Judges 6–8: Gideon

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 85–86

Judges 6–8 tells the story of a great judge named Gideon who was raised up by the Lord to deliver the Israelites after they once again fell into apostasy.

Understanding the Scriptures

Judges 6

Hand (vv. 1–2, 9, 14)Power 
Prevailed (v. 2)Stayed in power 
Sown (v. 3)Planted crops 
Sustenance (v. 4)Food 
Greatly impoverished (v. 6)Very poor 
Oppressed (v. 9)Persecuted 
Threshed wheat (v. 11)Separated wheat kernels from the outer casing of chaff 
Befallen (v. 13)Happened to 
Kid (v. 19)Young goat 
Ephah (v. 19)A little over a bushel (see Bible Dictionary, “weights and measures,” p. 789) 
Flesh (vv. 19–21)Meat 
Consumed (v. 21)Completely burned 
Perceived (v. 22)Realized 
Fleece (vv. 37–40)Piece or clump of the hide of a sheep or goat with the wool attached 

Judges 6:17—“Shew Me a Sign”

The Lord commands us not to seek signs; rather we are to exercise faith and obedience before receiving a witness (see Ether 12:6; D&C 63:7–12). In this case, Gideon was not so much seeking a sign as he was trying to determine if the messenger who visited him was a true messenger, since he lived in a day and time of false religions and worship and did not want to be deceived by a messenger from a false source.

Judges 7

Pitched (v. 1)Camped 
Vaunt (v. 2)Boast 
Victuals (v. 8)Food and provisions 
Retained (v. 8)Kept 
Lay along (v. 13)Collapsed 
Save (v. 14)Except 
Companies (vv. 16, 20)Groups 
Pitchers (vv. 16, 19)Jars 
Beginning of the middle watch (v. 19)After 10:00 P.M. (see Bible Dictionary, “watches,” p. 788) 

Judges 8

Chide with (v. 1)Contend 
Gleaning (v. 2)What is left after the harvesting is done 
Vintage (v. 2)Best grapes 
Their anger was abated (v. 3)They quit being angry. 
Faint (vv. 4–5)Tired and hungry 
Secure (v. 11)Not suspecting an attack 
Discomfited (v. 12)Defeated 
Prey (v. 24)Things that were captured 
Ephod (v. 27)A piece of clothing that fits over the neck, shoulders, and chest (see Bible Dictionary, “ephod,” p. 666) 
Whoring after (vv. 27, 33)Worshiping something instead of God 
Subdued (v. 28)Overcome 
Of his body begotten (v. 30)That he fathered 
Concubine (v. 31)A woman who was a servant and was also married to her master 

Studying the Scriptures

Do three of the following activities (A–E) as you study Judges 6–8.

Activity A iconFirst Things First

  1. 1.

    According to Judges 6:25–32, what was the first thing Gideon did as he attempted to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites?

  2. 2.

    Why do you think the Lord commanded Gideon to do this first?

Activity B iconWhat Do You Think?

Why do you think the Lord reduced the size of the Israelite army before they went to battle?

Activity C iconFinish These Sentences

Finish these sentences in your own words by using what you learned in Judges 7.

  1. 1.

    Gideon chose the 300 men who …

  2. 2.

    A man told Gideon about his dream in which …

  3. 3.

    The men in the army used their pitchers and trumpets to …

Activity D iconA King?

  1. 1.

    Imagine you were selected to nominate Gideon as king of Israel. What would you say about him to convince others he would make a good king?

  2. 2.

    Write what you think Gideon would say after you nominated him (see Judges 8:22–23).

Activity E iconWhat Was the Lesson?

How is the story of Gideon in Judges 6–8 an example of Doctrine and Covenants 1:19?