1252 BC Because of their disobedience, God allows Midianite raids on Israelite harvests, causing famine. This may have forced Ruth’s in-laws into Moab. In c.1245 BC God helps Gideon repel a large Midianite force. Fear then keeps them away for 40 years, but the Israelites drift back into idol worship.
Note Judges 7:19: The Midianite camp, with 120,000 swordsmen, would require hundreds of watchmen stationed around the perimeter. At the changing of the watch, the large movement of men would allow Gideon’s men to take their places unnoticed in the darkness.