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Judges 7:17, 18: Gideon's Unlikely Plan of Attack, Part 2

Verse 17:[1] And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.

[What ye will have seen me do, מִמֶּ֥נִּי תִרְא֖וּ] From me ye shall see (Pagnine, Montanus, Septuagint, Jonathan), that is, As ye will see me do, do ye likewise (Vatablus). From me, etc. (Drusius, Piscator), which is to say, Ye shall look back unto that space of the sky that begins from me. Thus this preposition is used above in verse 3[2] (Piscator). From me, that is, after me; like, a prandio, from/ after lunch, a cæna, from/after dinner, etc. (Drusius). Look ye towards me (Junius and Tremellius), that is, אֵלָי: thus מִן/from is sometimes taken (Drusius) [as often noted]. Look at, or, have regard to, me (Syriac, Arabic).

Look on me, and do likewise, etc.: For though two hundred of his men were placed on other sides of the camp; yet they were so disposed, that some person or persons, set as watchmen, might see what was done, and give notice to the rest to follow the example.

Verse 18:[3] When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

[And shout, For the Lord and for Gideon (thus the Septuagint, Montanus, Tigurinus)] Supply, either, the sword (Syriac), or, happily. Ἀλαλαγμός/ shouting. [This is the cry that is wont to be emitted in the charging of battle-lines.] See Joshua 6:5 (Grotius).

[לַיהוָ֥ה וּלְגִדְעֽוֹן׃] Of Jehovah and Gideon, supply, the sword, or, this is the sword (Munster, Junius and Tremellius), which no one is able to resist (Munster). This supplement was taken from verse 20. Although it does not appear necessary. For it is able to be understood by a synecdoche of genus, Jehovah and Gideon; that is, they are here for the purpose of fighting (Piscator). Others supply: that battle (Munster). Others: there will be victory. The Lord and Gideon will conquer (Vatablus). The sword proceeds from before the Lord, and victory is by the hand of Gideon (Jonathan). God, it is God, I say, who takes vengeance on the Midianites; but Gideon is His minister (Lapide). Question: But why did he want His own name to be heard? Responses: 1. Not out of arrogance, but by the precept of God, which he understood from the interpretation of the dream, This is the sword of Gideon: Having been instructed by God with these words, as it were, he had been able to instruct that it be exclaimed, The Sword of Gideon: yet he did not suffer his name alone to be heard alone, or first, but, the Sword of the Lord and of Gideon (Estius). 2. This was done by judicious counsel, so that, with Gideon named (of whose gathered army they had just heard, and had begun to fear, and whose terrible sword that dream was revealing), greater terror might be instilled in their enemies (Bonfrerius). All things were arranged here for terror, because they were surprising and happening at night (Lapide). This cry was being emitted at night in the midst of the camp, and so it was perceived farther off. That very light, not previously seen, with the pitchers broken simultaneously, was conducing to be revealed with much greater fullness, and closer, because of the air confined in the pitchers, which was necessary for fire. Add that the flame of unimpeded fire, shining at night, illuminates the surrounding air for a certain space; and what by day you would hardly see as a lamp closer up, by night you would regard as a large firebrand, even viewed from further off (Montanus’ Commentary). We find similar stratagems of others in Livy’s History of Rome 3:2; Julius Frontinus’ Concerning Stratagems[4] 2:4, 5; 3:8 (Lapide).

The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon: He mentions his own name, together with God’s, not out of vain ostentation or arrogance, as if he would equal himself with God; for he mentions God in the first and chief place, and himself only as his minister; but from prudent policy, because his name was grown formidable to them, and so was likely to further his design, and their flight, as it did.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵיהֶ֔ם מִמֶּ֥נִּי תִרְא֖וּ וְכֵ֣ן תַּעֲשׂ֑וּ וְהִנֵּ֙ה אָנֹכִ֥י בָא֙ בִּקְצֵ֣ה הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֔ה וְהָיָ֥ה כַאֲשֶׁר־אֶעֱשֶׂ֖ה כֵּ֥ן תַּעֲשֽׂוּן׃

[2] Judges 7:3: “Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead (וְיִצְפֹּ֖ר מֵהַ֣ר הַגִּלְעָ֑ד). And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.”

[3] Hebrew: וְתָקַעְתִּי֙ בַּשּׁוֹפָ֔ר אָנֹכִ֖י וְכָל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר אִתִּ֑י וּתְקַעְתֶּ֙ם בַּשּׁוֹפָר֜וֹת גַּם־אַתֶּ֗ם סְבִיבוֹת֙ כָּל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֔ה וַאֲמַרְתֶּ֖ם לַיהוָ֥ה וּלְגִדְעֽוֹן׃

[4] Sextus Julius Frontinus (c. 40-103) was a Roman politician, and general under Domitian. He wrote a work on military strategies (De Strategematis).

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
14 мая 2018 г.

George Swinnock's "Christian Man's Calling": 'Because my pattern of evil will do more hurt to my family than my precepts can do good, (servants and children being apt to be led more by the eye than the ear,) I wish that I may take heed to myself, weigh and watch over all my words and works, not only for my own, but also for the sake of them that are committed to my charge. Distillations from the head often consume and destroy the vitals; my family is like a flock of sheep, if the first leap through into a ditch or river, the rest are ready to follow. Oh that I might therefore be wary in all my ways, an…


Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
14 мая 2018 г.

Matthew Henry: 'Here is...The alarm which Gideon gave to the hosts of Midian in the dead time of the night; for it was intended that those who had so long been a terror to Israel, and had so often frightened them, should themselves be routed and ruined purely by terror.

1. The attack here made was, in many circumstances, like that which Abraham made upon the army that had taken Lot captive. The number of men was much the same: Abraham had 318, Gideon 300; they both divided their forces, both made their attack by night, and were both victorious under great disadvantages (Genesis 14:14, 15); and Gideon is not only a son of Abraham (so were the Midianites by…

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