Gaal the son of Ebed - Of this person we know no more than is here told. He was probably one of the descendants of the Canaanites, who hoped from the state of the public mind, and their disaffection to Abimelech, to cause a revolution, and thus to restore the ancient government as it was under Hamor, the father of Shechem.
It does not appear who Gaal, son of Ebed, was; he may have been an officer sent by Abimelech with a force to bring the men of Shechem back to their allegiance, but who tried to turn the rebellion to his own account. He got into Shechem with a band of men, “his brethren,” unopposed by Zebul, Abimelech‘s officer, and soon gained the confidence of the Shechemites,
Principle, Not Policy, Must Control—Had the Israelites preserved a clear perception of right and wrong, they would have seen the fallacy of Abimelech's reasoning, and the injustice of his claims. They would have seen that he was filled with envy, and actuated by a base ambition to exalt himself by the ruin of his brethren. Those who are controlled by policy rather than by principle are not to be trusted. They will pervert the truth, conceal facts, and construe the words of others to mean that which was never intended. They will employ flattering words, while the poison of asps is under their tongue. He who does not earnestly seek the divine guidance will be deceived by their smooth words and their artful plans (The Signs of the Times, August 4, 1881). 2BC 1005.1Read in context »