The Midianites give Israel trouble
1 The Israelites did things that the Lord saw were evil. So the Lord put them under the power of the Midianites for seven years. 2 They used their power to be cruel to the Israelites. The Israelites built huts in the hills to live in. They hid themselves in caves and other safe places. 3 When they planted seeds to grow food, their enemies would attack them. The Midianites, Amalekites and people from the east would come to rob them. 4 They made their camps on Israel's land. They took all their crops, as far south as Gaza. They left nothing for the Israelites to eat. They took away their sheep, cows and donkeys. 5 The groups of enemies came with their animals. They put up their tents all across the land. They came like a cloud of locusts. They were too many to count as they arrived on their camels. They took everything that grew on the land. 6 Because of the Midianites, the Israelites became poor and weak. So they called out to the Lord for help.
7 When the Israelites asked the Lord to rescue them from the Midianites, 8 he sent a prophet to them. The prophet said to them, ‘This is what the Lord, Israel's God, says: “I brought you out of Egypt, where you were slaves. 9 I saved you from the power of the Egyptians and all those who were cruel to you. I chased away your enemies and I gave their land to you. 10 I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God. You are now living in the land of the Amorites, but you must not worship their gods.’ But you have not obeyed me.” ’