Judges 6:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 6:28, NIV: In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal's altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar!

Judges 6:28, ESV: When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been built.

Judges 6:28, KJV: And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built.

Judges 6:28, NASB: When the people of the city got up early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal had been torn down, and the Asherah which had been beside it had been cut down, and the second bull had been offered on the altar which had been built.

Judges 6:28, NLT: Early the next morning, as the people of the town began to stir, someone discovered that the altar of Baal had been broken down and that the Asherah pole beside it had been cut down. In their place a new altar had been built, and on it were the remains of the bull that had been sacrificed.

Judges 6:28, CSB: When the men of the city got up in the morning, they found Baal's altar torn down, the Asherah pole beside it cut down, and the second bull offered up on the altar that had been built.

What does Judges 6:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Gideon has thoroughly—if quietly—obeyed the command of the Lord (Judges 6:25–27), under the cover of darkness and with the help of ten servants. He dismantled the altar to Baal and the Asherah pole: artifacts used for worshiping false gods. He has built a new altar to Yahweh and sacrificed a bull on it. It likely took the entire night to complete all of this. This is not an act of petty vandalism. This is a complete destruction of those pagan elements and an attack on the legitimacy of those false gods.

Now morning has dawned on the remains of Gideon's actions. The men of the town emerge from their homes to find the Baal altar in pieces, the Asherah pole chopped down and burnt, and the charred remains of a bull on top of a new altar to another deity.

It's hard to overstate how scandalous this would have been for everyone in town. They worshiped Baal and the other gods of the region. These were also the gods of their frequent attackers, the Midianites. They believed that worshiping those gods helped to protect and provide for them. Now those gods had been insulted, disrespected, and humiliated, as were all those who worshipped them. From their point of view, this act deserved the harshest possible punishment.