Judges 6:1-24 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The Midianite Oppression
6 The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of he Lord; and the Lord gave them into the hand of Mid′ian seven years. 2 And the hand of Mid′ian prevailed over Israel; and because of Mid′ian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens which are in the mountains, and the caves and the strongholds. 3 For whenever the Israelites put in seed the Mid′ianites and the Amal′ekites and the people of the East would come up and attack them; 4 they would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the land, as far as the neighborhood of Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel, and no sheep or ox or ass. 5 For they would come up with their cattle and their tents, coming like locusts for number; both they and their camels could not be counted; so that they wasted the land as they came in. 6 And Israel was brought very low because of Mid′ian; and the people of Israel cried for help to the Lord.
7 When the people of Israel cried to the Lord on account of the Mid′ianites, 8 the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel; and he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt, and brought you out of the house of bondage; 9 and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians, and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you, and gave you their land; 10 and I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not pay reverence to the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not given heed to my voice.”
The Call of Gideon
11 Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak at Ophrah, which belonged to Jo′ash the Abiez′rite, as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press, to hide it from the Mid′ianites. 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Pray, sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this befallen us? And where are all his wonderful deeds which our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has cast us off, and given us into the hand of Mid′ian.” 14 And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and deliver Israel from the hand of Mid′ian; do not I send you?” 15 And he said to him, “Pray, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manas′seh, and I am the least in my family.” 16 And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall smite the Mid′ianites as one man.” 17 And he said to him, “If now I have found favor with thee, then show me a sign that it is thou who speakest with me. 18 Do not depart from here, I pray thee, until I come to thee, and bring out my present, and set it before thee.” And he said, “I will stay till you return.”
19 So Gideon went into his house and prepared a kid, and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour; the meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the oak and presented them. 20 And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them.” And he did so. 21 Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes; and there sprang up fire from the rock and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight. 22 Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord; and 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; do not fear, you shall not die.” 24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it, The Lord is peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiez′rites.