The Call of Gideon
1And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Mid´i-an seven years. 2And the hand of Mid´i-an prevailed against Israel: and because of the Mid´i-anites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strongholds. 3And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Mid´i-anites came up, and the Amal´ekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; 4and they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. 5For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. 6And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Mid´i-anites; and the children of Israel cried unto the Lord.
7And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord because of the Mid´i-anites, 8that the Lord sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; 9and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land; 10and I said unto you, I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.
11And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Jo´ash the Abi-ez´rite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Mid´i-anites. 12And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor. 13And Gideon said unto him, O my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Mid´i-anites. 14And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Mid´i-anites: have not I sent thee? 15And he said unto him, O my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manas´seh, and I am the least in my father's house. 16And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Mid´i-anites as one man. 17And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then show me a sign that thou talkest with me. 18Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again.
19And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it. 20And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. 21Then the angel of the Lord put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the Lord departed out of his sight. 22And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord [God]! for because I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face. 23And the Lord said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. 24Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovah–sha´lom:#6.24 That is, The Lord send peace. unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abi-ez´rites.
25And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Ba´al that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: 26and build an altar unto the Lord thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. 27Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the Lord had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.
28And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Ba´al was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. 29And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they inquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Jo´ash hath done this thing. 30Then the men of the city said unto Jo´ash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Ba´al, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. 31And Jo´ash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Ba´al? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. 32Therefore on that day he called him Jerubba´al,#6.32 That is, Let Baal plead. saying, Let Ba´al plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.
33Then all the Mid´i-anites and the Amal´ekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel. 34But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abi-e´zer was gathered after him. 35And he sent messengers throughout all Manas´seh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zeb´ulun, and unto Naph´tali; and they came up to meet them.
36And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, 37behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth besides, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. 38And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. 40And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.