Reference Entry

Gideon

Edited by Tom Devonshire Jones, Linda Murray and Peter Murray

in The Oxford Dictionary of Christian Art & Architecture

Second edition

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199680276
Published online November 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744419
Gideon

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(c.12th cent. bc) His story is told in Judges 6–8 of the OT. He led the Israelites to victory over the Midianites after a visit from an angel who told him of his destiny and instructed him to put meat, broth, and unleavened cakes on a stone: the angel touched them with his staff and they were consumed by fire, and the angel vanished. Gideon obeyed the angel's command to destroy an altar of Baal on his father's land. Later, when the Midianites threatened to destroy Israel, Gideon asked God for a sign, putting a fleece on the earth of his threshing-floor. Next morning the fleece was wringing wet and the earth dry; next day, the ground was wet and the fleece dry. Gideon therefore raised an army of 32,000 men, but was told by the Lord to reduce the number. He finally brought ten thousand to the waterside to drink—those who knelt to drink were dismissed, those who scooped the water in their hands were retained, only three hundred in all. Gideon armed them with a sword, trumpet, and a pitcher with a lighted torch inside, and during the night they fell upon the Midianites, blowing their trumpets, breaking the pitchers, and waving the torches so that in the confusion the enemy was utterly routed....

Reference Entry.  317 words. 

Subjects: Religious Subjects in Art

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