Then the men of the city said unto Joash
The principal inhabitants of the place met together, and in a body went to Joash their chief magistrate, to have justice done in this case:
bring out thy son, that he may die;
they do not ask to have the cause tried by him, to hear what proof they had of the fact, or what Gideon had to say in his own defence; nor do they wait for the sentence of Joash, but determine it themselves, and require the delinquent to be given up to them, that they might put him to death; a strange request of Israelites, whose law judged no man before it heard him; and besides, according to that, the worshippers of Baal, and not the destroyers of him, and his altars, were to be put to death, which shows how strangely mad and infatuated these people were:
because he hath cut down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut
down the grove that was by it;
they take no notice of the bullock which he had taken and offered, it being his father's property; and which seems to confirm the sense of our version, that there was but one, ( Judges 6:25 ) for had the second been a different one, and the people's property, they would have accused him of theft as well as sacrilege respecting that.