Judges 6-7 Bible in Basic English

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The Call of Gideon

6 1  And the children of Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord; and the Lord gave them up into the hand of Midian for seven years. 2  And Midian was stronger than Israel; and because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made holes for themselves in the mountains, and hollows in the rocks, and strong places. 3  And whenever Israel's grain was planted, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east came up against them; 4  And put their army in position against them; and they took all the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, till there was no food in Israel, or any sheep or oxen or asses. 5  For they came up regularly with their oxen and their tents; they came like the locusts in number; they and their camels were without number; and they came into the land for its destruction. 6  And Israel was in great need because of Midian; and the cry of the children of Israel went up to the Lord.

7  And when the cry of the children of Israel, because of Midian, came before the Lord, 8  The Lord sent a prophet to the children of Israel, who said to them, The Lord the God of Israel, has said, I took you up from Egypt, out of the prison-house; 9  And I took you out of the hands of the Egyptians and out of the hands of all who were cruel to you, and I sent them out by force from before you and gave you their land; 10  And I said to you, I am the Lord your God; you are not to give worship to the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living, but you did not give ear to my voice.

11  Now the angel of the Lord came and took his seat under the oak-tree in Ophrah, in the field of Joash the Abiezrite; and his son Gideon was crushing grain in the place where the grapes were crushed, so that the Midianites might not see it. 12  And the angel of the Lord came before his eyes, and said to him, The Lord is with you, O man of war. 13  Then Gideon said to him, O my lord, if the Lord is with us why has all this come on us? And where are all his works of power, of which our fathers have given us word, saying, Did not the Lord take us out of Egypt? But now he has given us up, handing us over to the power of Midian. 14  And the Lord, turning to him, said, Go in the strength you have and be Israel's saviour from Midian: have I not sent you? 15  And he said to him, O Lord, how may I be the saviour of Israel? See, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. 16  Then the Lord said to him, Truly, I will be with you, and you will overcome the Midianites as if they were one man. 17  So he said to him, If now I have grace in your eyes, then give me a sign that it is you who are talking to me. 18  Do not go away till I come with my offering and put it before you. And he said, I will not go away before you come back. 19  Then Gideon went in and made ready a young goat, and with an ephah of meal he made unleavened cakes: he put the meat in a basket and the soup in which it had been cooked he put in a pot, and he took it out to him under the oak-tree and gave it to him there. 20  And the angel of God said to him, Take the meat and the unleavened cakes and put them down on the rock over there, draining out the soup over them. And he did so. 21  Then the angel of the Lord put out the stick which was in his hand, touching the meat and the cakes with the end of it; and a flame came up out of the rock, burning up the meat and the cakes: and the angel of the Lord was seen no longer. 22  Then Gideon was certain that he was the angel of the Lord; and Gideon said, I am in fear, O Lord God! for I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face. 23  But the Lord said to him, Peace be with you; have no fear: you are in no danger of death. 24  Then Gideon made an altar there to the Lord, and gave it the name Yahweh-shalom; to this day it is in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

25  The same night the Lord said to him, Take ten men of your servants and an ox seven years old, and after pulling down the altar of Baal which is your father's, and cutting down the holy tree by its side, 26  Make an altar to the Lord your God on the top of this rock, in the ordered way and take the ox and make a burned offering with the wood of the holy tree which has been cut down. 27  Then Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord had said to him; but fearing to do it by day, because of his father's people and the men of the town, he did it by night. 28  And the men of the town got up early in the morning, and they saw the altar of Baal broken down, and the holy tree which was by it cut down, and the ox offered on the altar which had been put up there. 29  And they said to one another, Who has done this thing? And after searching with care, they said, Gideon, the son of Joash, has done this thing. 30  Then the men of the town said to Joash, Make your son come out to be put to death, for pulling down the altar of Baal and cutting down the holy tree which was by it. 31  But Joash said to all those who were attacking him, Will you take up the cause of Baal? will you be his saviour? Let anyone who will take up his cause be put to death while it is still morning: if he is a god, let him take up his cause himself because of the pulling down of his altar. 32  So that day he gave him the name of Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal take up his cause against him because his altar has been broken down.

33  Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east, banding themselves together, went over and put up their tents in the valley of Jezreel. 34  But the spirit of the Lord came on Gideon; and at the sound of his horn all Abiezer came together after him. 35  And he sent through all Manasseh, and they came after him; and he sent to Asher and Zebulun and Naphtali, and they came up and were joined to the others. 36  Then Gideon said to God, If you are going to give Israel salvation by my hand, as you have said, 37  See, I will put the wool of a sheep on the grain-floor; if there is dew on the wool only, while all the earth is dry, then I will be certain that it is your purpose to give Israel salvation by my hand as you have said. 38  And it was so: for he got up early on the morning after, and twisting the wool in his hands, he got a basin full of water from the dew on the wool. 39  Then Gideon said to God, Do not be moved to wrath against me if I say only this: let me make one more test with the wool; let the wool now be dry, while the earth is covered with dew. 40  And that night God did so; for the wool was dry, and there was dew on all the earth round it.

Gideon's Men Defeat the Midianites

7 1  Then Jerubbaal, that is, Gideon, and all the people with him, got up early and put up their tents by the side of the water-spring of Harod; the tents of Midian were on the north side of him, under the hill of Moreh in the valley. 2  And the Lord said to Gideon, So great is the number of your people, that if I give the Midianites into their hands they will be uplifted in pride over me and will say, I myself have been my saviour. 3  So now, let it be given out to the people that anyone who is shaking with fear is to go back from Mount Galud. So twenty-two thousand of the people went back, but there were still ten thousand. 4  Then the Lord said to Gideon, There are still more people than is necessary; take them down to the water so that I may put them to the test for you there; then whoever I say is to go with you will go, and whoever I say is not to go will not go. 5  So he took the people down to the water; and the Lord said to Gideon, Put on one side by themselves all those drinking up the water with their tongues like a dog; and in the same way, all those who go down on their knees to the water while drinking. 6  Now the number of those who took up the water with their tongues was three hundred; all the rest of the people went down on their knees to the water. 7  And the Lord said to Gideon, By those three hundred who were drinking with their tongues I will give you salvation and give the Midianites into your hands; let the rest of the people go away, every man to his place. 8  So they took the vessels of the people, and their horns from their hands, and he sent them away, every man to his tent, keeping only the three hundred; and the tents of Midian were lower down in the valley.

9  The same night the Lord said to him, Up! go down now against their army, for I have given them into your hands. 10  But if you have fear of going down, take your servant Purah with you and go down to the tents; 11  And after hearing what they are saying, you will get strength to go down against the army. So he went down with his servant Purah to the outer line of the tents of the armed men. 12  Now the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the east were covering the valley like locusts; and their camels were like the sand by the seaside, without number. 13  When Gideon came there, a man was giving his friend an account of his dream, saying, See, I had a dream about a cake of barley bread which, falling into the tents of Midian, came on to the tent, overturning it so that it was stretched out flat on the earth. 14  And his friend in answer said, This is certainly the sword of Gideon, the son of Joash, the men of Israel: into their hands God has given up all the army of Midian. 15  Then Gideon, hearing the story of the dream and the sense in which they took it, gave worship; then he went back to the tents of Israel, and said, Up! for the Lord has given the army of Midian into your hands.

16  Then separating the three hundred men into three bands, he gave every man a horn, and a vessel in which was a flaming branch. 17  And he said to them, Keep your eyes on me, and do what I do; when I come to the outer line of tents, whatever I do, you are to do the same. 18  At the sound of my horn, and the horns of those who are with me, let your horns be sounded all round the tents, and say, For the Lord and for Gideon. 19  So Gideon and the three hundred men who were with him came to the outer line of tents, at the start of the middle watch, when the watchmen had only then taken their stations; and the horns were sounded and the vessels broken. 20  So the three bands all gave a loud note on their horns, and when the vessels had been broken, they took the flaming branches in their left hands, and the horns in their right hands ready for blowing, crying out, For the Lord and for Gideon. 21  Then they made a line round the tents, every man in his place; and all the army, awaking from sleep, came running out, and with loud cries went in flight. 22  And the three hundred gave a loud note on their horns, and every man's sword was turned by the Lord against his brother all through the army; and the army went in flight as far as Beth-shittah in the direction of Zeredah, to the edge of Abel-meholah by Tabbath.

23  And the men of Israel came together from Naphtali and from Asher and all Manasseh, and went after Midian. 24  Then Gideon sent through all the hill-country of Ephraim saying, Come down against Midian, and keep the ways across Jordan before they come. So all the men of Ephraim, massing themselves together, kept the ways across Jordan. 25  And they took the two chiefs of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and they put Oreb to death at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb they put to death at the place of the grape-crushing in Zeeb, and they went after Midian; but the heads of Oreb and Zeeb they took across Jordan to Gideon.

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