|Judges 6 |
1 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years.
2 And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of the Midianites the children of Israel made themselves the dens that are in the mountains and caves and strongholds.
3 For it was, when Israel had sown their seed, that the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east came up against them.
4 They encamped against them and destroyed the crops of the earth as far as Gaza, leave no sustenance for Israel, and no sheep or ox or donkey.
5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like locusts in swarms for both they and their camels were without number; and they entered the land to destroy it.
6 So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried to the LORD.
7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried to the LORD because of the Midianites,
8 That the LORD sent a prophet to the children of Israel, who said to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt and brought you forth out of the house of bondage.
9 And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out from before you and gave you their land.
10 And I said to you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But you have not obeyed my voice."
11 Now the angel of the LORD came and sat under an oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, and his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites.
12 And the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon and said to him, "The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor."
13 And Gideon said to him, "Oh my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this befallen us? And where are all his miracles that our forefathers told us of, saying, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites."
14 And the LORD turned to him and said, "Go in this your might, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have not I sent you?"
15 But Gideon said to him, "Oh my Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house."
16 And the LORD said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall smite the Midianites as one man."
17 Then Gideon said to him, "If now I have found favor in your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talks with me.
18 Do not depart from here, I pray you, until I return to you and bring my offering and set it before you." And the LORD said, "I will tarry until you come back."
19 So Gideon went in and made ready a kid and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them out to him under the oak and presented them.
20 Then the Angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the unleavened cakes and lay them upon this rock and pour out the broth." And he did so.
21 Then the Angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes, and there rose up fire out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. Then the Angel of the LORD vanished from his sight.
22 And when Gideon perceived that he was the Angel of the LORD, Gideon said, "Alas, O LORD God! For now I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face."
23 But the LORD said to him, "Peace be to you, fear not; you shall not die."
24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom [the LORD is Peace]. To this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
25 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said to him, "Take your father's young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is by it;
26 And build an altar to the LORD your God upon the top of this stronghold with stones in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood from the Asherah that you shall cut down."
27 So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had said to him. But because he feared his father's household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night.
28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was torn down, and the Asherah was cut down that was beside it, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been built.
29 And they said to one another, "Who has done this thing?" And when they inquired, they were told, "Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing."
30 Then the men of the city said to Joash, "Bring out your son, that he may die, because he has thrown down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah that was beside it."
31 And Joash said to all who stood against him, "Will you plead for Baal's cause? Will you save him? He who will contend for Baal, let him be put to death while it is still morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself because someone has torn down his altar."
32 Therefore on that day he called Gideon Jerub-baal [Baal fighter], that is to say, "Let Baal fight against him," because he has thrown down his altar.
33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east gathered together, and went over and encamped in the valley of Jezreel.
34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, and the men of Abiezer were gathered to him.
35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also was gathered to him; and he sent messengers to Asher, to Zebulun, and to Naphtali, and they came up to meet them.
36 And Gideon said to God, "If you will save Israel by my hand as you have said,
37 Behold, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. And if the dew is on the fleece only and it is dry upon all the earth, then will I know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said."
38 And it was so. When he rose up early on the morrow and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung a bowl full of dew out of the fleece.
39 And Gideon said to God, "Let not your anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once more. Let me test, I pray you, just this once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece and upon all the ground let there be dew."
40 And God did so that night, for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
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