Judges 6:25 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 6:25, NIV: That same night the LORD said to him, 'Take the second bull from your father's herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father's altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.

Judges 6:25, ESV: That night the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it

Judges 6:25, KJV: And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:

Judges 6:25, NASB: Now on the same night the LORD said to him, 'Take your father’s bull and a second bull seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it;

Judges 6:25, NLT: That night the LORD said to Gideon, 'Take the second bull from your father's herd, the one that is seven years old. Pull down your father's altar to Baal, and cut down the Asherah pole standing beside it.

Judges 6:25, CSB: On that very night the Lord said to him, "Take your father's young bull and a second bull seven years old. Then tear down the altar of Baal that belongs to your father and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.

What does Judges 6:25 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

If Gideon thought his interaction with the Lord wouldn't have immediate consequences, he was quickly proven wrong. God was about to make things very difficult for the unsure, hesitant Israelite (Judges 6:17, 36–40). After delivering a command and miraculous sign (Judges 6:11–21), He speaks to Gideon again that very night.

Earlier commands were vague. Gideon was simply told to rely on God's power to rescue the nation from oppression by Midian (Judges 6:1–6). This instruction is very specific—and dangerously provocative. God's orders involve directly violating a false religious center, as well as sacrificing some of his family's property.

The Lord commands Gideon to pull down an altar to Baal and the Asherah pole next to it (Judges 3:7). Baal was a Canaanite storm god associated with prosperity and rain. Asherah, Baal's lover, was worshipped using trees, poles, or raised images. Both objects of false worship stand on the property of Joash, Gideon's father. That these centers of depraved, evil practices were so ingrained into the town makes God's displeasure easier to understand (Judges 6:1). Gideon's family and the people of his hometown were all involved in worshiping false gods. They were part of the reason God had allowed the Midianites to oppress Israel in the first place.

Some scholars understand the Hebrew phrasing here to mean only one bull is involved. Most, however, agree that there are two bulls being described. Then, as now, a typical cattle herd only includes a few bulls—males—while most of the group are females. The first animal is Gideon's father's bull. This is likely the largest and strongest of the herd. Gideon is to use that bull to help pull down the altar to Baal. The following verse shows what he is to do with the second bull, which is seven years old (Judges 6:26).

The Lord also commands Gideon to cut down the Asherah. This may have been a carved pole or image, or the trunk of a tree.