Gideon Reduces the Ranks
7:1 Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and his men1 got up the next morning and camped near the spring of Harod.2 The Midianites3 were camped north of them near the hill of Moreh in the valley.
7:2 The Lord> said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to hand Midian over to you.4 Israel might brag,5 ‘Our own strength has delivered us.’6
7:3 Now, announce to the men,7 ‘Whoever is shaking with fear8 may turn around and leave Mount Gilead.’”9 Twenty-two thousand men10 went home;11 ten thousand remained.
7:4 The Lord> spoke to Gideon again, “There are still too many men.12 Bring them down to the water and I will thin the ranks some more.13 When I say, ‘This one should go with you,’ pick him to go;14 when I say,15 ‘This one should not go with you,’ do not take him.”16
7:5 So he brought the men17 down to the water. Then the Lord> said to Gideon, “Separate those who lap the water as a dog laps from those who kneel to drink.”18
7:6 Three hundred men lapped;19 the rest of the men20 kneeled to drink water.
7:7 The Lord> said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men who lapped I will deliver the whole army21 and I will hand Midian over to you.22 The rest of the men should go home.”23
7:8 The men24 who were chosen25 took supplies26 and their trumpets. Gideon27 sent all the men of Israel back to their homes;28 he kept only three hundred men. Now the Midianites29 were camped down below30 in the valley.
Gideon Reassured of Victory
7:9 That night the Lord> said to Gideon,31 “Get up! Attack32 the camp, for I am handing it over to you.33
7:10 But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with Purah your servant
7:11 and listen to what they are saying. Then you will be brave34 and attack the camp.” So he went down with Purah his servant to where the sentries were guarding the camp.35
7:12 Now the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people from the east covered the valley like a swarm of locusts.36 Their camels could not be counted; they were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore.
7:13 When Gideon arrived, he heard a man telling another man about a dream he had.37 The man38 said, “Look! I had a dream. I saw39 a stale cake of barley bread rolling into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent so hard it knocked it over and turned it upside down. The tent just collapsed.”40
7:14 The other man said,41 “Without a doubt this symbolizes42 the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God is handing Midian and all the army over to him.”
Gideon Routs the Enemy
7:15 When Gideon heard the report of the dream and its interpretation, he praised God.43 Then he went back to the Israelite camp and said, “Get up, for the Lord> is handing the Midianite army over to you!”
7:16 He divided the three hundred men into three units.44 He gave them all trumpets and empty jars with torches inside them.45
7:17 He said to them, “Watch me and do as I do. Watch closely!46 I am going to the edge of the camp. Do as I do!
7:18 When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, you also blow your trumpets all around the camp. Then say, ‘For the Lord> and for Gideon!’”
7:19 Gideon took a hundred men to the edge of the camp47 at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guards. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars they were carrying.48
7:20 All three units blew their trumpets and broke their jars. They held the torches in their left hand and the trumpets in their right.49 Then they yelled, “A sword for the Lord> and for Gideon!”
7:21 They stood in order50 all around the camp. The whole army ran away; they shouted as they scrambled away.51
7:22 When the three hundred men blew their trumpets, the Lord> caused the Midianites to attack one another with their swords52 throughout53 the camp. The army fled to Beth Shittah on the way to Zererah. They went54 to the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.
7:23 Israelites from Naphtali, Asher, and Manasseh answered the call and chased the Midianites.55
Gideon Appeases the Ephraimites
7:24 Now Gideon sent messengers throughout the Ephraimite hill country who announced, “Go down and head off the Midianites.56 Take control of the fords of the streams57 all the way to Beth Barah and the Jordan River.”58 When all the Ephraimites had assembled,59 they took control of the fords60 all the way to Beth Barah and the Jordan River.
7:25 They captured the two Midianite generals, Oreb and Zeeb.61 They executed Oreb on the rock of Oreb and Zeeb62 in the winepress of Zeeb. They chased the Midianites63 and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was now on the other side of the Jordan River.64