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Judges - Chapter 7

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1 Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) got up very early, as did all the people who were with him; he pitched camp at En-Harod; the camp of Midian was north of his, under the Hill of Moreh in the valley.

2 Yahweh then said to Gideon, 'There are too many people with you for me to put Midian into their power; Israel might claim the credit for themselves at my expense: they might say, "My own hand has rescued me."

3 So now make this proclamation to the people, "Anyone trembling with fear is to go back and watch from Mount Gilboa." ' Twenty-two thousand of the people went back, and ten thousand remained.

4 Yahweh said to Gideon, 'There are still too many people. Take them down to the waterside and I shall sort them out for you there. If I say of someone, "He is to go with you," that man is to go with you. And if I say of anyone, "He is not to go with you,"

5 So Gideon took the people down to the waterside, and Yahweh said to him, 'All those who lap the water with their tongues, as a dog laps, put these on one side. And all those who kneel down to drink, put these on the other side.'

6 The number of those who lapped with their hands to their mouth was three hundred; all the rest of the people had knelt to drink.

7 Yahweh then said to Gideon, 'With the three hundred who lapped the water, I shall rescue you and put Midian into your power. Let the people as a whole disperse to their homes.'

8 So they took the people's provisions and their horns, and then Gideon sent all the Israelites back to their tents, keeping only the three hundred. The camp of Midian was below his in the valley.

9 Now it happened, that same night, that Yahweh said to him, 'Get up and go down to the camp. I am putting it into your power.

10 If, however, you are nervous about going down, go down to the camp with your servant Purah;

11 listen to what they are saying, and that will encourage you to go down to the camp.' So, with his servant Purah, he went down to the edge of the outposts of the camp.

12 Midian, Amalek and all the sons of the East were deployed in the valley as thick as locusts; their camels were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore.

13 Gideon got there just as a man was telling his comrade a dream; he was saying, 'This was the dream I had: a cake made of barley bread came rolling into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent, struck against it and turned it upside down.'

14 His comrade replied, 'This can only be the sword of Gideon son of Joash the Israelite. God has put Midian and the whole camp into his power.'

15 When Gideon heard the dream thus told and interpreted, he bowed in reverence; he then went back to the camp of Israel and said, 'On your feet, for Yahweh has put the camp of Midian into your power!'

16 Gideon then divided his three hundred men into three groups. To each he gave a horn and an empty pitcher, with a torch inside each pitcher.

17 He said to them, 'Watch me, and do as I do. When I reach the edge of the camp, whatever I do, you must do also.

18 I shall blow my horn, and so will all those who are with me; you too will then blow your horns all round the camp and shout, "For Yahweh and for Gideon!"

19 Gideon and his hundred companions reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when the new sentries had just been posted; they blew their horns and smashed the pitchers in their hands.

20 The three groups blew their horns and smashed their pitchers; with their left hands they grasped the torches, with their right hands the horns for blowing them; and they shouted, 'The sword for Yahweh and for Gideon!'

21 And they stood still, spaced out round the camp. The whole camp was thrown into confusion and the Midianites fled, shouting.

22 While the three hundred blew their horns, Yahweh made each man turn his sword against his comrade throughout the entire camp. They all fled as far as Beth-ha-Shittah in the direction of Zarethan, as far as the bank of Abel-Meholah opposite Tabbath.

23 The men of Israel mustered from Naphtali, Asher and all Manasseh, and pursued Midian.

24 Gideon sent messengers throughout the highlands of Ephraim to say, 'Come down to meet Midian, seize the water-points ahead of them as far as Beth-Barah and the Jordan.' All the men of Ephraim mustered and seized the water-points as far as Beth-Barah and the Jordan.

25 They captured the two Midianite chieftains, Oreb and Zeeb; they killed Oreb at Oreb's Rock and Zeeb at Zeeb's Winepress. They pursued Midian; and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side of the Jordan.

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