Gideon Defeats Midianites from The Story of the Bible… by Charles Foster, 1884; Illustrators: F.B. Schell, et al
Then Zevach and Tzalmuna said, ‘You, do it. You, kill us. Let a grown man do what takes a grown man’s strength.’ So Gid‘on got up and killed Zevach and Tzalmuna; then he took the ornamental crescents from around their camels’ necks. ~ Judges 8:21, CJB
The Old Testament’s events that are recorded in the Book of Judges, specifically in chapters 6 through 8, clearly are divinely designed to be a forewarning about the end-times conflict that Israel will have with her Arab enemies, as well as a forewarning about the One who will be Israel’s end-times Deliverer/Savior. In fact, Psalm 83 is a second biblical source in which can be found proof that Gideon’s Midianite onslaught is a type of end-times Arab invasion, and proof that Gideon is a type of Christ.
Numerous biblical prophecy scholars agree that the Arab attack mentioned in Psalm 83 is a final war that will take place during the end-times Tribulation Period. So then, when the psalmist states in Psalm 83:4 that the purpose of this final Arab invasion is so that these enemies of God and Israel can wipe Israel off of all maps so that Israel’s name will be forgotten, it stands to reason that the psalmist then would utter the following curse:
Do to them as you did to Midyan, to Sisra and Yavin at Vadi Kishon — they were destroyed at ‘Ein-Dor and became manure for the ground. Make their leaders like ‘Orev and Ze’ev, all their princes like Zevach and Tzalmuna, who said, ‘Let’s take possession of God’s meadows for ourselves.’ ~ Psalm 83:10-13, CJB
Now, since Gideon is the one who destroyed the Arab enemies mentioned in the above Psalm 83:10-13 curse, then it should be clear that Gideon’s Arab onslaught also is a foreshadowing of the same events that will take place during the Tribulation Period, as well as a prediction about this biblical Truth: Gideon is a type of Christ Jesus. For sure, what Gideon did to his Arab enemies, especially Zevach and Tzalmuna (or Zebah and Zalmunna), Christ Jesus will do to His Arab enemies! Gideon not only killed these Midianite leaders but also removed the crescent (moon-shaped) chains that were around the necks of these Arab leaders’ camels. Similarly, the Lord Christ Jesus not only will destroy every Arab who, in the end-times, comes against Israel and her people, but also He will remove from this Earth every crescent moon with a star symbol that now is visible throughout the Arab world—indeed, this symbol is visible throughout the entire Muslim or Islamic world.
There are so many other hints in Judges’ chapters 6 through 8 that Gideon’s Israel is also a picture of end-times Israel. This truth is made evident beginning with the opening verses. The Word of God says:
But the people of Isra’el did what was evil from Adonai’s perspective, so Adonai handed them over to Midyan for seven years. Midyan exercised its power harshly against Isra’el, and because of Midyan the people of Isra’el hid themselves in mountains, in caves and in other safe places. ~ Judges 6:1-2, CJB
The 7 years in the above verse represent the duration of Israel’s punishment at the hands of the Midianites. Prophetically, these 7 years also signify the length of Daniel’s 70th Week (cf. Daniel 9:25-27). Daniel’s 70th Week is the time when God will pour out His wrath on this Earth during the Tribulation Period, flooding this world with His intense global judgment mostly during the last 3½ years, which is the time of Jacob’s Trouble. Jacob’s Trouble is the time when God especially punishes Israel, the land and the Jewish people, for the Jewish people’s rejection of the Savior God sent to them, and for their deliberate disobedience and unbelievable unfaithfulness shown to God and His commandments.
Now the initial reason for why the Midianites, Amalekites, “…and others from the east…” (Judges 6:3) attack Israel in Gideon’s day and time seems to be so that they could ravage the land and steal the cattle, oxen, donkeys, and sheep, for the purpose of leaving the people of Israel absolutely NOTHING to live on (see Judges 6:4). Apparently the Ezekiel 38 invaders have the same motive, because the prophet Ezekiel questions if the raiding end-times Arabs have “…come to seize spoil…to loot; to carry off silver, gold, livestock and other wealth; to take much plunder” (Ezekiel 38:13, CJB).
In contrast, the Psalm 83 writer emphasizes that couched in the Midianite Arabs’ religious zeal language is the real reason for why the Midianite Arabs attacked Israel in Gideon’s day, and therefore the reason why the Arab 10-nation alliance will attack Israel in the end-times. The psalmist writes that the Midianites’ leaders like Oreb, Zeeb, Zebah, and Zalmunna eventually declared that they really wanted to “…take possession of God’s meadows for [them]selves” ~ Psalm 83:12-13, CJB (bracketed word is this blogger’s emphasis).
So for six years, while the marauding Arabs are depleting Israel’s livestock and diminishing the land’s grain, Gideon’s Israelites are hiding in caves. After crying out to the Lord for relief, in the seventh year God finally provides a deliverer/savior: Gideon. Similarly, at a time when it takes “…[t]wo pounds of wheat for a day’s wages! Six pounds of barley for the same price” (Revelation 6:6, CJB), the Tribulation’s inhabitants, Jewish people included, also will be hiding in the caves, because they will be terrified by the Tribulation’s cosmic distresses. Sadly, even then, they still will believe God to be a vengeful being. This is the reason why they will be crying out to the rocks and mountains to hide them from the imminent “wrath of God” instead of crying out to God. John the Revelator agrees, because he writes:
Then the earth’s kings, the rulers, the generals, the rich and the mighty — indeed, everyone, slave and free — hid himself in caves and among the rocks in the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of the One sitting on the throne and from the fury of the Lamb! For the Great Day of their fury has come, and who can stand?’ ~ Revelation 6:15-17, CJB
Even though these petrified people are hiding in caves and crying out to the rocks and mountains to save them from the “wrath of God,” Father God still will send them a Deliverer/Savior, who will be Jesus Christ. However, the Lord will not appear until the end of the 7-year Tribulation Period.
Next, what needs to be considered is the size of Gideon’s army and the peace this mighty man of God achieves with his soldiers’ help. After reducing his army to 300 warriors, the Israelites’ deliverer/savior, Gideon, defeats the Midianites, in the same Plain of Esdraelon and Valley of Jezreel where the Battle of Armageddon will be fought. Peace is restored in Israel, but this peace only lasts for the rest of Gideon’s life, which is about forty years. After Gideon dies, the Israelites once again turn away from God to worshipping idols, and once again peace is broken. This time the Israelites’ peace is broken by three years of betrayal and mayhem caused by Gideon’s son Abimelech, the traitor Israelite who has himself proclaimed king.
In comparison, the Lord initially chooses only 12 Jewish men to follow Him, and by the start of the Tribulation Period only 144,000 of the possible left-behind masses will be His spiritual warriors on this Earth. At the end of the Tribulation Period, when the Lord, Christ Jesus returns to Earth and solely defeats all of His Arab enemies who have come against Israel and her Jewish people, there will be 1,000 years of peace. At the end of the Lord’s 1,000-year reign, there is one last attempt to wage war against Christ Jesus. Satan, the ultimate traitor, is released from out of the Bottomless Pit so that he can deceive many of the millennial kingdom’s individuals to join his global military. However, before any fighting begins, Father God rains down fire from Heaven, and Satan’s soldiers are consumed (cf. Revelation 20:7-10).
It is important to note here that in Gideon’s day the Midianites (Arabs) were wealthy people. This truth is revealed in the list of plunder taken by Moses when he fought the Midianites some two centuries before Gideon’s war (cf. Numbers 31), and revealed in the list of plunder taken in Gideon’s war against the Midianites, Amalekites, “…and others from the east…” (Judges 6:3; Judges 8). Together, the goods Moses and Gideon took forcibly were gold, silver, brass (bronze), iron, tin, lead, tablets; purple garments; jewels of gold, like chains, bracelets, rings, earrings, pendants, neck bands, crescent (moon-shaped) chains that were about the camels’ necks; sheep, cattle, and donkeys, and so forth (cf. Numbers 31:11-12, 22, 32-34; Judges 8:24-27).
More important than the kinds of spoils Gideon took forcibly is the fact that the English word “ornaments,” as mentioned in the King James Version of Judges 8:21, is translated from the Hebrew word saharon, which means crescent moon. Thus, the crescent (moon-shaped) chains Gideon removes from around the camels’ necks are comparable to the latter-day crescent and star symbols of today’s Arabs, Muslims, and their Islamic religion. This truth is the reason why this crescent moon and star symbol is seen almost everywhere there are Arabs and Muslims. Therefore, as already mentioned, Gideon’s removal of the crescent (moon-shaped) chains clearly foreshadows Christ Jesus’ removal of every crescent moon with a star symbol that now is visible throughout the Arab, Muslim and Islamic world, because this Islamic symbol conveys the idea that Allah, a moon god, and Lucifer, the devil, are one in the same!
The above last statement is true, because both the Midianites’ crescent (moon-shaped) chains around their camels’ necks and the 21st century’s Islamic crescent moon with a star symbol on armored combat vehicles, minarets, turrets, and flags no doubt represent the idolatry copied from ancient Mesopotamian civilizations, of which their people not only worshipped a pantheon of pagan gods but also one common god—the moon-god Sin. What is important to note here is that as ancient Mesopotamian astral religion grew, the worship of stars also increased, especially since every god was given its own star. More important, after the astral triad, which consisted of the supreme gods Sin (The Moon), Ishtar (Venus), and Shamash (The Sun) developed, worship of the moon, the stars, and the sun eventually spread across the entire ancient world.
Consequently, nation states like Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Phoenicia, Canaan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia all assimilated some of the same Mesopotamian idolatrous worship features. More important it was Ur, the city from which Abraham came, that was the center for worship of the earlier mentioned moon-god Sin, who was reverenced in the form of a golden calf with crescent-moon shaped horns, and a long flowing lapis lazuli beard.
Thus, once the worship of the moon-god Sin spread across the entire ancient world, in every one of the aforementioned Middle Eastern nation states the moon-god Sin usually was represented by the crescent moon. This truth is why, when Israel fell into idolatry, it typically was because the Israelites or Hebrews or Jewish people were worshipping a feature of the moon-god Sin, like, for example, the golden calf venerated near Mount Sinai.
Even though the moon-god Sin has been around since Pre-Islamic Arabia; indeed, since the earliest post-flood world, it is conceivable that the Divine Truth in apostle Paul’s statement “…what one earns from sin is death…” (Romans 6:23, CJB) will be demonstrated best by those individuals who will be worshipping the moon-god Sin during the Tribulation Period. The fact that this idolatrous worship of the moon-god Sin still permeates the Middle East, and the truth that this last fact is verified today by countless Islamic images of the crescent moon and star, undoubtedly point to the future masses of people who will continue to reject Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior all the way up until the second He returns!
Perhaps since the symbol of the crescent moon has been used by the Arab religions as far back as the time of Abraham, this 21st century Arab, Muslim, and Islamic religion’s universal image, which is a remnant of ancient moon-god Sin worship, will be the main reason why, when Christ Jesus returns to destroy the enemies of God and Israel, those individuals who worship this image will be found guilty of committing the unpardonable sin for which their crime is punishable by death. That’s why it should be clear that the Tribulation’s Jewish people who survive up to the moment of the end-times Arab/Muslim/Islamic holocaust (Armageddon) but still refuse to learn the lesson of total commitment to their Messiah will be destroyed at pretty much the same time as the extant remnant of their Arab/Muslim/Islamic enemies. This Divine Truth is what Gideon’s life and his Midianite (Arab) victory teaches, because Gideon is indeed a type of Christ Jesus and Gideon’s divinely orchestrated triumph is a type of Battle of Armageddon.
In a nutshell, like Gideon, Christ Jesus also led a humble, hidden life during His early years. Also like Gideon, the Lord overcame his numerous enemies with a few soldiers. Gideon defeated his Midianite Arabs and other enemies with just 300 warriors, and Christ Jesus defeated the first century’s secular world with just 12 disciples turned apostles.
Finally, just like Gideon won his war against the Midianites, Amalekites, “…and others from the east…” (Judges 6:3) with broken pitchers (clay jars), trumpets, and torches, Christ Jesus’ disciples turned apostles’ only weapons were their individual body (clay jar, pitcher) broken so that the life and Light of Christ Jesus could shine through; their preaching (trumpet) of the Gospel; and the Holy Spirit (torch) within in them who caused them to produce good works, and who caused others to see the life and Light of Christ Jesus in them.
These are today’s disciples turned apostles, prophets, evangelists, and shepherds-teachers’ weapons, too. So let a word to the wise be sufficient!