Judges 7:6

6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.

Judges 7:6 Meaning and Commentary

Judges 7:6

And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to
their mouth
That is, that took up water in the hollow of their hands, which they lifted up to their mouths, and so lapped it, as the Egyptians about the Nile are said F4 to do, who drank not out of pots and cups, but used their hands to drink with:

were three hundred men;
only such a number out of 10,000: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water; even 9,700; and it was the custom of some nations, as the Ichthyophagy, or fish eaters, to cast themselves with their face to the ground, and drink after the manner of oxen F5.


FOOTNOTES:

F4 Achilles Tatius, l. 4.
F5 Strabo. Geograph. l. 16. p. 532.

Judges 7:6 In-Context

4 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will 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.
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; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.
6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.
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 people go every man unto his place.
8 So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.