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So then Jerubbaal (Gideon) and all the troops with him rose early, and they camped beside the spring of Harod. The camp of the Midianites was to their north, in the valley below the hill of Moreh.

Eternal One (to Gideon): You have too many warriors for Me to allow you to defeat the Midianites. As it is now, the people of Israel would just deny Me the credit and claim they had won the victory on their own. So go out and tell your army, “Any of you who are afraid and trembling are free to leave Mount Gilead.”

After this announcement, 22,000 left, so Gideon reduced his army to 10,000.

Eternal One: You still have too many warriors. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you. When I say, “This one will fight for you,” he will go with you; but when I say, “This one will not fight for you,” then he will not go.

So Gideon led his army down to the water.

Eternal One: All of those who lap water the way a dog drinks, put them to one side. All of those who go down on their knees to drink, put them on the other side.

Three hundred of the men lapped up water by raising a hand to their mouths, and all the rest went down on their knees to drink.

Eternal One: I will use these 300 who lapped from their hands to deliver Israel and to give the Midianites into your hand. Send all the rest home.

He kept jars and trumpets from the army and sent them back to their tents, but distributed the jars and trumpets to the 300 who stayed with him. The camp of Midian was in the valley below him.

That very night, the Eternal spoke to Gideon.

Eternal One: Get up and attack the camp of the Midianites because I have given you victory over them. 10 But if you should have any fear, take your servant Purah; scout out the camp, 11 and listen to what they are saying, and afterward you will find you are strong enough to attack.

So Gideon and his servant Purah approached the outposts of the army’s encampment. 12 The Midianites and the Amalekites and other people of the east were as thick as locusts in the valley, and their camels were as numberless as the sands of the seashore.

13 When Gideon arrived he overheard a man telling his neighbor about a dream he had.

Man: In my dream, a barley cake rolled into our camp. It came to the tent and hit it so hard the tent fell over. It turned over and collapsed.

Neighbor: 14 That must symbolize the sword of Gideon, son of Joash the Israelite. Their God has given him victory over Midian and all its camp!

15 When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship. He went back to the camp of Israel and roused them.

Gideon: Get up! The Eternal has given you victory over the army of Midian! We strike now.

16 He divided the 300 men into three companies, and he gave them all trumpets and empty jars with torches placed inside of them.

Gideon: 17 Watch me. Do what I do. When we come to the outskirts of their camp, do what you see me doing. 18 When I and my company blow the trumpet, I want all of you to blow the trumpets all around the camp and to shout: “For the Eternal and for Gideon!”

19 So Gideon and the 100 men who were with him came to the outskirts of the Midianite camp just after the middle watch had been posted. There they blew their trumpets and smashed the jars they had brought. 20 All three companies of men blew their horns and shattered the jars at about the same time. They held the torches in their left hands, held the trumpets in their right, and together they shouted.

Men: A sword for the Eternal and for Gideon!

21 They encircled the entire camp and woke the Midianite force abruptly, so that the Midianites cried out and fled. 22 When the 300 trumpets sounded, the Eternal set the Midianites fighting against each other with their swords. The Midianites ran away in panic toward Beth-shittah, toward Zererah, to the border of Abel-meholah near Tabbath. 23 The men of Israel were summoned out of Naphtali and Asher and from all Manasseh, and they joined in the chase after the Midianite army.

24 Gideon sent messengers throughout all the hill country of Ephraim.

Messengers: Come down now and fight against the Midianites, and seize the watering places from them as far as Beth-barah and to the Jordan River.

So the Ephraimites gathered, and they captured the watering places as far away as Beth-barah and the Jordan. 25 They also captured the two leaders of the Midianite army, Oreb and Zeeb; they executed Oreb at the place we know today as Oreb’s Rock, and they executed Zeeb at Zeeb’s Winepress as they chased after the army of Midian. They brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was now beyond the Jordan.

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