Gideon (Judges)

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Template:Book of Judges Gideon (גִּדְעוֹן, Standard Hebrew Gidʻon, Tiberian Hebrew Giḏʻôn) is a character who appears in the Bible's Book of Judges. His story is treated in the chapters 6-8. He is named in the Epistle to the Hebrews as an example of a man of faith.

Gideon demanded proof of God's promise that he would be the saviour of Israel, which was given (Judges 6, 36-40):

36 And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said,
37 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.
38 And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.
39 And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.
40 And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.

After sacrificing to God, building an altar to him, and destroying an altar of Baal and an ashera pole beside it, he sent out messengers to gather together the tribes in order to meet an armed force of the people of Midian and the Amalekites that had crossed the Jordan River and were encamped in the Valley of Jezreel.

He chose the soldiers who were not afraid and trembling. Of 32,000 men, only 10,000 were left. Then he told them to go down to the water and drink.

4 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.
5 So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.
6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.
7 And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

They fought against the Midianite army, consisting of 135,000 men.

The stillness of the night, when the Midianites were sleeping, was broken by the blowing of 300 horns, the smashing of 300 jars, the resounding of 300 cries and the light from 300 torches. This confused the army, and the Midianites began to flee. Then men from Ephraim, Naphtali, Asher and Manasseh chased the army. At last the Israelites slew and subdued the Midianites. Gideon killed the Midianite kings Zebah and Zalmunnah, who were responsible for the death of his brothers.

Gideon is the son of Joash, an Abi-ezrite of the tribe of Manasseh. Manasseh, son of Joseph with the Midianite Zipporah, was the forefather of this tribe. Gideon, therefore, is half-Midianite himself.

He was offered to be the king of Israel, of which he declined. His son Abimelech succeeded him for a very short period of time as the king of Israel.

See also

External links

Preceded by:
Judges of Israel Succeeded by:

de:Gideon he:גדעון בן יואש


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