Judges 6:25-32

Judges 6:25-32

[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  of his servants,  and did  as the LORD  had said  unto him: and so it was, because he feared  his father's  household,  of the city,  that he could not do  it by day,  that he did  it by night.  [28] 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 enquired  and asked,  they said,  Gideon  the son  of Joash  hath done  this thing.  [30] 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  [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. 

What does Judges 6:25-32 Mean?

Contextual Meaning

"Under normal circumstances the narrative should have proceeded directly from Judges 6:24 to Judges 6:33-35, and then on to Judges 7:1. But the normal sequence is interrupted twice to deal with a pair of abnormalities. The first is an objective issue, the presence of a pagan cult installation in Gideon"s father"s own backyard. The second is a subjective problem, Gideon"s persistent resistance to the call of God." [1]
After the Angel had vanished, the Lord appeared to Gideon again the same night. He commanded him to tear down his family"s pagan altar and its accompanying Asherah pole, build an altar to Yahweh, and offer his father"s bull as a burnt offering of worship. Gideon"s name means "hacker," and this event may have been the source of it. This act would constitute a public confession of Gideon"s commitment to the Lord. It was necessary for him to take this stand personally before the nation would follow him as its judge. Compare Moses" need to circumcise his son ( Exodus 4:24-26). The real problem in Israel was not the Midianites" oppression but Israel"s spiritual bondage due to idolatry.
Probably Gideon used one bull to pull apart the Canaanite altar, which he then offered as a burnt offering to Yahweh. [2] This sacrifice served a twofold purpose. Burnt offerings of worship made atonement and symbolized the offerer"s total dedication to the Lord. Gideon"s sacrifice also constituted a rejection of Baal worship since the bull was the sacred animal in the Baal fertility cult. [3] The fact that the bull was seven years old, strong, and healthy may have symbolized that the current seven-year oppression by Israel"s enemies was about to end. On the other hand it may have indicated that the destruction of Baal worship to follow would be an act of God. Gideon"s fear of being observed as he obeyed God ( Judges 6:27) was natural since veneration of Baal was strong in his family and town ( Judges 6:28-30).
"How different from Deuteronomy 13:6-10, where Moses commanded that even close relatives must be stoned for idolatry! The heresy had become the main religion." [4]
"The sentence that should have been imposed on idolators [5] is pronounced upon the one who destroys the idol!" [6]
However, Gideon"s daring act of faith inspired his father Joash to take a stand for Yahweh ( Judges 6:31) even though Joash had been a leader of Baal worship ( Judges 6:25). The person Gideon probably feared most, his father, became his most outspoken defender.
"The probability, we think, is that Gideon, perceiving in the morning to what a pitch of exasperation the citizens were wrought, and how seriously they threatened his life, took occasion frankly to inform his father of the visit of the angel, and of all the circumstances of his call and commission, and that this, added to his feelings as a father, had served at once to convince him of his former error and to determine to stand by his son against the rage of the populace." [7]
"There are some profound spiritual implications in Gideon"s assignment1. Baal must go before Midian can go.... 2. God"s altar cannot be built until Baal"s altar is destroyed.... 3. The place we must start is in our own backyard." [8]