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return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand : and there remained ten thousand. . And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many, bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there : and it shall be that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. . · So he brought down the people unto the water : and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself: likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.
And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men : but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. . And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hun. dred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand; and let all the other people go every man unto his place. . . . .
So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel, every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men. “And the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.
And it came to pass the same night that the Lord said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host ; for I have delivered it into thine hand.
But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurab thy servant down to the host : and thou shalt hear what they say; and afterwards shall thine hands be strength. ened to go down unto the host. Then went he down
. with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.
And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude'; and their camels were without . number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.....
And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and lo a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell and overturned it, that the tent lay along.
And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian · and all the host.
And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he wor. shipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise, for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.
And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.
. And he said unto them, Look on me and do likewise : and behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that as I do, so shall ye do.
When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all.. the camp, and say, The sword of the Lord and of Giodeon.
So Gideon and the hundred men that were with him came into the outside of the camp in the middle watch :. and they had but newly set the watch, and they blew L6
the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. .
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands, to blow withal : and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.
And they stood every man in his place round about the camp; and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.
And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host : and the host Aed to Bethshittah, in Zererah, and to the border of Abel-mcholah, unto Tabbath.
And the men of Israel gathered themselves together - out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.
And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together and took the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan.
And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew upon the wine press of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
It is here said that the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, from which we may understand, that when the
. LORD Lord required chosen persons to perform things above their natural abilities either of mind or body, he inspired them with supernatural powers.
As Gideon had collected together so numerous aß army, he was desirous that they should have as satisfactory a proof as he had himself received, that he was appointed of God to be the deliverer of Israel ; the sending dew on the fleece, snd then inverting the sign agreeably to his request, shewed, that the LORD was actually with him, which was a great means of strengthening his own faith, at the same time that it awakened 'that of others.
Why it pleased God to appoint such an extraordinary method of electing the men who were to attend Gideon in his great enterprise, it does not concern us to know, because we shall never be in such circumstances as they were. It plainly appears that God intended to effect the destruction of the Midianites in a wonderful manner, so as to leave no one room to suppose his own skill or valour had gained the victory; and whatever directions seemed good to God's infinite wisdom to give, the Israelites were bound to obey.
It must astonish Gideon to hear the Midianites foretelling the success of his arms ; he could impute the prediction he overheard to nothing but the inspiration of God for his encouragement.
It is very likely that, upon Gideon's great success, many of the soldiers whom he had lately dismissed were desirous to partake of the spoil, and for this purpose they willingly assembled together, and pursued after
some of the Midianites, by which means two of the · Generals fell into the hands of the Ephraimites, who guarded the river side in order to prevent their escape. What consternation" and amazement did this little troop of 300 men'occasion amongst the formidable army of the Midianites! The terror of the LORD seized on their spirits, so that in their confusion they slew each other. The manner in which Gideon and his army were furnished for the battle, was expressive of the insignificance of the Midianitish hosts when fighting against the sword (that is the power) of the Lord.'.
We have here a fresh instance that interpretations belong unto God, for none but He, whose miraculous power was to effect it, could have enabled the Mi. dianite to foretel such an improbable event as the overthrow of the Midianites by the sword of Gideon."
THE EPHRAIMITES MURMUR-ZEBAH AND ZAL
MUNNA DEFEATED. .
· And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? and they did chide with him sharply. . . * And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you ? is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you ? then their anger was abated towards him, when he said that.
And Gideon canie to Jordan, and passed over, he and the three hundred men that were with hini, faint, yet parsuing them. And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray