New International Version
But the LORD said to Gideon, "There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, 'This one shall go with you,' he shall go; but if I say, 'This one shall not go with you,' he shall not go."
King James Bible
And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.
Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah said to Gideon, Still the people are many; bring them down to the water, and I will try them for thee there, and it shall be, that of whom I shall say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I shall say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.
World English Bible
Yahweh said to Gideon, "The people are still too many. Bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. It shall be, that of whom I tell you, 'This shall go with you,' the same shall go with you; and of whoever I tell you, 'This shall not go with you,' the same shall not go."
Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah saith unto Gideon, 'Yet are the people too many; bring them down unto the water, and I refine it for thee there; and it hath been, he of whom I say unto thee, This doth go with thee -- he doth go with thee; and any of whom I say unto thee, This doth not go with thee -- he doth not go.'
Judges 7:4 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return - from Mount Gilead - Gideon was certainly not at Mount Gilead at this time, but rather near Mount Gilboa. Gilead was on the other side of Jordan. Calmet thinks there must either have been two Gileads, which does not from the Scripture appear to be the case, or that the Hebrew text is here corrupted, and that for Gilead we should read Gilboa. This reading, though adopted by Houbigant, is not countenanced by any MS., nor by any of the versions. Dr. Hales endeavors to reconcile the whole, by the supposition that there were in Gideon's army many of the eastern Manassites, who came from Mount Gilead; and that these probably were more afraid of their neighbors, the Midianites, than the western tribes were; and therefore proposes to read the text thus: Whosoever from Mount Gilead is fearful and afraid, let him return (home) and depart early. So there returned (home) twenty-two thousand of the people. Perhaps this is on the whole the best method of solving this difficulty.
There returned of the people twenty and two thousand - Gideon's army was at this time thirty-two thousand strong, and after the above address twenty-two thousand went away. How astonishing, that in thirty-two thousand men there should be found not less than twenty-two thousand poltroons, who would neither fight for God nor their oppressed country! A state of slavery debases the mind of man, and renders it incapable of being influenced by the pure principles of patriotism or religion. In behalf of the army of Gideon we may say, if the best appointed armies in Europe had the same address, bona fide, from their generals as the Israelites had, at least an equal proportion would return home.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryA Great victory
TEXT: "And they stood every man in his place round about the camp, and all the host ran, and cried, and fled."--Judges 7:21. Few things in this world are so inspiring to the traveler and at the same time so depressing as a city or temple in ruins. I remember a delightful experience in passing through the ruins of Karnak and Luxor, on the Nile in Egypt, and later passing through Phylae at Assuan on the Nile; and these two thoughts, each the opposite of the other, kept constantly coming to my mind. …
J. Wilbur Chapman—And Judas Iscariot
A Battle Without a Sword
Thirdly, for Thy Actions.
Lii. Concerning Hypocrisy, Worldly Anxiety, Watchfulness, and his Approaching Passion.
So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him, "Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink."
1 Samuel 14:6
Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, "Come, let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few."
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