Judges 6

1 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Madiam seven years.
2 And the hand of Madiam prevailed against Israel: and the children of Israel made for themselves because of Madiam the caves in the mountains, and the dens, and the holes in the rocks.
3 And it came to pass when the children of Israel sowed, that Madiam and Amalec went up, and the children of the east went up together with them.
4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed their fruits until they came to Gaza; and they left not the support of life in the land of Israel, not even ox or ass among the herds.
5 For they and their stock came up, and their tents were with them, as the locust in multitude, and there was no number to them and their camels; and they came to the land of Israel, and laid it waste.
6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of Madiam.
7 And the children of Israel cried to the Lord because of Madiam.
8 And the Lord sent a prophet to the children of Israel; and he said to them, Thus says the Lord God of Israel, I am he that brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and I brought you up out of the house of your bondage.
9 And I delivered you out of the hand of Egypt, and out of the hand of all that afflicted you, and I cast them out before you; and I gave you their land.
10 And I said to you, I the Lord your God: ye shall not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but ye hearkened not to my voice.
11 And an angel of the Lord came, and sat down under the fir tree, which was in Ephratha in the land of Joas father of Esdri; and Gedeon his son threshing wheat in a wine-press in order to escape from the face of Madiam.
12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, The Lord with thee, thou mighty in strength.
13 And Gedeon said to him, with me, my Lord: but if the Lord is with us, why have these evils found us? and where are all his miracles, which our fathers have related to us, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt? and now he has cast us out, and given us into the hand of Madiam.
14 And the angel of the Lord turned to him, and said, Go in this thy strength, and thou shalt save Israel out of the hand of Madiam: behold, I have sent thee.
15 And Gedeon said to him, with me, my Lord: whereby shall I save Israel? behold, my thousand is weakened in Manasse, and I am the least in my father's house.
16 And the angel of the Lord said to him, The Lord shall be with thee, and thou shalt smite Madiam as one man.
17 And Gedeon said to him, If now I have found mercy in thine eyes, and thou wilt do this day for me all that thou hast spoken of with me,
18 depart not hence until I come to thee, and I will bring forth an offering and offer it before thee: and he said, I will remain until thou return.
19 And Gedeon went in, and prepared a kid of the goats, and an ephah of fine flour unleavened; and he put the flesh in the basket, and poured the broth into the pot, and brought them forth to him under the turpentine tree, and drew nigh.
20 And the angel of God said to him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and put them on that rock, and pour out the broth close by: and he did so.
21 And the angel of the Lord stretched out the end of the rod that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened bread; and fire came up out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened bread, and the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight.
22 And Gedeon saw that he was an angel of the Lord; and Gedeon said, Ah, ah, Lord my God! for I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.
23 And the Lord said to him, Peace be to thee, fear not, thou shalt not die.
24 And Gedeon built there an altar to the Lord, and called it The peace of the Lord, until this day, as it is still inEphratha of the father of Esdri.
25 And it came to pass in that night, that the Lord said to him, Take the young bullock which thy father has, even the second bullock of seven years old, and thou shalt destroy the altar of Baal which thy father has, and the grove which is by itthou shalt destroy.
26 And thou shalt build an altar to the Lord thy God on the top of this Maozi in the ordering , and thou shalt take the second bullock, and shalt offer up whole-burnt-offerings with the wood of the grove, which thou shalt destroy.
27 And Gedeon took ten men of his servants, and did as the Lord spoke to him: and it came to pass, as he feared the house of his father and the men of the city if he should do it by day, that he did it by night.
28 And the men of the city rose up early in the morning; and behold, the altar of Baal had been demolished, and the grove by it had been destroyed; and they saw the second bullock, which Gedeon offered on the altar that had been built.
29 And a man said to his neighbour, Who has done this thing? and they enquired and searched, and learnt that Gedeon the son of Joas had done this thing.
30 And the men of the city said to Joas, Bring out thy son, and let him die, because he has destroyed the altar of Baal, and because he has destroyed the grove that is by it.
31 And Gedeon the son of Joas said to all the men who rose up against him, Do ye now plead for Baal, or will ye save him? whoever will plead for him, let him be slain this morning: if he be a god let him plead for himself, one has thrown down his altar.
32 And he called it in that day Jerobaal, saying, Let Baal plead thereby, because his altar has been thrown down.
33 And all Madiam, and Amalek, and the sons of the east gathered themselves together, and encamped in the valley of Jezrael.
34 And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gedeon, and he blew with the horn, and Abiezer came to help after him.
35 And sent messengers into all Manasse, and into Aser, and into Zabulon, and into Nephthali; and he went up to meet them.
36 And Gedeon said to God, If thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast said,
37 behold, I put the fleece of wool in the threshing-floor: if there be dew on the fleece only, and drought on all the ground, I shall know that thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast said.
38 And it was so: and he rose up early in the morning, and wrung the fleece, and dew dropped from the fleece, a bowl full of water.
39 And Gedeon said to God, Let not, I pray thee, thine anger be kindled with me, and I will speak yet once; I will even yet make one trial more with the fleece: let now the drought be upon the fleece only, and let there be dew on all the ground.
40 And God did so in that night; and there was drought on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.

Images for Judges 6

Judges 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

Israel oppressed by Midianites. (1-6) Israel rebuked by a prophet. (7-10) Gideon set to deliver Israel. (11-24) Gideon destroys Baal's altar. (25-32) Signs given him. (33-40)

Verses 1-6 Israel's sin was renewed, and Israel's troubles were repeated. Let all that sin expect to suffer. The Israelites hid themselves in dens and caves; such was the effect of a guilty conscience. Sin dispirits men. The invaders left no food for Israel, except what was taken into the caves. They prepared that for Baal with which God should have been served, now God justly sends an enemy to take it away in the season thereof.

Verses 7-10 They cried to God for a deliverer, and he sent them a prophet to teach them. When God furnishes a land with faithful ministers, it is a token that he has mercy in store for it. He charges them with rebellion against the Lord; he intends to bring them to repentance. Repentance is real when the sinfulness of sin, as disobedience to God, is chiefly lamented.

Verses 11-24 Gideon was a man of a brave, active spirit, yet in obscurity through the times: he is here stirred up to undertake something great. It was very sure that the Lord was with him, when his Angel was with him. Gideon was weak in faith, which made it hard to reconcile the assurances of the presence of God with the distress to which Israel was brought. The Angel answered his objections. He told him to appear and act as Israel's deliverer, there needed no more. Bishop Hall says, While God calls Gideon valiant, he makes him so. God delights to advance the humble. Gideon desires to have his faith confirmed. Now, under the influences of the Spirit, we are not to expect signs before our eyes such as Gideon here desired, but must earnestly pray to God, that if we have found grace in his sight, he would show us a sign in our heart, by the powerful working of his Spirit there, The Angel turned the meat into an offering made by fire; showing that he was not a man who needed meat, but the Son of God, who was to be served and honoured by sacrifice, and who in the fulness of time was to make himself a sacrifice. Hereby a sign was given to Gideon, that he had found grace in God's sight. Ever since man has by sin exposed himself to God's wrath and curse, a message from heaven has been a terror to him, as he scarcely dares to expect good tidings thence. In this world, it is very awful to have any converse with that world of spirits to which we are so much strangers. Gideon's courage failed him. But God spoke peace to him.

Verses 25-32 See the power of God's grace, that he could raise up a reformer; and the kindness of his grace, that he would raise up a deliverer, out of the family of a leader in idolatry. Gideon must not think it enough not to worship at that altar; he must throw it down, and offer sacrifice on another. It was needful he should make peace with God, before he made war on Midian. Till sin be pardoned through the great Sacrifice, no good is to be expected. God, who has all hearts in his hands, influenced Joash to appear for his son against the advocates for Baal, though he had joined formerly in the worship of Baal. Let us do our duty, and trust God with our safety. Here is a challenge to Baal, to do either good or evil; the result convinced his worshippers of their folly, in praying to one to help them that could not avenge himself.

Verses 33-40 These signs are truly miraculous, and very significant. Gideon and his men were going to fight the Midianites; could God distinguish between a small fleece of Israel, and the vast floor of Midian? Gideon is made to know that God could do so. Is Gideon desirous that the dew of Divine grace might come down upon himself in particular? He sees the fleece wet with dew to assure him of it. Does he desire that God will be as the dew to all Israel? Behold, all the ground is wet. What cause we sinners of the Gentiles have, to bless the Lord that the dew of heavenly blessings, once confined to Israel, is now sent to all the inhabitants of the earth! Yet still the means of grace are in different measures, according to the purposes of God. In the same congregation, one man's soul is like Gideon's moistened fleece, another like the dry ground.

Footnotes 8

Chapter Summary


In this chapter we have an account of the distressed condition Israel was in through the Midianites, Jud 6:1-6, of a prophet being sent unto them to reprieve them for their sins, Jud 6:7-10 of an angel appearing to Gideon, with an order to him to go and save Israel out of the hands of the Midianites, Jud 6:11-16 and of a sign given him by the angel, whereby he knew this order was of God, Jud 6:17-24, and of the reformation from idolatry in his father's family he made upon this, throwing down the altar of Baal, and building one for the Lord, Jud 6:25-32, and of the preparation he made to fight the Midianites and others, Jud 6:33-35, but first desired a sign of the Lord, that Israel would be saved by his hand, which was granted and repeated, Jud 6:36-40.

Judges 6 Commentaries

The Brenton translation of the Septuagint is in the public domain.