18 May. Judges 7:1-25

18 May. Gideon defeats the Midianites at Mount Gilboa

“Early in the morning Jerub-Baal (also called Gideon) and all his men set up their camp at the spring of Harod. The Midianites were camped north of them in the valley at the bottom of the hill called Moreh.”

“Then the LORD said to Gideon, ‘You have too many men to defeat the Midianites. I don’t want the Israelites to boast that they saved themselves. So now, announce to the people, “Anyone who is afraid may leave Mount Gilead [Mount Gilboa] and go back home.”’ So 22,000 men returned home, but 10,000 remained.”

“Then the LORD said to Gideon, ‘There are still too many men. Take the men down to the water, and I will test them for you there. If I say, “This man will go with you,” he will go. But if I say, “That one will not go with you,” he will not go.’”

“So Gideon led the men down to the water. There the LORD said to him, ‘Separate them into those who drink water by lapping it up like a dog and those who bend down to drink.’ There were 300 men who used their hands to bring water to their mouths, lapping it as a dog does. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.”

“Then the LORD said to Gideon, ‘Using the 300 men who lapped the water, I will save you and hand Midian over to you. Let all the others go home.’ So Gideon sent the rest of Israel to their homes. But he kept the 300 men and took the jars and the trumpets of those who left.”

“Now the camp of Midian was in the valley below Gideon. That night the LORD said to Gideon, ‘Get up. Go down and attack the camp of the Midianites, because I will give them to you. But if you are afraid to go down, take your servant Purah with you. When you come to the camp of Midian, you will hear what they are saying. Then you will not be afraid to attack the camp.’”

“So Gideon and his servant Purah went down to the edge of the enemy camp… When Gideon came to the enemy camp, he heard a man telling his friend about a dream. He was saying, ‘I dreamed that a loaf of barley bread rolled into the camp of Midian. It hit the tent so hard that the tent turned over and fell flat!’ The man’s friend said, ‘You dream is about the sword of Gideon son of Joash, a man of Israel. God will hand Midian and the whole army over to him!’”

“When Gideon heard about the dream and what it meant, he worshipped God. Then Gideon went back to the camp of Israel and called out to them, ‘Get up! The LORD has handed the army of Midian over to you!’ Gideon divided the 300 men into three groups. He gave each man a trumpet and an empty [pottery] jar with a burning torch inside [to conceal the bright flame].”

“Gideon told the men, ‘Watch me and do what I do. When I get to the edge of the camp, do what I do. Surround the enemy camp. When I and everyone with me blow our trumpets, you blow your trumpets too. Then shout, “For the LORD and for Gideon!”’”

“So Gideon and the 100 men with him came to the edge of the enemy camp just after they had changed guards. It was during the middle watch of the night. Then Gideon and his men blew their trumpets and smashed their jars [to reveal the flaming torches]. All three groups of Gideon’s men blew their trumpets and smashed their jars. They held their torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands. Then they shouted, ‘A sword for the LORD and for Gideon.’”

“Each of Gideon’s men stayed in his place around the camp, but the MIdianites began shouting and running to escape. When Gideon’s 300 men blew their trumpets, the LORD made all the Midianites fight each other with their swords! The enemy army ran away to the city of Beth Shittah towards Zererah. They ran as far as the border of Abel Meholah, near the city of Tabbath.”

“The men of Israel from Naphtali, Asher and all of Manasseh were called out to chase the Midianites. Gideon sent messengers through all the mountains of Ephraim saying, ‘Come down and attack the Midianites. Take control of the Jordan River as far as Bath Barah before the Midianites can get to it.”

“So they called out all the men of Ephraim, who took control of the Jordan River [crossings] as far as Beth Barah. The men of Ephraim captured two princes of Midian named Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb and Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb, and they continued chasing the Midianites. They brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was east of the Jordan River [in Midianite territory].”

          (Judges 7:1-25)



After Gideon had ‘put out a fleece’ to convince himself that God had really spoken to him (see Judges 6:33-40), he gathered together the men of Manasseh, Asher and Zebulun and marched out to meet the Midianites who had come to teach the Israelites a lesson.

Gideon's men camped by the Spring of Harod while the Midianites were camped in the valley to the north, by the ‘Hill of Moreh’ i.e. below Mount Gilboa (the 'bubbling fountain') (see 6 on the map on 10 May).

Gideon, following God’s instructions, reduced his troops from thousands of undisciplined soldiers to a crack force of three hundred men.

Gideon stole into the Midianite camp at night to spy on their defences, and overheard a soldier telling his friend about a dream in which the Midianites were defeated. Encouraged by the dream, Gideon then led a surprise attack on the Midianite camp during the night and routed the enemy – who fought each other in the confusion.

Convinced by the large number of war trumpets and flaming torches that they were being attacked by an Israelite force of thousands, the enemy ran away towards Zarethan as far as Beth Shittah (the 'house of the Acacia tree') and Abel Meholah (the 'meadow of Meholah') near Tabbath.

Meanwhile, Gideon alerted the soldiers he’d sent home and the other tribes of Israel to the rout of the Midianites, and the men of Ephraim took control of the fords across the River Jordan as far as Beth Barah to stop the enemy retreating back across the river to Midian.

During the pursuit of the retreating enemy, Oreb and Zeeb – two Midianite leaders – were killed, and their heads (as proof of their deaths) were brought to Gideon.

The photo (by Beivushtang) shows the lower slopes of Mount Giboa and the adjacent plain where the rout of the Midianites took place.

You can read more about the resounding victory that followed @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/gideon-defeats-the-midia…/

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