The Meaning of Gideon’s Fleece


In the Bible, everything is confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (James Jordan notes that this is the basis for Hebrew parallelism and also verbal pleonasm. See Symbolism – A Manifesto.) An example of a “dual” witness from God would include the two dreams given to Joseph, and the two dreams given to Pharaoh. We see each Covenant confirmed by two witnesses as well. The Mosaic Covenant was a double witness at three levels: the two tablets of the Law, the second set of tablets, then a second giving of the Law in Deuteronomy.

A sign was given to Gideon to prove that God would save Israel by Gideon’s hand. He requested a second sign, and rather than chiding him, the Lord acquiesced. The Lord Himself asks us to prove all things. That explains the double sign, but not the ingredients of the signs, the fleece and the threshing floor. Fortunately, the consistency of biblical symbolism and structure not only gives us the answer, it reveals the events as a type of the events which followed, and, typologically, also shines light on the process of the first century apostolic witness.

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2 Responses to “The Meaning of Gideon’s Fleece”

  • Chris W Says:

    Something else I noticed here is that the tests for the Israelite men corresponds to the threefold priest-king-prophet sequence. Here’s how I see it:

    Test 1: “Proclaim in the EARS of the people, saying whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home…” – this is a test for the ears, to see if they will submit their ears to Yahweh as an obedient priest.

    Test 2: “And the number of those who lapped, putting their HANDS to their mouths, was 300 men” – this is a test for the hands, finding kings who will rule with judicial authority.

    If they pass both tests, they becomes “prophets” and are given trumpets and torches, a light to the nations, sounding forth the word of Yahweh.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Cool. Each soldier becomes a human Sinai!