Gideon (Bible)

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In the Book of Joshua: Joshua
In the Book of Judges: OthnielEhudShamgarDeborahBarak† • GideonAbimelech† • TolaJairJephthahIbzanElonAbdonSamson
In First Samuel: EliSamuel

Not explicitly described as a judge


Gideon or Gedeon (Hebrew: גִּדְעוֹן, Modern Gid'on Tiberian Giḏʻôn), which means "Destroyer," "Mighty warrior," or "Feller (of trees)" was judge of the Hebrews. His story is recorded in the Book of Judges and this account is compiled in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. His story is told in Judges 6-8. He is also named in the Epistle to the Hebrews as an example of a man of faith.

Contents

Family

Gideon is the son of Joash, from the clan of Abieezer in the tribe of Manasseh.

History

As is the pattern throughout the book of Judges, the Israelites again turned away from God after 40 years of peace brought by Deborah's victory over Canaan and were allowed to be attacked by the neighboring Midianites and Amalekites. God chose Gideon, a young man from an otherwise unremarkable clan from the tribe of Manasseh, to free the people of Israel and to condemn their worship of idols.

Very unsure of both himself and God's command, he requested proof of God's will by two miracles, performed on consecutive nights and the exact opposite of each other:

On God's instruction, Gideon destroyed the town's altar to the foreign god Baal and the symbol of the goddess Asherah beside it. He went on to send out messengers to gather together men from the tribes of Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, as well as his own tribe Manasseh in order to meet an armed force of the people of Midian and the Amalek that had crossed the Jordan River and were encamped in the Valley of Jezreel.

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