In the morning when the men of the town got up, there was Baal's altar,1 demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar!
They asked each other, "Who did this?" When they carefully investigated, they were told, "Gideon son of Joash2 did it."
The men of the town demanded of Joash, "Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal's altar3 and cut down the Asherah pole beside it."
But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, "Are you going to plead Baal's cause?4 Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar."
So that day they called Gideon "Jerub-Baal,a5" saying, "Let Baal contend with him," because he broke down Baal's altar.
Now all the Midianites, Amalekites6 and other eastern peoples7 joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel.834
Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon9 Gideon, and he blew a trumpet,10 summoning the Abiezrites11 to follow him.
He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher,12 Zebulun and Naphtali,13 so that they too went up to meet them.1436
Gideon said to God, "If you will save15 Israel by my hand as you have promised--
look, I will place a wool fleece16 on the threshing floor.17 If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know18 that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said."
And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew--a bowlful of water.