Judges 7–8

1 Then Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him got up early and set up camp at Harod Spring. There was a camp of Midianites to the north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. 2 The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many people with you for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel glorify themselves over Me, saying, ‘Our own power saved us.’ 3 So now, call out so the people can hear, ‘Whoever is afraid or anxious may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand from among the people turned back, and ten thousand were left.

4 But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many people. Bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. When I say to you, ‘This one will go with you,’ he will go with you. Everyone about whom I will say, ‘This one will not go with you,’ will not go.”

5 So he brought the people down to the water, and the Lord said to Gideon, “You shall set apart by himself everyone who laps the water with his tongue like dogs; likewise, everyone who kneels down to drink.” 6 The number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was three hundred. The rest of the people had knelt to drink water.

7 The Lord said to Gideon, “With three hundred men who lapped to drink, I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. All the rest of the people should go home.” 8 So the three hundred men took provisions and ram’s horn trumpets in their hands. Gideon sent all the other Israelite men to their tents, but he kept the three hundred men.

Now the Midianite camp was below him in the valley. 9 That night the Lord said to him, “Get up and go down into the camp, for I have given it into your hands. 10 Yet if you are afraid to go down, then go down to the camp with Purah your servant. 11 Listen to what they say, and afterward you will be emboldened to go down to the camp.” So he and Purah his servant went down near the edge of the camp. 12 Now the Midianites, Amalekites, and the Kedemites covered the valley like locusts; and their camels could not be counted, for they were as numerous as grains of sand on the seashore.

13 Gideon came and overheard one man who was telling his dream to another. The man said, “Listen to a dream I had. I saw a dry cake of barley bread rolling into the Midianite camp. It rolled up to a tent and struck it. It fell, turned upside down, and collapsed.”

14 The other man responded, “This is none other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash the Israelite. God has given Midian and the whole camp into his hands.”

15 When Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshipped, returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Get up, for the Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands.” 16 He divided the three hundred men into three combat units. He gave all of them ram’s horn trumpets, empty jars, and torches within the jars.

17 He said to them, “Look at me and do likewise. Watch, and when I come to the perimeter of the camp, do as I do. 18 When I and all who are with me blow the horn, then you will blow the horns all around the camp and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’”

19 So Gideon and a hundred men with him went to the edge of the camp at the start of the middle night watch, just as they were setting the watch. Then they blew the horns and smashed the jars in their hands. 20 The three combat units blew the horns and broke the jars. They held the torches in their left hands and the horns for blowing in their right hands. They called out, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 Every man stood in his place all around the camp, but the men in the camp ran, shouted, and fled.

22 When they blew the three hundred horns, the Lord turned every man’s sword against his fellow man throughout the camp. The Midianite camp fled to Beth Shittah in the direction of Zererah, up to the border of Abel Meholah, near Tabbath. 23 The men of Israel from Naphtali, Asher, and all of Manasseh were summoned, and they chased after the Midianites. 24 Now Gideon sent messengers throughout the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Come down to engage Midian in battle. Take control of the water ways as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan.”

All the men of Ephraim were summoned, and they took control of the water ways as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan. 25 They captured Oreb and Zeeb, the two Midianite commanders. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb and killed Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb. They chased after the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side of the Jordan.

Chapter 8

1 Then the men of Ephraim said to him, “What have you done to us by not calling us to go and wage war against Midian?” They argued heatedly with him.

2 He said to them, “What have I done now compared to you? Are not the gleanings of the grapes of Ephraim better than the harvest of Abiezer? 3 It was into your hands that God gave the Midianite commanders, Oreb and Zeeb. What was I able to do compared to you?” When Gideon said this, their anger against him cooled down.

4 Then Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the three hundred men who were with him, exhausted but still pursuing. 5 He said to the men of Sukkoth, “Please give some loaves of bread to the people who are following me, for they are exhausted, and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.”

6 The officials of Sukkoth said, “Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hands that we should give bread to your army?”

7 So Gideon said, “Because of this, when the Lord gives Zebah and Zalmunna into my hands, I will tear your bodies with desert thorns and briers.”

8 He went up from there to Peniel and spoke to them in the same way. The men of Peniel answered him just as the men of Sukkoth had. 9 So he also said to the men of Peniel, “When I return safely, I will tear down this tower.”

10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their armies, about fifteen thousand survivors; they were all who were left of all the army of the Kedemites, for one hundred twenty thousand arms-bearing men had fallen. 11 Gideon went up on the route of the tent dwellers east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the camp while the army was off guard. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna fled, and Gideon chased after them. He captured Zebah and Zalmunna, the two kings of Midian, and the entire army was terrified.

13 Gideon son of Joash returned from battle by the Pass of Heres. 14 He captured a young man from among the men of Sukkoth and asked him to write the names of the leaders and elders of Sukkoth, seventy-seven men. 15 Then he came to the men of Sukkoth and said, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me. You said, ‘Have you subjugated Zebah and Zalmunna that we should give bread to your weary army?’” 16 He took the city elders and disciplined the men of Sukkoth with thorns and briers of the wilderness. 17 He tore down the tower of Peniel and killed the men of the city.

18 Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “What kind of men did you kill at Tabor?” They said, “They were like you. Each one looked like the son of a king.”

19 He said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As the Lord lives, if you had allowed them to live, I would not kill you.” 20 Gideon said to his firstborn Jether, “Rise and kill them!” Yet the young man did not draw his sword because he was afraid, for he was still a young man.

21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, “You get up and attack us, for a man is judged by his strength.” So Gideon got up and killed Zebah and Zalmunna and took the crescent-shaped ornaments that were on the necks of their camels.

22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you, and your son, and your grandson, for you have saved us from the hands of Midian.”

23 Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.” 24 Gideon continued, “I have a request to make of you, that each man would give me an earring from his spoils.” (Their enemy had golden earrings because they were Ishmaelites.)

25 They said, “We will certainly give them.” So they spread out a cloak, and each man threw a ring of his spoils there. 26 The weight of the golden earrings that he requested was seventeen hundred gold shekels. This was in addition to the crescent-shaped ornaments, jewelry, and purple clothing worn by the kings of Midian, as well as the chains hanging on the necks of their camels. 27 Gideon used these things to make an ephod. He put it in his city, in Ophrah, and all Israel prostituted themselves to it there. It became a snare to Gideon and his family.

28 The Midianites were humbled before the children of Israel and did not lift their heads high again. The land had peace for forty years in the days of Gideon.

29 Jerub-Baal son of Joash went to his house and lived there. 30 Gideon had seventy sons, for he had many wives. 31 His concubine who lived in Shechem also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelek. 32 Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age, and he was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

33 After Gideon died, the children of Israel turned again to prostitute themselves with the Baals. They made Baal-Berith their god. 34 The children of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hands of their enemies around them, 35 and they did not keep faith with the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon), for all the good he had done for Israel.

Luke 5:1–16

1 As the people pressed upon Him to hear the word of God, He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret 2 and saw two boats beside the lake. But the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 He entered one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to thrust it out a little from the land. Then He sat down and taught the people from the boat.

4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

5 Simon answered Him, “Master, we have worked all night and have caught nothing. But at Your word I will let down the net.”

6 When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was tearing. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink.

8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.

12 When He was in a certain city, a man full of leprosy, upon seeing Jesus, fell on his face and begged Him, “Lord, if You will, You can make me clean.”

13 He reached out His hand and touched him, saying, “I will. Be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him.

14 Then He commanded him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

15 Yet even more so His fame went everywhere. And great crowds came together to hear and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16 But He withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.