As a theologian, I enjoy studying the lives of Biblical characters and sometimes speculating on their final destiny. One such character is Gideon. I first delved into his story as a college sophomore. He struck me as an enigma who started out well but ended disastrously. However, a conversation with a senior convinced me that Gideon was a picture of God’s grace working through human weakness. This insight was helpful in a forum decades later. Someone wanted to know if Gideon was in Heaven. Leaning on my background in theology and research, I explained the likelihood of this and addressed follow-up questions from the audience. Here’s my take on the question, “Did Gideon go to Heaven?”
This article explores this question more deeply. I invite you to explore what the Bible says about Gideon and popular beliefs on whether Gideon went to Heaven.
What happens to Gideon in the Bible?
The Bible doesn’t tell us Gideon’s final destiny. However, we know him to be a great leader and judge who exemplified faith and obedience to God. He was an Abiezrite from the tribe of Manasseh, famous for defeating the Midianite army with just 300 men.
We’re first introduced to him as a coward threshing wheat in a wine press. God first commanded him to destroy Baal’s altar and erect a new one for the Lord. Gideon carried out this order at night (Judges 6:27). Next, God ordered him to attack the Midianite army with 300 men. Needless to say, Gideon was victorious. Gideon retired to his hometown after the war, where he died of old age.
Did Gideon have faith in God?
Yes. We see God strengthen Gideon’s faith at every turn. Gideon feared the Midianites, probably because they killed his brothers at Tabor (Judges 8:18-19). However, God called him and showed him four signs to reassure him and build his faith. These instances increased Gideon’s faith and saw him hailed as a hero of faith.
How did Gideon die in the Bible?
Gideon died of old age. We see this in Judges 8:32. He had 70 sons and was a judge for 40 years. During his time, there was peace in Israel. His son Abimelek succeeded him for the next three years.
What happened to Gideon’s body, according to the Bible?
Gideon was buried in his family’s tomb at Ophrah. This was in line with their custom. Gideon isn’t mentioned again in the old testament, proving his body remained buried after his death.
Do Christians believe Gideon went to Heaven after he died?
Christians are split over whether Gideon went to Heaven. Those believing Gideon went to Heaven cite Gideon’s faith in God and obedience to His commands. Gideon destroyed Baal’s altar (Judges 6:27) and defeated the Midianites (Judges 7).
Those believing the contrary see a sinister undertone in Gideon’s life.
- They point out his harsh treatment of the men at Succoth and Peniel (Judges 8:16-17).
- They suggest that revenge motivated Gideon’s pursuit of the Midianite kings. In Judges 8:18-21, Gideon reveals that he killed the Midianite kings because they killed his brothers at Tabor.
- They also cite Gideon’s Ephod (Judges 8:22-27). Gideon refused to be king but built an Ephod using the gold he collected from the people. This Ephod would later ensnare the people into idolatry.
Christians believing Gideon didn’t go to Heaven argue he started well but fell from grace towards the end of his life.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.