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JUDGES VI-BAAL OVERTHROWN

445

his sight.

unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so.

21 ( Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of

22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face.

23 And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.

24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites.

25 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:

26 And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.

27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.

28 ( And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built.

29 And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they inquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing.

30 Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it.

31 And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him ? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.

32 Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.

33 | Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel.

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JUDGES VI–GIDEON'S FLEECE

34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abi-ezer was gathered after him.

35' And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.

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.

Chapter 7

1 Gideon's army of two and thirty thousand is brought to three hundred. interpretation of the barley cake.

9 He is encouraged by the dream and 16 His stratagem of trumpets and lamps in pitchers. 24 The Ephraimites take Oreb and Zeeb.

HEN Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod:

so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.

2 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.

3 Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.

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.

Ehud Rescues Israel

BY FORD MADOX BROWN, A LEADER OF THE PRE

RAPHAELITE SCHOOL IN ENGLAND, DIED 1893.

A

" And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh."-Jud., 3, 21.

FTER Othniel's death the scattered and disunited
Israelites were attacked by Eglon, king of Moab.

From his lands east of the Dead Sea he marched northward, as the Israelites themselves had done, crossed the Jordan and captured Jericho. From this valley fortress he doinineered over Canaan for eighteen years.

His tyranny was overthrown by Ehud, of the tribe of Benjamin, "a man left-handed." Ehud was sent to bear a “present," a tribute from Israel, to King Eglon. After proffering the gift and leaving the royal palace, he came suddenly back and besought a secret audience with the king. When they two were left alone, he came close as though to whisper. Eglon was a strong man, and shrewd and watchful. But Ehud by using his left hand deceived the king, and suddenly thrust a dagger into his body so fiercely that the fat of the gross body of the king closed over it completely. The wounded man could not draw out the weapon, and he fell dead, apparently untouched. Then Ehud fled and roused his countrymen against the Moabites, and slew or captured all of the race who had followed their king to the Canaanite side of Jordan. Again Israel was free.

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