Gideon’s Three Hundred Chosen Men
7 Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him got up early, and camped beside [a]the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was on the north side of [b]them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.
2 And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to hand Midian over to them, otherwise Israel would [c]become boastful, saying, ‘My own [d]power has saved me.’ 3 Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and worried, is to return and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand from the people returned, but ten thousand remained.
4 Then the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. So it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” 5 So he brought the people down to the water. Then the Lord said to Gideon, “You shall put everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps [e]in one group, and everyone who kneels down to drink in another.” 6 Now the number of those who lapped, [f]putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people kneeled down to drink water. 7 And the Lord said to Gideon, “I will save you with the three hundred men who lapped, and will hand the Midianites over to you; so have all the other people go, each man to his [g]home.” 8 So [h]the three hundred men took the people’s provisions and their trumpets in their hands. And [i]Gideon dismissed all the other men of Israel, each to his tent, but retained the three hundred men; and the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.
9 Now on the same night it came about that the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have handed it over to you. 10 But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp, 11 so that you will hear what they say; and afterward [j]you will have the courage to go down against the camp.” So he went down with Purah his servant to the [k]outposts of the army that was in the camp. 12 Now the Midianites, the Amalekites, and all the [l]people of the east were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. 13 When Gideon came, behold, a man was relating a dream to his friend. And he said, “Behold, I [m]had a dream; [n]a loaf of barley bread was tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it [o]upside down so that the tent collapsed.” 14 And his friend replied, “This is nothing other than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has handed over to him Midian and all the camp.”
15 When Gideon heard the account of the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship. Then he returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the Lord has handed over to you the camp of Midian!” 16 And he divided the three hundred men into three [p]units, and he put trumpets and empty pitchers into the hands of all of them, with torches inside the pitchers. 17 Then he said to them, “Look at me and do likewise. And behold, when I come to the outskirts of the camp, [q]do as I do. 18 When I and all who are with me blow the trumpet, then you also blow the trumpets around the entire camp and say, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’”
Confusion of the Enemy
19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle night watch, when they had just posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 When the three [r]units blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 And each stood in his place around the camp; and all the [s]army ran, crying out as they fled. 22 And when they blew the three hundred trumpets, the Lord set the sword of one against another even throughout the entire [t]army; and the [u]army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. 23 And the men of Israel were summoned from Naphtali, Asher, and all Manasseh, and they pursued Midian.
24 Then Gideon sent messengers throughout the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Come down [v]against Midian and take control of the waters ahead of them, as far as Beth-barah and the Jordan.” So all the men of Ephraim were summoned, and they took control of the waters as far as Beth-barah and the Jordan. 25 And they captured the two leaders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb, and they killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and they killed Zeeb at the wine press of Zeeb, while they pursued Midian; and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon from across the Jordan.
Zebah and Zalmunna Routed
8 Then the men of Ephraim said to [w]Gideon, “What is this thing that you have done to us, not calling upon us when you went to fight against Midian?” And they quarreled with him vehemently. 2 But he said to them, “What have I done now in comparison with you? Is the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim not better than the vintage of Abiezer? 3 God has handed over to you the leaders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and what was I able to do in comparison with you?” Then their [x]anger toward him subsided when he said [y]that.
4 Then Gideon and the three hundred men who were with him came to the Jordan and crossed over, exhausted yet still pursuing. 5 And he said to the men of Succoth, “Please give loaves of bread to the people who are [z]following me, for they are exhausted, and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.” 6 But the leaders of Succoth said, “[aa]Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your army?” 7 So Gideon said, “For this answer, when the Lord has handed over to me Zebah and Zalmunna, I will [ab]thrash your [ac]bodies with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.” 8 Then he went up from there to [ad]Penuel and spoke similarly to them; and the men of Penuel answered him just as the men of Succoth had answered. 9 So he said also to the men of [ae]Penuel, “When I return safely, I will tear down this tower.”
10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their [af]armies with them, about fifteen thousand men, all who were left of the entire [ag]army of the [ah]people of the east; for the fallen were 120,000 [ai]swordsmen. 11 Gideon went up by the way of those who lived in tents to the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and he [aj]attacked the camp when the camp was unsuspecting. 12 When Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued them and captured the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and routed the entire [ak]army.
13 Then Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle [al]by the ascent of Heres. 14 And he captured a youth from [am]Succoth and questioned him. Then the youth wrote down for him the leaders of Succoth and its elders, seventy-seven men. 15 And he came to the men of Succoth and said, “Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me, saying, ‘[an]Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are weary?’” 16 Then he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and he [ao]disciplined the men of Succoth with them. 17 And he tore down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city.
18 Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “Where were the men whom you killed at Tabor?” But they said, “You and they were alike, each one [ap]resembling the son of a king.” 19 And he said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As the Lord lives, if only you had let them live, I would not kill you.” 20 So he said to Jether his firstborn, “Rise, kill them.” But the youth did not draw his sword, for he was afraid, because he was still a youth. 21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Rise up yourself, and attack us; for as the man, so is his strength.” So Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescent amulets which were on their camels’ necks.
22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, both you and your son, your son’s son as well, for you have saved us from the hand of Midian!” 23 But Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you.” 24 Yet Gideon said to them, “I would [aq]request of you, that each of you give me [ar]an earring from his plunder.” (For they had gold earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) 25 And they said, “We will certainly give them to you.” So they spread out a garment, and every one of them tossed an earring there from his plunder. 26 The weight of the gold earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold, apart from the crescent amulets, the ear pendants, and the purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and apart from the neck chains that were on their camels’ necks. 27 Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah; but all Israel [as]committed infidelity with it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his household.
Forty Years of Peace
28 So Midian was subdued before the sons of Israel, and they did not lift up their heads anymore. And the land was undisturbed for forty years in the days of Gideon.
29 Then Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and lived in his own house. 30 Now Gideon had seventy sons who [at]were his direct descendants, for he had many wives. 31 And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he [au]named him Abimelech. 32 And Gideon the son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
33 Then it came about, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the sons of Israel again [av]committed infidelity with the Baals, and made Baal-berith their god. 34 So the sons of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had saved them from the hands of all their enemies on every side; 35 nor did they show kindness to the household of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) in accordance with all the good that he had done for Israel.