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Midianites Oppress Israel

Then the children of Israel did (A)evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of (B)Midian for seven years, and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made for themselves the dens, (C)the caves, and the strongholds which are in the mountains. So it was, whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also Amalekites and the (D)people of the East would come up against them. Then they would encamp against them and (E)destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep nor ox nor (F)donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous as locusts; both they and their camels were [a]without number; and they would enter the land to destroy it. So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel (G)cried out to the Lord.

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Footnotes

  1. Judges 6:5 innumerable

Gideon

11 Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash (A)the Abiezrite, while his son (B)Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the (C)Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is (D)with you, you mighty man of valor!”

13 Gideon said to Him, “O [a]my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And (E)where are all His miracles (F)which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has (G)forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”

14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, (H)“Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. (I)Have I not sent you?”

15 So he said to Him, “O [b]my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed (J)my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

16 And the Lord said to him, (K)“Surely I will be with you, and you shall [c]defeat the Midianites as one man.”

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Footnotes

  1. Judges 6:13 Heb. adoni, used of man
  2. Judges 6:15 Heb. Adonai, used of God
  3. Judges 6:16 Lit. strike

25 Now 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 (A)tear down the altar of (B)Baal that your father has, and (C)cut down the [a]wooden image that is beside it; 26 and build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this [b]rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down.” 27 So Gideon took ten men from among 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 too much to do it by day, he did it by night.

Gideon Destroys the Altar of Baal

28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, there was the altar of Baal, torn down; and the wooden image that was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was being offered on the altar which had been built. 29 So they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And when they had inquired and asked, they said, “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 torn down the altar of Baal, and because he has cut down the wooden image that was beside it.”

31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Would you [c]plead for Baal? Would you save him? Let the one who would plead for him be put to death by morning! If he is a god, let him plead for himself, because his altar has been torn down!” 32 Therefore on that day he called him (D)Jerubbaal,[d] saying, “Let Baal plead against him, because he has torn down his altar.”

33 Then all (E)the Midianites and Amalekites, the people of the East, gathered together; and they crossed over and encamped in (F)the Valley of Jezreel. 34 But (G)the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon; then he (H)blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him. 35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also gathered behind him. He also sent messengers to (I)Asher, (J)Zebulun, and Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.

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Footnotes

  1. Judges 6:25 Heb. Asherah, a Canaanite goddess
  2. Judges 6:26 stronghold
  3. Judges 6:31 contend
  4. Judges 6:32 Lit. Let Baal Plead

Gideon’s Valiant Three Hundred

Then (A)Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.

And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel (B)claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, (C)‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.’ ” And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained.

But the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. Then it will be, that of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ the same shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.” And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water. Then the Lord said to Gideon, (D)“By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his [a]place.”

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Footnotes

  1. Judges 7:7 home

15 And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand.” 16 Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers. 17 And he said to them, “Look at me and do likewise; watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: 18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, ‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!’ ”

19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” 21 And (A)every man stood in his place all around the camp; (B)and the whole army ran and cried out and fled. 22 When the three hundred (C)blew the trumpets, (D)the Lord set (E)every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to [a]Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of (F)Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.

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Footnotes

  1. Judges 7:22 Heb. Beth Shittah

10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were at Karkor, and their armies with them, about fifteen thousand, all who were left of (A)all the army of the people of the East; for (B)one hundred and twenty thousand men who drew the sword had fallen. 11 Then Gideon went up by the road of those who dwell in tents on the east of (C)Nobah and Jogbehah; and he [a]attacked the army while the camp felt (D)secure. 12 When Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued them; and he (E)took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and routed the whole army.

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Footnotes

  1. Judges 8:11 Lit. struck

28 Thus Midian was subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted their heads no more. (A)And the country was quiet for forty years in the days of Gideon.

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