The Meaning of Judges 8:33 Explained

Judges 8:33

KJV: And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god.

YLT: And it cometh to pass, when Gideon is dead, that the sons of Israel turn back and go a-whoring after the Baalim, and set over them Baal-Berith for a god;

Darby: As soon as Gideon died, the people of Israel turned again and played the harlot after the Ba'als, and made Ba'al-be'rith their god.

ASV: And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and played the harlot after the Baalim, and made Baal-berith their god.

What does Judges 8:33 Mean?

Context Summary

Judges 8:29-35 - "through Slaughter To A Throne"
The Children of Israel were guilty of great fickleness and instability. They soon relapsed into Baal worship and forgot to show kindness to the family of their great leader. But such is the frailty of the human heart. However hot we may be for Christ today, we may be cold and distant tomorrow. It seems as if the great adversary taunts us with this as he did John Bunyan, to whom he kept whispering. "I'll cool you, I'll cool you." We must take our fickle hearts to our Lord, asking Him to keep us true and hot in our love. There are times when His friendship is the most real thing in life, but then the rainbow-glory fades in the sky. Let it not be so any more, O Lord, we beseech thee!
The terrible crime of Abimelech was extenuated by the people of Shechem, because his mother was one of themselves. Compare Judges 8:31 with 9:1, 18. But the mills of God were grinding out awful trouble for them all, Judges 9:56-57. Surely, in his lack of self-control, Gideon had much to answer for, Judges 8:30! The evil that men do lives after them. [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 8:33 mean?

So it was as soon as was dead Gideon that again the sons of Israel and played the harlot with the Baals and made their in Baal-berith god
וַיְהִ֗י כַּֽאֲשֶׁר֙ מֵ֣ת גִּדְע֔וֹן וַיָּשׁ֙וּבוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַיִּזְנ֖וּ אַחֲרֵ֣י הַבְּעָלִ֑ים וַיָּשִׂ֧ימוּ לָהֶ֛ם בַּ֥עַל בְּרִ֖ית לֵאלֹהִֽים

וַיְהִ֗י  So  it  was 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶהְיֶה 
Sense: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.
כַּֽאֲשֶׁר֙  as  soon  as 
Parse: Preposition-k, Pronoun, relative
Root: אֲשֶׁר 
Sense: (relative part.).
מֵ֣ת  was  dead 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: מוּת  
Sense: to die, kill, have one executed.
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.
וַיָּשׁ֙וּבוּ֙  that  again 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: שׁוּב  
Sense: to return, turn back.
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.
וַיִּזְנ֖וּ  and  played  the  harlot 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: זָנָה 
Sense: to commit fornication, be a harlot, play the harlot.
הַבְּעָלִ֑ים  the  Baals 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine plural
Root: בַּעַל  
Sense: supreme male divinity of the Phoenicians or Canaanites.
וַיָּשִׂ֧ימוּ  and  made 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: שׂוּמָה 
Sense: to put, place, set, appoint, make.
בְּרִ֖ית  Baal-berith 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: בַּעַל בְּרִית  
Sense: a god of the Philistines.
לֵאלֹהִֽים  god 
Parse: Preposition-l, Noun, masculine plural
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).