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Summary: When Israel cried out to the Lord for help, a prophet was sent to remind them of their idolatry. Then the Angel of the Lord, whom we believe to be the reincarnate Christ, appeared to a man of Manasseh named Gideon.

Chapter 19: An Angel Sends Gideon to Deliver Them

Judges 6:11-16

11 And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon (Gr. Gedeon) 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 (Heb. my thousand is the meanest) is poor in Manasseh, 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.

Introduction

The introduction to the story of Gideon and his deliverance is vital in understanding the true significance of this incident. The irony that is often so obvious in the book of Judges again plays a significant part in the story.

When Israel cried out to the Lord for help, a prophet was sent first to remind them of their idolatry. Then the Angel of the Lord, whom we believe to be the reincarnate Christ (see essay below), appeared to a man of Manasseh named Gideon as he was secretly threshing wheat in a winepress ... to hide it from the Midianites.

It is not said what effect the prophet’s sermon had upon the people, but we may hope it had a good effect, and that some of them at least repented and reformed because of it; for here, immediately after, we have the dawning of the day of their deliverance, by the effectual calling of Gideon to take upon him the command of their forces against the Midianites.

Commentary--GIDEON, THE SIXTH JUDGE

Now at this juncture, God appeared to Gideon in a most embarrassing situation. We are told:

11 And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon (Gr. Gedeon) threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. (KJV)

11The Messenger of the LORD came and sat under the oak tree in Ophrah that belonged to Joash from Abiezer's family. Joash's son Gideon was beating out wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. --Judges 6:11 (GW)

And there came an angel of the Lord. This was not the prophet mentioned before (vv 1-10), but an angel of God, as expressed here, and not a created one, but the Angel of Jehovah's presence, the Word and Son of God, and who is expressly called Jehovah himself, (see Judges 6:14[1], Judges 6:23[2], Judges 6:24[3]). Virtually all commentators agree that this was a “theophany,” that is, an appearance of God in human form as the angel of Yahweh. The angel of the LORD is none other than Christ Himself, who appeared upon some great occasions in human shape, as a prelude to what he intended to happen in the fullness of time; when he would take our sinful nature upon him, as we say, once and for all. This angel is here called Jehovah, the incommunicable name of God (v. 14[1], 16), and he said, I will be with thee.

Now, the angel of the Lord had a mission to perform; to commission Gideon, the son of Joash, to be a judge and deliverer of Israel. His father (He was of the half tribe of Manasseh that lay in Canaan, and of the family of Abiezer; the eldest house of that tribe, Jos. 17:24[4]) was still living, but he was passed over, and this honor was put upon his son, because this father kept up the worship of Baal (v. 25[5]) in his own family. Gideon, we may suppose, spoke against his father’s idolatry which was an offence to God. Previously, the judges were raised up out of that particular tribe which suffered most by the oppression, and probably it was so here.

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Article 6.1: The Angel of the Lord

The Angel of the Lord (Jehovah) is the Lord Jesus Christ in a reincarnate appearance. A study of the passages in which He is mentioned makes it clear that He is God, and that He is the Second Person of the Trinity.

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