And Gideon made an ephod of it, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went there and played the harlot with it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.
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George Leo Haydock
An ephod. A priestly garment; which Gedeon made with a good design: but the Israelites, after his death, abused it by making it an instrument of their idolatrous worship, (Challoner) and perhaps consulting their idols with it. No law forbad the making of such a garment. (Menochius)
It was not peculiar to the high priest, since we find that Samuel and David occasionally wore the ephod, (2 Kings vi. 14,) and probably Gedeon would, on public occasions, do the like with this most costly one, which would serve to remind the people of the victory which they had gained over Madian. The chief judge in Egypt wore a great golden chain and collar, adorned with curious figures, as a mark of his dignity. (Diod. ii. 3.) This monument of the victory, and of the dignity of Gedeon, became, after his death, an occasion of superstition to the people, who foolishly imagined that they might consult the Lord, wherever an ephod was found. See chap. xvii. 5., and Exodus xxv. 7. The began to neglect the taber...