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11 Then the messenger of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite. Joash’s son Gideon(A) was beating out wheat in the wine press to save it from the Midianites, 12 and the messenger of the Lord appeared to him and said: The Lord is with you, you mighty warrior! 13 “My lord,” Gideon said to him, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are his wondrous deeds about which our ancestors told us when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ For now the Lord has abandoned us and has delivered us into the power of Midian.” 14 (B)The Lord turned to him and said: Go with the strength you have, and save Israel from the power of Midian. Is it not I who send you? 15 But he answered him, “Please, my Lord, how can I save Israel? My family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the most insignificant in my father’s house.”(C) 16 The Lord said to him: I will be with you,[a] and you will cut down Midian to the last man. 17 He answered him, “If you look on me with favor, give me a sign that you are the one speaking with me. 18 Please do not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my offering and set it before you.” He answered: I will await your return.

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  1. 6:16 I will be with you: narratives telling how the Lord commissions someone for a task depict the person’s reactions of reluctance, confusion, or sense of inadequacy, and the Lord’s reassurance (“I will be with you”), sometimes accompanied by a sign (cf. Ex 3:12; Jer 1:8). Lk 1:28–37 is modeled on this pattern.