l u 1. Gideon. Obedience. v w¹ 2,3-. Yahaveh's objection. x¹ -3. Result. w² 4. Yahaveh's objection. x² 5,6. Result. w³ 7. Yahaveh's selection x³ 8. Result. u 9-11. Gideon. Command.
1: Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the People that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the camp of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
2: And the Lord said to Gideon, “The People that are with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against Me (this is the real reason for this direction), saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’
3: Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the People, saying, ‘Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead.’ ” (What was more natural than the half tribe of Manasseh on the west side of Jordan should name a mount in their tribe in compliment to the famous mount on the east side? [Gen. 31:21-25; 37:25. Num. 32:1,40. Deut. 3:15. Josh. 17:1]. Gideon was of that tribe. Probably "the wood of Ephraim", on east side; so named here out of the compliment to the half tribe on west side [2 Sam.18:6])
And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand (probably 20 + 2,000. Cp. 12:6. 1 Sam. 6:19. If there remained 10,000, there must have been 10,000 + 2,020 = 12,020;, and, as only 300 remained, 9,700 must have gone away at the second testing. Only 1,000 of each tribe = 12,000, sent out to fight in Num. 31:4,5); and there remained ten thousand.
4: And the Lord said to Gideon, “The People are yet too many; bring them down to the water, and I will try them for you there: and it shall be, that of whom I say to you, ‘This shall go with you,’ the same shall go with you; and of whomsoever I say to you, ‘This shall not go with you,’ the same shall not go.”
5: So he brought down the People to the water: and the Lord said to Gideon, “Every one that laps of the water with his tongue (i.e. without kneeling down as idolaters were accustomed to do [Kings 19:18. 2 Chron. 29:9. See note on Est. 3:2), according as a dog laps, him shall you set by himself; likewise every one that bows down upon his knees to drink.”
6: And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the People bowed down upon their knees to drink water.
7: And the Lord said to Gideon, “By the three hundred (#300 = 3 [= Divine perfection] X 100 [= God's election of grace, children of promise) men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand: and let all the other People go every man to his place.”
8: So the People (so the 300 are called) took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.
9: And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said to him, “Arise, get you down to the camp; for I have delivered it into your hand.
10: But if you fear to go down, go you with Phurah (= bough) your servant down to the camp:
11: And you shall hear what they say; and afterward shall your hands be strengthened to go down unto the host.” Then went he down with Phurah his servant to the outside of the armed men that were in the camp.
12: And the Midianites and the Amalekites (see Ex.17:16) and all the sons of the east lay along in the valley like locust for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.
13: And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream to his fellow (see Gen. 20:3), and said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian, and came to a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along.”
14: And his fellow answered and said, “This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand has God (because in connection with Midianites, His creatures. Not Yehovah) delivered Midian, and all the camp.”
15: And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshiped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, “Arise; for the Lord has delivered into your hand the host of Midian.”
16: And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and torches within the pitchers (which smolder till waved in the air).
17: And he said to them, “Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall you all do.
18: When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow you all the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, ‘The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.’ ” (These words are supplied by the Fig. Ellipsis from v.20. But some codices with Aram. and Syr., read these words in the text. Lit. "For Yehovah and for Gideon".)
T¹ y 7:19,20. The assault. z a 7:21,22. Midianite host. Flight. b 7:23. Pursuit by Naphtali. y 7:24,25. The victory. z b 8:1-12. Pursuit by Gidon. a 8:13-23. Midianite kings. Capture.
19: So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came to the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and broke the pitchers that were in their hands.
20: And the three companies blew the trumpets, and broke the pitchers, and held the torches in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.” (Lit. "A sword for Yehovah and Gideon)
21: And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the camp ran, and cried, and fled.
22: And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the Lord set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the camp: and the camp fled to Beth-shittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abel-meholah, to Tabbath.
23: And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.
24: And Gideon sent messengers throughout all hill country Ephraim, saying, “Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters to Beth-barah and Jordan.” Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters to Beth-barah and Jordan.
25: And they took two princes of the Midianites (cp. Ps. 83:11. Isa. 10:26), Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.