English Standard Version
Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”
King James Bible
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
American Standard Version
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the torches in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands wherewith to blow; and they cried, The sword of Jehovah and of Gideon.
And when they sounded their trumpets in three places round about the camp, and had broken their pitchers, they held their lamps in their left hands, and with their right hands the trumpets which they blew, and they cried out: The sword of the Lord and of Gedeon;
English Revised Version
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the torches in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD and of Gideon.
Webster's Bible Translation
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and broke the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow with: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
Judges 7:20 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
But when Gideon came with his attendant to the end of the armed men (chamushim, as in Joshua 1:14; Exodus 13:18) in the hostile camp, and the enemy were lying spread out with their camels in the valley, an innumerable multitude, he heard one (of the fighting men) relate to his fellow (i.e., to another) a dream which he had had: "Behold a cake of barley bread was rolling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and smote it, so that it fell and turned upwards, and let the tent lay along." Then the other replied, "This is nothing else than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash the Israelite: God hath given Midian and all the camp into his hand." "The end of fighting men" signifies the outermost or foremost of the outposts in the enemy's camp, which contained not only fighting men, but the whole of the baggage of the enemy, who had invaded the land as nomads, with their wives, their children, and their flocks. In Judges 7:12, the innumerable multitude of the enemy is described once more in the form of a circumstantial clause, as in Judges 6:5, not so much to distinguish the fighting men from the camp generally, as to bring out more vividly the contents and meaning of the following dream. The comparison of the enemy to the sand by the sea-side recalls Joshua 11:4, and is frequently met with (see Genesis 22:17; Genesis 32:13; 1 Samuel 13:5). With the word ויּבא in Judges 7:13, the thread of the narrative, which was broken off by the circumstantial clause in Judges 7:12, is resumed and carried further. The ἁπ. λεγ. צלוּל (Keri, צליל) is rendered cake, placenta, by the early translators: see Ges. Thes. p. 1170. The derivation of the word has been disputed, and is by no means certain, as צלל does not give any suitable meaning, either in the sense of to ring or to be overshadowed, and the meaning to roll (Ges. l.c.) cannot be philologically sustained; whilst צלה, to roast, can hardly be thought of, since this is merely used to denote the roasting of flesh, and קלה was the word commonly applied to the roasting of grains, and even "the roasted of barley bread" would hardly be equivalent to subcinericeus panis ex hordeo (Vulgate). "The tent," with the definite article, is probably the principal tent in the camp, i.e., the tent of the general. למעלה, upwards, so that the bottom came to the top. "The tent lay along," or the tent fell, lay in ruins, is added to give emphasis to the words. "This is nothing if not," i.e., nothing but. The cake of bread which had rolled into the Midianitish camp and overturned the tent, signifies nothing else than the sword of Gideon, i.e., Gideon, who is bursting into the camp with his sword, and utterly destroying it.
This interpretation of the dream was certainly a natural one under the circumstances. Gideon is especially mentioned simply as the leader of the Israelites; whilst the loaf of barley bread, which was the food of the poorer classes, is to be regarded as strictly speaking the symbol of Israel, which was so despised among the nations. The rising of the Israelites under Gideon had not remained a secret to the Midianites, and no doubt filled them with fear; so that in a dream this fear might easily assume the form of the defeat or desolation and destruction of their camp by Gideon. And the peculiar form of the dream is also psychologically conceivable. As the tent is everything to a nomad, he might very naturally picture the cultivator of the soil as a man whose life is all spent in cultivating and baking bread. In this way bread would become almost involuntarily a symbol of the cultivator of the soil, whilst in his own tent he would see a symbol not only of his mode of life, but of his freedom, greatness, and power. If we add to this, that the free pastoral tribes, particularly the Bedouins of Arabia, look down with pride not only upon the poor tillers of the soil, but even upon the inhabitants of towns, and that in Palestine, the land of wheat, none but the poorer classes feed upon barley bread, we have here all the elements out of which the dream of the Midianitish warrior was formed. The Israelites had really been crushed by the Midianites into a poor nation of slaves. But whilst the dream itself admits of being explained in this manner in a perfectly natural way, it acquires the higher supernatural character of a divine inspiration, from the fact that God not only foreknew it, but really caused the Midianite to dream, and to relate the dream to his comrade, just at the time when Gideon had secretly entered the camp, so that he should hear it, and discover therefrom, as God had foretold him, the despondency of the foe. Under these circumstances, Gideon could not fail to regard the dream as a divine inspiration, and to draw the assurance from it, that God had certainly given the Midianites into his hands.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
blew. How astonishing and overwhelming must the effect be, in a dark night, of the sudden glare of
300 torches, darting their splendour in the same instant on the half-awakened eyes of the terrified Midianites; accompanied with the clangour of
300 trumpets, alternately mingled with the thundering shout of 'The sword of Jehovah and of Gideon!'
So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch. And they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands.
Every man stood in his place around the camp, and all the army ran. They cried out and fled.
1 Samuel 11:11
And the next day Saul put the people in three companies. And they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch and struck down the Ammonites until the heat of the day. And those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
Ah, sword of the LORD! How long till you are quiet? Put yourself into your scabbard; rest and be still!
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.