The Israelites for their sin are oppressed by Midian.
Judges 6:1 Afterwarde the children of Israel committed wickednesse in the sight of the Lorde, and the Lorde gaue them into the handes of Midian seuen yeres. Judges 6:2 And the hand of Midian preuayled against Israel, and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them dennes in the mountaines, and caues, and strong holdes. Judges 6:3 When Israel had sowen, then came vp the Midianites, the Amalekites, & they of the East, and came vpon them, Judges 6:4 And camped by them, and destroyed the fruite of the earth, euen til thou come vnto Azzah, and left no foode for Israel, neither sheepe, nor oxe, nor asse. Judges 6:5 For they went vp, and their cattel, & came with their tentes as grashoppers in multitude: so that they & their camels were without number: and they came into the land to destroy it. Judges 6:6 So was Israel exceedingly impouerished by the Midianites: therefore the children of Israel cryed vnto the Lord.
Judges 6:7 And when the children of Israel cryed vnto the Lord because of the Midianites,
A prophet rebuketh them.
Judges 6:8 The Lord sent vnto the children of Israel a Prophet, who sayd vuto them, Thus sayth the Lord God of Israel, I haue brought you vp from Egypt, and haue brought you out of the house of bondage, Judges 6:9 And I haue deliuered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and haue cast them out before you, and giuen you their land. Judges 6:10 And I sayde vnto you, I am the Lord your God: feare not the gods of the Amorites in whose lande you dwell: but ye haue not obeyed my voyce.
An angel sendeth Gideon for their deliverance.
Judges 6:11 And the Angell of the Lord came, and sate vnder the oke which was in Ophrah, that perteined vnto Ioash the father of the Ezrites, and his sonne Gideon threshed wheate by the winepresse, to hide it from the Midianites. Judges 6:12 Then the Angel of the Lord appeared vnto him, and said vnto him, The Lord is with thee, thou valiant man. Judges 6:13 To whome Gideon answered, Ah my Lorde, if the Lord be with vs, why then is all this come vpon vs? and where be all his miracles which our fathers tolde vs of, and sayd, Did not the Lorde bring vs out of Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken vs, and deliuered vs into the hand of the Midianites. Judges 6:14 And the Lord looked vpon him, & sayd, Goe in this thy might, and thou shalt saue Israel out of the handes of the Midianites: haue not I sent thee? Judges 6:15 And he answered him, Ah my Lord, whereby shal I saue Israel? beholde, my father is poore in Manasseh, and I am the least in my fathers house. Judges 6:16 Then the Lord sayd vnto him, I wil therefore be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites, as one man.
Gideon's present is consumed with fire.
Judges 6:17 And he answered him, I pray thee, if I haue founde fauour in thy sight, then shewe me a signe, that thou talkest with me. Judges 6:18 Depart not hence, I pray thee, vntil I come vnto thee, and bring mine offring, and lay it before thee; he sayde, I will tary vntill thou come againe.
Judges 6:19 Then Gideon went in, and made ready a kidde, and vnleauened bread of an Ephah of floure, and put the flesh in a basket, and put the broth in a pot, and brought it out vnto him vnder the oke, and presented it. Judges 6:20 And the Angell of God saide vnto him, Take the flesh and the vnleauened bread, and lay them vpon this stone, and powre out the broth: and he did so.
Judges 6:21 Then the Angell of the Lord put forth the ende of the staffe that he had in his hand, and touched the flesh and the vnleauened bread: and there arose vp fire out of the stone, & consumed the flesh and the vnleauened bread: so the Angel of the Lord departed out of his sight. Judges 6:22 And when Gideon perceiued that it was an Angel of the Lord, Gideon then sayde, Alas, my Lord God: for because I haue seene an Angell of the Lord face to face, I shall die. Judges 6:23 And the Lord said vnto him, Peace be vnto thee: feare not, thou shalt not die. Judges 6:24 Then Gideon made an altar there vnto the Lord, and called it, Iehouah shalom: vnto this day it is in Ophrah, of the father of the Ezrites.
Gideon destroyeth Baal's altar, and offereth a sacrifice upon the altar JEHOVAH-shalom.
Judges 6:25 And the same night the Lord sayd vnto him, Take thy fathers yong bullocke, and an other bullocke of seuen yeeres olde, and destroy the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut downe the groue that is by it, Judges 6:26 And build an altar vnto the Lord thy God vpon the top of this rocke, in a plaine place: and take the seconde bullocke, and offer a burnt offringe with the woode of the groue, which thou shalt cut downe. Judges 6:27 Then Gideon tooke tenne men of his seruants, and did as ye Lord bade him: but because he feared to doe it by day for his fathers housholde, and the men of the citie, he did it by night.
Joash defendeth his son, and calleth him Jerubbaal.
Judges 6:28 And when the men of the citie arose early in the morning, beholde, the altar of Baal was broken, and the groue cut downe that was by it, and the seconde bullocke offred vpon the altar that was made. Judges 6:29 Therefore they saide one to another, Who hath done this thing? and when they inquired & asked, they saide, Gideon the sonne of Ioash hath done this thing. Judges 6:30 Then the men of the citie said vnto Ioash, Bring out thy sonne, that hee may dye: for he hath destroyed the altar of Baal, and hath also cut downe the groue that was by it. Judges 6:31 And Ioash said vnto all that stood by him, Will ye pleade Baals cause? or will ye saue him? he that will contend for him, let him dye or the morning. If he be God, let him pleade for himselfe against him that hath cast downe his altar. Judges 6:32 And in that day was Gideon called Ierubbaal, that is, Let Baal pleade for himselfe because he hath broken downe his altar.
Judges 6:33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and they of ye East, were gathered together, aud went and pitched in the valley of Izreel. Judges 6:34 But the Spirit of the Lorde came vpon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, and Abiezer was ioyned with him. Judges 6:35 And he sent messengers thorowout al Manasseh, which also was ioyned with him, and he sent messengers vnto Asher, and to Zebulun and to Naphtali, and they came vp to meete them.
Judges 6:36 Then Gideon said vnto God, If thou wilt saue Israel by mine hand, as thou hast sayd, Judges 6:37 Beholde, I wil put a fleece of wooll in the threshing place: if the dewe come on the fleece onely, and it be drie vpon all the earth, then shall I be sure, that thou wilt saue Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. Judges 6:38 And so it was: for he rose vp earely on the morow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, and filled a bowle of water. Judges 6:39 Againe, Gideon sayde vnto God, Be not angry with me, that I may speake once more: let me prooue once againe, I pray thee, with the fleece: let it now be drie onely vpon the fleece, and let dewe be vpon all the ground. Judges 6:40 And God did so that same night: for it was drie vpon the fleece onely, and there was dewe on all the ground.