1And the children of Israel did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh, and Yahweh gave 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 that are in the mountains, and the caves and the strongholds.
3So it was when Israel had sown their crops that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites and the children of the east, and they came up against them
4and they encamped against them and destroyed the produce of the land as far as Gaza, and left no sustenance in Israel, and no sheep or ox or donkey.
5For they came up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—and they came into the land to destroy it.
6Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the children of Israel cried out to Yahweh.
7And it came to pass when the children of Israel cried out to Yahweh because of Midian
8that Yahweh sent a prophet to the children of Israel, and he said to them, “This is what Yahweh, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought you up from Egypt and took you out of the house of slavery,
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 Yahweh your God. Do not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live.” But you have not listened to my voice.’”
11The angel of Yahweh came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites.
12And the angel of Yahweh appeared to him and said to him, “Yahweh is with you, O mighty warrior!”
13And Gideon said to him, “Oh, my lord, if Yahweh is with us, why then has all this happened to us? Where are all his wondrous works that our fathers told us of, saying, ‘Didn’t Yahweh bring us up from Egypt?’ But now Yahweh has abandoned us and has given us into the hand of Midian.”
17And he said to him, “Please, if I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that you are speaking with me.
18Please do not go away from here until I come back to you and bring out my gift and lay it before you.” And he said, “I will sit until you come back.”
19So Gideon went and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour.a He put the meat in a basket and he put the broth in a pot and brought it out to him under the oak, and presented it.
21Then the angel of Yahweh stretched out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread, and fire went up out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread, and the angel of Yahweh departed out of his sight.
23But Yahweh said to him, “Peace be to you! Do not be afraid. You will not die.”
24Then Gideon built an altar there to Yahweh and called it “Yahweh is Peace.” To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
25It came to pass that night that Yahweh said to him, “Take your father’s bull, the second bull seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has and cut down the Asherah that is by it;
26and build an altar to Yahweh your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly way, and take the second-born bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you are to cut down.”
27Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as Yahweh had spoken to him. But because he was afraid of his father's household and the men of the city, he did not do it in the daytime, but he did it at night.
28When the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down and the Asherah that was by it was cut down, and the second-born bull had been offered on the altar that had been built!
29And they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” When they had searched and inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.”
31Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you yourselves save him? Let the one who will contend for him be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself because someone has broken down his altar.”
32So on that day he named him Jerub-Baal, saying, “Let Baal contend against him because he has broken down his altar.”
34But the spirit of Yahweh clothed Gideon, and he blew a shofar, and the Abiezrites were called to follow him.
35And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they also were called to follow him, and he sent messengers to Asher and to Zebulun and to Naphtali, and they came up to meet them.
36And Gideon said to God, “If you are going to save Israel by my hand as you have spoken,
37behold, 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 I will know that you will save Israel by my hand as you have spoken.”
38And it was so. For he rose up early on the next day and squeezed the fleece and wrung the dew out of the fleece—a bowl full of water.
39But Gideon said to God, “Do not let your anger be kindled against me and let me speak but one more time. Please let me make a test only one more time with the fleece. Let it now be dry only on the fleece, and on all the ground let there be dew.”
40And God did so that night, for it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.