Gideon Recruits an Army (1) : Gideon prepares to drive the Midianites out of Israel, but first he has to make it a fair fight.
Gideon Recruits an Army
Part one

Based on Judges 7.

Gideon has been visited by an angel of God, who has commissioned him to liberate Israel from seven years of cruel oppression by the Kingdom of Midian. Gideon has sparked a revolt, but with a decisive battle before him, he remains far from convinced that he is the right man for the task.

AS Gideon prepared to do battle with the Midianites who had invaded Manasseh and neighbouring Israelite tribes, the conviction suddenly came to him that his army was too large. All Israel must know that the coming victory was by God’s providence, not by force of arms.*

So he dismissed all those who were afraid to die, some 22,000 men. Then he took the remaining 10,000 to the Brook of Harod, and dismissed those who knelt and drank from the stream, rather than lap from cupped hands.

This left him with three hundred men.

Gideon’s characteristic self-doubt now intruded, but it came to him that if he took his servant Phurah and slipped quietly down to the enemy camp, he might discover something to his advantage. The sight of the vast Midianite host was not especially encouraging, but as he crept along he heard one Midianite confiding to another that he had experienced a most worrying dream, and Gideon pricked up his ears.

* Compare the rousing speech of Henry V in William Shakespeare’s dramatisation of the Battle of Agincourt, ‘Not one more!’.

Based on Judges 7.

The Story of Gideon

More like this

Tales from the Bible (26) The Story of Gideon (2) The Book of Judges (3)

Picture: By Zoltan Kluger (1896–1977), via Wikimedia Commons. Licence: Public domain. View original
A girl drinks from the Brook of Harod where Gideon’s men drank. She is lapping from a cupped hand, so presumably would have got the nod that day. The photo was taken on May 30th, 1946, when the area was governed under the British Mandate for Palestine, which expired two years later and was replaced by the State of Israel.

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