Battle with Midian
7 Then Jerubbaal, that is, Gideon, and all of the people with him rose early and set up camp beside the Harod spring; Midian’s camp was north of theirs, in the valley by the Moreh hill. 2 The Lord said to Gideon: “You have too many people on your side. If I were to hand Midian over to them, the Israelites might claim credit for themselves rather than for me, thinking, We saved ourselves. 3 So now, announce in the people’s hearing, ‘Anyone who is afraid or unsteady may return home from Gideon’s mountain.’”[a] At this, twenty-two thousand people went home, and ten thousand were left.
4 The Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many people. Take them down to the water, and I will weed them out for you there. Whenever I tell you, ‘This one will go with you,’ he should go with you; but whenever I tell you, ‘This one won’t go with you,’ he should not go.” 5 So he took the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Set aside those who lap the water with their tongues, as a dog laps, from those who bend down on their knees to drink.” 6 The number of men who lapped was three hundred, and all the rest of the people bent down on their knees to drink water, with their hands to their mouths.[b] 7 Then the Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men who lapped I will rescue you and hand over the Midianites to you. Let everyone else go home.” 8 So the people gathered their supplies and trumpets,[c] and Gideon sent all the Israelites home, but kept the three hundred.
Now Midian’s camp was below Gideon in the valley. 9 That night the Lord said to him, “Get up and attack the camp, because I’ve handed it over to you. 10 But if you’re afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah, 11 and you’ll hear what they are saying. May you then get the courage to attack the camp.” So he went down with his servant Purah to the outpost of the armies that were in the camp. 12 The Midianites, Amalekites, and other easterners were spread across the valley like a swarm of locusts; their camels were too many to count, like the grains of sand on the seashore.
13 Just when Gideon arrived, there was a man telling his friend about a dream. He said, “Get this! I had a dream that a loaf of barley bread was rolling into the Midianite camp. It came to a tent and hit it, and the tent collapsed. In fact, it rolled the tent over upside down, so it fell flat.”
14 His friend replied, “Can this be anything other than the sword of the Israelite Gideon, Joash’s son? God has handed over Midian and its entire camp to him!”
15 When Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its meaning, he worshipped. Then he returned to the Israelite camp and said, “Get up! The Lord has handed over the Midianite camp to you.” 16 He divided the three hundred men into three units and equipped every man with a trumpet and an empty jar, with a torch inside each jar. 17 “Now watch me,” he ordered them, “and do what I do. When I get to the outpost of the camp, do just what I do. 18 When I blow the trumpet, along with all who are with me, then you blow the trumpets, all of you surrounding the whole camp. And then shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’”
19 Gideon and one hundred of his men moved to the outpost of the camp at the middle watch of the night, when they had just changed the guards. Then they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands. 20 So the three units blew their trumpets and broke their jars, holding the torches with their left hands and blowing the trumpets in their right hands. And they called out, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 Each man stood fast in his position around the camp, and the entire camp took off running, shouting, and fleeing. 22 When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord turned the swords of fellow soldiers against each other throughout the whole camp. The camp fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, to the border of Abel-meholah, beside Tabbath.
23 The Israelites from Naphtali, Asher, and all of Manasseh were called out, and they chased after the Midianites. 24 Then Gideon sent messengers into all of the Ephraim highlands, saying, “Go down to meet the Midianites and take control of the Jordan’s waters as far as Beth-barah.” So all the Ephraimite men were called out, and they took control of the Jordan’s waters as far as Beth-barah. 25 They also captured two Midianite officers, Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at Oreb’s Rock, and killed Zeeb at Zeeb’s Winepress. Then they went on chasing the Midianites, and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side of the Jordan.
Gideon’s acts of vengeance
8 Then the Ephraimites said to him, “Why did you offend us this way by not calling us when you went to fight the Midianites?” And they argued with him fiercely.
2 But he said to them, “What have I done now, compared to you? Aren’t Ephraim’s leftovers better than Abiezer’s main harvest? 3 God handed you the Midianite officers Oreb and Zeeb. What have I been able to do compared to you?” When he said this, their anger against him passed.
4 Then Gideon came to the Jordan. As he and the three hundred men with him crossed over, they were exhausted but still giving chase. 5 So he said to the people of Succoth, “Please give some loaves of bread to those who are on foot, because they’re exhausted, but I’m chasing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”
6 But the officials of Succoth replied, “Haven’t you already almost gotten your hands on Zebah and Zalmunna? Why should we give food to your army now?”
7 “Just for that,” Gideon said, “when the Lord has handed over Zebah and Zalmunna to me, I’m going to beat your skin with desert thorns and briars!” 8 From there he went up to Penuel and made the same request. And the people of Penuel responded in the same way the people of Succoth had. 9 So he also told the people of Penuel, “When I return in victory,[d] I’ll break down this tower!”
10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their camp, about fifteen thousand men, all the ones who were left from the easterners’ entire camp. One hundred twenty thousand armed men had fallen. 11 Gideon marched up the caravan road[e] east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and attacked the camp while it was off-guard. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna fled, and he chased after them. He captured the two Midianite kings Zebah and Zalmunna and threw the entire army into panic.
13 Then Gideon, Joash’s son, returned from the battle by the Heres Pass. 14 He captured a young man from the people of Succoth and interrogated him. He listed for Gideon the seventy-seven officials and elders of Succoth. 15 So Gideon went to the people of Succoth and said, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna! You made fun of me because of them by saying, ‘Haven’t you already almost gotten your hands on Zebah and Zalmunna? Why should we give food to your exhausted men now?’” 16 Then he seized the city’s elders, and he beat[f] the people of Succoth with desert thorns and briars. 17 He also broke down Penuel’s tower, and killed the city’s people.
- Judges 7:3 Or Mount Gilead
- Judges 7:6 MT places the words with their hands to their mouths after the word lapped.
- Judges 7:8 Or the ones who lapped took the people’s supplies and trumpets for themselves.
- Judges 8:9 Or in peace
- Judges 8:11 Or the road of the tent dwellers
- Judges 8:16 Cf 8:7, cf LXX; MT he taught a lesson to
Jesus and Barabbas
13 Then Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people. 14 He said to them, “You brought this man before me as one who was misleading the people. I have questioned him in your presence and found nothing in this man’s conduct that provides a legal basis for the charges you have brought against him. 15 Neither did Herod, because Herod returned him to us. He’s done nothing that deserves death. 16 Therefore, I’ll have him whipped, then let him go.”[a]
18 But with one voice they shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us.” (19 Barabbas had been thrown into prison because of a riot that had occurred in the city, and for murder.)
20 Pilate addressed them again because he wanted to release Jesus.
21 They kept shouting out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
22 For the third time, Pilate said to them, “Why? What wrong has he done? I’ve found no legal basis for the death penalty in his case. Therefore, I will have him whipped, then let him go.”
23 But they were adamant, shouting their demand that Jesus be crucified. Their voices won out. 24 Pilate issued his decision to grant their request. 25 He released the one they asked for, who had been thrown into prison because of a riot and murder. But he handed Jesus over to their will.
On the way to the cross
26 As they led Jesus away, they grabbed Simon, a man from Cyrene, who was coming in from the countryside. They put the cross on his back and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A huge crowd of people followed Jesus, including women, who were mourning and wailing for him. 28 Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Rather, cry for yourselves and your children. 29 The time will come when they will say, ‘Happy are those who are unable to become pregnant, the wombs that never gave birth, and the breasts that never nursed a child.’ 30 Then they will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’[b] 31 If they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Jesus on the cross
32 They also led two other criminals to be executed with Jesus. 33 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” They drew lots as a way of dividing up his clothing.
35 The people were standing around watching, but the leaders sneered at him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he really is the Christ sent from God, the chosen one.”
36 The soldiers also mocked him. They came up to him, offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you really are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” 38 Above his head was a notice of the formal charge against him. It read “This is the king of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals hanging next to Jesus insulted him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
40 Responding, the other criminal spoke harshly to him, “Don’t you fear God, seeing that you’ve also been sentenced to die? 41 We are rightly condemned, for we are receiving the appropriate sentence for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus replied, “I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise.”
97 The Lord rules! Let the earth rejoice!
Let all the islands celebrate!
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround God.
His throne is built on righteousness and justice.
3 Fire proceeds before him,
burning up his enemies on every side.
4 His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees it and trembles!
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of the whole world!
6 Heaven has proclaimed God’s righteousness,
and all nations have seen his glory.
7 All those who worship images,
those who are proud of idols,
are put to shame.
All gods bow down to the Lord!
8 Zion has heard and celebrates,
the towns[a] of Judah rejoice,
because of your acts of justice, Lord,
9 because you, Lord, are the Most High
over all the earth,
because you are so superior to all other gods.
10 Those of you who love the Lord, hate evil!
God guards the lives of his faithful ones,
delivering them from the power of the wicked.
11 Light is planted like seed for the righteous person;
joy too for those whose heart is right.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, righteous ones!
Give thanks to his holy name!
98 Sing to the Lord a new song
because he has done wonderful things!
His own strong hand and his own holy arm
have won the victory!
2 The Lord has made his salvation widely known;
he has revealed his righteousness
in the eyes of all the nations.
3 God has remembered his loyal love
and faithfulness to the house of Israel;
every corner of the earth has seen our God’s salvation.
4 Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
Rejoice out loud!
Sing your praises!
5 Sing your praises to the Lord with the lyre—
with the lyre and the sound of music.
6 With trumpets and a horn blast,
shout triumphantly before the Lord, the king!
7 Let the sea and everything in it roar;
the world and all its inhabitants too.
8 Let all the rivers clap their hands;
let the mountains rejoice out loud altogether 9 before the Lord
because he is coming to establish justice on the earth!
He will establish justice in the world rightly;
he will establish justice among all people fairly.
- Psalm 97:8 Or daughters
7 Stay away from fools,
for you won’t learn wise speech there.
8 By their wisdom the prudent understand their way,
but the stupidity of fools deceives them.