LET us now continue our study of Gideon – Type and Antitype, by taking up Judges 7: 24-8: 3, which introduces an episode that refers to the part that the men of Ephraim took, not in the first and second battles of Gideon, but in a separate fight to which they were invited. Though they were not led by Gideon, he charged them as to what they were to do. Seeing the route of the Midianites, Gideon desired to intercept and destroy them before they crossed the Jordan.
“Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan” (verse 24). This all the men of Ephraim joined in doing. By this movement, a considerable part of the retreating host was intercepted, and in the ensuing battle it was not only defeated and dispersed, but the two princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb were captured and killed. The men of Ephraim brought the heads of the two princes to Gideon, who now was east of the Jordan, that is, after he and his three hundred had crossed over it in their pursuit of the Midianites fleeing from the west to the east of Jordan (Judges 8: 4). The men of Ephraim there very severely upbraided (verse 1) Gideon for not calling them out to the war in time for them to engage in the first battle. But Gideon answered them tactfully and they were pacified.
Let us now look at the antitype of this section. The men of Ephraim cannot type the Little Flock because they were not called to take part in Gideon’s first battle; so, they evidently type the Youthful Worthies. How did antitypical Gideon call them? We answer: (1) by continuing the invitation to consecrate after the Fall of 1914; (2) by emphasizing after the Fall of 1914 that there would be a class who would be privileged to share in reward and honor with the Ancient Worthies; (3) by arousing them to battle against error; (4) by the teaching during 1916 that the Lord’s people would smite Jordan twice; and (5) by repeatedly encouraging the Lord’s people during 1916 along the lines of the privilege of smiting Jordan.
Antitypical Oreb and Zeeb
The two princes of Midian (Judges 7: 25) represent two prince – not king – errors. Oreb fittingly represents Sectarianism, and Zeeb fittingly represents Clericalism. The Youthful Worthies from the Fall of 1917 onward were instrumental in refuting those two prince errors.
The Youthful Worthies as a class resented and murmured against their not being favored with the High Calling (Judges 8: 1). This began to take place in 1918 when the teaching that the sealing of the Little Flock had taken place by the Passover of 1916. In varying forms these brethren showed their great disappointment at coming too late for the High Calling.
Gideon answered the men of Ephraim by praising their work above his own, as though their gleaning – the killing of Oreb and Zeeb – was more than his vintage, the first battle (verse 2). How could the Lord in the antitype have found something in the Youthful Worthies’ victory that was larger than His in the first battle? The answer is that the work in which the bulk of the Youthful Worthies took part has been on a larger scale than was that of the Lord and the antitypical Three Hundred. Facts also corroborate the antitype that has been presented.
(to be continued)