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Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:12-14 (NET)


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Website Administrator & President of

Cyber-Center for Biblical Studies. 

Herbert W. Bateman IV




Cyber-Center for Biblical Studies
is an internet resource center that promotes the reading, studying, teaching, and preaching of the Bible.



A Pastor’s Perspective — On Judges 8:31

“Reflecting on Biblical Names and Hidden Motives”

by Michael Hontz 

Readers of Scripture have often recognized that names in the Bible sometimes hold great significance. They may convey deeper spiritual truths about a person. For example, God changed Abram (‘exalted father’) to Abraham (‘father of a multitude’); Jesus changed Cephas to Peter. Thus, it’s important to consider whether a person’s name is significant to a biblical story.

Such is the case in the story of Gideon. Many are familiar with the successful military campaign Gideon led against the massive Midianite army with only 300 soldiers armed with torches and trumpets. The later years of Gideon’s life are not as familiar. In Judges 8:22, the Israelites respond to Gideon’s success by insisting he and his descendants become kings in Israel. Gideon appears to give a good answer, saying, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you” (v. 23, ESV). However, the rest of the narrative raises serious questions. Gideon requests that Israel give him earrings from the spoil with which he makes a golden ephod. This eventually becomes an object of idolatry for the people. Furthermore, we read that Gideon had 70 sons, many wives, and a concubine. These don’t seem to be characteristic of a godly leader. What’s going on?

There’s an important detail in verse 31. We’re told that Gideon named his son Abimelech. A brief Hebrew lesson may help. The Hebrew word Ab in Hebrew means “father.” To make a noun singularly possessive in Hebrew, an “i” is added to the end of the word. Thus, abi means “my father.” Finally, melech means, “king.” Thus, Abimelech means, “my father is a king.” This is ironic considering earlier, Gideon refused to accept the title of king. It would appear he viewed himself as Israel’s king nonetheless. This may explain why Gideon had a harem. It may also explain why Gideon wanted his own ephod. In the Old Testament, the ephod was worn by the priests and used to discern God’s will. It’s possible Gideon wanted people to come to him to discern God’s will as their ruling judge. Finally, it may explain the murderous grasp for power carried out by Abimelech years later.

Abimelech becomes a tragic ending to the promising start of Gideon’s life. This has-been “mighty warrior” highlights a truth later expressed by the Apostle Paul: God’s strength shines in our weaknesses (2 Cor. 12:9-10). When Gideon recognized his weakness, he relied on God’s might, accomplishing one of Scripture’s most improbable of victories. However, when he trusted in his earlier successes, Gideon acted independent of the Lord, leading ultimately to his downfall.

This story serves as a warning to those who feel strong due to past success, natural talents, Spirit-giftedness, or the compliments of others. We are wise to heed Paul’s warning: the one who thinks he stands tall, ought to be beware, lest he fall. Similarly, for those who are weak, what a great reminder that lacking strength can be one of the greatest blessings. It keeps us from the failure resulting from pride, and pushes us to lean on God—our only true Victor and King.


Mike, Senior Pastor at Pleasant View Bible Church in Northern Indiana has earned his B.S. from Appalachian Bible College (2001) and his M.Div. from Grace Theological Seminary (2007). He began as a Youth Pastor in Pennsylvania. After moving to Indiana, he began ministering at Pleasant View Bible Church as a pastoral intern in the areas of youth and music. After graduating from Grace Seminary, Mike became Pleasant View's Youth Pastor and eventually transitioned to become the Associate Pastor in 2009 and the Senior Pastor in 2011. 


"A Pastor's Perspective" is a CCBS ministry directed by Timothy D. Sprankle, Senior Pastor of Leesburg Grace Brethren Church. He solicits, collects, and edits all submissions before posting. He earned his B.A. (2001) and M.Div. degrees from Grace Theological Seminary (2004). 




Interpreting the Psalms for Teaching and Preaching (2010)

Interpreting the General Letters (2013)Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews (2007)

Commentary on Jude (2015)

Jesus the Messiah      (2012)