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Midian Prevails Against Israel

Then the sons of Israel (A)did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh; and Yahweh gave them into the hands of (B)Midian seven years. And the [a]power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves (C)the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. And it was when Israel had sown, that the Midianites would go up with the Amalekites and the sons of the east and go up against them. So they would camp against them and (D)ruin the produce of the earth [b]as far as Gaza and (E)leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey. For they would go up with their livestock and their tents; they would come in (F)like locusts for number, both they and their camels were innumerable; and they came into the land to make it a ruin. So Israel was brought (G)very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried out to Yahweh.

Now it happened when the sons of Israel cried out to Yahweh on account of Midian, that Yahweh sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and (H)he said to them, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘It was I who brought you up from Egypt and brought you out from the house of slavery. I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors and drove them out before you and gave you their land, 10 and I said to you, “I am Yahweh your God; you (I)shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But you have not listened to My voice.”’”

Yahweh Sends Gideon to Save Israel

11 Then (J)the angel of Yahweh came and sat under the [c]oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the (K)Abiezrite as his son (L)Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to [d]preserve it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of Yahweh appeared to him and said to him, “Yahweh is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if Yahweh is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His wondrous deeds which our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not Yahweh bring us up from Egypt?’ But (M)now Yahweh has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 Then Yahweh turned to him and said, “(N)Go in this strength of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” 15 (O)But he said to Him, “O Lord, with what shall I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the least in (P)Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” 16 (Q)But Yahweh said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall strike down Midian as one man.” 17 So [e]Gideon said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your eyes, then do (R)a sign for me that it is You who speak with me. 18 Please do not depart from here until I come back to You, and I bring out my offering and lay it before You.” And He said, “I will remain until you return.”

19 So Gideon went in and (S)prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an [f]ephah of flour; he put the meat in a basket [g]and the broth in a pot and brought them out to him under the [h]oak and presented them. 20 And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock and pour out the broth.” And he did so. 21 Then the angel of Yahweh put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and (T)fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the angel of Yahweh went away from before his eyes. 22 (U)And Gideon saw that he was the angel of Yahweh, so [i]he said, “Alas, O Lord Yahweh! For now I have seen the angel of Yahweh face to face.” 23 And Yahweh said to him, “Peace to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” 24 So Gideon built an altar there to Yahweh and named it [j]Yahweh is Peace. To this day it is still (V)in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

25 Now it happened on the same night that Yahweh said to him, “Take your father’s bull [k]and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the [l](W)Asherah that is beside it, 26 and build an altar to Yahweh your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly manner, and take the second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.” 27 So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as Yahweh had spoken to him; and now it happened that because he was too afraid of his father’s household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night.

Gideon Tears Down the Altar of Baal

28 Then the men of the city arose early in the morning, and behold, the altar of Baal was torn down, and the Asherah which was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar which had been built. 29 And they said to one another, “Who did this thing?” And when they searched about and inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash did this thing.” 30 Then the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has torn down the altar of Baal, and indeed, he has cut down the Asherah which was beside it.” 31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal, or will you save him? Whoever will contend for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because someone has torn down his altar.” 32 Therefore on that day he named him (X)Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he had torn down his altar.

33 Now all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the sons of the east assembled themselves; and they crossed over and camped in (Y)the valley of Jezreel. 34 But (Z)the Spirit of Yahweh clothed Gideon; and he (AA)blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him. 35 And he sent messengers throughout Manasseh, and they also were called together to follow him; and he sent messengers to Asher, (AB)Zebulun, and Naphtali, and (AC)they came up to meet them.

The Test of the Fleece

36 Then Gideon said to God, “(AD)If You will save Israel by my hand, as You have spoken, 37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have spoken.” 38 And it was so. Indeed he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece. And he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “(AE)Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.” 40 And God did so that night. So it was dry only on the fleece, but dew was on all the ground.


  1. Judges 6:2 Lit hand
  2. Judges 6:4 Lit until your coming to
  3. Judges 6:11 Or terebinth
  4. Judges 6:11 Lit cause to escape
  5. Judges 6:17 Lit he
  6. Judges 6:19 An ephah was approx. 21 qt. or 23 l
  7. Judges 6:19 Lit and he put
  8. Judges 6:19 Or terebinth
  9. Judges 6:22 Lit Gideon
  10. Judges 6:24 Heb Yahweh-shalom
  11. Judges 6:25 Or even
  12. Judges 6:25 A wooden symbol of a female deity, also vv 26, 28, 30