1 And 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.

2 And 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 strongholds.

3 And 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.

4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, as far as Gaza, and left no sustenance in Israel, as well as sheep, or ox, or donkey.

5 For they came up with their livestock and their tents; they would come in like locusts in number; both they and their camels were without number, and they came into the land to ravage it.

6 Israel was brought very low because of Midian; and the children of Israel cried to the Lord.

7 It happened, when the children of Israel cried to the Lord because of Midian,

8 that 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 Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;

9 and 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;

10 and 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.'"

11 The 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.

12 The angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!"

13 Gideon 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."

14 The Lord looked at him, and said, "Go in this your might, and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Haven't I sent you?"

15 He said to him, "O Lord, how shall I save Israel? Behold, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house."

16 The Lord said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man."

17 He 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.

18 Please 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."

19 Gideon 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.

20 The 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.

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 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.

22 Gideon 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!"

23 The Lord said to him, "Peace be to you! Do not be afraid. You shall not die."

24 Then 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.

25 It 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;

26 and 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."

27 Then 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.

28 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 bull was offered on the altar that was built.

29 They 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."

30 Then 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."

31 Joash 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."

32 Therefore on that day he named him Jerubbaal, saying, "Let Baal contend against him, because he has broken down his altar."

33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east assembled themselves together; and they crossed over, and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel.

34 But the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon; and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered together after him.

35 He 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.

36 Gideon said to God, "If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have spoken,

37 behold, 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."

38 It 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.

39 Gideon 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."

40 God did so that night, for it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew all over the ground.