A Discussion on Gideon and the Altar of Baal in the Book of Judges
This same thinking is what prompted God to thin out the ranks of Gideon's army from 32,000 (facing a Midianite army at 4.2:1 odds) to less than 1 percent of that (making the odds 450:1). With a people unable to accept the impossible, only man-made religions such as Baal and Ashterah are believable; God must make obvious to the Israelites that He is eminently more believable, because He is the God of the impossible.

Thus, the first of five signs is given to Gideon at the first interview. Gideon lists his conditions of impossibility and requests a sign. He goes to obtain food, a quantity typical of near-Eastern hospitality. The meal he prepares for the Angel of the Lord (Lindsey notes Gideon probably hoped to take the leftovers home to his family) is consumed in a flash of fire. There is the sign he requested. One may well believe Gideon could have begun his campaign without offering the food and the Angel of the Lord would not have missed it. At this point in the history of Israel God is concerned more with obtaining obedience than with reassuring His people, and provides reassurance only to obtain obedience.

The cult of Ba'al was actually something of a newcomer to the region itself, preceding Yahwehism by only a few centuries.

"By the time Israel entered Canaan, most of the earlier El cults had been displaced by the strong fertility cults of Ba'al and Asherah or Astarte. . . .Ba'al, however, being an agricultural fertility god, had no interest in desert regions where

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    Seventy Testament | El Yahweh | Ba'al Lang | Lord God | God Tyrians | Asherah Astarte | Israelites Midianites | Fit Understanding | God Gideon | Ba'al-Hadad Yahweh | altar baal | el worship | sons god | angel lord | atlanta ga scholars | moore cross | worship el | ed frank | palace built | harvard semitic monograph | frank moore | ga scholars press | harvard semitic | frank moore cross | ed frank moore |  
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