And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.
When God judges, he will overcome; and sinners shall be made either to bend or break before him. See the ensuing history.
And 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.
Heb. was strong. dens. Dr. Shaw says, that a great way on each side Joppa, on the sea coast, there is a range of mountains and precipices; and in these high situations are generally found the dens, holes, or caves, which are so frequently mentioned in Scripture; and which were formerly the lonesome retreats of the distressed Israelites.
And 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;
And 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.
till thou come
The Midianites dwelt beyond the eastern borders of the land of Canaan, east of the Dead Sea, and Gaza was on the Mediterranean, on the west: so that these invaders ravaged the whole breadth of the land.
For 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.
And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.
That 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;
A. M. 2759. B.C. 1245. An. Ex. Is. 246. a prophet. Heb. a man, a prophet. Thus saith
And 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;
And 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.
I am the
And 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.
hide it . Heb. cause it to flee.
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
And 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.
if the Lord
And 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?
And 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's house.
my family is poor
Heb. my thousand is the meanest.
And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.
Depart 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.
or, meat offering.
And 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.
Dr. Shaw observes, "Besides a bowl of milk, and a basket of figs, raisins, or dates, which upon our arrival were presented to us, to stay our appetite, the master of the tent fetched us from his flock, according to the number of our company, a kid or a goat, a lamb or a sheep; half of which was immediately seethed by his wife, and served up with cucasoe; the rest was made kab-ab, i.e., cut to pieces and roasted, which we reserved for our breakfast or dinner next day." May we not suppose, says Mr. Harmer, that Gideon presented some slight refreshment to the supposed prophet, according to the present Arab mode, and desired him to stay till he could provide something more substantial; that he immediately killed a kid, seethed a part of it, and when ready brought the stewed meat in a pot, with unleavened cakes of bread, which he had baked; and the other part, the kab-ab, in a basket for him to carry with him, for some after repast in his journey?
Heb. a kid of the goats. unleavened cakes.
And 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.
Then 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.
And 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.
And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.
Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
that is, The Lord send peace.
And 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 Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:
Take thy father's
or, and. throw.
And 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.
Heb. strong place. the ordered place. or, an orderly manner.
Then 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.
he did it
Then 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.
And 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.
Will ye plead
The words are very emphatic: "Will ye plead in earnest (tereevoon) for Baal? Will ye really save (tosheeoon) him? If he be God, (Elohim,) let him contend for himself, seeing his altar is thrown down."
let him be
if he be
Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.
that is, Let Baal plead.
Jerubbesheth: that is, Let the shameful thing plead
Then 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.
But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him.
Heb. was called.
And 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.
And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said,
If thou wilt
Behold, 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.
And 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.
And 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.
Let not thine
And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.