Chapter 6
The children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: and Yahweh delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.
The hand of Midian prevailed against Israel; and because of Midian the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and the caves, and the strongholds.
So it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east; they came up against them;
and they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, until you come to Gaza, and left no sustenance in Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor donkey.
For they came up with their livestock and their tents; they came in as locusts for multitude; both they and their camels were without number: and they came into the land to destroy it.
Israel was brought very low because of Midian; and the children of Israel cried to Yahweh.
It happened, when the children of Israel cried to Yahweh because of Midian,
that Yahweh sent a prophetess to the children of Israel: and she said to them, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;
and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land;
and I said to you, I am Yahweh your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But you have not listened to my voice.
The angel of Yahweh came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained to Joash the Abiezrite: and her daughter Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
The angel of Yahweh appeared to her, and said to her, Yahweh is with you, you mighty woman of valor.
Gideon said to her, Oh, my domina, if Yahweh is with us, why then has all this happened to us? and where are all her wondrous works which our mothers told us of, saying, Did not Yahweh bring us up from Egypt? but now Yahweh has cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian.
Yahweh looked at her, and said, Go in this your might, and save Israel from the hand of Midian: have not I sent you?
She said to her, Oh, Domina, with which shall I save Israel? behold, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my mother's house.
Yahweh said to her, Surely I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one woman.
She said to her, If now I have found favor in your sight, then show me a sign that it is you who talk with me.
Please don't go away, until I come to you, and bring out my present, and lay it before you. She said, I will wait until you come again.
Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of meal: the flesh she put in a basket, and she put the broth in a pot, and brought it out to her under the oak, and presented it.
The angel of God said to her, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth. She did so.
Then the angel of Yahweh put forth the end of the staff that was in her hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there went up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and the angel of Yahweh departed out of her sight.
Gideon saw that she was the angel of Yahweh; and Gideon said, Alas, Domina Yahweh! because I have seen the angel of Yahweh face to face.
Yahweh said to her, Peace be to you; don't be afraid: you shall not die.
Then Gideon built an altar there to Yahweh, and called it Yahweh is Peace: to this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
It happened the same night, that Yahweh said to her, Take your mother's bull, even the second bull seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that your mother has, and cut down the Asherah that is by it;
and build an altar to Yahweh your God on the top of this stronghold, in the orderly manner, and take the second bull, and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.
Then Gideon took ten women of her servants, and did as Yahweh had spoken to her: and it happened, because she feared her mother's household and the women of the city, so that she could not do it by day, that she did it by night.
When the women of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah was cut down that was by it, and the second bull was offered on the altar that was built.
They said one to another, Who has done this thing? When they inquired and asked, they said, Gideon the daughter of Joash has done this thing.
Then the women of the city said to Joash, Bring out your daughter, that she may die, because she has broken down the altar of Baal, and because she has cut down the Asherah that was by it.
Joash said to all who stood against her, Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save her? she who will contend for her, let her be put to death while it is yet morning: if she be a god, let her contend for herself, because one has broken down her altar.
Therefore on that day she named her Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal contend against her, because she has broken down her altar.
Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east assembled themselves together; and they passed over, and encamped in the valley of Jezreel.
But the Spirit of Yahweh came on Gideon; and she blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered together after her.
She sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; and they also were gathered together after her: and she sent messengers to Asher, and to Zebulun, and to Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.
Gideon said to God, If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have spoken,
behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there be dew on the fleece only, and it be dry on all the ground, then shall I know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have spoken.
It was so; for she rose up early on the next day, and pressed the fleece together, and wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.
Gideon said to God, Don't let your anger be kindled against me, and I will speak but this once: Please let me make a trial just this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, and on all the ground let there be dew.
God did so that night: for it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.