Judges 6:37 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 6:37, NIV: look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.'

Judges 6:37, ESV: behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.”

Judges 6:37, KJV: Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.

Judges 6:37, NASB: behold, I am putting a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will save Israel through me, as You have spoken.'

Judges 6:37, NLT: prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.'

Judges 6:37, CSB: I will put a wool fleece here on the threshing floor. If dew is only on the fleece, and all the ground is dry, I will know that you will deliver Israel by me, as you said."

What does Judges 6:37 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After years of unimpeded raids (Judges 6:1–5), the people of Israel are finally ready to attack the Midianites who lurk in the Valley of Jezreel (Judges 6:33). Gideon, the man improbably called to lead this fight (Judges 6:11–15) decides he wants more assurance that God truly intends to save Israel through him. This is despite all his interactions with the Lord up to this point (Judges 6:19–21; 25–32) and being clothed by the Holy Spirit (Judges 6:34–35). It's easy to criticize fear in others, when we're not the ones facing mortal danger—and yet, Gideon's insecurity is hard to understand. All the same, God voices no objection.

Gideon has devised a method for asking God a yes or no question. God has spoken to Gideon directly on several occasions, but Gideon seems to prefer an unmistakable, miraculous, physical manifestation of God's power over the natural world. Given that his culture was steeped in pagan worship, it's not surprising Gideon would ask God to speak in this way.

The test Gideon proposes asks for something completely impossible by natural means. He will use a piece of fleece: animal skin with the wool still attached, much like a shaggy carpet. He will leave this object on the threshing floor. This would have been an outdoor field; meadows are often soaked with dew just prior to sunrise. The miracle Gideon seeks is for the hard ground around the fleece to be dry, while the fleece itself is wet. Gideon will take that as evidence that God still means to use Gideon to save Israel.