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Judges 6 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Yet again the People of Israel went back to doing evil in God's sight. God put them under the domination of Midian for seven years. 1 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.
2 Midian overpowered Israel. Because of Midian, the People of Israel made for themselves hideouts in the mountains - caves and forts. 2 Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds.
3 When Israel planted its crops, Midian and Amalek, the easterners, would invade them, 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country.
4 camp in their fields, and destroy their crops all the way down to Gaza. They left nothing for them to live on, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey. 4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys.
5 Bringing their cattle and tents, they came in and took over, like an invasion of locusts. And their camels - past counting! They marched in and devastated the country. 5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it.
6 The People of Israel, reduced to grinding poverty by Midian, cried out to God for help. 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help.
7 One time when the People of Israel had cried out to God because of Midian, 7 When the Israelites cried to the LORD because of Midian,
8 God sent them a prophet with this message: "God, the God of Israel, says, I delivered you from Egypt, I freed you from a life of slavery; 8 he sent them a prophet, who said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
9 I rescued you from Egypt's brutality and then from every oppressor; I pushed them out of your way and gave you their land. 9 I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land.
10 "And I said to you, 'I am God, your God. Don't for a minute be afraid of the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living.' But you didn't listen to me." 10 I said to you, 'I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.' But you have not listened to me."
11 One day the angel of God came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites. 11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.
12 The angel of God appeared to him and said, "God is with you, O mighty warrior!" 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."
13 Gideon replied, "With me, my master? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, 'Didn't God deliver us from Egypt?' The fact is, God has nothing to do with us - he has turned us over to Midian." 13 "But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian."
14 But God faced him directly: "Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven't I just sent you?" 14 The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"
15 Gideon said to him, "Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan's the weakest in Manasseh and I'm the runt of the litter." 15 "But Lord, " Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."
16 God said to him, "I'll be with you. Believe me, you'll defeat Midian as one man." 16 The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together."
17 Gideon said, "If you're serious about this, do me a favor: Give me a sign to back up what you're telling me. 17 Gideon replied, "If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.
18 Don't leave until I come back and bring you my gift." He said, "I'll wait till you get back." 18 Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you." And the LORD said, "I will wait until you return."
19 Gideon went and prepared a young goat and a huge amount of unraised bread (he used over half a bushel of flour!). He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot and took them back under the shade of the oak tree for a sacred meal. 19 Gideon went in, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its 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 and unraised bread, place them on that rock, and pour the broth on them." Gideon did it. 20 The angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth." And Gideon did so.
21 The angel of God stretched out the tip of the stick he was holding and touched the meat and the bread. Fire broke out of the rock and burned up the meat and bread while the angel of God slipped away out of sight. 21 With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the LORD touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the LORD disappeared.
22 And Gideon knew it was the angel of God! Gideon said, "Oh no! Master, God! I have seen the angel of God face to face!" 22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, "Ah, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!"
23 But God reassured him, "Easy now. Don't panic. You won't die." 23 But the LORD said to him, "Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die."
24 Then Gideon built an altar there to God and named it "God's Peace." It's still called that at Ophrah of Abiezer. 24 So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
25 That night this happened. God said to him, "Take your father's best seven-year-old bull, the prime one. Tear down your father's Baal altar and chop down the Asherah fertility pole beside it. 25 That same night the LORD said to him, "Take the second bull from your father's herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father's altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.
26 Then build an altar to God, your God, on the top of this hill. Take the prime bull and present it as a Whole-Burnt-Offering, using firewood from the Asherah pole that you cut down." 26 Then build a proper kind of altar to the LORD your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering."
27 Gideon selected ten men from his servants and did exactly what God had told him. But because of his family and the people in the neighborhood, he was afraid to do it openly, so he did it that night. 27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the men of the town, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.
28 Early in the morning, the people in town were shocked to find Baal's altar torn down, the Asherah pole beside it chopped down, and the prime bull burning away on the altar that had been built. 28 In the morning when the men of the town got up, there was Baal's altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar!
29 They kept asking, "Who did this?" Questions and more questions, and then the answer: "Gideon son of Joash did it." 29 They asked each other, "Who did this?" When they carefully investigated, they were told, "Gideon son of Joash did it."
30 The men of the town demanded of Joash: "Bring out your son! He must die! Why, he tore down the Baal altar and chopped down the Asherah tree!" 30 The men of the town demanded of Joash, "Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal's altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it."
31 But Joash stood up to the crowd pressing in on him, "Are you going to fight Baal's battles for him? Are you going to save him? Anyone who takes Baal's side will be dead by morning. If Baal is a god in fact, let him fight his own battles and defend his own altar." 31 But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, "Are you going to plead Baal's cause? 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."
32 They nicknamed Gideon that day Jerub-Baal because after he had torn down the Baal altar, he had said, "Let Baal fight his own battles." 32 So that day they called Gideon "Jerub-Baal," saying, "Let Baal contend with him," because he broke down Baal's altar.
33 All the Midianites and Amalekites (the easterners) got together, crossed the river, and made camp in the Valley of Jezreel. 33 Now all the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel.
34 God's Spirit came over Gideon. He blew his ram's horn trumpet and the Abiezrites came out, ready to follow him. 34 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him.
35 He dispatched messengers all through Manasseh, calling them to the battle; also to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali. They all came. 35 He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, so that they too went up to meet them.
36 Gideon said to God, "If this is right, if you are using me to save Israel as you've said, 36 Gideon said to God, "If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised--
37 then look: I'm placing a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If dew is on the fleece only, but the floor is dry, then I know that you will use me to save Israel, as you said." 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said."
38 That's what happened. When he got up early the next morning, he wrung out the fleece - enough dew to fill a bowl with water! 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew--a bowlful of water.
39 Then Gideon said to God, "Don't be impatient with me, but let me say one more thing. I want to try another time with the fleece. But this time let the fleece stay dry, while the dew drenches the ground." 39 Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew."
40 God made it happen that very night. Only the fleece was dry while the ground was wet with dew. 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.