And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Like grasshoppers.—Comp. Judges 6:5; Numbers 22:4-5.
Their camels.—Which constitute the chief wealth of Arab tribes. “The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah” (Isaiah 60:6).Exodus 13:18 (see the note). The most probable meaning of the word is arrayed in divisions or ranks.
lay along in the valley in the valley of Jezreel, in their tents, which overspread the valley, or at least great part of it:
like grasshoppers for multitude; or locusts, which usually come in great numbers, and cover the air and the sun where they fly, and the earth where they light, as they did the land of Egypt; this army consisted at least of 135,000 men, as is clear from Judges 8:10.
and their camels were without number; as the sand is by the sea side for multitude; an hyperbolical expression, setting forth the great number of them which the countries of Midian and Arabia abounded with; and were very proper to bring with them, to load and carry off the booty they came for, the fruits of the earth; see Judges 6:4.And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. and the Amalekites etc.] See on Jdg 6:3, and cf. Jdg 6:5.
lay along] lay settled, like locusts: the vast numbers explain both Gideon’s fear and the ease with which he escaped observation. But the verse is made up of standing expressions, and may be an editorial insertion; it rather interrupts the connexion between Jdg 7:11; Jdg 7:13.
Whilst the Lord was willing to strengthen the feeble faith of Gideon by the sign with the fleece of wool, and thus to raise him up to full confidence in the divine omnipotence, He also required of him, when thus strengthened, an attestation of his faith, by the purification of his army that he might give the whole glory to Him, and accept the victory over that great multitude from His hand alone.
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