Early next day, Jerubbaal—that is, Gideon—and all the troops with him encamped above En-harod, while the camp of Midian was in the plain to the north of him, at Gibeath-moreh.
The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many troops with you for Me to deliver Midian into their hands; Israel might claim for themselves the glory due to Me, thinking, ‘Our own hand has brought us victory.’
Therefore, announce to the men, ‘Let anybody who is timid and fearful turn back, as a bird flies from Mount Gilead.’” Thereupon, 22,000 of the troops turned back and 10,000 remained.
“There are still too many troops,” the LORD said to Gideon. “Take them down to the water and I will sift them for you there. Anyone of whom I tell you, ‘This one is to go with you,’ that one shall go with you; and anyone of whom I tell you, ‘This one is not to go with you,’ that one shall not go.”
So he took the troops down to the water. Then the LORD said to Gideon, “Set apart all those who lap up the water with their tongues like dogs from all those who get down on their knees to drink.”
Now those who “lapped” the water into their mouths by hand numbered three hundred; all the rest of the troops got down on their knees to drink.
Then the LORD said to Gideon, “I will deliver you and I will put Midian into your hands through the three hundred ‘lappers’; let the rest of the troops go home.”
So [the lappers] took the provisions and horns that the other men had with them, and he sent the rest of the men of Israel back to their homes, retaining only the three hundred men. The Midianite camp was below him, in the plain.
That night the LORD said to him, “Come, attack the camp, for I have delivered it into your hands.
And if you are afraid to attack, first go down to the camp with your attendant Purah
and listen to what they say; after that you will have the courage to attack the camp.” So he went down with his attendant Purah to the outposts of the warriors who were in the camp.—
Now Midian, Amalek, and all the Kedemites were spread over the plain, as thick as locusts; and their camels were countless, as numerous as the sands on the seashore.—
Gideon came there just as one man was narrating a dream to another. “Listen,” he was saying, “I had this dream: There was a commotion—a loaf of barley bread was whirling through the Midianite camp. It came to a tent and struck it, and it fell; it turned it upside down, and the tent collapsed.”
To this the other responded, “That can only mean the sword of the Israelite Gideon son of Joash. God is delivering Midian and the entire camp into his hands.”
When Gideon heard the dream told and interpreted, he bowed low. Returning to the camp of Israel, he shouted, “Come on! The LORD has delivered the Midianite camp into your hands!”
He divided the three hundred men into three columns and equipped every man with a ram’s horn and an empty jar, with a torch in each jar.
“Watch me,” he said, “and do the same. When I get to the outposts of the camp, do exactly as I do.
When I and all those with me blow our horns, you too, all around the camp, will blow your horns and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon!’”
Gideon and the hundred men with him arrived at the outposts of the camp, at the beginning of the middle watch, just after the sentries were posted. They sounded the horns and smashed the jars that they had with them,
and the three columns blew their horns and broke their jars. Holding the torches in their left hands and the horns for blowing in their right hands, they shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”
They remained standing where they were, surrounding the camp; but the entire camp ran about yelling, and took to flight.
For when the three hundred horns were sounded, the LORD turned every man’s sword against his fellow, throughout the camp, and the entire host fled as far as Beth-shittah and on to Zererah—as far as the outskirts of Abel-meholah near Tabbath.
And now the men of Israel from Naphtali and Asher and from all of Manasseh rallied for the pursuit of the Midianites.
Gideon also sent messengers all through the hill country of Ephraim with this order: “Go down ahead of the Midianites and seize their access to the water all along the Jordan down to Beth-barah.” So all the men of Ephraim rallied and seized the waterside down to Beth-barah by the Jordan.
They pursued the Midianites and captured Midian’s two generals, Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at the Rock of Oreb and they killed Zeeb at the Winepress of Zeeb; and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb from the other side of the Jordan to Gideon.