Scriptures

Judges chapter .vi.

And the children of Israel committed wickedness in the sight of the LORD. And the LORD delivered them into the hands of the Madianites seven years. And when the hand of the Madianites was sore upon Israel, the children of Israel made them dens in the mountains and caves and strong holds. For when Israel had sown then came the Madianites the Amalekites and they of the East country upon them and pitched their tents against them and destroyed the increase of the earth even unto Azah, and left no sustenance in Israel, neither sheep, ox or ass, for they came with their cattle and households even as grasshoppers in multitude: so that both they and also their camels were without number. And they entered the land to destroy it. And so was Israel exceedingly impoverished by the Madianites and cried unto the LORD.
And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Madianites, the LORD sent a prophet unto them, and said unto them: Thus sayeth the LORD God of Israel: I fetched you from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage and I rid you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hands of all that oppressed you, and cast them out before you, and gave you their lands. And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God, and therefore fear not the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But you have not obeyed my voice.
And the Angel of the LORD came and sat under an Oak in Ephrah, that pertained unto Ioas the father of the Eserites. And his son Gedeon pressed out wheat out of the ears in a press, for to flee from the Madianites. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said: the LORD is with thee, thou man of might. And Gedeon answered him: Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why is all this come upon us: yea and where be his miracles which our fathers told us of and said, the LORD brought us out of Egypt. But now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Madianites. And the LORD looked upon him and said: Go hence in this thy might and deliver Israel out of the hands of the Madianites: Behold I have sent thee: And he answered him: Oh Lord wherewith should I save Israel? Behold my kindred is the poorest in Manasses, and I am the least in my father's house. But then the LORD said unto him: I will be with thee: and thou shalt smite the Madianites, as they were but one man. And he answered him, if I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign, that thou art the LORD that talketh with me. Depart not hence until I come again unto thee and bring mine offering, and have set it before thee. And he said I will tarry until thou come again. And Gedeon went and made ready a kid, and sweet cakes of an Epha of flour, and put the flesh in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the Oak and presented it. And the angel of God said unto him: take the flesh and the sweet cakes and put them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the flesh and the cakes. And there arose up fire out of the rock and consumed the flesh and the cakes. And the angel of the LORD vanished out of his sight. And when Gedeon perceived that it was an angel, he said: Alas my Lord Iehouah, that I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. And the LORD said unto him, peace be with thee and fear not, for thou shalt not die. Then Gedeon made an altar there unto the LORD and called it Iehouah Salom, which unto this day is yet in Ephrah that pertaineth unto the father of the Eserites.
And the same night the LORD said unto him, take an ox of thy father's and another of seven years old, and destroy the altar of Baal that belongeth unto thy father, and cut down the grove that is about it, and make an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock and furnish it. And take the second ox and offer burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt have cut down. Then Gedeon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD bade him. But because he durst not do it by day for fear of his father's household and of the men of the city, he did it by night. When the men of the city were up early in the morning: Behold the altar of Baal was broken, and the grove that stood about it cut down. And the second ox offered upon the altar that was made. And they said one to another, who hath done this thing, and they enquired and asked. And it was told them that Gedeon the son of Ioas had done it. Then the men of the city said unto Ioas, bring out thy son that he may die, because he hath broken the altar of Baal, and cut down the grove that was about it. And Ioas said unto all that stood by him, will ye fight for Baal, or will ye be his defenders: he that striveth for him shall die this morning. If he be a God let him strive with him that cast down his altar. And he called Gedeon Ierobaal the same time saying: let Baal strive with him because he hath broken down his altar.
When all the Madianites, the Amalekites and they of the East, were gathered together and had gone and pitched in the valley of Ierael: the spirit of the LORD entered into Gedeon. And he blew a trumpet and called Abiezer to follow him, and sent messengers thorowout all Manasses and called them up to follow him also. And he sent messengers unto Aser, Zabulon and Nephthalim, which came also to meet him. And Gedeon said unto God: if thou wilt save Israel by my hand as thou hast said. Behold I will put a fleece of wool in the threshing place. And if the dew be on the fleece onely, and dry upon all the earth beside: then I shall be sure that thou wilt save Israel by my hand as thou saidest. And it came to pass. And he rose up early on the morrow, and he thrust the fleece together and wrung the dew thereout and filled a bowl of water. And Gedeon said unto God, be not angry with me, that I speak once more, let me prove only once again with the fleece. Let it be dry onely upon the fleece, and dew upon all the ground about. And God did so that same night: so that it was dry upon the fleece onely, and on all the ground about, dew.

 

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