Judges 7:17
And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) Look on me.—He showed all the three hundred the way in which he wished them, at a given signal, to break the pitchers, wave the torches, and shout. The signal would be given by the one hundred whom he himself headed.

Jdg 7:17-18. He said to them, Look on me — For though two hundred of his men were placed on other sides of the camp, yet they were so disposed, that some persons, set as watchmen, might see what was done, and give notice to the rest to follow the example. The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon — He mentions his own name, together with God’s, not out of arrogance, as if he would equal himself with God, but from prudent policy, because his name was grown formidable to them, and so was likely to further his design. See Jdg 7:14.

7:16-22 This method of defeating the Midianites may be alluded to, as exemplifying the destruction of the devil's kingdom in the world, by the preaching of the everlasting gospel, the sounding that trumpet, and the holding forth that light out of earthen vessels, for such are the ministers of the gospel, 2Co 4:6,7. God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, a barley-cake to overthrow the tents of Midian, that the excellency of the power might be of God only. The gospel is a sword, not in the hand, but in the mouth: the sword of the Lord and of Gideon; of God and Jesus Christ, of Him that sits on the throne and the Lamb. The wicked are often led to avenge the cause of God upon each other, under the power of their delusions, and the fury of their passions. See also how God often makes the enemies of the church instruments to destroy one another; it is a pity that the church's friends should ever act like them.Gideon himself took the command of one company, and sent the other two under their respective captains to different sides of the camp Judges 7:18, Judges 7:21. Jud 7:16-24. His Stratagem against Midian.

16-22. he divided the three hundred men into three companies—The object of dividing his forces was, that they might seem to be surrounding the enemy. The pitchers were empty to conceal the torches, and made of earthenware, so as to be easily broken; and the sudden blaze of the held-up lights—the loud echo of the trumpets, and the shouts of Israel, always terrifying (Nu 23:21), and now more terrible than ever by the use of such striking words, broke through the stillness of the midnight air. The sleepers started from their rest; not a blow was dealt by the Israelites; but the enemy ran tumultuously, uttering the wild, discordant cries peculiar to the Arab race. They fought indiscriminately, not knowing friend from foe. The panic being universal, they soon precipitately fled, directing their flight down to the Jordan, by the foot of the mountains of Ephraim, to places known as the "house of the acacia" [Beth-shittah], and "the meadow of the dance" [Abel-meholah].

For though two hundred of his men were placed on other sides of the camp; yet they were so disposed, that some person or persons, set as watchmen, might see what was done, and give notice to the rest to follow the example.

And he said unto them, look on me, and do likewise,.... Observe what I do, and do the same, in blowing a trumpet, breaking a pitcher, and shouting with the words expressed by him:

and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp; where the sentinels stood, and the watch was set:

it shall be, that as I do, so shall ye do; and not before; a trumpet was not to be blown, nor a pitcher broken, nor a torch held out, nor a word spoken, till just they came to the outside of the camp: and then they were to observe the motions of Gideon, and do as he did.

And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do] This repetition of the first half of the verse is perhaps due to an attempt to harmonize a double narrative. Omit the words and the connexion with Jdg 7:18 is improved: ‘when I come … and blow the trumpet (Jdg 7:18) … then blow ye.’

Judges 7:17When therefore he had heard the dream related and interpreted, he worshipped, praising the Lord with joy, and returned to the camp to attack the enemy without delay. He then divided the 300 men into three companies, i.e., three attacking columns, and gave them all trumpets and empty pitchers, with torches in the pitchers in their hands. The pitchers were taken that they might hide the burning torches in them during their advance to surround the enemy's camp, and then increase the noise at the time of the attack, by dashing the pitchers to pieces (Judges 7:20), and thus through the noise, as well as the sudden lighting up of the burning torches, deceive the enemy as to the strength of the army. At the same time he commanded them, "See from me, and do likewise," - a short expression for, As ye see me do, so do ye also (כּן, without the previous כּ, or כּאשׁר as in Judges 5:15; see Ewald, 260, a.), - "I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me; ye also blow the trumpets round about the entire camp," which the 300 men divided into three companies were to surround, "and say, To the Lord and Gideon." According to Judges 7:20, this war-cry ran fully thus: "Sword to (for) the Lord and Gideon." This addition in Judges 7:20, however, does not warrant us in inserting "chereb" (sword) in the text here, as some of the early translators and MSS have done.

(Note: Similar stratagems to the one adopted by Gideon here are recorded by Polyaenus (Strateg. ii. c. 37) of Dicetas, at the taking of Heraea, and by Plutarch (Fabius Max. c. 6) of Hannibal, when he was surrounded and completely shut in by Fabius Maximus. An example from modern history is given by Niebuhr (Beschr. von Arabien, p. 304). About the middle of the eighteenth century two Arabian chiefs were fighting for the Imamate of Oman. One of them, Bel-Arab, besieged the other, Achmed ben Said, with four or five thousand men, in a small castle on the mountain. But the latter slipped out of the castle, collected together several hundred men, gave every soldier a sign upon his head, that they might be able to distinguish friends from foes, and sent small companies to all the passes. Every one had a trumpet to blow at a given signal, and thus create a noise at the same time on every side. The whole of the opposing army was thrown in this way into disorder, since they found all the passes occupied, and imagined the hostile army to be as great as the noise.)

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