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Midian Oppresses Israel 6:1 The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years.
2 And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.
3 For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them.
4 They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey.
5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—so that they laid waste the land as they came in.
6 And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord.
7 When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of the Midianites,
8 the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery.
9 And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out 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 obeyed my voice.”
The Call of Gideon11 Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites.
12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.”
13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
14 And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?”
15 And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
16 And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”
17 And he said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me.
18 Please do not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my present and set it before you.” And he said, “I will stay till you return.”
19 So Gideon went into his house and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the terebinth and presented them.
20 And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them.” And he did so.
21 Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight.
22 Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.”
23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; 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 still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.
25 That night the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull 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 the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.”
27 So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night.
Gideon Destroys the Altar of Baal28 When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been built.
29 And they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And after they had searched and inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.”
30 Then the men of the town said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has broken down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it.”
31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? Whoever contends for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because his altar has been broken down.”
32 Therefore on that day Gideon was called Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he broke down his altar.
33 Now all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East came together, and they crossed the Jordan and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel.
34 But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him.
35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they too were called out to follow him. And he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they went up to meet them.
The Sign of the Fleece36 Then Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said,
37 behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.”
38 And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water.
39 Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.”
40 And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.
« Psalm 88 | Psalm 89 | Psalm 90 »
I Will Sing of the Steadfast Love of the LordA Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.89:1 I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.
2 For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever;in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.”
3 You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one;I have sworn to David my servant:
4 ‘I will establish your offspring forever,and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah
5 Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!
6 For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord,
7 a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones,and awesome above all who are around him?
8 O Lord God of hosts,who is mighty as you are, O Lord,with your faithfulness all around you?
9 You rule the raging of the sea;when its waves rise, you still them.
10 You crushed Rahab like a carcass;you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11 The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours;the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.
12 The north and the south, you have created them;Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.
13 You have a mighty arm;strong is your hand, high your right hand.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
15 Blessed are the people who know the festal shout,who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,
16 who exult in your name all the dayand in your righteousness are exalted.
17 For you are the glory of their strength;by your favor our horn is exalted.
18 For our shield belongs to the Lord,our king to the Holy One of Israel.
19 Of old you spoke in a vision to your godly one, and said:“I have granted help to one who is mighty;I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20 I have found David, my servant;with my holy oil I have anointed him,
21 so that my hand shall be established with him;my arm also shall strengthen him.
22 The enemy shall not outwit him;the wicked shall not humble him.
23 I will crush his foes before himand strike down those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him,and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
25 I will set his hand on the seaand his right hand on the rivers.
26 He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’
27 And I will make him the firstborn,the highest of the kings of the earth.
28 My steadfast love I will keep for him forever,and my covenant will stand firm for him.
29 I will establish his offspring foreverand his throne as the days of the heavens.
30 If his children forsake my lawand do not walk according to my rules,
31 if they violate my statutesand do not keep my commandments,
32 then I will punish their transgression with the rodand their iniquity with stripes,
33 but I will not remove from him my steadfast loveor be false to my faithfulness.
34 I will not violate my covenantor alter the word that went forth from my lips.
35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness;I will not lie to David.
36 His offspring shall endure forever,his throne as long as the sun before me.
37 Like the moon it shall be established forever,a faithful witness in the skies.” Selah
38 But now you have cast off and rejected;you are full of wrath against your anointed.
39 You have renounced the covenant with your servant;you have defiled his crown in the dust.
40 You have breached all his walls;you have laid his strongholds in ruins.
41 All who pass by plunder him;he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes;you have made all his enemies rejoice.
43 You have also turned back the edge of his sword,and you have not made him stand in battle.
44 You have made his splendor to ceaseand cast his throne to the ground.
45 You have cut short the days of his youth;you have covered him with shame. Selah
46 How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?How long will your wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how short my time is!For what vanity you have created all the children of man!
48 What man can live and never see death?Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah
49 Lord, where is your steadfast love of old,which by your faithfulness you swore to David?
50 Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked,and how I bear in my heart the insults of all the many nations,
51 with which your enemies mock, O Lord,with which they mock the footsteps of your anointed.
52 Blessed be the Lord forever!Amen and Amen.
« Psalm 89 | Psalm 90 | Psalm 91 »
From Everlasting to EverlastingA Prayer of Moses, the man of God.90:1 Lord, you have been our dwelling placein all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,or ever you had formed the earth and the world,from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You return man to dustand say, “Return, O children of man!”
4 For a thousand years in your sightare but as yesterday when it is past,or as a watch in the night.
5 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,like grass that is renewed in the morning:
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;in the evening it fades and withers.
7 For we are brought to an end by your anger;by your wrath we are dismayed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10 The years of our life are seventy,or even by reason of strength eighty;yet their span is but toil and trouble;they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,and your wrath according to the fear of you?
12 So teach us to number our daysthat we may get a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord! How long?Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work be shown to your servants,and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,and establish the work of our hands upon us;yes, establish the work of our hands!
« Proverbs 6 | Proverbs 7 | Proverbs 8 »
Warning Against the Adulteress7:1 My son, keep my wordsand treasure up my commandments with you;
2 keep my commandments and live;keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
3 bind them on your fingers;write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”and call insight your intimate friend,
5 to keep you from the forbidden woman,from the adulteress with her smooth words.
6 For at the window of my houseI have looked out through my lattice,
7 and I have seen among the simple,I have perceived among the youths,a young man lacking sense,
8 passing along the street near her corner,taking the road to her house
9 in the twilight, in the evening,at the time of night and darkness.
10 And behold, the woman meets him,dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.
11 She is loud and wayward;her feet do not stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the market,and at every corner she lies in wait.
13 She seizes him and kisses him,and with bold face she says to him,
14 “I had to offer sacrifices,and today I have paid my vows;
15 so now I have come out to meet you,to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
16 I have spread my couch with coverings,colored linens from Egyptian linen;
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;let us delight ourselves with love.
19 For my husband is not at home;he has gone on a long journey;
20 he took a bag of money with him;at full moon he will come home.”
21 With much seductive speech she persuades him;with her smooth talk she compels him.
22 All at once he follows her,as an ox goes to the slaughter,or as a stag is caught fast
23 till an arrow pierces its liver;as a bird rushes into a snare;he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24 And now, O sons, listen to me,and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;do not stray into her paths,
26 for many a victim has she laid low,and all her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is the way to Sheol,going down to the chambers of death.
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