The Meaning of Judges 6:15 Explained

Judges 6:15

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

YLT: And he saith unto him, 'O, my lord, wherewith do I save Israel? lo, my chief is weak in Manasseh, and I the least in the house of my father.'

Darby: And he said to him, "Pray, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manas'seh, and I am the least in my family."

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

What does Judges 6:15 Mean?

Context Summary

Judges 6:7-18 - A Farmer Called To Be Deliverer
God is not content with sending a prophet to condemn our sins; He commissions an angel to bring help. Surely there is truth in the old belief that the Angel-Jehovah, designated here, was our Lord, whose delights were ever with the sons of men. Compare Isaiah 63:9 and Acts 7:30 with Exodus 3:2; Exodus 3:6. He still comes to us, not visibly to the eye, but sensibly to the heart. There is a peculiar burning at the heart, which those who love Him understand, when He manifests Himself to them as not to the world. See Luke 24:32 and John 14:21
Gideon was the youngest son of a poor family, which had suffered greatly at the hands of Midian. See Judges 8:18. He was compelled to thresh his wheat in the wine-press, below the surface of the ground, lest the Midianites should descend on it and carry it off. He seemed the least likely to be the chosen deliverer. But remember the Apostle's words, 1 Corinthians 1:26. There is a might that no human valor can impart; it is that which is communicated directly from Christ, as in Judges 6:14. And when Jesus looks and speaks, the young soul that stands in all humility before Him knows that it can do all things through Him who strengthens, Philippians 4:13. [source]

Chapter Summary: Judges 6

1  The Israelites for their sin are oppressed by Midian
8  A prophet rebukes them
11  An angel sends Gideon for their deliverance
17  Gideon's present is consumed with fire
24  Gideon destroys Baal's altar; offers a sacrifice upon the altar Jehovah-shalom
28  Joash defends his son, and calls him Jerubbaal
33  Gideon's army
36  Gideon's signs

What do the individual words in Judges 6:15 mean?

So he said to Him O my Lord by what can I save - Israel indeed my clan [is] the poorest in Manasseh and I [am] the least in house of my father
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֵלָיו֙ בִּ֣י אֲדֹנָ֔י בַּמָּ֥ה אוֹשִׁ֖יעַ אֶת־ ؟ יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל הִנֵּ֤ה אַלְפִּי֙ הַדַּ֣ל בִּמְנַשֶּׁ֔ה וְאָנֹכִ֥י הַצָּעִ֖יר בְּבֵ֥ית אָבִֽי

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר  So  he  said 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
אֵלָיו֙  to  Him 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶל  
Sense: to, toward, unto (of motion).
בִּ֣י  O 
Parse: Preposition, first person common singular
Root: בִּי  
Sense: if it please, pray excuse me, excuse me please.
אֲדֹנָ֔י  my  Lord 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֲדֹנָי  
Sense: my lord, lord.
בַּמָּ֥ה  by  what 
Parse: Preposition-b, Interrogative
Root: לָמָּה 
Sense: what, how, of what kind.
אוֹשִׁ֖יעַ  can  I  save 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Imperfect, first person common singular
Root: יָשַׁע 
Sense: to save, be saved, be delivered.
אֶת־  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
؟ יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.
הִנֵּ֤ה  indeed 
Parse: Interjection
Root: הִנֵּה  
Sense: behold, lo, see, if.
אַלְפִּי֙  my  clan  [is] 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, first person common singular
Root: אֶלֶף  
Sense: cattle, oxen.
הַדַּ֣ל  the  poorest 
Parse: Article, Adjective, masculine singular
Root: דַּל  
Sense: low, poor, weak, thin, one who is low.
בִּמְנַשֶּׁ֔ה  in  Manasseh 
Parse: Preposition-b, Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: מְנַשֶּׁה  
Sense: the eldest son of Joseph and progenitor of the tribe of Manasseh.
וְאָנֹכִ֥י  and  I  [am] 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Pronoun, first person common singular
Root: אָנׄכִי  
Sense: I (first pers.
הַצָּעִ֖יר  the  least 
Parse: Article, Adjective, masculine singular
Root: צָעִיר  
Sense: little, insignificant, young.
בְּבֵ֥ית  in  house 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: בַּיִת 
Sense: house.
אָבִֽי  of  my  father 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, first person common singular
Root: אָב  
Sense: father of an individual.