New Defender's Study Bible Notes
6:3 the Midianites...the Amalekites. These two groups had earlier opposed Israel and had been defeated (Exodus 17:8; Numbers 31:7). By this time, however, both had again become strong enemies of Israel, and God allowed them to subjugate His people because of their latest rebellion against Him.
6:15 I am the least. Gideon was the most insignificant member of a poor family in an undistinguished tribe, but God chose him anyway. Compare I Corinthians 1:26-31. At least Gideon was hard at work, doing what he could (Judges 6:11). He was also a man of courage (Judges 6:12, 27-30). Most importantly, he still believed in the true God, whereas the other men of the city–even his own father–had been worshipping at the altar of Baal (Judges 6:25-30).
6:22 angel of the LORD. This passage shows clearly that this “angel of the LORD” is none other than the Lord Himself. That is, this is a theophany, a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ.
6:32 Jerubbaal. Gideon’s father seems to have been brought back to the true God by his son’s courage, giving his son a new name meaning “Let Baal plead.” The name “Gideon” means “hewer.”
6:40 dew on all the ground. Judges 6:36-40 provide the source of the well-known expression, “putting out a fleece,” as a method of determining God’s will. The first miracle–dew on the fleece with the ground dry around it–involved a providential acceleration of the natural tendency of fleece to assimilate moisture from the atmosphere. The second–the fleece dry with dew all around–was a more certain sign, involving an actual reversal of the natural process. This provided clear proof to Gideon that God was, indeed, leading Him and was well able to fulfill His promise. This was a very special case, however, warranting special supernatural intervention by God in His natural processes. God normally reveals His will to those who desire to know and follow it through His word and by providential circumstances. Note the promise of guidance in such passages as Romans 12:1,2; I John 5:14,15; Proverbs 3:5,6.