Judges 6 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
6 Then Bnei-Yisrael did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, so Adonai gave them into the hand of Midian for seven years. 2 Midian maintained an upper hand over Israel, and because of Midian Bnei-Yisrael made themselves hideouts in the mountains—caves and strongholds. 3 Whenever Israel had done their sowing, the Midianites, Amalekites and people from the east would come up and raid them. 4 They would set up camp by them, destroy the produce of the land as far as Gaza, and leave nothing in Israel to live on—not a sheep, ox or donkey. 5 For they would come up with their cattle and their tents, invade like a multitude of locusts. Both they and their camels were innumerable, and they would come to the land to ruin it. 6 So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai.
7 Now it came about when Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai because of Midian, 8 that Adonai sent a prophet to Bnei-Yisrael, and he said to them, “Thus says Adonai, God of Israel, ‘It was I who brought you up from Egypt, and brought you out of the house of bondage. 9 Then I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all your oppressors, and drove them out from before you and gave you their land. 10 Then I said to you, “I am Adonai your God. You are not to fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are dwelling. But you have not obeyed My voice.’”
Calling of Gideon
11 Then the angel of Adonai came and sat under the terebinth that was at Ophrah, that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress—in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 Then the angel of Adonai appeared to him and said to him, “Adonai is with you, O mighty man of valor.”
13 But Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if Adonai is with us, then why has all this befallen us? So where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about saying ‘Didn’t Adonai bring us up from Egypt?’ But now Adonai has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
14 Then Adonai turned toward him and said, “Go in this might of yours and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have not I sent you?”[a]
15 Then he said to him, “Me, my Lord? With what would I deliver Israel? Look, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
16 But Adonai said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you will strike down Midian as if it were one man.”
17 Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your eyes, then please, show me a sign that it is really You talking with me. 18 Please, don’t leave from here, until I come to You and bring out my offering and lay it before You.”
So He said, “I will stay until you come back.”
19 Then Gideon went in and prepared a kid and matzot from an ephah of flour. He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them out to Him under the terebinth and presented them. 20 Then the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the matzah and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” So he did so. 21 Then the angel of Adonai put out the end of the staff that was in His hand and touched the meat and the matzah. Fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the matzah. Then the angel of Adonai vanished from his sight.
22 When Gideon realized that He was the angel of Adonai, Gideon said, “Alas, my Lord Adonai! For I have seen the angel of Adonai face to face!”
23 But Adonai said to him, “Shalom to you. Fear not, you will not die.” 24 So Gideon built an altar there to Adonai and called it “Adonai-shalom.” To this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
25 Now it came to pass the same night that Adonai said to him, “Take the young bull that belongs to your father and a second bull of seven years old, pull down the altar of Baal that belongs to your father, cut down the Asherah that is beside it, 26 build an altar to Adonai 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 pole that you will cut down.” 27 So Gideon took ten of his male servants and did as Adonai had spoken to him. But since he was too afraid of his father’s household and the townspeople to do it by day, he did it at night.
28 Now when the townspeople arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, the Asherah pole that was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered up on the altar that was built. 29 So they said one to another, “Who did this thing?” And when they inquired and asked around, they said: “Gideon son of Joash did this thing.” 30 Then the townspeople said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, because he has broken down the altar of Baal, and even cut down the Asherah pole that was beside it.”
31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “So you’re going to defend Baal? You’re going to rescue him? Whoever defends him will be put to death in the morning! If he is a god, let him defend himself—since someone has broken down his altar.” 32 So on that day he was called Jerubbaal saying, “Let Baal contend with him, since he broke down his altar.”
33 Now all the Midianites, the Amalekites and the people of the east gathered together, crossed over and camped in the valley of Jezreel. 34 But the Ruach Adonai clothed Gideon, and he blew the shofar, and Abiezer rallied behind him. 35 Then he sent messengers throughout Manasseh, and they also rallied behind him. Then he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, and they came up to join them.
Signs of the Fleece
36 Then Gideon said to God, “If You are going to deliver Israel by my hand, as You have spoken, 37 see, I am putting a fleece of wool on the threshing-floor. If there is dew only on the fleece, and all the ground is dry, then I will know that You will deliver Israel by my hand, as You have spoken.” 38 And it was so. When he rose up early next day, he squeezed the fleece and wrung dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water.
39 Then Gideon said to God, “Let not Your anger burn against me if I speak once more. Let me please test once more with the fleece—let it now be dry only on the fleece, but let there be dew over all the ground.” 40 God did so that night, since it was dry only on the fleece, and there was dew over all the ground.
Judges 6 New International Version (NIV)
6 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. 2 Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. 4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. 5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count them or their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.
7 When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian, 8 he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 9 I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”
11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”
17 Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. 18 Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.”
And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return.”
19 Gideon went inside, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah[a] of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.
20 The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. 21 Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared. 22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”
23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”
24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
25 That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old.[b] Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole[c] beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of[d] altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second[e] bull as a burnt offering.”
27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.
28 In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar!
29 They asked each other, “Who did this?”
When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of Joash did it.”
30 The people of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”
31 But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.” 32 So because Gideon broke down Baal’s altar, they gave him the name Jerub-Baal[f] that day, saying, “Let Baal contend with him.”
33 Now all the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him. 35 He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, so that they too went up to meet them.
36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.
39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.