Judges 6
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1  Then the Israelites did what was offensive to Hashem, and Hashem delivered them into the hands of the Midianites for seven years.

א  וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וַיִּתְּנֵם יְהֹוָה בְּיַד־מִדְיָן שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים׃

2  The hand of the Midianites prevailed over Yisrael; and because of Midian, the Israelites provided themselves with refuges in the caves and strongholds of the mountains.

ב  וַתָּעָז יַד־מִדְיָן עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִפְּנֵי מִדְיָן עָשׂוּ לָהֶם בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַמִּנְהָרוֹת אֲשֶׁר בֶּהָרִים וְאֶת־הַמְּעָרוֹת וְאֶת־הַמְּצָדוֹת׃

3  After the Israelites had done their sowing, Midian, Amalek, and the Kedemites would come up and raid them;

ג  וְהָיָה אִם־זָרַע יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעָלָה מִדְיָן וַעֲמָלֵק וּבְנֵי־קֶדֶם וְעָלוּ עָלָיו׃

4  they would attack them, destroy the produce of the land all the way to Azza, and leave no means of sustenance in Yisrael, not a sheep or an ox or an ass.

ד  וַיַּחֲנוּ עֲלֵיהֶם וַיַּשְׁחִיתוּ אֶת־יְבוּל הָאָרֶץ עַד־בּוֹאֲךָ עַזָּה וְלֹא־יַשְׁאִירוּ מִחְיָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וְשֶׂה וָשׁוֹר וַחֲמוֹר׃

5  For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, swarming as thick as locusts; they and their camels were innumerable. Thus they would invade the land and ravage it.

ה  כִּי הֵם וּמִקְנֵיהֶם יַעֲלוּ וְאָהֳלֵיהֶם יבאו [וּבָאוּ] כְדֵי־אַרְבֶּה לָרֹב וְלָהֶם וְלִגְמַלֵּיהֶם אֵין מִסְפָּר וַיָּבֹאוּ בָאָרֶץ לְשַׁחֲתָהּ׃

6  Yisrael was reduced to utter misery by the Midianites, and the Israelites cried out to Hashem.

ו  וַיִּדַּל יִשְׂרָאֵל מְאֹד מִפְּנֵי מִדְיָן וַיִּזְעֲקוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־יְהֹוָה׃

7  When the Israelites cried to Hashem on account of Midian,

ז  וַיְהִי כִּי־זָעֲקוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־יְהֹוָה עַל אֹדוֹת מִדְיָן׃

8  Hashem sent a Navi to the Israelites who said to them, “Thus said Hashem, the God of Yisrael: I brought you up out of Egypt and freed you from the house of bondage.

ח  וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהֹוָה אִישׁ נָבִיא אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אָנֹכִי הֶעֱלֵיתִי אֶתְכֶם מִמִּצְרַיִם וָאֹצִיא אֶתְכֶם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים׃

9  I rescued you from the Egyptians and from all your oppressors; I drove them out before you, and gave you their land.

va-a-TZIL et-KHEM mi-YAD mitz-RA-yim u-mi-YAD kol lo-kha-tzay-KHEM va-a-ga-RAYSH o-TAM mi-p’-nay-KHEM va-e-t’-NAH la-KHEM et ar-TZAM

ט  וָאַצִּל אֶתְכֶם מִיַּד מִצְרַיִם וּמִיַּד כָּל־לֹחֲצֵיכֶם וָאֲגָרֵשׁ אוֹתָם מִפְּנֵיכֶם וָאֶתְּנָה לָכֶם אֶת־אַרְצָם׃

 6:9   I rescued you from the Egyptians

When the Children of Israel cry out to Hashem due to the Midianite persecution, God sends a prophet to remind them that He is the one who brought them out from Egyptian oppression into Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Palestine under the British Mandate and founder of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in the early twentieth century, teaches that the exodus was not simply a historical event. It was the beginning of a redemptive process which continues throughout Jewish history. Thus, all future redemptions, including Gidon’s defeat of Midian and including the State of Israel’s defeat of its enemies in our generation, are all part of the ongoing redemption that will culminate with the coming of Mashiach and the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash in Yerushalayim.Comment

10  And I said to you, ‘I Hashem am your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you did not obey Me.”

י  וָאֹמְרָה לָכֶם אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם לֹא תִירְאוּ אֶת־אֱלֹהֵי הָאֱמֹרִי אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם יוֹשְׁבִים בְּאַרְצָם וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתֶּם בְּקוֹלִי׃

11  An angel of Hashem came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Yoash the Abiezrite. His son Gidon was then beating out wheat inside a winepress in order to keep it safe from the Midianites.

יא  וַיָּבֹא מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה וַיֵּשֶׁב תַּחַת הָאֵלָה אֲשֶׁר בְּעָפְרָה אֲשֶׁר לְיוֹאָשׁ אֲבִי הָעֶזְרִי וְגִדְעוֹן בְּנוֹ חֹבֵט חִטִּים בַּגַּת לְהָנִיס מִפְּנֵי מִדְיָן׃

12  The angel of Hashem appeared to him and said to him, “Hashem is with you, valiant warrior!”

יב  וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו מַלְּאַךְ יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו יְהֹוָה עִמְּךָ גִּבּוֹר הֶחָיִל׃

13  Gidon said to him, “Please, my lord, if Hashem is with us, why has all this befallen us? Where are all His wondrous deeds about which our fathers told us, saying, ‘Truly Hashem brought us up from Egypt’? Now Hashem has abandoned us and delivered us into the hands of Midian!”

יג  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו גִּדְעוֹן בִּי אֲדֹנִי וְיֵשׁ יְהֹוָה עִמָּנוּ וְלָמָּה מְצָאַתְנוּ כָּל־זֹאת וְאַיֵּה כָל־נִפְלְאֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר סִפְּרוּ־לָנוּ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ לֵאמֹר הֲלֹא מִמִּצְרַיִם הֶעֱלָנוּ יְהֹוָה וְעַתָּה נְטָשָׁנוּ יְהֹוָה וַיִּתְּנֵנוּ בְּכַף־מִדְיָן׃

14  Hashem turned to him and said, “Go in this strength of yours and deliver Yisrael from the Midianites. I herewith make you My messenger.”

יד  וַיִּפֶן אֵלָיו יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמֶר לֵךְ בְּכֹחֲךָ זֶה וְהוֹשַׁעְתָּ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִכַּף מִדְיָן הֲלֹא שְׁלַחְתִּיךָ׃

15  He said to Him, “Please, my lord, how can I deliver Yisrael? Why, my clan is the humblest in Menashe, and I am the youngest in my father’s household.”

טו  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו בִּי אֲדֹנָי בַּמָּה אוֹשִׁיעַ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל הִנֵּה אַלְפִּי הַדַּל בִּמְנַשֶּׁה וְאָנֹכִי הַצָּעִיר בְּבֵית אָבִי׃

16  Hashem replied, “I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian to a man.”

טז  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו יְהֹוָה כִּי אֶהְיֶה עִמָּךְ וְהִכִּיתָ אֶת־מִדְיָן כְּאִישׁ אֶחָד׃

17  And he said to Him, “If I have gained Your favor, give me a sign that it is You who are speaking to me:

יז  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אִם־נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ וְעָשִׂיתָ לִּי אוֹת שָׁאַתָּה מְדַבֵּר עִמִּי׃

18  do not leave this place until I come back to You and bring out my offering and place it before You.” And He answered, “I will stay until you return.”

יח  אַל־נָא תָמֻשׁ מִזֶּה עַד־בֹּאִי אֵלֶיךָ וְהֹצֵאתִי אֶת־מִנְחָתִי וְהִנַּחְתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ וַיֹּאמַר אָנֹכִי אֵשֵׁב עַד שׁוּבֶךָ׃

19  So Gidon went in and prepared a kid, and [baked] unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. He put the meat in a basket and poured the broth into a pot, and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth. As he presented them,

יט  וְגִדְעוֹן בָּא וַיַּעַשׂ גְּדִי־עִזִּים וְאֵיפַת־קֶמַח מַצּוֹת הַבָּשָׂר שָׂם בַּסַּל וְהַמָּרַק שָׂם בַּפָּרוּר וַיּוֹצֵא אֵלָיו אֶל־תַּחַת הָאֵלָה וַיַּגַּשׁ׃

20  the angel of Hashem said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, put them on yonder rock, and spill out the broth.” He did so.

כ  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו מַלְאַךְ הָאֱלֹהִים קַח אֶת־הַבָּשָׂר וְאֶת־הַמַּצּוֹת וְהַנַּח אֶל־הַסֶּלַע הַלָּז וְאֶת־הַמָּרַק שְׁפוֹךְ וַיַּעַשׂ כֵּן׃

21  The angel of Hashem held out the staff that he carried, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread with its tip. A fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the angel of Hashem vanished from his sight.

כא  וַיִּשְׁלַח מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה אֶת־קְצֵה הַמִּשְׁעֶנֶת אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדוֹ וַיִּגַּע בַּבָּשָׂר וּבַמַּצּוֹת וַתַּעַל הָאֵשׁ מִן־הַצּוּר וַתֹּאכַל אֶת־הַבָּשָׂר וְאֶת־הַמַּצּוֹת וּמַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה הָלַךְ מֵעֵינָיו׃

22  Then Gidon realized that it was an angel of Hashem; and Gidon said, “Alas, O Hashem! For I have seen an angel of Hashem face to face.”

כב  וַיַּרְא גִּדְעוֹן כִּי־מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה הוּא וַיֹּאמֶר גִּדְעוֹן אֲהָהּ אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה כִּי־עַל־כֵּן רָאִיתִי מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה פָּנִים אֶל־פָּנִים׃

23  But Hashem said to him, “All is well; have no fear, you shall not die.”

כג  וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יְהֹוָה שָׁלוֹם לְךָ אַל־תִּירָא לֹא תָּמוּת׃

24  So Gidon built there a mizbayach to Hashem and called it Adonaishalom. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

כד  וַיִּבֶן שָׁם גִּדְעוֹן מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהֹוָה וַיִּקְרָא־לוֹ יְהֹוָה שָׁלוֹם עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה עוֹדֶנּוּ בְּעָפְרָת אֲבִי הָעֶזְרִי׃

25  That night Hashem said to him: “Take the young bull belonging to your father and another bull seven years old; pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the sacred post which is beside it.

כה  וַיְהִי בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יְהֹוָה קַח אֶת־פַּר־הַשּׁוֹר אֲשֶׁר לְאָבִיךָ וּפַר הַשֵּׁנִי שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים וְהָרַסְתָּ אֶת־מִזְבַּח הַבַּעַל אֲשֶׁר לְאָבִיךָ וְאֶת־הָאֲשֵׁרָה אֲשֶׁר־עָלָיו תִּכְרֹת׃

26  Then build a mizbayach to Hashem your God, on the level ground on top of this stronghold. Take the other bull and offer it as a burnt offering, using the wood of the sacred post that you have cut down.”

כו  וּבָנִיתָ מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ עַל רֹאשׁ הַמָּעוֹז הַזֶּה בַּמַּעֲרָכָה וְלָקַחְתָּ אֶת־הַפָּר הַשֵּׁנִי וְהַעֲלִיתָ עוֹלָה בַּעֲצֵי הָאֲשֵׁרָה אֲשֶׁר תִּכְרֹת׃

27  So Gidon took ten of his servants and did as Hashem had told him; but as he was afraid to do it by day, on account of his father’s household and the townspeople, he did it by night.

כז  וַיִּקַּח גִּדְעוֹן עֲשָׂרָה אֲנָשִׁים מֵעֲבָדָיו וַיַּעַשׂ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֵלָיו יְהֹוָה וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר יָרֵא אֶת־בֵּית אָבִיו וְאֶת־אַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר מֵעֲשׂוֹת יוֹמָם וַיַּעַשׂ לָיְלָה׃

28  Early the next morning, the townspeople found that the altar of Baal had been torn down and the sacred post beside it had been cut down, and that the second bull had been offered on the newly built mizbayach.

כח  וַיַּשְׁכִּימוּ אַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר בַּבֹּקֶר וְהִנֵּה נֻתַּץ מִזְבַּח הַבַּעַל וְהָאֲשֵׁרָה אֲשֶׁר־עָלָיו כֹּרָתָה וְאֵת הַפָּר הַשֵּׁנִי הֹעֲלָה עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ הַבָּנוּי׃

29  They said to one another, “Who did this thing?” Upon inquiry and investigation, they were told, “Gidon son of Yoash did this thing!”

כט  וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ מִי עָשָׂה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיִּדְרְשׁוּ וַיְבַקְשׁוּ וַיֹּאמְרוּ גִּדְעוֹן בֶּן־יוֹאָשׁ עָשָׂה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה׃

30  The townspeople said to Yoash, “Bring out your son, for he must die: he has torn down the altar of Baal and cut down the sacred post beside it!”

ל  וַיֹּאמְרוּ אַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר אֶל־יוֹאָשׁ הוֹצֵא אֶת־בִּנְךָ וְיָמֹת כִּי נָתַץ אֶת־מִזְבַּח הַבַּעַל וְכִי כָרַת הָאֲשֵׁרָה אֲשֶׁר־עָלָיו׃

31  But Yoash said to all who had risen against him, “Do you have to contend for Baal? Do you have to vindicate him? Whoever fights his battles shall be dead by morning! If he is a god, let him fight his own battles, since it is his altar that has been torn down!”

לא  וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָשׁ לְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־עָמְדוּ עָלָיו הַאַתֶּם תְּרִיבוּן לַבַּעַל אִם־אַתֶּם תּוֹשִׁיעוּן אוֹתוֹ אֲשֶׁר יָרִיב לוֹ יוּמַת עַד־הַבֹּקֶר אִם־אֱלֹהִים הוּא יָרֶב לוֹ כִּי נָתַץ אֶת־מִזְבְּחוֹ׃

32  That day they named him Yerubaal, meaning “Let Baal contend with him, since he tore down his altar.”

לב  וַיִּקְרָא־לוֹ בַיּוֹם־הַהוּא יְרֻבַּעַל לֵאמֹר יָרֶב בּוֹ הַבַּעַל כִּי נָתַץ אֶת־מִזְבְּחוֹ׃

33  All Midian, Amalek, and the Kedemites joined forces; they crossed over and encamped in the Valley of Yizrael.

לג  וְכָל־מִדְיָן וַעֲמָלֵק וּבְנֵי־קֶדֶם נֶאֶסְפוּ יַחְדָּו וַיַּעַבְרוּ וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּעֵמֶק יִזְרְעֶאל׃

34  The spirit of Hashem enveloped Gidon; he sounded the shofar, and the Abiezrites rallied behind him.

לד  וְרוּחַ יְהֹוָה לָבְשָׁה אֶת־גִּדְעוֹן וַיִּתְקַע בַּשּׁוֹפָר וַיִזָּעֵק אֲבִיעֶזֶר אַחֲרָיו׃

35  And he sent messengers throughout Menashe, and they too rallied behind him. He then sent messengers through Asher, Zevulun, and Naftali, and they came up to meet the Manassites.

לה  וּמַלְאָכִים שָׁלַח בְּכָל־מְנַשֶּׁה וַיִזָּעֵק גַּם־הוּא אַחֲרָיו וּמַלְאָכִים שָׁלַח בְּאָשֵׁר וּבִזְבֻלוּן וּבְנַפְתָּלִי וַיַּעֲלוּ לִקְרָאתָם׃

36  And Gidon said to Hashem, “If You really intend to deliver Yisrael through me as You have said—

לו  וַיֹּאמֶר גִּדְעוֹן אֶל־הָאֱלֹהִים אִם־יֶשְׁךָ מוֹשִׁיעַ בְּיָדִי אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתָּ׃

37  here I place a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If dew falls only on the fleece and all the ground remains dry, I shall know that You will deliver Yisrael through me, as You have said.”

לז  הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מַצִּיג אֶת־גִּזַּת הַצֶּמֶר בַּגֹּרֶן אִם טַל יִהְיֶה עַל־הַגִּזָּה לְבַדָּהּ וְעַל־כָּל־הָאָרֶץ חֹרֶב וְיָדַעְתִּי כִּי־תוֹשִׁיעַ בְּיָדִי אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתָּ׃

38  And that is what happened. Early the next day, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew from the fleece, a bowlful of water.

לח  וַיְהִי־כֵן וַיַּשְׁכֵּם מִמָּחֳרָת וַיָּזַר אֶת־הַגִּזָּה וַיִּמֶץ טַל מִן־הַגִּזָּה מְלוֹא הַסֵּפֶל מָיִם׃

39  Then Gidon said to Hashem, “Do not be angry with me if I speak just once more. Let me make just one more test with the fleece: let the fleece alone be dry, while there is dew all over the ground.”

לט  וַיֹּאמֶר גִּדְעוֹן אֶל־הָאֱלֹהִים אַל־יִחַר אַפְּךָ בִּי וַאֲדַבְּרָה אַךְ הַפָּעַם אֲנַסֶּה נָּא־רַק־הַפַּעַם בַּגִּזָּה יְהִי־נָא חֹרֶב אֶל־הַגִּזָּה לְבַדָּהּ וְעַל־כָּל־הָאָרֶץ יִהְיֶה־טָּל׃

40  Hashem did so that night: only the fleece was dry, while there was dew all over the ground.

מ  וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים כֵּן בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא וַיְהִי־חֹרֶב אֶל־הַגִּזָּה לְבַדָּהּ וְעַל־כָּל־הָאָרֶץ הָיָה טָל׃

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