Judges 6:1-24

Midian Oppresses Israel

The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord handedthem over to Midian seven years, and they oppressed Israel. Because of Midian, the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites, Amalekites, and the Qedemites came and attacked them. They encamped against them and destroyed the produce of the land, even as far as Gaza. They left nothing for Israel to eat, as well as no sheep, ox or donkey. For the Midianites came with their cattle and their tents like a great swarm of locusts. They and their camels were without number, and they entered the land to waste it. So Israel became poverty-stricken because of Midian, and the Israelites cried out to the Lord.

When the Israelites cried out to Him because of Midian, the Lord sent a prophetto them. He said to them, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I brought you out of Egypt and out of the place of slavery. I delivered you from the power of Egypt and the power of all who oppressed you. I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you: I am Yahweh your God. Do not fear the gods of the Amorites whose land you live in. But you did not obey Me.’”

The Lord Calls Gideon

11 The Angel[a] of the Lord came, and He[b] sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash, the Abiezrite. His son Gideon was threshing wheat in the wine vat in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 Then the Angel of the Lordappeared to him and said: “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

13 Gideon said to Him, “Please Sir,[c] if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened?[d] And where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about? They said, ‘Hasn’t the Lord brought us out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.”

14 The Lord[e] turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the power of Midian. Am I not sending you?”

15 He said to Him, “Please, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Look, my family is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.”

16 “But I will be with you,” the Lord said to him. “You will strike Midian down as if it were one man.”

17 Then he said to Him, “If I have found favor in Your sight, give me a sign that You are speaking with me. 18 Please do not leave this place until I return to You. Let me bring my gift and set it before You.”

And He said, “I will stay until you return.”

19 So Gideon went and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from a half bushel[f] of flour. He placed the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot. He brought them out and offered them to Him under the oak.

20 The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat with the unleavened bread, put it on this stone, and pour the broth on it.” And he did so.

21 The Angel of the Lord extended the tip of the staff that was in His hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire came up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the Angel of the Lordvanished from his sight.

22 When Gideon realized that He was the Angel of the Lord, he said, “Oh no, Lord God! I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face!”

23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace to you. Don’t be afraid, for you will not die.” 24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it Yahweh Shalom.[g] It is in Ophrah of the Abiezrites until today.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 6:11 Or angel
  2. Judges 6:11 Or he
  3. Judges 6:13 Lit Please, my Lord, or Please, my lord
  4. Judges 6:13 Lit this found us out
  5. Judges 6:14 LXX reads The Angel of the Lord
  6. Judges 6:19 Lit an ephah
  7. Judges 6:24 = The Lord Is Peace