Judges Chapter 6

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1: And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. edit

2: And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds. edit

3: And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; edit

4: And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. edit

5: For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. edit

6: And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD. edit

7: And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites, edit

8: That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; edit

9: And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land; edit

10: And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice. edit

11: And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. edit

12: And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. edit

13: And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. edit

14: And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? edit

15: And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. edit

16: And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. edit

17: And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me. edit

18: Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again. edit

19: And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it. edit

20: And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. edit

21: Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. edit

22: And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O LORD God! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. edit

23: And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. edit

24: Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. edit

25: And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: edit

26: And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. edit

27: Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. edit

28: And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. edit

29: And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. edit

30: Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. edit

31: And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. edit

32: Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar. edit

33: Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel. edit

34: But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him. edit

35: And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them. edit

36: And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, edit

37: Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. edit

38: And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. edit

39: And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. edit

40: And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. edit

Paraphrase of Judges 6 and 7

A long time ago there was a tribe of people named the Israelites. Now this group of people had a bit of trouble following the laws that God had set for them, getting second chance after second chance when they failed to be obedient. Each time God would call forth a Judge to teach the Israelites the way of the Lord, but each time, they did evil in the eyes of the Lord. This particular time God decided that for seven years, He would hand over the Israelite people to the Midianites. The Midianite people were fowl and cruel to the Israelites, causing them to find shelter elsewhere. Every time that they would try to plant crops, the Midianites and Amalekites would come in and destroy every single thing the Israelites owned. They devoured their land, shelter, crops and even livestock! Their living became so abominable that the Israelites finally cried out to God for some help and guidance.

When God heard this cry for help he sent a prophet to them. This prophet explained that God had done so much for them and that He commanded that they not worship the gods of the Amorites, but again, they did not listen to the Lord. After this an angel of the Lord went down to an Oak tree in Ophrah, where Gideon, a man frightened by the happenings done by the Midianites, was in a winepress trying to thresh wheat to keep from the enemy. The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and told him that the Lord was with him, and then called him a mighty warrior. After being told this, Gideon questioned the angel about God’s presence and how he didn’t think the Lord was near because of all the destruction and woe falling on the Israelites. The Lord responded to this telling doubtful Gideon that he must go in strength and free the Israelites from the bondage of the Midianites. Yet again Gideon is not assured and exclaims that he is weak and so is his army from Manasseh. With reassurance the Lord proclaims that Gideon will defeat the Midianites with the help of him and will strike the men down all together. Gideon then asks for a sign from God, if he has found favor in his eyes that he would stay there until he returned with an offering. And by this, the Lord replied “I will stay here until you return.” So Gideon left and prepared a goat and unleavened bread and brought them back as an offering to the Lord. The angel of the Lord told him to place the offering on a rock and to pour out the broth. And with that, the angel of the lord took the staff he was holding and touched the tip to the meat and unleavened bread and it burst into flames. The angel of the Lord then disappeared without any warning and Gideon was afraid. He shouted that he had been face to face with the Lord. He was scared that this would cause him to die. The angel of the Lord assured Gideon that everything would be alright and that he would surely not die.

That same night the Lord came to Gideon and told him to take a bull from his fathers herd and tear down his fathers alter to Baal and the ASherah pole beside it. He was then directed to build a new alter to the Lord. So Gideon and ten of his men went downt and did as the Lord commanded, but because Gideon was a coward and scared of his family and the townspeople, he did the task during the night.

Morning came and the townspeople rose from their slumber they recognized what had been done in the night. Their precious alter had been destroyed along with the asherah pole beside it. “Who has done this terrible deed?” They questioned. The people searched and found that it was indeed Gideon who had come in the night and managed to demolish what was previously the idol they had worshipped. The people of the town went to Gideon’s father and demanded that they see his son because they wanted Gideon dead! Joash, Gideon’s father spoke to the crowd asking if they were willing to fight for Baal’s cause because whoever fought would surely die in the morning time. He told them that if Baal really was a god he would be able to protect himself. So at this time the Midianites and the Amlekites went down to the Valley of Jezreel crossing the Jordan River. There they camped and joined forces with the eastern people. The Lord called on Gideon and some others to go to them and fight. Gideon wanted to be sure if God would do as he had promised and help him save the Israelites so he asked the Lord to perform two tasks. Surely enough, after both tasks, God came through and Gideon was reassured the fact that God indeed would be there to help free the Israelites from the hands of the Midianites and Amlekites. It was early in the morning and Gideon and his army were camping at the Spring of Herod. Close by was the Midianite camp, just north of them near the hill of Moreh. The Lord came to Gideon with a dilemma saying that Gideon had too many men so whoever was scared was asked to leave right away. After hearing this, two-thousand men left and only ten thousand stayed to fight. But after doing this there was still a problem, the Lord told Gideon that there were still too many men in his army. The Lord told Gideon to bring them to the water and separate them from those who lapped the water like a dog and who drank from cupped hands from those who knelt down to drink. Gideon did as he was told and brought them down to the water to drink. Three hundred men got down and lapped while the rest knelt down by the water and drank from it. To those who did not lap Gideon set them on their way and those who did he pressed on with to the Midianite camp in the valley.

He and his army snuck into the camp and the Lord told Gideon if he was afraid that he was to go into the camp and spy on the Midianites and listen to what they were saying. By doing this he will be encouraged to fight and take back the Israelites from the Midianites.

When Gideon arrived he heard a man telling a dream of the camp of Midian being destroyed and at that time he was encouraged. He went back to his army and explained what happened and prepared his men to go into battle. He gave them trumpets and jars with torches in them. Gideon then instructed his army to follow his lead. He led them into the camp and surrounded the edge of the grounds. As everyone was in place, they blasted their trumpets and crushed the jars with their hands. As they held up their torches they shouted, “For God and for Gideon!” The army stood firm around the camp and watched what would happen next. The Midianite camp became as chaotic as a cage of raging beasts. They ran out of their tents crying out in fear and fled.

As the three hundred men blew their trumpets it caused the Midianite to go crazy. They began to turn on one another with their blades and swords, flailing around without any knowledge of what was actually happening. They then fled to a far off region and Israelites from Naphtali, Asher and all Manasseh were called out and they went after the Midianites. Also Gideon sent out messengers throughout the country of Ephraim and told them to come and take capture of the Midianite men by coming before them to the waters of the Jordan. They all came out and seized the waters of the Jordan, as far as Beth Barah. While doing this they also captured two of the Midianite leaders, Oreb and Zeeb. Both of them were killed, Oreb at the rock of Oreb and Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb. They kept pursuing the Midianites who were by the Jordan and took along the heads of the leaders, proud of what they had accomplished.

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