Judges 6:38 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 6:38, NIV: And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew--a bowlful of water.

Judges 6:38, ESV: And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water.

Judges 6:38, KJV: And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.

Judges 6:38, NASB: And it was so. When he got up early the next morning and wrung out the fleece, he wrung the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water.

Judges 6:38, NLT: And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water.

Judges 6:38, CSB: And that is what happened. When he got up early in the morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung dew out of it, filling a bowl with water.

What does Judges 6:38 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Gideon is having doubts about whether God truly plans to rescue Israel—from the swarming Midianites and their allies (Judges 6:1–5) through him (Judges 6:15–16). Despite all God has already shown Gideon, he wants even more evidence that all this is true. It's easy to be brave when reading about battle, and not participating in it; readers should temper judgment by remembering that Gideon is not a soldier. All the same, he's already witnessed God's miraculous power and intervention (Judges 6:19–21; 25–32; 34–35). To not only ask for more proof, but to insist on something so specific, is an expression of unreasonable doubt. At the same time, Gideon's request expresses a sensible understanding of God's power over nature.

The test which Gideon devised involves something naturally impossible: that a furry animal skin, left outside overnight, to be soaked with dew while the ground around it is dry (Judges 6:37). If the wool is wet while the ground is dry the next morning, Gideon will take this as a sign that God still plans to do all He has said.

This verse sums up the result with "and it was so." In fact, God makes the miracle obvious: Gideon awakes to find an animal skin so wet that Gideon fills a bowl wringing it out. One would think this has Gideon convinced—but he's not. In an almost-unbelievable level of skepticism, he asks God to invert the same miracle before he fully trusts (Judges 6:39).