Judges 6:39 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 6:39, NIV: Then Gideon said to God, 'Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.'

Judges 6:39, ESV: Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.”

Judges 6:39, KJV: And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.

Judges 6:39, NASB: Then Gideon said to God, 'Do not let Your anger burn against me, so that I may speak only one more time; please let me put You to the test only one more time with the fleece: let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.'

Judges 6:39, NLT: Then Gideon said to God, 'Please don't be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.'

Judges 6:39, CSB: Gideon then said to God, "Don't be angry with me; let me speak one more time. Please allow me to make one more test with the fleece. Let it remain dry, and the dew be all over the ground."

What does Judges 6:39 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

While Gideon's name is associated with "valor" (Judges 6:12), his early depiction in the book of Judges is characterized by insecurity and fear (Judges 6:11, 17, 27). Despite seeing miracles and being empowered by the Holy Spirit (Judges 6:19–21; 34–35), he's dared to ask God to perform an extremely specific miracle to prove His will (Judges 6:36–37). God graciously complied, causing a wooly animal skin to appear wet in the morning, while the ground around it was dry.

A reader might well wonder if Gideon was still hoping for an excuse not to engage in battle. Though he will come to be a renowned leader of armies (Judges 7:24–25; 8:28), the man asking God for signs here is not yet a leader, nor a soldier. The Lord has already provided more than enough evidence—Gideon has already asked for an absurdly unreasonable level of proof. To his credit, Gideon knows he's pushing his luck with God's patience. He sensibly begs God not to be angry as he makes yet another request—this time to invert the previous night's miracle.

It's challenging to realize that God does not rebuke Gideon for this request. In fact, Gideon is listed among those famous for obediently trusting God (Hebrews 11:32–34). The challenge is amplified by the way Scripture generally condemns "sign-seeking" as opposed to common sense obedience to God's revealed will (Matthew 12:38–39; 1 Corinthians 1:22–23). A possible answer lies in the very fear and hesitation Gideon expresses in his early appearances. Few people think of "bravery" when a large, strong man obeys a command to fight another strong man. For a small child, however, obedience to the same command requires greater faith, overcoming much greater anxiety. That Gideon is credited with faithful obedience—rather than being hard-headed—suggests he obeyed despite intense personal fear and anxiety. That God reacts with gracious reassurance, instead of the rebukes offered to others, implies the same.

This time, Gideon asks God to reverse the previous confirmation. This would dispel any chance that the first test was a natural fluke. Should the ground be wet, and the wool dry, that would be truly miraculous (Judges 6:40)