The name of Gideon in Hebrew means "crusher", and a person bearing this name is emblematic of power, justice and faith of God. Jewish history is full of examples of how the people forgot the God and fell into paganism. For this God has repeatedly deprived the Israelites of his assistance and dismissed them to the power of the neighboring pagan peoples. The disaster admonished the Jews and they returned to the truth. To repentant Israelites, the Lord sent deliverers, called judges. They were the justice of Heaven on the Earth who destroyed the wicked gentiles, freed the Israelites from their enemies and controlled them.
After the death of Joshua the Israelites very soon fell into idolatry, and the Lord gave them under the power of the Midianites. Completely ruined by plundering inroads, the Israelites ask for protection from God.
The Lord sent them a deliverer in the person of Gideon, the youngest son of Joash of the families of Manasseh. One day the angel of the Lord appears before Gideon and commands him to gather the troops and oppose the enemy. To save his people from the yoke of the Midianites, Gideon decides to eradicate idolatry by destroying idols and putting the altar of the true God instead.
The new judge of Israel begins to fight against the Midianites and other tribes. He collects thirty-two thousand warriors from different tribes to fight the invaders. Gideon is constantly in communication with God asking him for the signs before the battle. So he asks for the fleece of wool to be covered with dew in the morning while the ground is dry. Then he wants to see the ground wet and the wool dampened with dew. God hears the prayer of the judge, and Gideon is convinced that he has made a right decision.
To make the Israelites trust Gideon and believe that his help is not the quantity but the quality of the executors of his will, God tells Gideon to dismiss those of the troops who are fearful and timid. Twenty-two thousand men returned home. From a thousand of soldiers left, Gideon selects three hundred and leads them to battle with hundred thousand armies of the Midianites. With such a small squad Gideon can decide on a battle with multiple enemies only through firm faith in God's help.
Gideon scores the victory but refuses the royal power offered by the Israelites as knows how small his merit in redeeming the people of Israel because it was God, the only King of Israel, that made this miracle happen. The story of Gideon is a story of how true faith and love for God of one person saved the whole people.
The name of Gideon in Hebrew means "crusher", and a person bearing this name is emblematic of power, justice and faith of God. Jewish history is full of examples of how the people forgot the God and fell into paganism. For this God has repeatedly deprived the Israelites of his assistance and dismissed them to the power of the neighboring pagan peoples.