Judges 6:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 6:13, NIV: Pardon me, my lord,' Gideon replied, 'but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian."

Judges 6:13, ESV: And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

Judges 6:13, KJV: 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.

Judges 6:13, NASB: Then Gideon said to him, 'O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did the LORD not bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.'

Judges 6:13, NLT: 'Sir,' Gideon replied, 'if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn't they say, 'The LORD brought us up out of Egypt'? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.'

Judges 6:13, CSB: Gideon said to him, "Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened? And where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about? They said, 'Hasn't the Lord brought us out of Egypt? ' But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian."

What does Judges 6:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Angel of the Lord has appeared to Gideon as he is working in secret. Gideon is threshing wheat in a winepress to avoid detection by invading marauders (Judges 6: 1–11). This stranger, who likely did not look like an angel, has greeted Gideon by describing him as a powerful warrior (Judges 6:12). Such praise is ironic for a timid man (Judges 6:17, 27, 36–40), hiding his food from potential enemies. Yet the phrase Gideon responds to is the first part of the Angel's greeting: that the Lord God was with him.

The idea that Yahweh was with anyone in Israel conflicted with the circumstances of Gideon's everyday life. The nation had been "brought low:" humiliated and beaten down by foreign enemies. People were hungry and scared for the future. They had no hope of stopping the Midianites from taking everything from them, year after year. Gideon carries this idea beyond himself to apply to all of Israel, asking a bold question: if the Lord is with Israel, why has all this happened to us? Where is the miraculous rescue the Lord performed when bringing us out of Egypt, as our ancestors described in their stories?

It's important to note that Gideon acknowledges his generation had heard the stories of Yahweh's goodness and power (Exodus 3:20; 12:51). They had been taught the truth of their history. That knowledge had not been enough to keep them from turning to the depraved, evil gods of their neighbors in Canaan (Judges 2:11–19). Israel's current predicament is part of a repeating pattern of faithlessness (Judges 6:1).

Gideon concludes with a bitterly phrased statement which is still mostly correct: that God had "forsaken" the people into subjection under Midian. Gideon was probably not the only person in Israel who understood that their own sin had caused the Lord to turn them over to Midian. The people have finally cried out to the Lord for rescue. Gideon's attitude seems to doubt God will send such help.