/gid"ee euhn/, n.1. Also called Jerubbaal. a judge of Israel and conqueror of the Midianites. Judges 6-8.2. a member of the Gideons International.3. a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning "great destroyer."
* * *Judge and hero of ancient Israel, whose deeds are described in the Old Testament Book of Judges.The book contains two versions of Gideon's story. In one account, he led his tribe of Manasseh in a victorious campaign against the Midianites, then fashioned an idolatrous image from the booty and led Israel into immorality. In another version, he replaced worship of the local deity, Baal, with that of Yahweh (the God of Israel), and the power of Yahweh enabled his tribe to destroy the Midianites.
* * *▪ biblical figurealso spelled Gedeon, also called Jerubbaal, or Jerobaal,a judge and hero-liberator of Israel whose deeds are described in the Book of Judges. The author apparently juxtaposed two traditional accounts from his sources in order to emphasize Israel's monotheism and its duty to destroy idolatry. Accordingly, in one account Gideon led his clansmen of the tribe of Manasseh in slaying the Midianites, a horde of desert raiders; but, influenced by the cult of his adversaries, he fashioned an idolatrous image from the booty and induced Israel into immorality. In the parallel version he replaced the idol and altar of the local deity Baal with the worship of Yahweh, the God of Israel, who consequently inspired Gideon and his clan to destroy the Midianites and their chiefs as a sign of Yahweh's supremacy over Baal. The story is also important for showing the development of a monarchy in Israel under Gideon's son Abimelech.
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