Judges 6:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 6:11, NIV: The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.

Judges 6:11, ESV: Now the angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites.

Judges 6:11, KJV: 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 threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.

Judges 6:11, NASB: Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.

Judges 6:11, NLT: Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites.

Judges 6:11, CSB: The angel of the Lord came, and he sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash, the Abiezrite. His son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress in order to hide it from the Midianites.

What does Judges 6:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Israel has cried out to God to deliver them from the oppression of the Midianites (Judges 6:1–10). The Lord has responded by sending a prophet to remind the people both of His history of saving them and their history of betraying Him. Their suffering is because of their disobedience and worship of false gods.

Now the Lord begins the process of saving His people once more. He does so by sending "the angel of the Lord" to call a man named Gideon to fill that role. We're not told so, but the Old Testament often uses the phrase "the angel of the Lord" to refer to a pre-incarnate form of God the Son, the second member of the Trinity. That likely seems the case here since the passage will also refer to this same Being as "the Lord" (Judges 6:14). In any case, the Being arrives to represent the full authority of God in calling Gideon. In this instance, the Angel does not have a supernatural appearance. He looks like a common traveler.

The Angel comes and sits under a terebinth tree (Genesis 35:4) at a place called Ophrah. The location of this town is no longer known, but the tree belonged to a man named Joash the Abiezrite. The Abiezrites were a clan of the tribe of Manasseh, so the town was likely somewhere in that tribe's territory (Joshua 17:7–10).

Near the tree, Joash's son is threshing wheat. This process involves beating or crushing the harvested stalks to separate grain from inedible parts. The results will be sorted, later, in the process of winnowing. This is much easier in a large, flat, open space, called a "threshing floor." Yet Gideon is working in an inconvenient, crowded place: a winepress. He's hiding there to keep the food hidden from Midianite raiders. Israel's only hope to hold on to any of their crops, at all, was to keep them hidden from the marauders from the east.

Instead of doing his work in the open where he might be seen, Gideon was hiding because of the brutal oppression of Midian.