6:2 And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: a [and] because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which [are] in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.
(a) For fear of the Midianites, they fled into the dens of the mountains. 6:4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto b Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.
(b) Even almost the whole country. 6:6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the c children of Israel cried unto the LORD.
(c) This is the purpose of Gods punishments, to call his to repentance, that they may seek help from him. 6:13 And Gideon said unto him, d 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.
(d) This came not from distrust, but from weakness of faith, which is in the most perfect: for no man in this life can have a perfect faith: yet the children of God have a true faith, by which they are justified. 6:14 And the e LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy f might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
(e) That is, Christ appearing in visible form. 6:17 And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me g a sign that thou talkest with me.
(f) Which I have given to you.
(g) So that we see how the flesh is the enemy of Gods calling, which cannot be persuaded without signs. 6:19 And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an h 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].
6:21 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 i out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.
(h) Of Ephah, read ( Exodus 16:36 ).
6:25 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy fathers young bullock, even the second bullock k of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that [is] by it:
(i) By the power of God only, as in the sacrifice of Elijah, ( 1 Kings 18:38 ).
(k) That is, as the Chaldea text writes, fed seven years. 6:26 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 l grove which thou shalt cut down.
(l) Which grew about Baals altar. 6:28 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 m second bullock was offered upon the altar [that was] built.
(m) Meaning, the fat bull, which was kept to be offered to Baal. 6:31 And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? n 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.
(n) Thus we ought to justify those who are zealous of Gods cause, though all the multitude are against us. 6:34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and o Abiezer was gathered after him.
(o) The family of Abiezer, of which he was. 6:36 And Gideon said unto God, p If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said,
(p) This request proceeds not from infidelity, but that he might be confirmed in his calling. 6:40 And God did so that night: for it was q dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
(q) By which he was assured that it was a miracle of God.