Judges 7:10
But if you fear to go down, go you with Phurah your servant down to the host:
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(10) To go down.—If thou fear to make the attack at once, without still further encouragement. Let it be borne in mind that the courage required by Gideon and his men was in many respects far beyond that of the much more vaunted 300 at Thermopylæ—(1) because they were to attack, not to defend; (2) because they were to attack a host in the plain, not to hold a narrow valley; (3) because they had not a large number of allies and attendants with them, as the 300 Spartans had (Grote’s Greece, v. 103, 121).

Phurah thy servant.—The name Phurah means “branch”; the word for “servant” is literally boy, but here means the armour-bearer. The classical reader will recall the night-raid of Diomedes and Odysseus into the camp of the Thracians at Troy (Il. x. 220, et seqq.).

7:9-15 The dream seemed to have little meaning in it; but the interpretation evidently proved the whole to be from the Lord, and discovered that the name of Gideon had filled the Midianites with terror. Gideon took this as a sure pledge of success; without delay he worshipped and praised God, and returned with confidence to his three hundred men. Wherever we are, we may speak to God, and worship him. God must have the praise of that which encourages our faith. And his providence must be acknowledged in events, though small and seemingly accidental.The sense is, "And they (the three hundred) took the victuals and trumpets of the people (all the people of Judges 7:7) into their hands." so that each of the three hundred should have a trumpet and a pitcher. Jud 7:9-15. He Is Encouraged by the Dream and the Interpretation of the Barley Cake.

9, 10. Arise, get thee down unto the host … But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant—In ancient times it was reckoned no degradation for persons of the highest rank and character to act as spies on an enemy's camp; and so Gideon did on this occasion. But the secret errand was directed by God, who intended that he should hear something which might animate his own valor and that of his troops.

If thou fear to go down, to wit, without some further assurance of thy success, I will condescend so far to thee, as to give thee another sign. But if thou fear to go down,.... With his little army, to attack a numerous host in the night, then he is directed to take this step first:

go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host; in a private manner; perhaps this man was his aid-de-camp, or however a trusty servant in whom he could confide, as well as valiant: more it was not proper to take in such a secret expedition, and the fewer the better to trust, and less liable to the observation of the enemy; and yet it was proper to have one with him, being company and animating, and who would be a witness with him of what should be heard; in like manner, and for like reasons, as Diomedes and Ulysses went into the Trojan army (y).

(y) Homer. Iliad. 10. ver. 222, &c.

But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host:
10. thy servant] A warrior of rank Had an attendant who acted as armour-bearer, cf. Jdg 9:54, 1 Samuel 14:1; 1 Samuel 14:6. With a companion danger is more easily faced; cf. the words of Diomedes when he offers to explore the Trojan camp:

ἀλλʼ εἴ τίς μοι ἀνὴρ ἅμʼ ἕποιτο καὶ ἄλλος,

Μᾶλλον θαλπωρὴ, καὶ θαρσαλεώτερον ἔσται. Iliad X. 222 f.

But even this number was regarded by the Lord as still too great, so that He gave to Gideon the still further command, "Bring them (the 10,000 men) down to the water," i.e., the waters formed from the fountain of Harod, "and I will purify them for thee there (צרף, separate those appointed for the battle from the rest of the army; the singular suffix refers to העם), and say to thee, This shall go with thee, and that," i.e., show thee each individual who is to go with thee to the battle, and who not.
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