Thoughts and Reflection
Today in our readings we learn of Gideon. Gideon (whose name is later changed to Jerubbaal) crushes the altar of Baal and Asherah. Ephods are garments that the priests wear and Gideon makes his own golden ephod and this becomes an issue of Gideon and his family. He says to avoid false Gods but yet he sets up his family to turn to them. After Gideon dies, the people once again start to worship false gods rather than the true and living God.
In Ruth, we see the role of the Kinsman-redeemer. What is that? If an Israelite falls into slavery, loses land, or is killed the kinsman-redeemer will rescue him or her to ensure justice. They will also carry on the family name by marrying a childless widow like Ruth.
This role of kinsman-redeemer is to buy people out of slavery and we can see that through Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, this is exactly what Jesus has done for us.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
3 Whenever Israel sowed seed the Midianites would march up with Amalek and the sons of the East. They would march on Israel.
6 Thus, Midian brought Israel to great distress, and the Israelites cried to Yahweh.
10 And I said to you: I am Yahweh your God. You are not to fear the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now living. But you have not listened to my voice.” ‘
13 Gideon replied, ‘Excuse me, my lord, but if Yahweh is with us, why is all this happening to us? And where are all his miracles which our ancestors used to tell us about when they said, “Did not Yahweh bring us out of Egypt?” But now Yahweh has deserted us; he has abandoned us to Midian,’
16 Yahweh replied, ‘I shall be with you and you will crush Midian as though it were one man.’
19 Gideon went away, he prepared a young goat and from an ephah of flour he made unleavened cakes. He put the meat into a basket and the broth into a pot, then brought it all to him under the terebinth. As he approached,
21 The Angel of Yahweh then stretched out the tip of the staff which he was carrying, and touched the meat and unleavened cakes. Fire sprang from the rock and consumed the meat and unleavened cakes, and the Angel of Yahweh vanished before his eyes.
23 Yahweh answered, ‘Peace be with you; have no fear; you will not die.’
24 Gideon built an altar there to Yahweh and called it Yahweh-Peace. This altar stands in our own day at Ophrah of Abiezer.
25 Now that night, Yahweh said to Gideon, ‘Take your father’s bull, the seven-year-old bull, and pull down the altar to Baal belonging to your father and cut down the sacred pole beside it.
26 Then, on top of this strong-point, build a proper altar to Yahweh your God. Then take the bull and burn it as a burnt offering on the wood of the sacred pole which you have cut down.’
28 Next morning, when the townspeople got up, they found that the altar to Baal had been destroyed, the sacred pole standing beside it had been cut down and the bull had been sacrificed as a burnt offering on the newly built altar.
31 To the people all crowding round him, Joash replied, ‘Is it your job to plead for Baal? Is it your job to champion his cause? (Anyone who pleads for Baal must be put to death before dawn.) If he is a god, let him plead for himself, now that Gideon has destroyed his altar.’
32 That day, Gideon was given the name Jerubbaal, because, they said, ‘Baal must plead against him, because he has destroyed his altar!’
37 look, I am going to put a woollen fleece on the threshing-floor; if there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground stays dry, then I shall know that you will deliver Israel by means of me, as you have said.’
38 And so it happened. Early next morning, Gideon got up, squeezed the fleece and wrung enough dew out of the fleece to fill a cup.
40 And God did so that night. The fleece alone stayed dry, and there was dew all over the ground.
1 Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) got up very early, as did all the people who were with him; he pitched camp at En-Harod; the camp of Midian was north of his, under the Hill of Moreh in the valley.
2 Yahweh then said to Gideon, ‘There are too many people with you for me to put Midian into their power; Israel might claim the credit for themselves at my expense: they might say, “My own hand has rescued me.”
4 Yahweh said to Gideon, ‘There are still too many people. Take them down to the waterside and I shall sort them out for you there. If I say of someone, “He is to go with you,” that man is to go with you. And if I say of anyone, “He is not to go with you,”
5 So Gideon took the people down to the waterside, and Yahweh said to him, ‘All those who lap the water with their tongues, as a dog laps, put these on one side. And all those who kneel down to drink, put these on the other side.’
9 Now it happened, that same night, that Yahweh said to him, ‘Get up and go down to the camp. I am putting it into your power.
11 listen to what they are saying, and that will encourage you to go down to the camp.’ So, with his servant Purah, he went down to the edge of the outposts of the camp.
13 Gideon got there just as a man was telling his comrade a dream; he was saying, ‘This was the dream I had: a cake made of barley bread came rolling into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent, struck against it and turned it upside down.’
15 When Gideon heard the dream thus told and interpreted, he bowed in reverence; he then went back to the camp of Israel and said, ‘On your feet, for Yahweh has put the camp of Midian into your power!’
19 Gideon and his hundred companions reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when the new sentries had just been posted; they blew their horns and smashed the pitchers in their hands.
20 The three groups blew their horns and smashed their pitchers; with their left hands they grasped the torches, with their right hands the horns for blowing them; and they shouted, ‘The sword for Yahweh and for Gideon!’
21 And they stood still, spaced out round the camp. The whole camp was thrown into confusion and the Midianites fled, shouting.
22 While the three hundred blew their horns, Yahweh made each man turn his sword against his comrade throughout the entire camp. They all fled as far as Beth-ha-Shittah in the direction of Zarethan, as far as the bank of Abel-Meholah opposite Tabbath.
24 Gideon sent messengers throughout the highlands of Ephraim to say, ‘Come down to meet Midian, seize the water-points ahead of them as far as Beth-Barah and the Jordan.’ All the men of Ephraim mustered and seized the water-points as far as Beth-Barah and the Jordan.
25 They captured the two Midianite chieftains, Oreb and Zeeb; they killed Oreb at Oreb’s Rock and Zeeb at Zeeb’s Winepress. They pursued Midian; and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side of the Jordan.
1 Now the men of Ephraim said to Gideon, ‘What do you mean by treating us like this, not summoning us when you went to fight Midian?’ And they reproached him bitterly.
3 God delivered Oreb and Zeeb, the chieftains of Midian, into your power. What was I able to do, in comparison with what you have done?’ At these words, their anger with him died down.
4 Gideon reached the Jordan and crossed it, but he and his three hundred companions were exhausted with the pursuit.
5 So he said to the men of Succoth, ‘Please give my followers some loaves of bread, since they are exhausted, and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna the kings of Midian.’
7 ‘Very well,’ retorted Gideon, ‘when Yahweh has put Zebah and Zalmunna into my power, I shall tear your flesh off with desert-thorn and thistles.’
10 Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their army, about fifteen thousand men, all that was left of the entire army of the sons of the East. Of men bearing arms, a hundred and twenty thousand had fallen.
12 Zebah and Zalmunna fled. He pursued them; he took the two kings of Midian prisoner — Zebah and Zalmunna — and the whole army he routed in panic.
13 After the battle Gideon came back by the Ascent of Heres.
15 Gideon son of Joash then went to the people of Succoth and said, ‘Here you see Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me and said, “Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your grasp, that we should give bread to your exhausted troops?” ‘
19 Gideon replied, ‘They were my brothers, the sons of my own mother; as Yahweh lives, if you had spared their lives I would not kill you.’
21 Zebah and Zalmunna then said, ‘Stand up yourself, and strike us down; for as a man is, so is his strength.’ Then Gideon stood up and killed Zebah and Zalmunna; and he took the crescents from round their camels’ necks.
26 The weight of the gold rings which he had asked for amounted to seventeen hundred shekels of gold, besides the crescents and the earrings and purple garments worn by the kings of Midian, and besides the collars round their camels’ necks.
28 Thus Midian was humbled before the Israelites. He did not raise his head again, and the country had peace for forty years, as long as Gideon lived.
32 Gideon son of Joash died after a happy old age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, at Ophrah of Abiezer.
1 Her mother-in-law Naomi then said, ‘Daughter, is it not my duty to see you happily settled?
4 But when he lies down, take note where he lies, then go and turn back the covering at his feet and lie down yourself. He will tell you what to do.’
7 When Boaz had finished eating and drinking, he went off happily and lay down beside the pile of barley. Ruth then quietly went, turned back the covering at his feet and lay down.
8 In the middle of the night, he woke up with a shock and looked about him; and there lying at his feet was a woman.
10 ‘May Yahweh bless you, daughter,’ he said, ‘for this second act of faithful love of yours is greater than the first, since you have not run after young men, poor or rich.
11 Don’t be afraid, daughter, I shall do everything you ask, since the people at the gate of my town all know that you are a woman of great worth.
13 Stay here for tonight and, in the morning, if he wishes to exercise his right over you, very well, let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to do so, then as Yahweh lives, I shall redeem you. Lie here till morning.’
1 Alleluia! Praise the name of Yahweh, you who serve Yahweh, praise him,
3 Praise Yahweh, for Yahweh is good, make music for his name — it brings joy-
13 Yahweh, your name endures for ever, Yahweh, your memory is fresh from age to age.
14 For Yahweh vindicates his people, feels compassion for his servants.
18 Their makers will end up like them, everyone who relies on them.
21 Blessed be Yahweh from Zion, he who dwells in Jerusalem!