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Judges 6 (New American Standard)

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Israel Oppressed by Midian

1 Then the sons of Israel 1did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD gave them into the hands of 2Midian seven years. 2 The apower of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves 3the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. 3 For it was when Israel had sown, that the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the sons of the east and bgo against them. 4 So they would camp against them and 4destroy the produce of the earth cas far as Gaza, and 5leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey. 5 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. 6 So Israel was brought 7very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried to the LORD. 7 Now it came about when the sons of Israel cried to the LORD on account of Midian, 8 that the LORD sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and 8he said to them, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'It was I who brought you up from Egypt and brought you out from the house of dslavery. 9 '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, 10 and I said to you, "I am the LORD your God; you 9shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But you have not eobeyed Me.""'

Gideon Is Visited

11 Then 10the angel of the LORD came and sat under the foak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the 11Abiezrite as his son 12Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. 12 The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, "The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior." 13 Then Gideon said to him, "O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But 13now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian." 14 The LORD glooked at him and said, "14Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?" 15 15He said to Him, "O Lord, hhow shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in 16Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father's house." 16 17But the LORD said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall idefeat Midian as one man." 17 So jGideon said to Him, "If now I have found favor 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 remain until you return." 19 Then Gideon went in and 19prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an kephah of flour; he put the meat in a basket land the broth in a pot, and brought them out to him under the moak and presented them. 20 The angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth." And he did so. 21 Then the angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and 20fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the angel of the LORD nvanished from his sight. 22 21When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD, ohe said, "Alas, O Lord pGOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face." 23 The LORD said to him, "Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die." 24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and named it qThe LORD is Peace. To this day it is still 22in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 25 Now on the same night the LORD said to him, "Take your father's bull rand a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the s23Asherah that is beside it; 26 and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly manner, and take a second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down." 27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had spoken to him; and because he was too afraid of his father's household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night.

The Altar of Baal Destroyed

28 When the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was torn down, and the Asherah which was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar which had been built. 29 They said to one another, "Who did this thing?" And when they searched about and inquired, they said, "Gideon the son of Joash did this thing." 30 Then the men of the city said to Joash, "Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has torn down the altar of Baal, and indeed, he has cut down the Asherah which was beside it." 31 But Joash said to all who stood against 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 torn down his altar." 32 Therefore on that day he named him 24Jerubbaal, that is to say, "Let Baal contend against him," because he had torn down his altar. 33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the sons of the east assembled themselves; and they crossed over and camped in 25the valley of Jezreel. 34 So 26the Spirit of the LORD ucame upon Gideon; and he 27blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him. 35 He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, and they also were called together to follow him; and he sent messengers to Asher, 28Zebulun, and Naphtali, and 29they came up to meet them.

Sign of the Fleece

36 Then Gideon said to God, "30If You will deliver Israel vthrough me, as You have spoken, 37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel wthrough me, as You have spoken." 38 And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, "31Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground." 40 God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.
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