The Midianites oppress the Israelites. An angel appears to Gideon and tells him to destroy his father’s idols. Gideon destroys the idols and is given a sign that he will succeed at war.
Gideon is sent on a divine mission: “That night the LORD said to him… ‘Pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the sacred post which is beside it.’” (v 25)
III. Important Verses
vv 2-4: The hand of the Midianites prevailed over Israel; and because of Midian, the Israelites provided themselves with refuges in the caves and strongholds of the mountains. After the Israelites had done their sowing, Midian, Amalek, and the Kedemites would come up and raid them; they would attack them, destroy the produce of the land all the way to Gaza, and leave no means of sustenance in Israel, not a sheep or an ox or an ass.
vv 14-16: When the Israelites cried to the LORD on account of Midian, the LORD sent a prophet to the Israelites who said to them, “Thus said the LORD, the God of Israel: I brought you up out of Egypt and freed you from the house of bondage. I rescued you from the Egyptians and from all your oppressors; I drove them out before you, and gave you their land. And I said to you, ‘I the LORD am your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you did not obey Me.”
vv 30-31: The townspeople said to Joash, “Bring out your son, for he must die: he has torn down the altar of Baal and cut down the sacred post beside it!” But Joash said to all who had risen against him, “Do you have to contend for Baal? Do you have to vindicate him? Whoever fights his battles shall be dead by morning! If he is a god, let him fight his own battles, since it is his altar that has been torn down!”
v 32: That day they named him Jerubbaal, meaning “Let Baal contend with him, since he tore down his altar.”
vv 36-40: And Gideon said to God, “If You really intend to deliver Israel through me as You have said — here I place a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If dew falls only on the fleece and all the ground remains dry, I shall know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have said.” And that is what happened. Early the next day, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew from the fleece, a bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me if I speak just once more. Let me make just one more test with the fleece: let the fleece alone be dry, while there is dew all over the ground.” God did so that night: only the fleece was dry, while there was dew all over the ground.
1-6a. Midianite Oppression
6b. The Israelites call out to God
7-10. Report of theophany
11-24. Gideon meets the angel and is presented with a miracle
25-32. Gideon destroys the statue of Baal and is named Jerubbaal
33. The Enemy assembles
34-40. Gideon is presented with a second miracle
No comment today. Stay tuned.
VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Trent C. Butler, “Judges” (Word Biblical Commentary vol. 8; Nashville: Nelson, 2009).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 15 (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
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