New Heart English Bible
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 for themselves the dens which are in the mountains, and the caves, and the strongholds. 3And so it was, when Israel had sown, that Midian, Amalek, and the Kedemites would come up against them. 4And they camped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, as far as Gaza, and they left no sustenance in Israel, as well as sheep, or ox, or donkey. 5For they came up with their livestock and their tents and their camels. They would come in like locusts in number, and they were innumerable. And they came into the land to ravage it. 6Israel was brought very low because of Midian; and the children of Israel cried to the LORD.
7It happened, when the children of Israel cried to the LORD because of Midian, 8that the LORD sent a prophet to the children of Israel, and he said to them, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'I brought you up from the land of 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 who oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land; 10and I said to you, "I am the LORD your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell." But you have not listened to my voice.'"
11The angel of the LORD came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained to Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. 12The angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." 13Gideon said to him, "Oh, my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? Where are all his wondrous works which our fathers told us of, saying, 'Didn't the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian." 14The LORD looked at him, and said, "Go in this strength of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Look, haven't I sent you?" 15He said to him, "O Lord, how shall I save Israel? Look, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house." 16And the LORD said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man." 17He said to him, "If now I have found favor in your sight, then show me a sign that it is you who talk with me. 18Please do not go away, until I come to you, and bring out my present, and lay it before you." He said, "I will wait until you come back."
19Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of meal: the meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out to him under the oak, and presented it. 20The angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and lay them on 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. 22Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD; and Gideon said, "Alas, Lord GOD. Because I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face." 23The LORD said to him, "Peace be to you. Do not be afraid. You shall not die." 24Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD, and called it "The LORD is Peace." To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
25It happened the same night, that the LORD said to him, "Take your father's bull, even the second bull seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it; 26and build an altar to the LORD 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." 27Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had spoken to him: and it came about, 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.
28When the men of the city arose early in the morning, look, 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. 29They said one to another, "Who has done this thing?" When they inquired and asked, they said, "Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing." 30Then the men of the city said to Joash, "Bring out your son, that he may die, because he has broken down the altar of Baal, and because he has cut down the Asherah that was by it." 31Joash said to all who stood against him, "Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? He who will contend for him, let him be put to death while it is yet morning: if he is a god, let him contend for himself, because someone has broken down his altar." 32Therefore on that day he named him Jerubbaal, saying, "Let Baal contend against him, because he has broken down his altar."
33Then all Midian and Amalek and the Kedemites assembled themselves together; and they crossed over, and camped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34But the Spirit of the LORD came on Gideon; and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered together after him. 35He sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; and they also were gathered together after him: and he sent messengers to Asher, and to Zebulun, and to Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.
36Gideon said to God, "If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have spoken, 37look, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then shall I know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have spoken." 38It was so; for he 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. 39Gideon said to God, "Do not let your anger be kindled against me, and I will speak but this once. Please let me make one more test with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, and on all the ground let there be dew." 40God did so that night, for it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew all over the ground.