Judges 7-8 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Defeat of Midian. 1 Early the next morning Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) encamped by the spring of Harod with all his soldiers. The camp of Midian was north of him, beside the hill of Moreh in the valley. 2 The Lord said to Gideon: You have too many soldiers with you for me to deliver Midian into their power, lest Israel vaunt itself against me and say, “My own power saved me.”[a] 3 So announce in the hearing of the soldiers, “If anyone is afraid or fearful, let him leave! Let him depart from Mount Gilead!”[b] Twenty-two thousand of the soldiers left, but ten thousand remained. 4 The Lord said to Gideon: There are still too many soldiers. Lead them down to the water and I will test them for you there. If I tell you that a certain man is to go with you, he must go with you. But no one is to go if I tell you he must not. 5 [c]When Gideon led the soldiers down to the water, the Lord said to him: Everyone who laps up the water as a dog does with its tongue you shall set aside by himself; and everyone who kneels down to drink raising his hand to his mouth you shall set aside by himself. 6 Those who lapped up the water with their tongues numbered three hundred, but all the rest of the soldiers knelt down to drink the water. 7 The Lord said to Gideon: By means of the three hundred who lapped up the water I will save you and deliver Midian into your power. So let all the other soldiers go home. 8 They took up such supplies as the soldiers had with them, as well as their horns, and Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites to their tents, but kept the three hundred men. Now the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.
9 That night the Lord said to Gideon: Go, descend on the camp, for I have delivered it into your power. 10 If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your aide Purah 11 and listen to what they are saying. After that you will have the courage to descend on the camp. So he went down with his aide Purah to the outposts of the armed men in the camp. 12 The Midianites, Amalekites, and all the Kedemites were lying in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could not be counted, for they were as many as the sands on the seashore. 13 [d]When Gideon arrived, one man was telling another about a dream. “I had a dream,” he said, “that a round loaf of barley bread was rolling into the camp of Midian. It came to a certain tent and struck it and turned it upside down, and the tent collapsed.” 14 “This can only be the sword of the Israelite Gideon, son of Joash,” the other replied. “God has delivered Midian and all the camp into his power.” 15 When Gideon heard the account of the dream and its explanation, he bowed down. Then returning to the camp of Israel, he said, “Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your power.”
16 He divided the three hundred men into three companies, and provided them all with horns and with empty jars and torches inside the jars. 17 “Watch me and follow my lead,” he told them. “I shall go to the edge of the camp, and as I do, you must do also. 18 When I and those with me blow horns, you too must blow horns all around the camp and cry out, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’” 19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch,[e] just after the posting of the guards. They blew the horns and broke the jars they were holding. 20 When the three companies had blown their horns and broken their jars, they took the torches in their left hands, and in their right the horns they had been blowing, and cried out, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 They all remained standing in place around the camp, while the whole camp began to run and shout and flee. 22 When they blew the three hundred horns, the Lord set the sword of one against another throughout the camp, and they fled as far as Beth-shittah in the direction of Zeredah, near the border of Abel-meholah at Tabbath.
23 The Israelites were called to arms from Naphtali, from Asher, and from all Manasseh, and they pursued Midian. 24 Gideon also sent messengers throughout the mountain region of Ephraim to say, “Go down to intercept Midian, and seize the water courses against them as far as Beth-barah, as well as the Jordan.” So all the Ephraimites were called to arms, and they seized the water courses as far as Beth-barah, and the Jordan as well. 25 They captured the two princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb, killing Oreb at the rock of Oreb and Zeeb at the wine press of Zeeb. Then they pursued Midian, but they had the heads of Oreb and Zeeb brought to Gideon beyond the Jordan.
1 But the Ephraimites said to him, “What have you done to us, not summoning us when you went to fight against Midian?” And they quarreled bitterly with him. 2 But he answered them, “What have I done in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? 3 It was into your power God delivered the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. What have I been able to do in comparison with you?” When he said this, their anger against him subsided.
4 When Gideon reached the Jordan and crossed it, he and his three hundred men were exhausted and famished. 5 So he said to the people of Succoth, “Will you give my followers some loaves of bread? They are exhausted, and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.” 6 But the princes of Succoth replied, “Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your possession, that we should give food to your army?”[f] 7 Gideon said, “Very well; when the Lord has delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into my power, I will thrash your bodies with desert thorns and briers.” 8 He went up from there to Penuel and made the same request of them, but the people of Penuel answered him as had the people of Succoth. 9 So to the people of Penuel, too, he said, “When I return in peace, I will demolish this tower.”
10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their force of about fifteen thousand men; these were all who were left of the whole Kedemite army, a hundred and twenty thousand swordsmen having fallen. 11 Gideon went up by the route of the tent-dwellers east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and attacked the force when it felt secure. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna fled and Gideon pursued them. He captured the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, terrifying the entire force.
13 Then Gideon, son of Joash, returned from battle by the pass of Heres. 14 He captured a young man of Succoth and questioned him, and he wrote down for him the seventy-seven princes and elders of Succoth. 15 So he went to the princes of Succoth and said, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom you taunted me, ‘Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your possession, that we should give food to your weary men?’” 16 He seized the elders of the city, and with desert thorns and briers he thrashed the people of Succoth. 17 He also demolished the tower of Penuel and killed the people of the city.
18 Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “What about the men you killed at Tabor?” “They were all like you,” they replied. “They appeared to be princes.” 19 “They were my brothers, my mother’s sons,” he said. “As the Lord lives, if you had spared their lives, I would not kill you.” 20 Then he said to his firstborn, Jether, “Go, kill them.” But the boy did not draw his sword, for he was afraid, for he was still a boy. 21 Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Come, kill us yourself, for as a man is, so is his strength.” So Gideon stepped forward and killed Zebah and Zalmunna. He also took the crescents that were on the necks of their camels.
22 The Israelites then said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son, and your son’s son—for you saved us from the power of Midian.” 23 But Gideon answered them, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you. The Lord must rule over you.”
24 Gideon went on to say, “Let me make a request of you. Give me, each of you, a ring from his spoils.” (Since they were Ishmaelites,[g] the enemy had gold rings.) 25 “We will certainly give them,” they replied, and they spread out a cloak into which everyone threw a ring from his spoils. 26 The gold rings he had requested weighed seventeen hundred gold shekels, apart from the crescents and pendants, the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian, and apart from the trappings that were on the necks of their camels. 27 Gideon made an ephod out of the gold and placed it in his city, Ophrah. All Israel prostituted themselves there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his household.
28 Midian was brought into subjection by the Israelites; they no longer held their heads high, and the land had rest for forty years, during the lifetime of Gideon.
Gideon’s Son Abimelech. 29 Then Jerubbaal, son of Joash, went to live in his house. 30 Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives. 31 His concubine[h] who lived in Shechem also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelech. 32 At a good old age Gideon, son of Joash, died and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 33 But after Gideon was dead, the Israelites again prostituted themselves by following the Baals, making Baal-berith[i] their god. 34 The Israelites did not remember the Lord, their God, who had delivered them from the power of their enemies all around them. 35 Nor were they loyal to the house of Jerubbaal (Gideon) for all the good he had done for Israel.
Psalm 118 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Hymn of Thanksgiving
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
5 In danger I called on the Lord;
10 All the nations surrounded me;
15 The joyful shout of deliverance
19 Open the gates of righteousness;
26 Blessed is he
28 You are my God, I give you thanks;
James 3 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Power of the Tongue.[a] 1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you realize that we will be judged more strictly, 2 for we all fall short in many respects. If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide their whole bodies. 4 It is the same with ships: even though they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination wishes. 5 In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions.
Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. 6 The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers. 11 Does a spring gush forth from the same opening both pure and brackish water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, produce olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither can salt water yield fresh.
True Wisdom.[b] 13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.