7:2 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that [are] with thee [are] too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel a vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
(a) God will not that any creature deprive him of his glory. 7:4 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people [are] yet [too] many; bring them down unto the water, and I will b 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.
(b) I will give you a proof to know those who will go with you. 7:5 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; c likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.
(c) Let them depart as unfit for this enterprise. 7:7 And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the [other] d people go every man unto his place.
7:9 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, e get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.
(d) That is, the 31,000 and 700. See ( Judges 7:3 Judges 7:6 ).
(e) Thus the Lord by various means strengthens him, that he faint not in so great an enterprise. 7:13 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 f 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.
(f) Some read, a trembling noise of barley bread: meaning, that one of no reputation would make their great army tremble. 7:15 And it was [so], when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he g worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.
(g) Or, gave God thanks, as it is in the Chaldea text. 7:16 And he divided the three hundred men [into] three companies, and he put a trumpet in every mans hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps h within the pitchers.
(h) These weak means God used to signify that the whole victory came from him. 7:18 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, i [The sword] of the LORD, and of Gideon.
(i) That is, the victory shall be the Lords and Gideons his servant. 7:20 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 k sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
(k) Shall destroy the enemies. 7:22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every mans sword against his l fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, [and] to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.
(l) The Lord caused the Midianites to kill one another. 7:24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the m waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.
(m) Meaning, the passages or the fords so they could not escape. 7:25 And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at n the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.
(n) These places got their names from the acts that were done there.