Early in the morning Jerub-Baal (Gideon) and all his men set up their camp at the spring of Harod. The Midianites were camped in the valley at the bottom of the hill called Moreh, north of Gideon and his men.
Then the LORD said to Gideon, “I am going to help your men defeat the Midianites, but you have too many men. I don’t want the Israelites to forget me and brag that they saved themselves. So make an announcement to your men. Tell them, ‘Anyone who is afraid may leave Mount Gilead and go back home.’ ”
At that time 22,000 men left Gideon and went back home, but 10,000 still remained.
Then the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take the men down to the water, and I will test them for you there. If I say, ‘This man will go with you,’ he will go. But if I say, ‘That one will not go with you,’ then he will not go.”
So Gideon led the men down to the water. There the LORD said to him, “Separate the men like this: Those who drink the water by using their tongue to lap it up like a dog will be in one group. And those who bend down to drink will be in the other group.”
There were 300 men who used their hands to bring water to their mouth and lapped it like a dog does. All the other people bent down and drank the water. The LORD said to Gideon, “I will use the 300 men who lapped the water like a dog. I will use them to save you, and I will allow you to defeat the Midianites. Let the other men go home.”
So Gideon sent the other men of Israel home. He kept the 300 men with him. Those 300 men kept the supplies and the trumpets of the other men who went home.
The Midianites were camped in the valley below Gideon’s camp. During the night the LORD spoke to Gideon and said, “Get up. I will let you defeat the Midianite army. Go down to their camp. 10 If you are afraid to go alone, take your servant Purah with you. Go into the camp of the Midianites. 11 Listen to what they are saying. After that you will not be afraid to attack them.”
So Gideon and his servant Purah went down to the edge of the enemy camp. 12 The Midianites, the Amalekites, and all the other people from the east were camped in that valley. There were so many people that they seemed like a swarm of locusts. It seemed like they had as many camels as there are grains of sand on the seashore.
13 Gideon came to the enemy camp, and he heard a man talking. That man was telling his friend about a dream that he had. He was saying, “I dreamed that a round loaf of bread came rolling into the camp of the Midianites. That loaf of bread hit the tent so hard that the tent turned over and fell flat.”
14 The man’s friend knew the meaning of the dream. He said, “Your dream can only have one meaning. Your dream is about that man from Israel. It is about Gideon son of Joash. It means that God will let Gideon defeat the whole army of Midian.”
15 After he heard the men talking about the dream and what it meant, Gideon bowed down to God. Then Gideon went back to the camp of the Israelites and called out to the people, “Get up! The LORD will help us defeat the Midianites.” 16 Then Gideon divided the 300 men into three groups. He gave each man a trumpet and an empty jar with a burning torch inside it. 17 Then Gideon told the men, “Watch me and do what I do. Follow me to the edge of the enemy camp. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly what I do. 18 You men surround the enemy camp. I and all the men with me will blow our trumpets. When we blow our trumpets, you blow your trumpets too. Then shout these words: ‘For the LORD and for Gideon!’ ”
19 So Gideon and the 100 men with him went to the edge of the enemy camp. They came there just after the enemy changed guards. It was during the middle watch of the night. Gideon and his men blew their trumpets and smashed their jars. 20 Then all three groups of Gideon’s men blew their trumpets and smashed their jars. The men held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands. As they blew their trumpets, they shouted, “A sword for the LORD and a sword for Gideon!”
21 Gideon’s men stayed where they were. But inside the camp, the men of Midian began shouting and running away. 22 When Gideon’s 300 men blew their trumpets, the LORD caused the men of Midian to kill each other with their swords. The enemy army ran away to the city of Beth Shittah, which is toward the city of Zererah. They ran as far as the border of the city of Abel Meholah, which is near the city of Tabbath.
23 Then soldiers from the tribes of Naphtali, Asher, and all of Manasseh were told to chase the Midianites. 24 Gideon sent messengers through all the hill country of Ephraim. The messengers said, “Come down and attack the Midianites. Take control of the river as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan River. Do this before the Midianites get there.”
So they called all men from the tribe of Ephraim. They took control of the river as far as Beth Barah. 25 The men of Ephraim caught two of the Midianite leaders named Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at a place named the Rock of Oreb and Zeeb at a place named the Winepress of Zeeb. They continued chasing the Midianites, but first they cut off the heads of Oreb and Zeeb and took the heads to Gideon. Gideon was at the place where people cross the Jordan River.