The Meaning of Judges 8:28 Explained

Judges 8:28

KJV: Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.

YLT: And Midian is humbled before the sons of Israel, and have not added to lift up their head; and the land resteth forty years in the days of Gideon.

Darby: So Mid'ian was subdued before the people of Israel, and they lifted up their heads no more. And the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.

ASV: So Midian was subdued before the children of Israel, and they lifted up their heads no more. And the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.

What does Judges 8:28 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 8:28 mean?

Thus was subdued Midian before the sons of Israel so that no more For they lifted their heads and was quiet the country forty years in the days of Gideon -
וַיִּכָּנַ֣ע מִדְיָ֗ן לִפְנֵי֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְלֹ֥א יָסְפ֖וּ לָשֵׂ֣את רֹאשָׁ֑ם וַתִּשְׁקֹ֥ט הָאָ֛רֶץ אַרְבָּעִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה בִּימֵ֥י גִדְעֽוֹן פ

וַיִּכָּנַ֣ע  Thus  was  subdued 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Nifal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: כָּנַע  
Sense: to be humble, be humbled, be subdued, be brought down, be low, be under, be brought into subjection.
מִדְיָ֗ן  Midian 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: מִדְיָן  
Sense: son of Abraham by Keturah and progenitor of the tribe of Midianites or Arabians.
לִפְנֵי֙  before 
Parse: Preposition-l, Noun, common plural construct
Root: לִפְנֵי 
Sense: face.
בְּנֵ֣י  the  sons 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: בֵּן 
Sense: son, grandson, child, member of a group.
יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל  of  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.
וְלֹ֥א  so  that  no 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adverb, Negative particle
Root: הֲלֹא 
Sense: not, no.
יָסְפ֖וּ  more 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: יָסַף 
Sense: to add, increase, do again.
לָשֵׂ֣את  For  they  lifted 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Qal, Infinitive construct
Root: נָשָׂא  
Sense: to lift, bear up, carry, take.
רֹאשָׁ֑ם  their  heads 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine plural
Root: רֹאשׁ 
Sense: head, top, summit, upper part, chief, total, sum, height, front, beginning.
וַתִּשְׁקֹ֥ט  and  was  quiet 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person feminine singular
Root: שָׁקַט  
Sense: to be quiet, be tranquil, be at peace, be quiet, rest, lie still, be undisturbed.
הָאָ֛רֶץ  the  country 
Parse: Article, Noun, feminine singular
Root: אֶרֶץ  
Sense: land, earth.
אַרְבָּעִ֥ים  forty 
Parse: Number, common plural
Root: אַרְבָּעִים  
Sense: forty.
שָׁנָ֖ה  years 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular
Root: שָׁנָה  
Sense: year.
בִּימֵ֥י  in  the  days 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: יׄום 
Sense: day, time, year.
גִדְעֽוֹן  of  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.
פ  - 
Parse: Punctuation