Judges, Chapter 7

- י ח ו -

Gideon Defeats the Midianites

Gideon marches towards the Midianites’ camp. God reveals to Gideon that He wants to see fewer men engage in combat so that the victory will be clearly ascribed to God’s grace and not to human prowess. Gideon first releases everyone who fears dying in battle. He then leads his remaining troops to a spring. Only those who don’t get on their knees to drink are selected.

The next step is dividing the remaining 300 men into three groups, led by three commanders. Before storming the Midianite camp, each soldier is given a ram’s horn, a clay jar, and a torch. When Gideon gives the sign, the soldiers break the jars, sound the horns, and raise their torches. The fanfare and the blazing light startle the Midianites. They flee amidst the chaos. Men from the tribes of Naphtali, Asher, and Manasseh chase them out. Meanwhile, men from the tribe of Ephraim block the passages along the Jordan river. The Midianites are trapped. Gideon gathers positive energies. He casts aside all negativity and finds light amidst the darkness. The light of the torches used by the Israelites has an extraordinary, spiritual impact that far transcends their physical value. God orders Gideon to reduce the number of soldiers. Spiritual light is not measured in quantity, but in devotion. 

“Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue… ikewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink” (Judges 7:5) 

“blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands… and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon” (Judges 7:20)

Self-limitation is learning to channel our energies into specific, carefully selected fields of work.