Then the sons of Israel1didwhat was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORDgave them into the hands of 2Midiansevenyears.
The apower of MidianprevailedagainstIsrael. Because of Midian the sons of Israelmade for themselves 3the denswhich were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.
For it was whenIsrael had sown, that the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the sons of the east and bgoagainst them.
So they would campagainst them and 4destroy the produce of the earthcas far as Gaza, and 5leavenosustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey.
For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, they would come in 6like locusts for number, both they and their camels were innumerable ; and they came into the land to devastate it.
So Israel was brought7verylowbecause of Midian, and the sons of Israelcried to the LORD.
Now it came about when the sons of Israelcried to the LORD on account of Midian,
that the LORDsent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and 8he said to them, "Thussays the LORD, the God of Israel, 'It was I who brought you up from Egypt and brought you out from the house of dslavery.
'I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land,
and I said to you, "I am the LORD your God; you 9shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whoseland you live. But you have not eobeyed Me.""'
Then 10the angel of the LORDcame and satunder the foak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the 11Abiezrite as his son12Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress in order to save it from the Midianites.
The angel of the LORDappeared to him and said to him, "The LORD is with you, O valiantwarrior."
Then Gideonsaid to him, "O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has allthishappened to us? And where are all His miracleswhich our fatherstold us about, saying, 'Did not the LORDbring us up from Egypt?' But 13now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian."
The LORDglooked at him and said, "14Go in this your strength and deliverIsrael from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?"
1515He said to Him, "OLord, hhow shall I deliverIsrael? Behold, my family is the least in 16Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father'shouse."
1617But the LORDsaid to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall idefeatMidian as oneman."
So jGideon said to Him, "Ifnow I have foundfavor in Your sight, then show me 18a sign that it is You who speak with me.
18"Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You." And He said, "I will remainuntil you return."
Then Gideonwent in and 19prepared a younggoat and unleavenedbread from an kephah of flour; he put the meat in a basketland the broth in a pot, and brought them out to him under the moak and presented them.
The angel of Godsaid to him, "Take the meat and the unleavenedbread and lay them on thisrock, and pour out the broth." And he didso.
Then the angel of the LORDput out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavenedbread; and 20firesprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavenedbread. Then the angel of the LORDnvanished from his sight.
2221When Gideonsaw that he was the angel of the LORD, ohe said, "Alas, O LordpGOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORDface to face."
The LORDsaid to him, "Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die."
Then Gideonbuilt an altarthere to the LORD and named it qThe LORD is Peace. To thisday it is still22in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
Now on the samenight the LORDsaid to him, "Take your father'sbullrand a secondbullsevenyears old, and pulldown the altar of Baalwhich belongs to your father, and cutdown the s23Asherah that is beside it;
and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of thisstronghold in an orderlymanner, and take a secondbull and offer a burntoffering with the wood of the Asherahwhich you shall cutdown."
Then Gideontooktenmen of his servants and did as the LORD had spoken to him; and because he was too afraid of his father'shousehold and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night.
When the men of the cityaroseearly in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was torndown, and the Asherahwhich was beside it was cutdown, and the secondbull was offered on the altar which had been built.
They said to oneanother, "Whodidthisthing?" And when they searched about and inquired, they said, "Gideon the son of Joashdidthisthing."
Then the men of the citysaid to Joash, "Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has torndown the altar of Baal, and indeed, he has cutdown the Asherahwhich was beside it."
But Joashsaid to allwhostoodagainst him, "Will you contend for Baal, or will you deliver him? Whoever will tplead for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because someone has torndown his altar."
Therefore on that day he named him 24Jerubbaal, that is to say, "Let Baalcontend against him," because he had torndown his altar.
Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the sons of the eastassembled themselves; and they crossedover and camped in 25the valley of Jezreel.
So 26the Spirit of the LORDucame upon Gideon; and he 27blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were calledtogether to follow him.
He sentmessengersthroughoutManasseh, and they also were calledtogether to follow him; and he sentmessengers to Asher, 28Zebulun, and Naphtali, and 29they came up to meet them.
Then Gideonsaid to God, "30If You willdeliverIsraelvthrough me, as You have spoken,
37behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshingfloor. If there is dew on the fleeceonly, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliverIsraelwthrough me, as You have spoken."
And it was so. When he aroseearly the nextmorning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowlfull of water.
Then Gideonsaid to God, "31Do not let Your angerburn against me that I may speakoncemore; please let me make a testoncemore with the fleece, let it now be dryonly on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground."
40Goddidso that night; for it was dryonly on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.