And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
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George Leo Haydock
Angel; Michael. (Menochius)
Some think it was the prophet who had addressed the people, or Phinees, according to the Rabbins. See St. Augustine, q. 31. Others believe it was the Son of God, who takes the name of Jehovah. (Broughton and other Protestants)
But the most natural opinion is, that a real angel was sent, in the name of God, like that which appeared to Moses, and assumed the incommunicable name, as the ambassador of God. Gedeon took him for a man, and presented him a noble feast, without designing to offer sacrifice to him. Maimonides and Grotius seem to suppose that all this passed in a dream; but the sequal refutes this opinion.
Ephra, a city of the half tribe of Manasses, on the west side of the Jordan, of which Joas was the richest citizen. He was of the family of Ezri, and a descendant of Abiezer, 1 Paralipomenon viii. 18. Hebrew might be rendered, "Joas, the Abiezerite "chap. viii. 32., and xiii. 2.
Madian. Not having the convenience of cleansing the wheat in the open field, Gedeon was doing it privately, with a design to carry it off, at the approach of the enemy, and to support himself and family in some cavern. Hebrew takes no notice of cleaning: "Gedeon threshed wheat, by the wine press, to hide it, or to flee "He probably used a flail, or some smaller sticks, such as were employed to beat out olives, Isaias xxviii. 27., and Ruth ii. 17. (Calmet)
The wheat harvest was about Pentecost, that of barley was at Easter. It seems the Madianites had been later than usual this year, in making their incursions, ver. 33. (Haydock)