(Luke 8:4-8) And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower [farmer] went out to sow his seed [i.e., little Christs]: and as he sowed, some fell by the way [Gk: road (path)] side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
(Luke 8:9,10) And his disciples [Gk: learners, pupils (students)] asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
(Luke 8:11-15) Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side [unsaved] are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock [unsaved] are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation [Gk: testing] fall away [Gk: to remove [themselves], instigate to revolt; to desist, desert: depart, draw (fall) away, withdraw self]. And that which fell among thorns [saved] are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked [Gk: strangled completely] with cares [Gk: distractions] and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection [Gk: to completion, to maturity]. But that on the good ground [saved] are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
1. (Isa 11:10) And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse [the father of David], which shall stand for an ensign [Heb: signal: sign, pole, banner] of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
2. (Rom 15:12) And again, Isaiah saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.
3. (Rev 5:5) And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
4. (Rev 22:16) I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
(Judg 8:4,5) And Gideon [Heb: feller (i.e. warrior) /// to fell a tree: hew down] [a type of Jesus Christ] came to Jordan [Heb: descender] [a type of the Holy Spirit], and passed over [from the Promised Land (a type of the Body of Christ) into the wilderness], he, and the three hundred men that were with him [a type of Christian overcomers], faint [Heb: weary], yet pursuing them [the remaining 15,000 “Ishmaelites” v24]. And he said unto the men of Succoth [Heb: booths] [tents], Give [sacrifice], I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah [Heb: sacrifice] and Zalmunna [Heb: withheld], kings of Midian [Heb: brawling, contentious, discord, strife] [a type of all unsaved people].
(Judg 8:6,7) And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand [possession], that we should give bread [sacrifice] unto thine army? [i.e., have you already won the victory? do you now control them?] And Gideon said, Therefore when the LORD hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh [an association with walking “in the flesh”] with the thorns of the wilderness [a symbol of the unsaved world] and with briers [Heb: thorns (perh. as burning brightly): lightning; by anal. a gleam; concr. a flashing sword:--bright, glittering, sword, lightning].
1. Commentary: The thorns and briers of the wilderness represent “that [seed] which fell among thorns” and those persons who become choked with the “cares [Gk: distractions] and riches and pleasures of this life [rather than focusing their thoughts and actions upon Heaven].” These persons that prioritize the thorns of this world and adorn them with their much attention instead of directing their attention toward God are walking in idolatry and “bring no fruit to perfection.” (Luke 8:14). Nevertheless, God is righteous and forgiving to these saved persons because they have received “the root” of life (Jesus Christ) in their hearts. However, they still lack understanding, and after teaching them through the chastisement of “the great tribulation,” now corrected, they too may enter into the eternal Heaven.
(Judg 8:8,9) And he went up thence [from Succoth] to Penuel [Heb: the face of God], and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him [i.e., we will not sacrifice, we will give no bread to your army]. And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace [after the victory], I will break down [Heb: Nemuel: day of God] this tower [Heb: rostrum: castle, pulpit] [connotation of pride].
1. Commentary: The tower (compare the tower of Babel) was an edifice made of stones erected one upon another representing “stony ground” (Mark 4:5,16) hardness of heart prideful Christians who have “no root” in themselves and are therefore called nominal or professing Christians; they are not saved.
(Judg 8:10-12) Now Zebah [Heb: sacrifice] and Zalmunna [Heb: withheld] were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure [thought itself escaped and safe]. And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host [“and routed the whole army” New American Standard Bible].
(Judg 8:13-17) And Gideon [a type of Jesus Christ] the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun was up, And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and inquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, even threescore and seventeen men . And he came unto the men of Succoth [by going around Penuel] [1 Pet 4:17], and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna with whom ye did upbraid me [Heb: defy me, rail against me], saying, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread [sacrifice] unto thy men that are weary? And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. And he beat down [Heb: Nemuel; day of God] [in the sense of their rising pride (the tower of Babel)] the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.
1. (1 Pet 4:17) For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
2. Commentary: The “among thorns” Christians were “taught” by Gideon (Jesus Christ) to the correction of their errors through the severe effects of the Great Tribulation [herein a type and shadow thereof]. The “stony ground” professing Christians Gideon (Jesus Christ) just outright “slew.” Who are you?
3. The Full Life Study Bible: “He took the elders… and slew the men.” = The punishment inflicted by Gideon on the Israelites of Succoth and Penuel was severe but justifiable. To be a member of God’s people while refusing to stand by those fighting God’s battle is a terrible offense in the Lord’s eyes.
(Judg 8:18-24) Then said he unto Zebah [Heb: sacrifice] and Zalmunna [Heb: withheld], What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king. And he said, They were my brethren, even the sons of my mother: as the LORD liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you. And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, and slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he was yet a youth. Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon [Jesus Christ] arose, and slew Zebah [sacrifice] and Zalmunna [withheld], and took away the [“crescent-shaped” Amplified Bible] ornaments [Heb: a round pendant for the neck: round tire like the moon] that were on their camels' necks. Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you [symbolic of the beginning of the 1,000 year millennium]. And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.)
1. Commentary: “ornaments” & “Ishmaelites” = These are the first and second prophetic allusions to the then future religion of Islam founded in 610 A.D. by Mohammed (570-632 A.D.) who symbolize their God Allah by the crescent moon. According to Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, “Mohammed claimed Ishmael as his ancestor, as do most Arabs.” How do you suppose this prophecy will affect you?