The Righteous Gideon lived about 1,200 years before Christ was born. He was the son of Joash of the tribe of Mannaseh and was called by God to be a warrior against the Midianites and Amakelites that had come up against Israel when they had turned away from him after forty years of peace under Deborah, the Judge of Israel. The name Gideon in Hebrew means “Mighty Warrior.”
Gideon, when called by an angel of God, listens to him and breaks down the altars of Ba’al, and cuts down the groves dedicated to this pagan idol. The angel then asks him to save Israel by his hand against their encamped enemies. Calling the Israelites together, they prepare for battle. Gideon asks the angel to prove his words by first making a fleece wet overnight without the ground dewing, and the following night by making the fleece dry and the ground wet. When it is so, he leads a greatly reduced army of only 300 men at God’s Command against the hosts around them. By God’s help, trumpet soundings, the breaking of pitchers, and calling out “The sword of the Lord and Gideon,” the enemy fled and was then killed. Gideon judged Israel in peace for forty years.