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1 And the children of Israel did euill in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord deliuered them into the hande of Midian seuen yeeres.

2 And the hand of Midian preuailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made them the dennes which are in the mountaines, and caues, & strong holds.

3 And so it was when Israel had sowen, that the Midianites came vp, & the Amalekites, & the children of the East, euen they came vp against them,

4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed the encrease of the earth, till thou come vnto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheepe, nor oxe, nor asse.

5 For they came vp with their cattell and their tents, and they came as Grashoppers for multitude, for both they and their camels were without number: and they entred into the land to destroy it.

6 And Israel was greatly impouerished, because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cryed vnto the Lord.

7 ¶ And it came to passe when the children of Israel cryed vnto the Lord, because of the Midianites,

8 That the Lord sent a Prophet vnto the children of Israel, which said vnto them; Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought you vp from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage,

9 And I deliuered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of al that oppressed you, and draue them out from before you, and gaue you their land:

10 And I said vnto you, I am the Lord your God, feare not the gods of the Amorites in whose land ye dwel: But ye haue not obeyed my voice.

11 ¶ And there came an Angel of the Lord, and sate vnder an Oake which was in Ophrah, that pertained vnto Ioash the Abi-Ezrite: and his sonne Gideon threshed wheat by the winepresse, to hide it from the Midianites.

12 And the Angel of the Lord appeared vnto him, and said vnto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mightie man of valour.

13 And Gideon said vnto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord bee with vs, why then is all this befallen vs? and where be all his miracles which our fathers tolde vs of, saying, Did not the Lord bring vs vp from Egypt? But now the Lord hath forsaken vs, and deliuered vs into the hands of the Midianites.

14 And the Lord looked vpon him, and said, Goe in this thy might, and thou shalt saue Israel from the hand of the Midianites: haue not I sent thee?

15 And hee said vnto him, Oh my lord, wherewith shall I saue Israel? behold, my family is poore in Manasseh, and I am the least in my fathers house.

16 And the Lord said vnto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites, as one man.

17 And he said vnto him, If now I haue found grace in thy sight, then shew me a signe, that thou talkest with me.

18 Depart not hence, I pray thee, vntil I come vnto thee, and bring forth my Present, and set it before thee. And hee saide, I will tary vntill thou come againe.

19 ¶ And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and vnleauened cakes of an Ephah of floure: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out vnto him vnder the oake, and presented it.

20 And the Angel of God sayd vnto him, Take the flesh, and the vnleauened cakes, and lay them vpon this rocke, and powre out the broth. And he did so.

21 ¶ Then the Angel of the Lord put foorth the end of the staffe that was in his hand, and touched the flesh, and the vnleauened cakes, and there rose vp fire out of the rocke, and consumed the flesh and the vnleauened cakes: then the Angel of the Lord departed out of his sight.

22 And when Gideon perceiued that hee was an Angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God: for because I haue seene an Angel of the Lord face to face.

23 And the Lord said vnto him, Peace be vnto thee, feare not, thou shalt not die.

24 Then Gideon built an Altar there vnto the Lord, and called it Iehouah shalom: vnto this day it is yet in Ophrah, of the Abi-Ezrites.

25 ¶ And it came to passe the same night, that the Lord said vnto him, Take thy fathers yong bullocke, euen the second bullocke of seuen yeeres old, and throw downe the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut downe the groue that is by it:

26 And builde an Altar vnto the Lord thy God vpon the top of this rocke, in the ordered place, and take the second bullocke, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the groue, which thou shalt cut downe.

27 Then Gideon tooke ten men of his seruants, and did as the Lord had said vnto him: And so it was because hee feared his fathers houshold, and the men of the city, that he could not doe it by day, that hee did it by night.

28 ¶ And when the men of the citie arose earely in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast downe, and the groue was cut downe that was by it, and the second bullocke was offered vpon the altar that was built.

29 And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the sonne of Ioash hath done this thing.

30 Then the men of the citie said vnto Ioash, Bring out thy sonne, that he may die: because he hath cast downe the altar of Baal, and because hee hath cut downe the groue that was by it.

31 And Ioash said vnto all that stood against him, Will ye pleade for Baal? will ye saue him? He that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilest it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himselfe, because one hath cast down his altar.

32 Therefore on that day hee called him Ierubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because hee hath throwen downe his altar.

33 ¶ Then all the Midianites, and the Amalekites, and the children of the East were gathered together, and went ouer, and pitched in the valley of Iezreel.

34 But the Spirit of the Lord came vpon Gideon, and hee blewe a trumpet, and Abiezer was gathered after him.

35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also was gathered after him, and hee sent messengers vnto Asher, and vnto Zebulun, and vnto Naphtali, and they came vp to meete them.

36 ¶ And Gideon said vnto God, If thou wilt saue Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said,

37 Beholde, I will put a fleece of wooll in the floore: and if the deaw be on the fleece onely, and it bee drie vpon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt saue Israel by my hande, as thou hast said.

38 And it was so: for he rose vp early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the deaw out of the fleece, a bowle full of water.

39 And Gideon said vnto God, Let not thine anger be hote against me, and I will speake but this once: Let mee prooue, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece. Let it now be drie onely vpon the fleece, and vpon all the ground let there be deaw.

40 And God did so that night: for it was drie vpon the fleece onely, and there was deaw on all the ground.

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Commentary for Judges 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)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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Judges 6

  • Charlene
    Again the Israelites deny their God to worship Baal and please themselves in whatever sin they choose. When along comes trouble, they all of a sudden remember where their "help comes from, it comes from the Lord". NOW they acknowledge God, repent and God forgives them AGAIN. How great is our God's mercy, grace and love for His own? But for the grace of God there go I. Thank you Jesus
  • Rongai
    Gideon was just amazing.
  • Gloria
    God is so kind. Gideon was terrified but God went to all lengths to encourage him and strengthen his faith. And God speaks to us. he tells us what hes going to do. He doesn't leave us in the dark about his plans. What a wonderful God he is.
  • BSP
    Verse 14~Jehovah God saw the potential that Gideon had. He told him to go with the strength you have. He knew he couldn’t do it in his own strength but he needed him to just get going and Jehovah would make up for the rest.
  • Abel Israel
    Eaglesrock, in my own view of this chapter: Is not that Gideon is afraid, is because Israel had already sinned and God is punishing them base on their sins, because the bible said fear is a torment, and fear also is having faith in the adversary to harm us where as God has already given Israel to the enemy to do them harm because of their sins in worshipping other god Baal.
  • Irene123
    V.2 - they lived in caves; also David did too. And others not of the middle east. These 'pre-historic' bones the worldly people are digging up; the bones of these people is what they are digging up. Just 'pieces' they are adding to to make a 'complete' skull. They shape it to look 'ape-ish'. They hate God.

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