Judges 6:21
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.
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(21) The staff that was in his hand.—The ordinary accompaniment of an Eastern traveller (Genesis 32:10; Matthew 10:10).

There rose up fire.—The common sign of God’s presence and of His acceptance of an offering. (See Leviticus 9:24; 1Kings 18:24; 1Chronicles 21:26; 2Chronicles 7:1.) Water is brought out of the rock for the blessing of man, and fire to show the presence of God.

Departed.—It is not said, as in Judges 13:20, that he ascended in the flame.

Jdg 6:21-24. There rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh — By which he showed himself not to be a man that needed such provisions, but the Son of God; and by this instance of his omnipotency, gave him assurance that he both could and would consume the Midianites. Alas, O Lord God — I am an undone man: I must die, and that speedily; for that he feared, (Jdg 6:23,) according to the common opinion in that case. The Lord said unto him — Perhaps by an audible voice, for it does not seem as if the angel spoke these words; Peace be to thee — Thou shalt receive no hurt by this vision, but only peace; that is, all the blessings needful for thy own happiness, and for the present work. Gideon built an altar there — On the top of the rock, as is evident from Jdg 6:26, where that which is here expressed only in general, is more particularly described. Jehovah-shalom — That is, the Lord’s peace; the sign or witness of God’s speaking peace to me, and to his people: or the place where he spake peace to me, when I expected nothing but destruction.

6:11-24 Gideon was a man of a brave, active spirit, yet in obscurity through the times: he is here stirred up to undertake something great. It was very sure that the Lord was with him, when his Angel was with him. Gideon was weak in faith, which made it hard to reconcile the assurances of the presence of God with the distress to which Israel was brought. The Angel answered his objections. He told him to appear and act as Israel's deliverer, there needed no more. Bishop Hall says, While God calls Gideon valiant, he makes him so. God delights to advance the humble. Gideon desires to have his faith confirmed. Now, under the influences of the Spirit, we are not to expect signs before our eyes such as Gideon here desired, but must earnestly pray to God, that if we have found grace in his sight, he would show us a sign in our heart, by the powerful working of his Spirit there, The Angel turned the meat into an offering made by fire; showing that he was not a man who needed meat, but the Son of God, who was to be served and honoured by sacrifice, and who in the fulness of time was to make himself a sacrifice. Hereby a sign was given to Gideon, that he had found grace in God's sight. Ever since man has by sin exposed himself to God's wrath and curse, a message from heaven has been a terror to him, as he scarcely dares to expect good tidings thence. In this world, it is very awful to have any converse with that world of spirits to which we are so much strangers. Gideon's courage failed him. But God spoke peace to him.Pour out the broth - Libations were a very ancient form of offering (compare Genesis 35:14). The drink offerings of wine under the Levitical law were poured upon the altar Exodus 30:9. The pouring of the broth upon the rock was evidently of the nature of a libation. It might also, like the water poured by Elijah upon his sacrifice, make the miracle of the fire that consumed the sacrifice more apparent. (Compare 1 Kings 18:33.) 19-23. Gideon went in, and made ready a kid; … the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot—(See on [219]Ge 18:7). The flesh seems to have been roasted, which is done by cutting it into kobab, that is, into small pieces, fixed on a skewer, and put before the fire. The broth was for immediate use; the other, brought in a hand-basket was intended to be a future supply to the traveller. The miraculous fire that consumed it and the vanishing of the stranger, not by walking, but as a spirit in the fire, filled Gideon with awe. A consciousness of demerit fills the heart of every fallen man at the thought of God, with fear of His wrath; and this feeling was increased by a belief prevalent in ancient times, that whoever saw an angel would forthwith die. The acceptance of Gideon's sacrifice betokened the acceptance of his person; but it required an express assurance of the divine blessing, given in some unknown manner, to restore his comfort and peace of mind. By these things he showed himself to be no man that needed such provisions, but a true angel of God, or the Son of God; and by this instance of his omnipotency, gave the assurance that he both could and would consume the Midianites.

Then the angel of the Lord put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand,.... With which he walked, appearing as a traveller, and which was one reason of Gideon's providing for his refreshment, before he proceeded on in his journey:

and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; did not strike the rock with it, as Moses did with his rod, to fetch out water for the Israelites, but touched the provisions brought him; not using it instead of a knife to separate any part of them, but for the working of a miracle, as follows:

and there rose up fire out of the rock; had he struck the rock with his staff, the miracle would not have appeared so great, because it might be thought there was an iron ferrule at the end of it, which striking on a flinty rock might cause fire; but it was the flesh and cakes only that were touched, and these also as having broth poured on them, and the rock likewise:

and consumed the flesh, and the unleavened cakes; though they had the broth poured on them, and were sodden with it; so that the miracle was similar to that wrought by Elijah on Mount Carmel, 1 Kings 18:33, and those who think that this angel was the man, the prophet before mentioned, and he Phinehas, and Phinehas Elijah, are confirmed in their opinion by this likeness; though there is no sufficient ground for it:

then the angel of the Lord departed out of his sight: not went on his journey, as he might seem, but vanished immediately; which circumstance plainly showed, and fully convinced Gideon, that he was not a man, but an angelic spirit, as well as the miracle wrought proved him to be more than a man; and so Gideon had what he desired, a sign that he might know who talked with him, and that what he talked of would certainly come to pass.

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 {i} out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.

(i) By the power of God only, as in the sacrifice of Elijah, 1Ki 18:38.

21. fire … and consumed] The food intended for a meal is converted into a sacrifice, and supernatural fire betokens the divine acceptance; cf. Jdg 13:20, 1 Kings 18:38, 2 Chronicles 7:1, Leviticus 9:24, 2Ma 2:10.

and the angel of the Lord departed] But in Jdg 6:23 Jehovah is still present and speaks to Gideon. Perhaps some distinction was felt at this point between Jehovah and the Angel of Jehovah; the partial manifestation was withdrawn, Jehovah Himself remained. Moore’s suggestion that these words were inserted on the analogy of Jdg 13:20 seems hardly necessary.

Verse 21. - There rose up fire, etc. The consuming of the sacrifice by fire from heaven was the token of its being accepted (cf. Judges 13:20, 23; also 1 Kings 18:23, 33, 38; 1 Chronicles 21:26). The angel of the Lord departed, etc. In the very similar case of the angel who appeared to Manoah (Judges 13:15-20), the angel ascended in the flame of the altar. It is probable that he did so in the present instance, though it is not expressly stated how he disappeared (cf. Acts 8:39). Judges 6:21The angel of the Lord then commanded him to lay the flesh and the cakes upon a rock close by, and to pour the broth upon it; that is to say, to make use of the rock as an altar for the offering to be presented to the Lord. When he had done this, the angel touched the food with the end of his staff, and fire came out of the rock and consumed the food, and the angel of the Lord vanished out of Gideon's sight. "This rock," i.e., a rocky stone that was lying near. The departure of the angel from his eyes it to be regarded as a sudden disappearance; but the expression does not warrant the assumption that the angel ascended to heaven in this instance, as in Judges 13:19-20, in the flame of the sacrifice.
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