Judges 6:30 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 6:30, NIV: The people of the town demanded of Joash, 'Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal's altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.'

Judges 6:30, ESV: Then the men of the town said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has broken down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it.”

Judges 6:30, KJV: Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it.

Judges 6:30, NASB: Then the men of the city said to Joash, 'Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has torn down the altar of Baal, and indeed, he has cut down the Asherah which was beside it.'

Judges 6:30, NLT: 'Bring out your son,' the men of the town demanded of Joash. 'He must die for destroying the altar of Baal and for cutting down the Asherah pole.'

Judges 6:30, CSB: Then the men of the city said to Joash, "Bring out your son. He must die, because he tore down Baal's altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it."

What does Judges 6:30 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Before the Lord appeared to him (Judges 6:11–12), Gideon likely never have dreamed of dismantling his town's altar to Baal and the Asherah pole next to it (Judges 6:25–28). His family participated in Baal worship alongside the rest of the town. Gideon himself may have served Baal right up until the day Yahweh showed up and told him to tear down the Baal altar.

Now, though, Gideon is in serious trouble. The men of the town have learned Gideon is the one who risked Baal's wrath on them all. He is the one who ordered servants to help him demolish the Baal altar. He is responsible for chopping up and burning the sacred Asherah pole, building an altar to another god—the real God—and offering a bull on it. This was not a mere act of blasphemy against Baal and Asherah, this was a statement of utter contempt.

Gideon's neighbors likely believe they are all in trouble if they cannot get back on Baal's good side. They have a solution, one which is not surprising. They corner Gideon's father, Joash, and tell him to hand over his son so they can kill him for what he has done. Baal's honor must be defended. Joash offers a surprisingly rational answer that not only defuses the mob's anger, but it also earns Gideon a new alias (Judges 6:31–32).