Judges 6:15

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

Judges 6:15 in Other Translations

KJV
15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.
ESV
15 And he said to him, "Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house."
NLT
15 “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”
MSG
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."
CSB
15 He said to Him, "Please, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Look, my family is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father's house."

Judges 6:15 Meaning and Commentary

Judges 6:15

And he said unto him, oh my Lord
Whether he had yet suspected who he was, or took him still for some eminent person, is not certain; it is very probable he began to think he was some extraordinary person sent of God, and speaking in his name, and therefore expostulates with him about the work he put him upon:

wherewith shall I save Israel?
in what way is it possible for me to do it, who had neither men nor money sufficient for such an undertaking?

behold, my family is poor in Manasseh;
of which tribe he was, and the "thousand" in it, as the word F12 here used signifies, was the meanest of all the thousands in that tribe; some render it, "my father" F13:

and I am the least in my father's house;
perhaps the youngest son; though some take him, and others his father, to be the Chiliarch, or head of the thousand; but by these words of his it does not seem as if either was true; not but that he was of some wealth and substance, power and authority, by having such a number of servants as to take "ten" of them with him, ( Judges 6:27 ) however, this he says in great humility and modesty, having no high thoughts of himself and family, nor any dependence on his own strength, and on an arm of flesh.


FOOTNOTES:

F12 (ypla) "chilias, mea", Montanus, Drusius; "mea millenaria", Tigurine version; "mille meum", Piscator.
F13 "Pater meus", Pagninus; so some in Drusius.

Judges 6:15 In-Context

13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
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 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
16 The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”
17 Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.

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Cross References 2

  • 1. Isaiah 60:22
  • 2. Exodus 3:11; 1 Samuel 9:21