Study Guide

Book of Judges Chapter 7

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Chapter 7

Gideon's 300-Man Stealth Marching Band Takes Midian By Storm!

  • Gideon's huge army gathers for battle, but God tells him he's got too many people.
  • Wouldn't want it to be too easy, would we?
  • So Gideon tells everyone who's afraid that they can leave, and 22,000 take him up on the offer, leaving 10,000 soldiers still with Gideon.
  • But the Lord says it's still too many, so he tells Gideon to weed them out using a special test:
  • They army goes down to a river for a water break. The Lord tells Gideon to watch carefully how each man drinks.
  • 9,700 of them drink from it by getting down on their knees and slurping from the river. These guys get sent home. The other 300 drink by cupping their hands to their mouths, and these are the ones Gideon takes with him to deliver Israel. Oh, okay…
  • They take their victuals and their trumpets Gideon loves trumpets), and march off to battle against "the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east [who were] like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number as the sand by the sea side for multitude" (KJV 7:12). Good thing Gideon's army is officially not huge anymore.
  • But God is cool as a cucumber about the whole thing.
  • Gideon's not convinced, though, so God tells him to take a servant and go spy on the enemy camp to hear what they're saying.
  • He does, and overhears some soldiers talking about a dream one of them had about a piece of bread tumbling into their camp and knocking over a tent.
  • Another soldier says, "Well, I think that obviously means that Gideon's army is going to destroy us" (see KJV 7:13-14).
  • That's apparently good enough for Gideon, because he returns to his 300 men and says, "Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian" (KJV 7:16).
  • He hands everyone a trumpet and an empty water pitcher with a lamp inside it, and says, "Just do what I do. C'mon!" (see KJV 7:16-17).
  • He tells them to surround the enemy camp, wait for his signal, then blow their trumpets and shout, "The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon" (KJV 7:18).
  • Once in position, Gideon gives the signal and the men break their pitchers, revealing their lamps, and start shouting and tooting their own horns.
  • This startles the Midianites. Chaos ensues, with Midianites fleeing and killing each other.
  • Israel pursues Midian & Co., and captures two of their princes, chopping off their heads as gifts for Gideon. Gee thanks, guys!

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