1The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. (Ge 25:2; Nu 25:17; Jud 2:19; Hab 3:7)2And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. (1Sa 13:6; Heb 11:38)3For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. (Ge 29:1; Jud 3:13; Jud 6:33; Jud 7:12; Jud 8:10; 1Ki 4:30; Job 1:3)4They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. (Le 26:16; De 28:30; De 28:51; Mic 6:15)5For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—so that they laid waste the land as they came in. (Jud 7:12)6And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord. (Jud 3:9)7When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of the Midianites,8the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. (1Sa 10:18)9And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. (Ps 44:2)10And I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.” (Jos 24:15; 2Ki 17:35)
The Call of Gideon
11Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. (Jos 17:2; Jud 8:2; Heb 11:32)12And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” (Jos 1:5; Jud 13:3; Lu 1:11; Ac 10:3)13And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” (Ps 44:1; Ps 89:49; Isa 63:15)14And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” (Jos 1:9; 1Sa 12:11)15And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” (Ex 3:11; 1Sa 9:21; 1Sa 18:18)16And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” (Ex 3:12; Jos 1:5)17And he said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. (Ex 4:1; Ex 33:13; Jud 6:36; 2Ki 20:8; Isa 7:11)18Please do not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my present and set it before you.” And he said, “I will stay till you return.” (Ge 18:3; Jud 13:15)19So Gideon went into his house and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the terebinth and presented them. (Ge 18:6)20And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them.” And he did so. (Jud 13:19; 1Ki 18:33)21Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight. (Le 9:24; 1Ki 18:38; 2Ch 7:1)22Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” (Ge 32:30; Ex 33:20; De 5:26; Jud 13:21)23But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” (Da 10:19)24Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites. (Ge 22:14; Ex 17:15; Jud 6:11; Jud 8:27; Jud 8:32; Eze 48:35)25That night the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it (Jud 3:7)26and build an altar to the Lord your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.” (Da 11:7; Da 11:10; Da 11:31)27So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night.
Gideon Destroys the Altar of Baal
28When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been built.29And they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And after they had searched and inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.”30Then the men of the town said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has broken down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it.”31But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? Whoever contends for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because his altar has been broken down.”32Therefore on that day Gideon was called Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he broke down his altar. (Jud 7:1; 1Sa 12:11; 2Sa 11:21)33Now all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East came together, and they crossed the Jordan and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. (Jos 17:16; Jud 6:3)34But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him. (Jud 3:10; Jud 3:27)35And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they too were called out to follow him. And he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they went up to meet them. (Jud 7:24)
The Sign of the Fleece
36Then Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, (Ex 4:1)37behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.”38And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water.39Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.” (Ge 18:32)40And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.
New International Version
1The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.2Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds.3Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country.4They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys.5They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count them or their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it.6Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.7When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian,8he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.9I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land.10I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”11The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.12When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”13“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”14The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”15“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”16The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”17Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.18Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.” And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return.”19Gideon went inside, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.20The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so.21Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared.22When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”23But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”24So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.25That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.26Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.”27So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.28In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar!29They asked each other, “Who did this?” When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of Joash did it.”30The people of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”31But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.”32So because Gideon broke down Baal’s altar, they gave him the name Jerub-Baal that day, saying, “Let Baal contend with him.”33Now all the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel.34Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him.35He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, so that they too went up to meet them.36Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—37look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.”38And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.39Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.”40That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.
King James Version
1And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.2And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.3And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, 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 Midianites; 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 Midianites,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 Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.12And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.13And Gideon said unto him, Oh 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 Midianites.14And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?15And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father' house.16And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.17And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew 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 Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.25And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father' young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal 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' 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 Baal 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 enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing.30Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it.31And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? 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 Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.33Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites 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 Abiezer was gathered after him.35And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; 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 beside , 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 bowl full 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.
New Int. Readers Version
1Once again the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. So for seven years he handed them over to the people of Midian.2The Midianites treated the people of Israel very badly. That's why they made hiding places for themselves. They hid in holes in the mountains. They also hid in caves and in other safe places.3Each year the people planted their crops. When they did, the Midianites came into the country and attacked it. So did the Amalekites and other tribes from the east.4They camped on the land. They destroyed the crops all the way to Gaza. They didn't spare any living thing for Israel. They didn't spare sheep or cattle or donkeys.5The Midianites came up with their livestock and tents. They came like huge numbers of locusts. It was impossible to count all of those men and their camels. They came into the land to destroy it.6Midian made the people of Israel very poor. So they cried out to the Lord for help.7They cried out to the Lord because of what Midian had done.8So he sent a prophet to them. The prophet said, “The Lord is the God of Israel. He says, ‘I brought you up out of Egypt. That is the land where you were slaves.9I saved you from the power of Egypt. I saved you from all those who were beating you down. I drove the people of Canaan out to make room for you. I gave you their land.10“ ‘I said to you, “I am the Lord your God. You are now living in the land of the Amorites. Do not worship their gods.” But you have not listened to me.’ ”11The angel of the Lord came. He sat down under an oak tree in Ophrah. The tree belonged to Joash. He was from the family line of Abiezer. Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress at Ophrah. He was the son of Joash. Gideon was threshing in a winepress to hide the wheat from the Midianites.12The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon. He said, “Mighty warrior, the Lord is with you.”13“But sir,” Gideon replied, “you say the Lord is with us. Then why has all of this happened to us? Where are all of the wonderful things he has done? Our parents told us about them. They said, ‘Didn't the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has deserted us. He has handed us over to Midian.”14The Lord turned to Gideon. He said to him, “You are strong. Go and save Israel from the power of Midian. I am sending you.”15“But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I possibly save Israel? My family group is the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh. And I'm the least important member of my family.”16The Lord answered, “I will be with you. So you will strike down the men of Midian all at one time.”17Gideon replied, “If you are pleased with me, give me a special sign. Then I'll know that it's really you talking to me.18Please don't go away until I come back. I'll bring my offering and set it down in front of you.” The Lord said, “I will wait until you return.”19Gideon went and prepared a young goat. From more than half a bushel of flour he made bread without using yeast. He put the meat in a basket. In a pot he put soup that was made from the meat. Then he brought all of it and offered it to the Lord under the oak tree.20The angel of God spoke to Gideon. He said, “Take the meat and the bread. Place them on this rock. Then pour out the soup.” So Gideon did it.21The angel of the Lord had a wooden staff in his hand. With the tip of his staff he touched the meat and the bread. Fire blazed out of the rock. It burned up the meat and the bread. Then the angel of the Lord disappeared.22Gideon realized it was the angel of the Lord. He cried out, “Lord and King, I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”23But the Lord said to him, “May peace be with you! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”24So Gideon built an altar to honor the Lord there. He called it The Lord Is Peace. It still stands in Ophrah to this very day. Ophrah is in the territory that belongs to the family line of Abiezer.25That same night the Lord spoke to Gideon. He said, “Get the second bull from your father's herd. Get the one that is seven years old. Tear down the altar your father built in honor of Baal. Cut down the pole that is beside it. The pole is used to worship the goddess Asherah.26“Then build the right kind of altar. Build it in honor of the Lord your God. Build it on top of this hill. Then use the wood from the Asherah pole you cut down. Sacrifice the second bull as a burnt offering.”27So Gideon went and got ten of his servants. He did just as the Lord had told him. But he was afraid of his family. He was also afraid of the men in the town. So he did everything at night instead of during the day.28In the morning the men in the town got up. They saw that Baal's altar had been torn down. The Asherah pole that was beside it had been cut down. And the second bull had been sacrificed on the new altar that had been built.29They asked each other, “Who did this?” They looked into the matter carefully. Someone told them, “Gideon, the son of Joash, did it.”30The men in the town spoke to Joash. They ordered him, “Bring your son out here. He must die. He has torn down Baal's altar. He has cut down the Asherah pole that was beside it.”31But Joash replied to the angry crowd that was around him. He said, “Are you going to stand up for Baal? Are you trying to save him? Those who stand up for him will be put to death by morning! Is Baal really a god? If he is, he can stand up for himself when someone tears down his altar.”32That's why Gideon was called Jerub‑Baal that day. He said, “Let Baal take his stand against him.” Gideon had torn down Baal's altar.33All of the Midianites and Amalekites gathered their armies together. Other tribes from the east joined them. All of them went across the Jordan River. They camped in the Valley of Jezreel.34Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon. So Gideon blew the trumpet to send for the men of Abiezer. He told them to follow him.35He sent messengers all through Manasseh. He called for the men of Manasseh to fight. He also sent messengers to the men of Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali. So all of those men went up to join the others.36Gideon said to God, “You promised you would use me to save Israel.37Please do something for me. I'll put a piece of wool on the threshing floor. Suppose dew is only on the wool tomorrow morning. And suppose the ground all around it is dry. Then I will know that you will use me to save Israel. I'll know that your promise will come true.”38And that's what happened. Gideon got up early the next day. He squeezed the dew out of the wool. The water filled a bowl.39Then Gideon said to God, “Don't let your anger burn against me. Let me ask you for just one more thing. Let me use the wool for one more test. This time make the wool dry. And cover the ground with dew.”40So that night God did it. Only the wool was dry. The ground all around it was covered with dew.