And when Gideon was come
With his servant, near and within hearing the talk and conversation of the outer guards or sentinels: there was
a man that told a dream unto his fellow;
his comrade that stood next him, and was upon guard with him; perhaps it was a dream he had dreamed the night before or this selfsame night, being just called up to take his turn in the watch, and so it was fresh upon his mind:
and said, behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo;
thus it was as I am going to relate; twice he uses the word "behold", or "lo", the dream having rely much struck and impressed his mind, and was what he thought worthy of the attention of his comrade:
a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian:
barley bread, Pliny F26 says, was the most ancient food; the word for "cake" F1 signifies a "shadow", and may design the appearance of a barley loaf; or something like one to him appeared in the dream: or a "noise"; the noise of it rolling and tumbling, so that it seemed to the soldier that he heard a noise, as well as saw something he took for a barley loaf. Jarchi observes, that it signifies a cake baked upon coals, and it seemed to this man as if it came smoking hot from the coals, tumbling down an hill, such an one where Gideon and his army were and rolling into the host of Midian, which lay in a valley:
and smote it that it fell;
which might justly seem strange, that a barley loaf should come with such a force against a tent, perhaps the largest and strongest in the whole camp, which was fastened with cords to stakes and nails driven into the ground, so as to cause it to fall: yea, it is added,
and overturned it, that the tent lay along:
turned it topsy-turvy, or turned it "upwards" F4, as the phrase in the Hebrew text is; it fell with the bottom upwards; it was entirely demolished, that there was no raising and setting of it up again.
F26 Nat. Hist. l. 18. c. 7.
F1 (lwlu) "umbra", vid. Gussetium, p. 715. "strepitus", Tigurine version; so Kimchi & Ben Gersom; "subcineritius", V. L. "tostus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F3 Antiqu. l. 5. c. 6. sect. 4.
F4 (hleml) "desuper", Pagninus, Montanus; "superne", Tigurine version.