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JUDGES VI-GIDEON SUMMONED

you,

my voice.

5 For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it.

6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.

7 | And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites,

8 That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;

9 And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before and

gave you their land: 10 And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land

ye
dwell: but

ye

have not obeyed 11 | And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abi-ezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.

12 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.

14 And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?

15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel ? behold, my family is poor in Vanasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.

16° And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.

17 And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.

18 Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again. 15 And Gideon went in, and made ready

a vened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto

20 And the angel of God said unto 1:

he put

presented it.

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The Lord raised up a deliverer to the children of I srael,

even Othniel the son of Kenaz.Jud., 3, 9. HEREFORE the anger of the Lord was hot

against Israel, and he sold them into the hand

of Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia." This was the first of their punishments. From Mesopotamia, the valley of the Euphrates, the ancient home of Abraham, there came a conquering army into Palestine. Just how severe was the oppression upon Israel, we are not told, nor whether the people submitted without resistance; but for eight years they served Chushan-rishathaim. Then there came forward the first of Israel's deliverers, Othniel, the nephew of Caleb, the same who had wedded the brave old chieftain's daughter, and who had succeeded him as the foremost warrior of Judah, Israel's foremost tribe. Othniel came from his home in the southland where he had conquered a mysterious old city called Debir, “the city of books.” He summoned the people together.

The new leader had no such miraculous power or divine authority as had upheld Moses and Joshua. Yet, as we are told, “the spirit of the Lord came upon him.” Thus inspired, he went forth to war against Chushanrishathaim, and was successful, and freed his countrymen. After that the land had peace for forty years under Othniel's leadership. “And he

judged Israel.”

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