1Early in the morning Jerub-Baal and all his men set up their camp at the spring of Harod. (Jerub-Baal is also called Gideon.) The Midianites were camped north of them. The Midianites were camped in the valley at the bottom of the hill called Moreh. 2Then the Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men to defeat the Midianites. I don’t want the Israelites to brag that they saved themselves. 3So now, announce to the people, ‘Anyone who is afraid may leave Mount Gilead. He may go back home.’” And 22,000 men went back home. But 10,000 remained.
4Then the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take the men down to the water, and I will test them for you there. If I say, ‘This man will go with you,’ he will go. But if I say, ‘That one will not go with you,’ he will not go.”
5So Gideon led the men down to the water. There the Lord said to him, “Separate them. Those who drink water by lapping it up like a dog will be in one group. Those who bend down to drink will be in the other group.” 6There were 300 men who used their hands to bring water to their mouths. They lapped it as a dog does. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.
7Then the Lord said to Gideon, “I will save you, using the 300 men who lapped the water. And I will allow you to defeat Midian. Let all the other men go to their homes.” 8So Gideon sent the rest of Israel to their homes. But he kept 300 men. He took the jars and the trumpets of those who went home.
Now the camp of Midian was in the valley below Gideon. 9That night the Lord spoke to Gideon. He said, “Get up. Go down and attack the camp of the Midianites. I will allow you to defeat them. 10But if you are afraid to go down, take your servant Purah with you. 11When you come to the camp of Midian, you will hear what they are saying. Then you will not be afraid to attack the camp.”
Gideon Is Encouraged
So Gideon and his servant Purah went down to the edge of the enemy camp. 12The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the peoples from the east were camped in that valley. There were so many of them they seemed like locusts. They had so many camels no one could count them. There were as many as there are grains of sand on the seashore!
13When Gideon came to the enemy camp, he heard a man talking. That man was telling his friend about a dream. He was saying, “Listen, I dreamed that a loaf of barley bread rolled into the camp of Midian. It hit the tent so hard that the tent turned over and fell flat!”
14The man’s friend said, “Your dream is about the sword of Gideon son of Joash, a man of Israel. God will let Gideon defeat Midian and the whole army!”
15When Gideon heard about the dream and what it meant, he worshiped God. Then Gideon went back to the camp of Israel. He called out to them, “Get up! The Lord has defeated the army of Midian for you!” 16Then Gideon divided the 300 men into three groups. He gave each man a trumpet and an empty jar. A burning torch was inside each jar.
17Gideon told the men, “Watch me and do what I do. When I get to the edge of the camp, do what I do. 18Surround the enemy camp. I and everyone with me will blow our trumpets. When we blow our trumpets, you blow your trumpets, too. Then shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’”
Midian Is Defeated
19So Gideon and the 100 men with him came to the edge of the enemy camp. They came just after the enemy had changed guards. It was during the middle watch of the night. Then Gideon and his men blew their trumpets and smashed their jars. 20All three groups of Gideon’s men blew their trumpets and smashed their jars. They held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands. Then they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21Each of Gideon’s men stayed in his place around the camp. But inside the camp, the men of Midian began shouting and running away.
22When Gideon’s 300 men blew their trumpets, the Lord caused all the men of Midian to fight each other with their swords! The enemy army ran away to the city of Beth Shittah. It is toward Zererah. They ran as far as the border of the city of Abel Meholah. It is near the city of Tabbath. 23Then men of Israel from Naphtali, Asher and all of Manasseh were called out to chase the Midianites. 24Gideon sent messengers through all the mountains of Ephraim. They said, “Come down and attack the Midianites. Take control of the Jordan River as far as Beth Barah. Do this before the Midianites can get to the river and cross it.”
So they called out all the men of Ephraim. They took control of the Jordan River as far as Beth Barah. 25The men of Ephraim captured two princes of Midian named Oreb and Zeeb. The men of Ephraim killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb. They killed Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb. And they continued chasing the Midianites. They cut off the heads of Oreb and Zeeb and took them to Gideon. He was now east of the Jordan River.