Judges 6:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 6:2, NIV: Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds.

Judges 6:2, ESV: And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.

Judges 6:2, KJV: And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.

Judges 6:2, NASB: The power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.

Judges 6:2, NLT: The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds.

Judges 6:2, CSB: and they oppressed Israel. Because of Midian, the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds.

What does Judges 6:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

God has given the Israelites into the hands of the Midianites (Judges 6:1). This instance of oppression seems to have taken the form of regular raids on Israel's crops and livestock (Judges 6:3). This would have left the Israelites poor, insecure, and vulnerable to starvation. To avoid this, the people of Israel resort to hiding themselves and their food in the caves and strongholds of the mountains.

Since the raids likely took place along the Jezreel Valley, the caves may have been found in the range known as Carmel and in the Iron Hills. It's possible the Israelites developed a practice of moving up to these caves during the harvest and in the seasons where the marauding Midianites would come looking for food. Rather than taking over the land outright, Midian would let the people of Israel freely plant crops, only to steal them when they were harvested.