Gideon Defeats the Midianites
1#Ge 12:6; Jdg 6:32Then Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him got up early and set up camp at Harod Spring. There was a camp of Midianites to the north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. 2#Dt 8:17; Isa 10:13The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many people with you for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel glorify themselves over Me, saying, ‘Our own power saved us.’ 3#Dt 20:8So now, call out so the people can hear, ‘Whoever is afraid or anxious may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’ ” So twenty-two thousand from among the people turned back, and ten thousand were left.
4But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many people. Bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. When I say to you, ‘This one will go with you,’ he will go with you. Everyone about whom I will say, ‘This one will not go with you,’ will not go.”
5So he brought the people down to the water, and the Lord said to Gideon, “You shall set apart by himself everyone who laps the water with his tongue like dogs; likewise, everyone who kneels down to drink.” 6The number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was three hundred. The rest of the people had knelt to drink water.
7#1Sa 14:6The Lord said to Gideon, “With three hundred men who lapped to drink, I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. All the rest of the people should go home.” 8So the three hundred men took provisions and ram’s horn trumpets in their hands. Gideon sent all the other Israelite men to their tents, but he kept the three hundred men.
Now the Midianite camp was below him in the valley. 9#Ge 46:2–3; Jdg 3:28That night the Lord said to him, “Get up and go down into the camp, for I have given it into your hands. 10Yet if you are afraid to go down, then go down to the camp with Purah your servant. 11#Jdg 7:13–15Listen to what they say, and afterward you will be emboldened to go down to the camp.” So he and Purah his servant went down near the edge of the camp. 12#Jdg 6:5; 8:10Now the Midianites, Amalekites, and the Kedemites covered the valley like locusts; and their camels could not be counted, for they were as numerous as grains of sand on the seashore.
13Gideon came and overheard one man who was telling his dream to another. The man said, “Listen to a dream I had. I saw a dry cake of barley bread rolling into the Midianite camp. It rolled up to a tent and struck it. It fell, turned upside down, and collapsed.”
14#Jos 2:9The other man responded, “This is none other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash the Israelite. God has given Midian and the whole camp into his hands.”
15When Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshipped, returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Get up, for the Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands.” 16He divided the three hundred men into three combat units. He gave all of them ram’s horn trumpets, empty jars, and torches within the jars.
17He said to them, “Look at me and do likewise. Watch, and when I come to the perimeter of the camp, do as I do. 18When I and all who are with me blow the horn, then you will blow the horns all around the camp and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’ ”
19So Gideon and a hundred men with him went to the edge of the camp at the start of the middle night watch, just as they were setting the watch. Then they blew the horns and smashed the jars in their hands. 20The three combat units blew the horns and broke the jars. They held the torches in their left hands and the horns for blowing in their right hands. They called out, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21Every man stood in his place all around the camp, but the men in the camp ran, shouted, and fled.
22#1Ki 4:12; Jos 6:20; 1Ki 19:16When they blew the three hundred horns, the Lord turned every man’s sword against his fellow man throughout the camp. The Midianite camp fled to Beth Shittah in the direction of Zererah, up to the border of Abel Meholah, near Tabbath. 23#Jdg 6:35The men of Israel from Naphtali, Asher, and all of Manasseh were summoned, and they chased after the Midianites. 24Now Gideon sent messengers throughout the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Come down to engage Midian in battle. Take control of the water ways as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan.”
All the men of Ephraim were summoned, and they took control of the water ways as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan. 25#Isa 10:26; Jdg 8:3–4They captured Oreb and Zeeb, the two Midianite commanders. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb and killed Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb. They chased after the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side of the Jordan.