Judges 6:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 6:3, NIV: Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country.

Judges 6:3, ESV: For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them.

Judges 6:3, KJV: And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them;

Judges 6:3, NASB: For whenever Israel had sown, the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the people of the east and march against them.

Judges 6:3, NLT: Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east would attack Israel,

Judges 6:3, CSB: Whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people of the east came and attacked them.

What does Judges 6:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

God turned His people over to oppression by the Midianites in response to Israel's evil practices: worshiping Baal and other gods (Judges 6:1–2). This took the form of regular invasions of Israelite settlements and towns. The Midianites, along with allies that included the Amalekites and other people from east of the Jordan River, would cross over the Jordan and strike into the heart of Israelite territory. They would come specifically to raid the Israelite's crops at harvest time to take the food for themselves.

This means Midian didn't conquer Israel and possess their land, in the typical fashion of a conquering enemy. Rather, they bullied and abused the people. Such regular raids and attacks would put the people at risk of starvation. It would also create a great sense of fear and uncertainty. The people of Israel were living in dread and helplessness. The timid response of the very man God calls to become a rescuer echoes this beaten-down attitude (Judges 6:17, 37, 39).