Judges 6:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 6:12, NIV: When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, 'The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.'

Judges 6:12, ESV: And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.”

Judges 6:12, KJV: And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

Judges 6:12, NASB: And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, 'The LORD is with you, valiant warrior.'

Judges 6:12, NLT: The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, 'Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!'

Judges 6:12, CSB: Then the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, "The Lord is with you, valiant warrior."

What does Judges 6:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Angel of the Lord, God's representative on earth, has arrived at a small town in Israel. Ophrah is in the territory of Manasseh, and this Angel comes to deliver a message. Gideon, son of a relatively wealthy man, is quietly and secretively processing grain in the crowded space of a winepress, attempting to hide it from foreign invaders (Judges 6:1–5).

The Angel of the Lord—who seems to have an entirely ordinary appearance—now shows himself to Gideon and offers a strange greeting: "The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor." In the Old Testament, "men of valor" are potent warriors, such as David (1 Samuel 16:18), generals like Naaman (2 Kings 5:1) or soldiers (Joshua 8:3; 2 Chronicles 17:17). Here, that grand description is applied to a man doing a servant's work as quietly as possible, hoping not to have his food stolen by an enemy.

There's more than mere irony in this statement. The reference is almost sarcastic: Gideon is not only hiding when he's called, but he will continue to express hesitation and insecurity even as God continues to call him to action (Judges 6:17, 27, 36–40). Beyond dry humor, the Angel's lofty description of Gideon also expresses a reality unseen and obscured from a human perspective. The Lord addresses Gideon as he soon will be (Judges 7:24), not as he is in the moment; God speaks of what He knows, not of what fallible people see.

Another ironic twist is that Gideon's obvious anxiety is a reason to consider him a man of valor. That he routinely obeys—despite what seems to be intense insecurity—implies a greater faith than those who feel no fear, at all.