6:11 The Lord’s angelic messenger 1 came and sat down under the oak tree in Ophrah owned by Joash the Abiezrite. He arrived while Joash’s son Gideon 2 was threshing 3 wheat in a winepress 4 so he could hide it from the Midianites. 5
6:29 They said to one another, 6 “Who did this?” 7 They investigated the matter thoroughly 8 and concluded 9 that Gideon son of Joash had done it. 6:30 The men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son, so we can execute him! 10 He pulled down the Baal altar and cut down the nearby Asherah pole.” 6:31 But Joash said to all those who confronted him, 11 “Must you fight Baal’s battles? 12 Must you rescue him? Whoever takes up his cause 13 will die by morning! 14 If he really is a god, let him fight his own battles! 15 After all, it was his altar that was pulled down.” 16
1 tn The adjective “angelic” is interpretive.
2 tn Heb “Now Gideon his son…” The Hebrew circumstantial clause (note the pattern vav [ו] + subject + predicate) breaks the narrative sequence and indicates that the angel’s arrival coincided with Gideon’s threshing.
3 tn Heb “beating out.”
4 sn Threshing wheat in a winepress. One would normally thresh wheat at the threshing floor outside the city. Animals and a threshing sledge would be employed. Because of the Midianite threat, Gideon was forced to thresh with a stick in a winepress inside the city. For further discussion see O. Borowski, Agriculture in Iron Age Israel, 63.
5 tn Heb “Midian.”
6 tn Heb “each one to his neighbor.”
7 tn Heb “this thing.”
8 tn Heb “they inquired and searched.” The synonyms are joined to emphasize the care with which they conducted their inquiry.
9 tn Heb “and said.” Perhaps the plural subject is indefinite. If so, it could be translated, “they were told.”
10 tn Heb “and let him die.” The jussive form with vav after the imperative is best translated as a purpose clause.
11 tn Heb “to all who stood against him.”
12 tn Heb “Do you fight for Baal?”
13 tn Heb “fights for him.”
14 sn Whoever takes up his cause will die by morning. This may be a warning to the crowd that Joash intends to defend his son and to kill anyone who tries to execute Gideon. Then again, it may be a sarcastic statement about Baal’s apparent inability to defend his own honor. Anyone who takes up Baal’s cause may end up dead, perhaps by the same hand that pulled down the pagan god’s altar.
15 tn Heb “fight for himself.”
16 tn Heb “for he pulled down his altar.” The subject of the verb, if not Gideon, is indefinite (in which case a passive translation is permissible).