹׁ֥ל  shall  rule 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: מָשַׁל  
Sense: to rule, have dominion, reign.
בְּנִ֖י  my  son 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, first person common singular
Root: בֵּן 
Sense: son, grandson, child, member of a group.
בָּכֶ֑ם  over  you 
Parse: Preposition, second person masculine plural
יְהוָ֖ה  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
בָּכֶֽם  over  you 
Parse: Preposition, second person masculine plural