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Chapter 6

1The children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: and Yahweh delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. 2The hand of Midian prevailed against Israel; and because of Midian the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and the caves, and the strongholds. 3So it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east; they came up against them; 4and they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, until you come to Gaza, and left no sustenance in Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor donkey. 5For they came up with their livestock and their tents; they came in as locusts for multitude; both they and their camels were without number: and they came into the land to destroy it. 6Israel was brought very low because of Midian; and the children of Israel cried to Yahweh. 7It happened, when the children of Israel cried to Yahweh because of Midian, 8that Yahweh sent a prophet to the children of Israel: and he said to them, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; 9and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land; 10and I said to you, I am Yahweh your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But you have not listened to my voice. 11The angel of Yahweh came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained to Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. 12The angel of Yahweh appeared to him, and said to him, Yahweh is with you, you mighty man of valor. 13Gideon said to him, Oh, my lord, if Yahweh is with us, why then has all this happened to us? and where are all his wondrous works which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not Yahweh bring us up from Egypt? but now Yahweh has cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian. 14Yahweh looked at him, and said, Go in this your might, and save Israel from the hand of Midian: have not I sent you? 15He said to him, Oh, Lord, with which shall I save Israel? behold, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. 16Yahweh said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man. 17He said to him, If now I have found favor in your sight, then show me a sign that it is you who talk with me. 18Please don’t go away, until I come to you, and bring out my present, and lay it before you. He said, I will wait until you come again. 19Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of meal: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out to him under the oak, and presented it. 20The angel of God said to him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth. He did so. 21Then the angel of Yahweh put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there went up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and the angel of Yahweh departed out of his sight. 22Gideon saw that he was the angel of Yahweh; and Gideon said, Alas, Lord Yahweh! because I have seen the angel of Yahweh face to face. 23Yahweh said to him, Peace be to you; don’t be afraid: you shall not die. 24Then Gideon built an altar there to Yahweh, and called it Yahweh is Peace4444or, Yahweh Shalom: to this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 25It happened the same night, that Yahweh said to him, Take your father’s bull, even the second bull seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is by it; 26and build an altar to Yahweh your God on the top of this stronghold, in the orderly manner, and take the second bull, and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down. 27Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as Yahweh had spoken to him: and it happened, because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city, so that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. 28When the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah was cut down that was by it, and the second bull was offered on the altar that was built. 29They said one to another, Who has done this thing? When they inquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing. 30Then the men of the city said to Joash, Bring out your son, that he may die, because he has broken down the altar of Baal, and because he has cut down the Asherah that was by it. 31Joash said to all who stood against him, Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? he who will contend for him, let him be put to death while it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him contend for himself, because one has broken down his altar. 32Therefore on that day he named him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal contend against him, because he has broken down his altar. 33Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east assembled themselves together; and they passed over, and encamped in the valley of Jezreel. 34But the Spirit of Yahweh came on Gideon; and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered together after him. 35He sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; and they also were gathered together after him: and he sent messengers to Asher, and to Zebulun, and to Naphtali; and they came up to meet them. 36Gideon said to God, If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have spoken, 37behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there be dew on the fleece only, and it be dry on all the ground, then shall I know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have spoken. 38It was so; for he rose up early on the next day, and pressed the fleece together, and wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. 39Gideon said to God, Don’t let your anger be kindled against me, and I will speak but this once: Please let me make a trial just this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, and on all the ground let there be dew. 40God did so that night: for it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.


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