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Judges 6:17

ESV And he said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me.
NIV Gideon replied, 'If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.
NASB So Gideon said to Him, 'If now I have found favor in Your sight, then perform for me a sign that it is You speaking with me.
CSB Then he said to him, "If I have found favor with you, give me a sign that you are speaking with me.
NLT Gideon replied, 'If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me.
KJV And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.

What does Judges 6:17 mean?

The Lord—Yahweh, Israel's God (Exodus 3:4–6)—has commanded Gideon to save Israel from the Midianites (Judges 6:11–16). He has promised to be with Gideon and to give him victory. Looking back at this verse, it's reasonable to wonder about Gideon's motives for making this request. His actions later suggest a man who struggles with doubt and skepticism (Judges 6:27, 36–40). It's not entirely clear if Gideon is hoping to verify that this message really comes from God, or hoping to prove the opposite, so he can be free of the responsibility.

In either case, he asks the Lord for a sign to show it is really the Lord God speaking. It's not completely unreasonable to verify messages to see if they're from God (Deuteronomy 18:22; Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1). It's less justified to ask for more proof than is necessary, or asking for even more evidence, when God has already given it (Matthew 12:39; Luke 4:24–28). As far as Gideon is concerned, the Lord has already said that He is with Gideon. It seems likely that He will graciously agree to Gideon's test—and, even more graciously, to several that follow.
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