Judge Gideon

English Language Study for Russian Orthodox Learners

Judge Gideon

For a long time Israel did not have kings.  Judges ruled the people, protected them from enemies and made laws.  Gideon was one of the judges.

Gideon thought he was weak and did not believe that he would be able to save Israel from the Midianites.  And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall smite the Midianites as one man.” (6:16)  The Lord commanded Gideon first to destroy all the idols the Israelites had and then gather an army against their enemies.

Before the battle, Gideon asked God to give him a sign that the men of Israel would win.  He asked God to make a fleece of wool wet while (в то время как) everything else on the ground stayed dry.  When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. (6:38)  Gideon asked for another sign: to make the ground wet while the fleece stayed dry.  And God did so that night; for it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew (роса). (6:40)

God wanted to teach His people to trust Him.  He told Gideon to let (разрешить) all the soldiers who were afraid to return home.  Gideon tested them; twenty-two thousand returned, and ten thousand remained.  But even this number was too large.  The Lord commanded Gideon to take his army to the water and watch (наблюдать) how the men drink.  Most soldiers drank directly from the river.  Only three hundred men drank from their hands.  The Lord told Gideon that with three hundred soldiers he would defeat the huge army of the Midianites.

Everything happened as the Lord said, and Israel was saved.

Judge Gideon