Judges 6:1-40

6  And the sons of Israel did what displeased Jehovah, and Jehovah gave them into the hands of the Midianites seven years. 2  And the Midianites’ hand bore hard on Israel: for fear of the Midianites the sons of Israel made themselves the tunnels in the mountains, and the caves and the fastnesses. 3  And if Israel sowed a crop, up would come the Midianites and the ʽAmalekites and the Eastern Beduins, and come up over them; 4  and they camped on them and pastured off the growth of the country, till you come to Ghaza; and they would leave no subsistence in Israel, nor sheep nor ox nor donkey. 5  For they would come up stock and all, and their tents would come in as thick as grasshoppers; and they came into the country to pasture it off. 6  And Israel was brought very low because of the Midianites, and the sons of Israel cried to Jehovah. 7  And when the sons of Israel cried to Jehovah about the Midianites 8  Jehovah sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and he said to them “Says Israel’s God Jehovah, ‘I brought you out from the slave-quarters, 9  and delivered you out of the hands of all your oppressors, and drove them out before you and gave you their country; 10  and I said to you “I am your God Jehovah: you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are settling”—and you did not obey me.’” 11 * And the Angel of Jehovah came and stood under the terebinth-tree at Ghophrah, that belonged to Joash the Abiʽezrite; and when his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to get it out of the way of the Midianites, 12  the Angel of Jehovah appeared to him and said “Jehovah is with you, brave champion.” 13  And Gideon said to him “Well, sir, if Jehovah is with us, why has all this come upon us? and where are all his wonders that our fathers have told us of, saying ‘Did not Jehovah bring us up out of Egypt?’ but now Jehovah has abandoned us and put us into Midian’s hands.” 14  And Jehovah turned to him and said “Go with that strength of yours and save Israel out of Midian’s hands—I send you!” 15  And he said to him “O, sir, with what shall I save Israel? my thousand is the weakest in Manasseh, and I the most insignificant of my family.” 16 * And Jehovah said to him “Because I will be with you, and you shall strike Midian down like one man.” 17  And he said to him “If I have found favor in your eyes, let me have a token that it is you talking with me: 18  do not stir from here till I come to you bringing out my offering and lay it before you”; and he said “I will stay till you come back.” 19 * And Gideon went in and killed and cooked a kid and made a bushel of meal into matzoth; the flesh he put in his basket and the broth in his pot, and brought it out to him under the terebinth-tree and presented it. 20 * And the Angel of God said to him “Take the flesh and the matzoth and lay them on yonder rock, and pour out the broth”; and he did so. 21  And the Angel of Jehovah put out the end of the staff that he had in his hand and touched the flesh and the matzoth, and fire came up out of the stone and consumed the flesh and the matzoth, and the Angel of Jehovah passed away from his sight, 22 * and Gideon saw that it was the Angel of Jehovah. And Gideon said “O, O, my lord Jehovah! I have seen the Angel of Jehovah face to face!” 23  And Jehovah said to him “All is well for you: do not be afraid, you shall not die.” 24  And Gideon built an altar to Jehovah there, and called it “Jehovah All-well”; it exists to this day at Ghophrath-Abi-ha-ʽEzri. 25 * And that night Jehovah said to him “Take your father’s wall-steer; and a steer, the second, of seven years, and demolish your father’s altar of the Baal and cut down the asherah over it, 26  and build an altar of your God Jehovah on top of this citadel-rock with the coursed stones, and take the second steer and offer a burnt-offering with the wood of the asherah you cut down.” 27  And Gideon took ten men, slaves of his, and did as Jehovah had told him; and, as he was too much afraid of his family and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night. 28  And in the morning the men of the city found that the altar of the Baal had been pulled down and the asherah over it cut down, and the second steer offered on the newly-built altar; 29  and they said to each other “Who did this thing?” and they inquire and investigated, and it was said “Joash’s son Gideon did this thing.” 30  And the men of the city said to Joash “Bring your son out to die, because he has pulled down the altar of the Baal and cut down the asherah over it.” 31  But Joash said to all who stood around him “Are you to contend for the Baal or succor him? let the one who contend for him be put to death. Till morning! if he is a god, let him contend for himself because he pulled down his altar.” 32  And on that day he named him Jerubbaal, meaning “The Baal contend with him, because he pulled down his altar.” 33  And all the Midianites and the ʽAmalekites and the Eastern Beduins had come together and crossed and encamped in the vale of Jezreʽel; 34  and the spirit of Jehovah took possession of Gideon, and he blew the ram-horn, and the Abiʽezrites came out in arms behind him; 35  and he sent messengers throughout Manasseh, and the Manassites too came out in arms behind him; and he sent messengers through Asher and Zebulun and Naphtali, and they came up to meet them. 36  And Gideon said to God “If you do mean to save Israel by my hands, as you promised,— 37  here I am placing a fleece of wool on the threshing-floor: if there is dew on the fleece alone, and all over the ground it is dry, I shall know that you will save Israel by my hands as you promised.” 38  And it was so: he squeezed the fleece the first thing in the morning and ran out dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39  And Gideon said to God “Do not be angry with me, and let me speak just once more. Let me try with the fleece only once more: have it dry on the fleece alone, and all over the ground let there be dew.” 40  And God did so that night, and it was dry on the fleece alone, and all over the ground there was dew.


6:11 Or oak
6:16 Var. And he said to him “Because Jehovah is (var. will be) with you
6:19 Or oak
6:20 Var. the Angel of Jehovah
6:22 Lit. O dear, my lord Jehovah! for I have
6:25 Susp.; codd.* bull-steer