English Revised Version
Midian Oppresses Israel
1And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. 2And 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 strong holds. 3And 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; 4and they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance in Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. 5For they came up with their cattle 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. 6And Israel was brought very low because of Midian; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.
7And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of Midian, 8that the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel: and he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; 9and 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; 10and I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; ye shall not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not hearkened unto my voice.
The Call of Gideon
11And the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. 12And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. 13And 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 wondrous works which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian. 14And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and save Israel from the hand of Midian: have not I sent thee? 15And he said unto him, Oh Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. 16And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
Gideon's Offering Consumed with Fire
17And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that it is thou that talkest with me. 18Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and lay it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again.
19And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of meal: 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. 20And 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. 21Then 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 went up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. 22And Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD; and Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! forasmuch as I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face. 23And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.
Gideon Destroys Baal's Altar
24Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
25And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the Asherah that is by it: 26and build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this strong hold, in the orderly manner, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which thou shalt cut down. 27Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had spoken unto him: and it came to pass, because he feared his father's household and the men of the city, so that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.
28And when the men 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 bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. 29And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they inquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. 30Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath broken down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the Asherah that was by it. 31And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? or 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 broken down his altar. 32Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath broken down his altar.
33Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east assembled themselves together; and they passed over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel 34But the spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered together after him. 35And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; and they also were gathered together after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.
The Signs of the Fleece
36And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast spoken, 37behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing-floor; if there be dew on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the ground, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast spoken. 38And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and pressed the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be kindled 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. 40And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.