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

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Judges 7

1 Early in the morning Jerub-Baal and all of his men camped at the spring of Harod. Jerub-Baal was another name for Gideon. The camp of Midian was north of Gideon's camp. It was in the valley near the hill of Moreh.
2 The LORD spoke to Gideon. He said, "I want to hand Midian over to you. But you have too many men for me to do that. I do not want Israel to brag that their own strength has saved them.
3 So here is what I want you to announce to your men. Tell them, 'Those who tremble with fear can turn back. They can leave Mount Gilead.' " So 22,000 men left. But 10,000 remained.
4 The LORD spoke to Gideon again. He said, "There are still too many men. So take them down to the water. I will sort them out for you there. If I say, 'This one will go with you,' he will go. But if I say, 'That one will not go with you,' he will not go."
5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD spoke to him. He said, "Some men will drink the way dogs do. They will lap up the water with their tongues. Separate them from those who get down on their knees to drink."
6 Three hundred men lapped up the water. They brought it up to their mouths with their hands. All of the rest got down on their knees to drink.
7 The LORD spoke to Gideon. He said, "With the help of the 300 men who lapped up the water I will save you. I will hand the Midianites over to you. Let all of the other men go home."
8 So Gideon sent the rest of the men of Israel to their tents. But he kept the 300 men. They took over the supplies and trumpets the others had left. The Midianites had set up their camp in the valley below where Gideon was.
9 During that night the LORD spoke to Gideon. He said, "Get up. Go down against the camp. I am going to hand it over to you.
10 But what if you are afraid to attack? Then go down to the camp with your servant Purah.
11 Listen to what they are saying. After that, you will not be afraid to attack the camp." So Gideon and his servant Purah went down to the edge of the camp.
12 The Midianites had settled in the valley. So had the Amalekites and all of the other tribes from the east. There were so many of them that they looked like huge numbers of locusts. Like the grains of sand on the seashore, their camels couldn't be counted.
13 Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend about his dream. "I had a dream," he was saying. "A round loaf of barley bread came rolling into the camp of Midian. It hit a tent with great force. The tent turned over and fell down flat."
14 His friend replied, "That can only be the sword of Gideon, the son of Joash. Gideon is from Israel. God has handed the Midianites over to him. He has given him the whole camp."
15 Gideon heard the man explain what the dream meant. Then Gideon worshiped God. He returned to the camp of Israel. He called out, "Get up! The LORD has handed the Midianites over to you."
16 Gideon separated the 300 men into three companies. He put a trumpet and an empty jar into the hands of each man. And he put a torch inside each jar.
17 "Watch me," he told them. "Do what I do. I'll go to the edge of the enemy camp. Then do exactly as I do.
18 I and everyone who is with me will blow our trumpets. Then blow your trumpets from your positions all around the camp. And shout the battle cry, 'For the LORD and for Gideon!' "
19 Gideon and the 100 men who were with him reached the edge of the enemy camp. It was about ten o'clock at night. It was just after the guard had been changed. Gideon and his men blew their trumpets. They broke the jars that were in their hands.
20 The three companies blew their trumpets. They smashed their jars. They held their torches in their left hands. They held in their right hands the trumpets they were going to blow. Then they shouted the battle cry, "A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!"
21 Each man stayed in his position around the camp. But all of the Midianites ran away in fear. They were crying out as they ran.
22 When the 300 trumpets were blown, the LORD caused all of the men in the enemy camp to start fighting each other. They attacked each other with their swords. The army ran away to Beth Shittah toward Zererah. They ran all the way to the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.
23 The men of Israel from the tribes of Naphtali, Asher and all of Manasseh were called out. They chased the Midianites.
24 Gideon sent messengers through the entire hill country of Ephraim. They said, "Come on down against the Midianites. Take control of the waters of the Jordan River before they get there. Do it all the way to Beth Barah." So all of the men of Ephraim were called out. They took control of the waters of the Jordan all the way to Beth Barah.
25 They also captured Oreb and Zeeb. Those men were two of the Midianite leaders. The men of Ephraim killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb. They killed Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb. They chased the Midianites. And they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon. He was by the Jordan River.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Judges 8

1 The men of Ephraim spoke to Gideon. They asked, "Why have you treated us like this? Why didn't you ask us to help you when you went out to fight against Midian?" They spoke very sharply against Gideon.
2 But he answered them, "What I've done isn't anything compared to what you have done. After Ephraim's grapes have been gathered, isn't what is left over better than all of the grapes that have been gathered from Abiezer's vines?
3 God handed Oreb and Zeeb over to you. They were Midianite leaders. So what was I able to do compared to what you did?" After Gideon had said that, they didn't feel angry with him anymore.
4 Gideon and his 300 men were very tired. But they kept on chasing their enemies. They came to the Jordan River and went across it.
5 Gideon spoke to the men of Succoth. He said, "Give my troops some bread. They are worn out. And I'm still chasing Zebah and Zalmunna. They are the kings of Midian."
6 But the officials of Succoth objected. They said, "Have you already killed Zebah and Zalmunna? Have you cut their hands off and brought them back to prove it? If you haven't, why should we give bread to your troops?"
7 Gideon replied, "The LORD will hand Zebah and Zalmunna over to me. When he does, I'll tear your skin with thorns from desert bushes."
8 From there Gideon went up to Peniel. He asked its men for the same thing. But they answered as the men of Succoth had.
9 So he said to the men of Peniel, "I'll be back after I've won the battle. Then I'll tear down this tower."
10 Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor. They had an army of about 15,000 men. That's all that was left of the armies of the tribes from the east. About 120,000 men who carried swords had died in battle.
11 Gideon went up the trail the people of the desert had made. It ran east of Nobah and Jogbehah. He attacked the army by surprise.
12 Zebah and Zalmunna ran away. They were the two kings of Midian. Gideon chased them and captured them. He destroyed their whole army.
13 Then Gideon, the son of Joash, returned from the battle. He came back through the Pass of Heres.
14 He caught a young man from Succoth. He asked him about the elders of the town. The young man wrote down for him the names of Succoth's 77 officials.
15 Then Gideon came and spoke to the men of Succoth. He said, "Here are Zebah and Zalmunna. You made fun of me because of them. You said, 'Have you already killed Zebah and Zalmunna? Have you cut their hands off and brought them back to prove it? If you haven't, why should we give bread to your tired men?' "
16 Gideon went and got the elders of the town. Then he taught the men of Succoth a lesson. He tore their skin with thorns from desert bushes.
17 He also pulled down the tower at Peniel. He killed the men in the town.
18 Then he spoke to Zebah and Zalmunna. He asked, "What were the men like that you killed at Tabor?" "Men like you," they answered. "Each one walked as if he were a prince."
19 Gideon replied, "Those were my brothers. They were the sons of my own mother. You can be sure that the LORD lives. And you can be just as sure that if you had spared their lives, I wouldn't kill you."
20 Then Gideon turned to his oldest son Jether. He said, "Kill them!" But Jether didn't pull out his sword. He was only a boy. So he was afraid.
21 Zebah and Zalmunna said, "Come on. Do it yourself. 'The older the man, the stronger he is.' " So Gideon stepped forward and killed them. Then he took the moon-shaped necklaces off the necks of their camels.
22 The people of Israel spoke to Gideon. They said, "Rule over us. We want you, your son and your grandson to be our rulers. You have saved us from the power of Midian."
23 But Gideon told them, "I will not rule over you. My son won't rule over you either. The LORD will rule over you."
24 He continued, "I do ask one thing. I want each of you to give me an earring. I'm talking about the earrings you took from your enemies." It was the practice of the people in the family line of Ishmael to wear gold earrings.
25 The people of Israel said, "We'll be glad to give them to you." So they spread out a piece of clothing. Each man threw a ring on it from what he had taken.
26 The weight of the gold rings Gideon asked for was 43 pounds. That didn't include the moon-shaped necklaces the kings of Midian had worn. It didn't include their other necklaces or their purple clothes. And it didn't include the gold chains that had been on the necks of their camels.
27 Gideon made an object out of all of the gold. It looked like the linen apron the high priest of Israel wore. He placed it in Ophrah. That was his hometown. All of the people of Israel worshiped it there. They weren't faithful to the Lord. So the gold object became a trap to Gideon and his family.
28 Israel brought Midian under their control. Midian wasn't able to attack Israel anymore. So the land was at peace for 40 years. The peace lasted as long as Gideon was living.
29 Jerub-Baal, the son of Joash, went back home to live. Jerub-Baal was another name for Gideon.
30 He had 70 sons of his own. That's because he had a lot of wives.
31 And he had a concubine who lived in Shechem. She also had a son by him. Gideon named that son Abimelech.
32 Gideon, the son of Joash, died when he was very old. His body was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah. Ophrah was in the territory that belonged to the family line of Abiezer.
33 As soon as Gideon had died, the people of Israel joined themselves to the gods that were named after Baal. Israel wasn't faithful to the Lord. They worshiped Baal-Berith as their god.
34 They forgot what the LORD their God had done for them. He had saved them from the power of their enemies who were all around them.
35 Jerub-Baal had done many good things for the people of Israel. But they weren't kind to his family. Jerub-Baal was another name for Gideon.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Luke 5:1-16

1 One day Jesus was standing by the Sea of Galilee. The people crowded around him and listened to the word of God.
2 Jesus saw two boats at the edge of the water. They had been left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.
3 He got into the boat that belonged to Simon. Jesus asked him to go out a little way from shore. Then he sat down in the boat and taught the people.
4 When he finished speaking, he turned to Simon. He said, "Go out into deep water. Let the nets down so you can catch some fish."
5 Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."
6 When they had done so, they caught a large number of fish. There were so many that their nets began to break.
7 So they motioned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees. "Go away from me, Lord!" he said. "I am a sinful man!"
9 He and everyone with him were amazed at the number of fish they had caught.
10 So were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who worked with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid. From now on you will catch people."
11 So they pulled their boats up on shore. Then they left everything and followed him.
12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along. He had a skin disease all over his body. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground. He begged him, "Lord, if you are willing to make me 'clean,' you can do it."
13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing to do it," he said. "Be 'clean'!" Right away the disease left him.
14 Then Jesus ordered him, "Don't tell anyone. Go and show yourself to the priest. Offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded. It will be a witness to the priest and the people that you are 'clean.' "
15 But the news about Jesus spread even more. So crowds of people came to hear him. They also came to be healed of their sicknesses.
16 But Jesus often went away to be by himself and pray.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.