Judges 7:1-8:17 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
God Selects Gideon’s Army
7 Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and everyone who was with him, got up early and camped beside the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them, below the hill of Moreh, in the valley. 2 The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many people for Me to hand the Midianites over to you,[a] or else Israel might brag:[b] ‘I did it myself.’ 3 Now announce in the presence of the people: ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So 22,000 of the people turned back, but 10,000 remained.
4 Then the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many people. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. If I say to you, ‘This one can go with you,’ he can go. But if I say about anyone, ‘This one cannot go with you,’ he cannot go.” 5 So he brought the people down to the water, and the Lord said to Gideon, “Separate everyone who laps water with his tongue like a dog. Do the same with everyone who kneels to drink.” 6 The number of those who lapped with their hands to their mouths was 300 men, and all the rest of the people knelt to drink water. 7 The Lord said to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and hand the Midianites over to you. But everyone else is to go home.” 8 So Gideon sent all the Israelites to their tents but kept the 300, who took[c] the people’s provisions and their trumpets. The camp of Midian was below him in the valley.
Gideon Spies on the Midianite Camp
9 That night the Lord said to him, “Get up and go into the camp, for I have given it into your hand. 10 But if you are afraid to go to the camp, go with Purah your servant. 11 Listen to what they say, and then you will be strengthened to go to the camp.” So he went with Purah his servant to the outpost of the troops[d] who were in the camp.
12 Now the Midianites, Amalekites, and all the Qedemites had settled down in the valley like a swarm of locusts, and their camels were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore. 13 When Gideon arrived, there was a man telling his friend about a dream. He said, “Listen, I had a dream: a loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp, struck a tent, and it fell. The loaf turned the tent upside down so that it collapsed.”
14 His friend answered: “This is nothing less than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has handed the entire Midianite camp over to him.”
Gideon Attacks the Midianites
15 When Gideon heard the account of the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship. He returned to Israel’s camp and said, “Get up, for the Lord has handed the Midianite camp over to you.” 16 Then he divided the 300 men into three companies and gave each of the men a trumpet in one hand and an empty pitcher with a torch inside it in the other.
17 “Watch me,” he said,[e] “and do the same. When I come to the outpost of the camp, do as I do. 18 When I and everyone with me blow our trumpets, you are also to blow your trumpets all around the camp. Then you will say, ‘For Yahweh and for Gideon!’”
19 Gideon and the 100 men who were with him went to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch after the sentries had been stationed. They blew their trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 The three companies blew their trumpets and shattered their pitchers. They held their torches in their left hands, their trumpets[f] in their right hands, and shouted, “A sword for Yahweh and for Gideon!” 21 Each Israelite took his position around the camp, and the entire Midianite army fled, and cried out as they ran. 22 When Gideon’s men blew their 300 trumpets, the Lord set the swords of each man in the army against each other. They fled to Beth-shittah in the direction of Zererah as far as the border of Abel-meholah near Tabbath. 23 Then the men of Israel were called from Naphtali, Asher, and Manasseh, and they pursued the Midianites.
The Men of Ephraim Join the Battle
24 Gideon sent messengers throughout the hill country of Ephraim with this message: “Come down to intercept the Midianites and take control of the watercourses ahead of them as far as Beth-barah and the Jordan.” So all the men of Ephraim were called out, and they took control of the watercourses as far as Beth-barah and the Jordan. 25 They captured Oreb and Zeeb, the two princes of Midian; they killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb and Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb, while they were pursuing the Midianites. They brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon across the Jordan.
8 The men of Ephraim said to him, “Why have you done this to us, not calling us when you went to fight against the Midianites?” And they argued with him violently.
2 So he said to them, “What have I done now compared to you? Is not the gleaning of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? 3 God handed over to you Oreb and Zeeb, the two princes of Midian. What was I able to do compared to you?” When he said this, their anger against him subsided.
Gideon Pursues the Kings of Midian
4 Gideon and the 300 men came to the Jordan and crossed it. They were exhausted but still in pursuit. 5 He said to the men of Succoth, “Please give some loaves of bread to the people who are following me,[g] because they are exhausted, for I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”
6 But the princes of Succoth asked, “Are[h] Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hands that we should give bread to your army?”
7 Gideon replied, “Very well, when the Lord has handed Zebah and Zalmunna over to me, I will trample[i] your flesh on thorns and briers from the wilderness!” 8 He went from there to Penuel and asked the same thing from them. The men of Penuel answered just as the men of Succoth had answered. 9 He also told the men of Penuel, “When I return in peace, I will tear down this tower!”
10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and with them was their army of about 15,000 men, who were all those left of the entire army of the Qedemites. Those who had been killed were 120,000 warriors.[j] 11 Gideon traveled on the caravan route[k] east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked their army while the army was unsuspecting. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna fled, and he pursued them. He captured these two kings of Midian and routed the entire army.
13 Gideon son of Joash returned from the battle by the Ascent of Heres. 14 He captured a youth from the men of Succoth and interrogated him. The youth wrote down for him the names of the 77 princes and elders of Succoth. 15 Then he went to the men of Succoth and said, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna. You taunted me about them, saying, ‘Are[l] Zebah and Zalmunna now in your power that we should give bread to your exhausted men?’” 16 So he took the elders of the city, and he took some thorns and briers from the wilderness, and he disciplined the men of Succoth with them. 17 He also tore down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city.
Luke 23:13-43 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Jesus or Barabbas
13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, 14 and said to them, “You have brought me this man as one who subverts the people. But in fact, after examining Him in your presence, I have found no grounds to charge this man with those things you accuse Him of. 15 Neither has Herod, because he sent Him back to us. Clearly, He has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will have Him whipped[a] and then release Him.” [17 For according to the festival he had to release someone to them.][b]
18 Then they all cried out together, “Take this man away! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (He had been thrown into prison for a rebellion that had taken place in the city, and for murder.)
20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify! Crucify Him!”
22 A third time he said to them, “Why? What has this man done wrong? I have found in Him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore, I will have Him whipped and then release Him.”
23 But they kept up the pressure, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And their voices[c] won out. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand 25 and released the one they were asking for, who had been thrown into prison for rebellion and murder. But he handed Jesus over to their will.
The Way to the Cross
26 As they led Him away, they seized Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, and laid the cross on him to carry behind Jesus. 27 A large crowd of people followed Him, including women who were mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But turning to them, Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and your children. 29 Look, the days are coming when they will say, ‘The women without children, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed, are fortunate!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’[d] 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Crucified between Two Criminals
32 Two others—criminals—were also led away to be executed with Him. 33 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. [34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.”][e] And they divided His clothes and cast lots.
35 The people stood watching, and even the leaders kept scoffing: “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him. They came offering Him sour wine 37 and said, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”
38 An inscription was above Him:[f]
THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at[g] Him: “Aren’t You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!”
40 But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment? 41 We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me[h] when You come into Your kingdom!”
43 And He said to him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.”
Psalm 97-98 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
The Majestic King
1 The Lord reigns! Let the earth rejoice;
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround Him;
6 The heavens proclaim His righteousness;
7 All who serve carved images,
8 Zion hears and is glad,
10 You who love the Lord, hate evil!
Praise the King
1 Sing a new song to the Lord,
4 Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
7 Let the sea and all that fills it,
Proverbs 14:7-8 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
7 Stay away from a foolish man;
8 The sensible man’s wisdom is to consider his way,