Judges 7:2
And the LORD said to Gideon, The people that are with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, My own hand has saved me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) The people that are with thee are too many for me.—This must have put the faith of Gideon to a severe trial, since the Midianites were 135,000 in number (Judges 8:10), and Gideon’s forces only 32,000 (Judges 7:4).

Lest Israel vaunt themselves.—See Deuteronomy 8:17.

Jdg 7:2. The people that are with thee are too many — The army consisted of thirty-two thousand men, a small army in comparison of what Israel might have raised on so great an occasion, and a very small one in comparison with that which the Midianites had now brought into the field. Gideon, doubtless, was ready to think they were too few; but God comes to him and tells him they were too many. It is indeed the same thing with God to save by many or by few; but man being prone to attribute every thing to natural causes rather than to God, it is one great design of God in all his dispensations, both of providence and grace, to counteract this evil disposition in our nature which robs God of his glory, and to cause us to consider him, and see his hand more in all things.7:1-8. God provides that the praise of victory may be wholly to himself, by appointing only three hundred men to be employed. Activity and prudence go with dependence upon God for help in our lawful undertakings. When the Lord sees that men would overlook him, and through unbelief, would shrink from perilous services, or that through pride they would vaunt themselves against him, he will set them aside, and do his work by other instruments. Pretences will be found by many, for deserting the cause and escaping the cross. But though a religious society may thus be made fewer in numbers, yet it will gain as to purity, and may expect an increased blessing from the Lord. God chooses to employ such as are not only well affected, but zealously affected in a good thing. They grudged not at the liberty of the others who were dismissed. In doing the duties required by God, we must not regard the forwardness or backwardness of others, nor what they do, but what God looks for at our hands. He is a rare person who can endure that others should excel him in gifts or blessings, or in liberty; so that we may say, it is by the special grace of God that we regard what God says to us, and not look to men what they do.The well of Harod - i. e. of trembling, evidently so called from the people who were afraid Judges 7:3. It is identified with great probability with Ain Jalud, a spacious pool at the foot of Gilboa; (by Conder, with Ain el Jem'ain (the spring of the two troops)).

Moreh was, probably, the little Hermon, the Jebel ed-Duhy of the Arabs, which encloses the plain two or three miles north of Gilboa, which shuts it in on the south.

2. the Lord said unto Gideon, The people … are too many—Although the Israelitish army mustered only thirty-two thousand (or one-sixth of the Midianitish host), the number was too great, for it was the Lord's purpose to teach Israel a memorable lesson of dependence on Him. Too many for me, i.e. for my purpose; which is, so to deliver Israel, that it may appear to be my own miraculous act, that so I may have all the glory of it, and they may be more strongly obliged to love and serve me. And the Lord said unto Gideon, the people that are with thee are too many,.... It appears, by what follows, that there were 32,000 of them, which was but a small army to engage with one of 100,000 more than they; for such was the army of the Midianites and their associates, see Judges 8:10 but the people were too many, says the Lord:

for me to give the Midianites into their hands; who would be apt to ascribe the victory to themselves, and not to the Lord; to their number, strength, and valour, and not to the hand of the Lord:

lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, mine own hand hath saved me; or glory over me, take the glory from me, and ascribe it to themselves, boasting that by their power and prowess they had obtained the victory.

And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel {a} vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.

(a) God will not that any creature deprive him of his glory.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. The people that are with thee] Whatever is to be understood by these words in Jdg 7:1, here they must refer to the host mentioned in Jdg 6:35.

lest Israel vaunt themselves against me] For the thought cf. Deuteronomy 8:11-17; Deuteronomy 9:4 f.; the same word vaunt occurs in Isaiah 10:15. The army is to be reduced in order that Jehovah’s intervention on behalf of Israel may be the more striking and all the glory His; cf. 1 Samuel 14:6, Psalm 44:3, 1 Corinthians 1:25-27.Verse 2. - And the Lord said, etc. It must be remembered that this whole movement was essentially a religious one. It began with prayer (Judges 6:6, 7), it was followed up by repentance (Judges 6:27, 28), and the great purpose of it was to turn the hearts of the nation back to the God of their fathers. The Lord himself, therefore, graciously forwarded this end by making it plain that the deliverance from their oppression was his work, and his only. For the general sentiment compare Deuteronomy 8:10-18; Psalm 44:3-8; Zechariah 3:6, etc. But before Gideon went into the battle with the assembled army, he asked for a sign from God of the success of his undertaking. "If Thou," he said to God, "art saving Israel through my hand, as Thou hast said, behold, I lay this fleece of wool upon the floor; if there shall be dew upon the fleece only, and dryness upon all the earth (round about), I know (by this) that Thou wilt save," etc. הצּמר גּזּת, the shorn of the wool; i.e., the fleece, the wool that had been shorn off a sheep, and still adhered together as one whole fleece. The sign which Gideon asked for, therefore, was that God would cause the dew to fall only upon a shorn fleece, which he would spread the previous night upon the floor, that is to say, upon some open ground, and that the ground all round might not be moistened by the dew.
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