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Gideon Meets Some Visitors

6:11 The Lord’s angelic messenger24 came and sat down under the oak tree in Ophrah owned by Joash the Abiezrite. He arrived while Joash’s son Gideon25 was threshing26 wheat in a winepress27 so he could hide it from the Midianites.28 6:12 The Lord’s messenger appeared and said to him, “The Lord is with you, courageous warrior!” 6:13 Gideon said to him, “Pardon me,29 but if the Lord is with us, why has such disaster30 overtaken us? Where are all his miraculous deeds our ancestors told us about? They said,31 ‘Did the Lord not bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.” 6:14 Then the Lord himself32 turned to him and said, “You have the strength.33 Deliver Israel from the power of the Midianites!34 Have I not sent you?” 6:15 Gideon35 said to him, “But Lord,36 how37 can I deliver Israel? Just look! My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my family.”38 6:16 The Lord said to him, “Ah, but39 I will be with you! You will strike down the whole Midianite army.”40 6:17 Gideon41 said to him, “If you really are pleased with me,42 then give me43 a sign as proof that it is really you speaking with me. 6:18 Do not leave this place until I come back44 with a gift45 and present it to you.” The Lord said, “I will stay here until you come back.”

6:19 Gideon went and prepared a young goat,46 along with unleavened bread made from an ephah of flour. He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot. He brought the food47 to him under the oak tree and presented it to him. 6:20 God’s messenger said to him, “Put the meat and unleavened bread on this rock,48 and pour out the broth.” Gideon did as instructed.49 6:21 The Lord’s messenger touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of his staff.50 Fire flared up from the rock and consumed the meat and unleavened bread. The Lord’s messenger then disappeared.51

6:22 When Gideon realized52 that it was the Lord’s messenger, he53 said, “Oh no!54 Master, Lord!55 I have seen the Lord’s messenger face to face!” 6:23 The Lord said to him, “You are safe!56 Do not be afraid! You are not going to die!” 6:24 Gideon built an altar for the Lord there, and named it “The Lord is on friendly terms with me.”57 To this day it is still there in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.


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