Judges 7:20

20 The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”

Read Judges 7:20 Using Other Translations

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.
Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, "A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!"
Then all three groups blew their horns and broke their jars. They held the blazing torches in their left hands and the horns in their right hands, and they all shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”

What does Judges 7:20 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Judges 7:20

And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the
pitchers
The other two, observing what Gideon and his company did, followed their example, and at the same time blew their trumpets, and broke their pitchers; for that there were four companies, three besides Gideon's, as Kimchi and Ben Melech suggest, there is no reason to believe:

and held the lamps in their left hands;
which they took out of the pitchers when they broke them, and holding them up in their left hands, gave a great blaze of light, which must be very surprising to the host of Midian, just awaked out of their sleep:

and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal;
and which they continued blowing, the sound of which must be very dreadful, since it might be concluded, from such a number of trumpets, that there must be a vast army:

and they cried, the sword of the Lord and of Gideon;
signifying that was drawn against the Midianites, and they must expect to be cut in pieces by it, since the sword was Jehovah's, sent and commissioned by him, and was put into the hand of Gideon as an instrument, with which execution would be done, the Lord helping him. The Targum is,

``the sword of the Lord, and victory by the hand of Gideon''

which victory was to be ascribed to the sword and power of God. This was an emblem of the efficacy of the word of God, accompanied with his power, to the destruction of the kingdom of Satan; the blowing of the trumpets may denote the ministration of the Gospel, the great trumpet to be blown by the apostles and ministers of the word; the holding forth the lamps may signify the same, the light of the divine word in the ministers of it, and the holding forth of it to others; and which is carried in earthen vessels, frail mortal men; and done that the excellency of the power may appear to be of God, and not of men; and the sword of the Lord is the word of God in the mouths of ministers, accompanied by the power of God; for it can only be through God that such weapons of warfare can become mighty to do the execution that is done by them; see ( 2 Corinthians 4:7 ) ( 2 Corinthians 10:4 2 Corinthians 10:5 ) blowing of trumpets, and then a cry or shout of the soldiers to terrify the enemy, were used in later times {k}.


FOOTNOTES:

F11 "At tuba terribilem sonitum" Virgil Aeneid. 9.
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