Gideon Meets Some Visitors
6:11 The Lord’s angelic messenger 1 came and sat down under the oak tree in Ophrah owned by Joash the Abiezrite. He arrived while Joash’s son Gideon 2 was threshing 3 wheat in a winepress 4 so he could hide it from the Midianites. 5 6:12 The Lord’s messenger appeared and said to him, “The Lord is with you, courageous warrior!” 6:13 Gideon said to him, “Pardon me, 6 but if the Lord is with us, why has such disaster 7 overtaken us? Where are all his miraculous deeds our ancestors told us about? They said, 8 ‘Did the Lord not bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.” 6:14 Then the Lord himself 9 turned to him and said, “You have the strength. 10 Deliver Israel from the power of the Midianites! 11 Have I not sent you?” 6:15 Gideon 12 said to him, “But Lord, 13 how 14 can I deliver Israel? Just look! My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my family.” 15 6:16 The Lord said to him, “Ah, but 16 I will be with you! You will strike down the whole Midianite army.” 17 6:17 Gideon 18 said to him, “If you really are pleased with me, 19 then give me 20 a sign as proof that it is really you speaking with me. 6:18 Do not leave this place until I come back 21 with a gift 22 and present it to you.” The Lord said, “I will stay here until you come back.”
6:19 Gideon went and prepared a young goat, 23 along with unleavened bread made from an ephah of flour. He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot. He brought the food 24 to him under the oak tree and presented it to him. 6:20 God’s messenger said to him, “Put the meat and unleavened bread on this rock, 25 and pour out the broth.” Gideon did as instructed. 26 6:21 The Lord’s messenger touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of his staff. 27 Fire flared up from the rock and consumed the meat and unleavened bread. The Lord’s messenger then disappeared. 28
6:22 When Gideon realized 29 that it was the Lord’s messenger, he 30 said, “Oh no! 31 Master, Lord! 32 I have seen the Lord’s messenger face to face!” 6:23 The Lord said to him, “You are safe! 33 Do not be afraid! You are not going to die!” 6:24 Gideon built an altar for the Lord there, and named it “The Lord is on friendly terms with me.” 34 To this day it is still there in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
Gideon Destroys the Altar
6:25 That night the Lord said to him, “Take the bull from your father’s herd, as well as a second bull, one that is seven years old. 35 Pull down your father’s Baal altar and cut down the nearby Asherah pole. 6:26 Then build an altar for the Lord your God on the top of this stronghold according to the proper pattern. 36 Take the second bull and offer it as a burnt sacrifice on the wood from the Asherah pole that you cut down.” 6:27 So Gideon took ten of his servants 37 and did just as the Lord had told him. He was too afraid of his father’s family 38 and the men of the city to do it in broad daylight, so he waited until nighttime. 39
6:28 When the men of the city got up the next morning, they saw 40 the Baal altar pulled down, the nearby Asherah pole cut down, and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar.