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Judges 7; Judges 8; Luke 5:1-16

1 Then Jerubbaal, that is, Gideon, and all of the people with him rose early and set up camp beside the Harod spring; Midian's camp was north of theirs, in the valley by the Moreh hill. 2 The LORD said to Gideon: "You have too many people on your side. If I were to hand Midian over to them, the Israelites might claim credit for themselves rather than for me, thinking, We saved ourselves. 3 So now, announce in the people's hearing, ‘Anyone who is afraid or unsteady may return home from Gideon's mountain.'" At this, twenty-two thousand people went home, and ten thousand were left. 4 The LORD said to Gideon, "There are still too many people. Take them down to the water, and I will weed them out for you there. Whenever I tell you, ‘This one will go with you,' he should go with you; but whenever I tell you, ‘This one won't go with you,' he should not go." 5 So he took the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, "Set aside those who lap the water with their tongues, as a dog laps, from those who bend down on their knees to drink." 6 The number of men who lapped was three hundred, and all the rest of the people bent down on their knees to drink water, with their hands to their mouths. 7 Then the LORD said to Gideon, "With the three hundred men who lapped I will rescue you and hand over the Midianites to you. Let everyone else go home." 8 So the people gathered their supplies and trumpets, and Gideon sent all the Israelites home, but kept the three hundred. Now Midian's camp was below Gideon in the valley. 9 That night the LORD said to him, "Get up and attack the camp, because I've handed it over to you. 10 But if you're afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah, 11 and you'll hear what they are saying. May you then get the courage to attack the camp." So he went down with his servant Purah to the outpost of the armies that were in the camp. 12 The Midianites, Amalekites, and other easterners were spread across the valley like a swarm of locusts; their camels were too many to count, like the grains of sand on the seashore. 13 Just when Gideon arrived, there was a man telling his friend about a dream. He said, "Get this! I had a dream that a loaf of barley bread was rolling into the Midianite camp. It came to a tent and hit it, and the tent collapsed. In fact, it rolled the tent over upside down, so it fell flat." 14 His friend replied, "Can this be anything other than the sword of the Israelite Gideon, Joash's son? God has handed over Midian and its entire camp to him!" 15 When Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its meaning, he worshipped. Then he returned to the Israelite camp and said, "Get up! The LORD has handed over the Midianite camp to you." 16 He divided the three hundred men into three units and equipped every man with a trumpet and an empty jar, with a torch inside each jar. 17 "Now watch me," he ordered them, "and do what I do. When I get to the outpost of the camp, do just what I do. 18 When I blow the trumpet, along with all who are with me, then you blow the trumpets, all of you surrounding the whole camp. And then shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon!'" 19 Gideon and one hundred of his men moved to the outpost of the camp at the middle watch of the night, when they had just changed the guards. Then they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands. 20 So the three units blew their trumpets and broke their jars, holding the torches with their left hands and blowing the trumpets in their right hands. And they called out, "A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!" 21 Each man stood fast in his position around the camp, and the entire camp took off running, shouting, and fleeing. 22 When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD turned the swords of fellow soldiers against each other throughout the whole camp. The camp fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, to the border of Abel-meholah, beside Tabbath. 23 The Israelites from Naphtali, Asher, and all of Manasseh were called out, and they chased after the Midianites. 24 Then Gideon sent messengers into all of the Ephraim highlands, saying, "Go down to meet the Midianites and take control of the Jordan's waters as far as Beth-barah." So all the Ephraimite men were called out, and they took control of the Jordan's waters as far as Beth-barah. 25 They also captured two Midianite officers, Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at Oreb's Rock, and killed Zeeb at Zeeb's Winepress. Then they went on chasing the Midianites, and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side of the Jordan.
1 Then the Ephraimites said to him, "Why did you offend us this way by not calling us when you went to fight the Midianites?" And they argued with him fiercely. 2 But he said to them, "What have I done now, compared to you? Aren't Ephraim's leftovers better than Abiezer's main harvest? 3 God handed you the Midianite officers Oreb and Zeeb. What have I been able to do compared to you?" When he said this, their anger against him passed. 4 Then Gideon came to the Jordan. As he and the three hundred men with him crossed over, they were exhausted but still giving chase. 5 So he said to the people of Succoth, "Please give some loaves of bread to those who are on foot, because they're exhausted, but I'm chasing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian." 6 But the officials of Succoth replied, "Haven't you already almost gotten your hands on Zebah and Zalmunna? Why should we give food to your army now?" 7 "Just for that," Gideon said, "when the LORD has handed over Zebah and Zalmunna to me, I'm going to beat your skin with desert thorns and briars!" 8 From there he went up to Penuel and made the same request. And the people of Penuel responded in the same way the people of Succoth had. 9 So he also told the people of Penuel, "When I return in victory, I'll break down this tower!" 10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their camp, about fifteen thousand men, all the ones who were left from the easterners' entire camp. One hundred twenty thousand armed men had fallen. 11 Gideon marched up the caravan road east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and attacked the camp while it was off-guard. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna fled, and he chased after them. He captured the two Midianite kings Zebah and Zalmunna and threw the entire army into panic. 13 Then Gideon, Joash's son, returned from the battle by the Heres Pass. 14 He captured a young man from the people of Succoth and interrogated him. He listed for Gideon the seventy-seven officials and elders of Succoth. 15 So Gideon went to the people of Succoth and said, "Here are Zebah and Zalmunna! You made fun of me because of them by saying, ‘Haven't you already almost gotten your hands on Zebah and Zalmunna? Why should we give food to your exhausted men now?'" 16 Then he seized the city's elders, and he beat the people of Succoth with desert thorns and briars. 17 He also broke down Penuel's tower, and killed the city's people. 18 Then he asked Zebah and Zalmunna, "What kind of men were those whom you killed at Tabor?" They replied, "They were just like you; each one looked like a king's son." 19 "They were my brothers," Gideon said, "my own mother's sons. As surely as the LORD lives, I promise that if you had let them live, I wouldn't kill you!" 20 So he ordered his oldest son Jether, "Stand up and kill them." But the young man didn't draw his sword because he was afraid, since he was still young. 21 So Zebah and Zalmunna said, "You stand up and strike us yourself, because as they say, ‘A man is measured by his strength!'" So Gideon stood up and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescents that were on their camels' necks. 22 Then the Israelites said to Gideon, "Rule over us, you and then your son and then your grandson, because you've rescued us from Midian's power." 23 Gideon replied to them, "I'm not the one who will rule over you, and my son won't rule over you either. The LORD rules over you." 24 But Gideon said to them, "May I make one request of you? Everyone give me the earrings from their loot"; the Midianites had worn gold earrings because they were Ishmaelites. 25 "We'll gladly give them," they replied. And they spread out a piece of cloth, and everyone pitched in the earrings from their loot. 26 The weight of the gold earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold, not counting the crescents, the pendants, and the purple robes worn by the Midianite kings, or the collars that were on their camels' necks. 27 Gideon fashioned a priestly vest out of it, and put it in his hometown of Ophrah. All Israel became unfaithful there because of it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his household. 28 So Midian was brought down before the Israelites and no longer raised its head. The land was peaceful for forty years during Gideon's time. 29 Jerubbaal, Joash's son, went home to live with his own household. 30 Gideon had seventy sons of his own because he had many wives. 31 His secondary wife who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech. 32 Gideon, Joash's son, died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 33 Right after Gideon died, the Israelites once again acted unfaithfully by worshipping the Baals, setting up Baal-berith as their god. 34 The people of Israel didn't remember the LORD their God, who had delivered them from the power of all their enemies on every side. 35 Nor did they act loyally toward the household of Jerubbaal, that is, Gideon, in return for all the good that he had done on Israel's behalf.
1 One day Jesus was standing beside Lake Gennesaret when the crowd pressed in around him to hear God's word. 2 Jesus saw two boats sitting by the lake. The fishermen had gone ashore and were washing their nets. 3 Jesus boarded one of the boats, the one that belonged to Simon, then asked him to row out a little distance from the shore. Jesus sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4 When he finished speaking to the crowds, he said to Simon, "Row out farther, into the deep water, and drop your nets for a catch." 5 Simon replied, "Master, we've worked hard all night and caught nothing. But because you say so, I'll drop the nets." 6 So they dropped the nets and their catch was so huge that their nets were splitting. 7 They signaled for their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They filled both boats so full that they were about to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw the catch, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Leave me, Lord, for I'm a sinner!" 9 Peter and those with him were overcome with amazement because of the number of fish they caught. 10 James and John, Zebedee's sons, were Simon's partners and they were amazed too. Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid. From now on, you will be fishing for people." 11 As soon as they brought the boats to the shore, they left everything and followed Jesus. 12 Jesus was in one of the towns where there was also a man covered with a skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged, "Lord, if you want, you can make me clean." 13 Jesus reached out his hand, touched him, and said, "I do want to. Be clean." Instantly, the skin disease left him. 14 Jesus ordered him not to tell anyone. "Instead," Jesus said, "go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses instructed. This will be a testimony to them." 15 News of him spread even more and huge crowds gathered to listen and to be healed from their illnesses. 16 But Jesus would withdraw to deserted places for prayer.
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