Judges 7:1-8:17; Luke 23:13-43; Psalms 97:1-98:9; Proverbs 14:7-8 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
Gideon Defeats Midian
7 Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the troops with him got up early and camped above En Harod. Midian’s camp was north of him at the hill of Moreh in the valley.
2 The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men with you for me to hand Midian over to you. Israel might brag and say, ‘We saved ourselves.’ 3 Announce to the troops, ‘Whoever is scared or frightened should leave Mount Gilead and go back home.’” So 22,000 men went back home, and 10,000 were left.
4 The Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. If I say to you, ‘This one will go with you,’ he must go with you. And if I say to you, ‘This one won’t go with you,’ he must not go.”
5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. The Lord said to him, “Separate those who lap water with their tongues like dogs from those who kneel down to drink.” 6 Three hundred men lapped water with their hands to their mouths. All the rest of the men knelt down to drink water. 7 Then the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped water I will save you and hand Midian over to you. All the other men should go home.” 8 So Gideon sent the other men of Israel home, but the 300 men who stayed kept all the supplies and rams’ horns.
The camp of Midian was below him in the valley.
9 That night the Lord said to Gideon, “Attack! Go into the camp! I will hand it over to you. 10 But if you’re afraid to go, take your servant Purah to the camp with you. 11 Listen to what people are saying. After that, you will have the courage to go into the camp and attack it.”
So Gideon and his servant Purah went to the edge of the camp. 12 Midian, Amalek, and all of Kedem were spread out in the valley like a swarm of locusts. There were so many camels that they could not be counted. They were as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore.
13 When Gideon got there, he heard a man telling his friend a dream. The man said, “I had a strange dream. There was a loaf of barley bread rolling around in the camp of Midian. When it got to the command post, the loaf of bread hit that tent so hard that the tent collapsed, turned upside down, and fell flat.”
14 His friend replied, “That can only be the sword of Gideon, son of Joash, from Israel. God is going to hand Midian and the whole camp over to him.”
15 When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped the Lord. Then he went back to the camp of Israel and said, “Attack! The Lord will hand Midian’s camp over to you.”
16 Gideon divided the 300 men into three companies. He gave them each rams’ horns and jars with torches inside. 17 He said to them, “Watch me, and do what I do. When I come to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. 18 When I and those with me blow our rams’ horns, then the rest of you around the camp do the same and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’”
19 Gideon and his 100 men came to the edge of the camp. It was the beginning of the midnight watch just at the change of the guards. They blew their rams’ horns and smashed the jars they were holding in their hands. 20 The three companies also blew their rams’ horns and broke their jars. They held the torches in their left hands and the rams’ horns in their right hands so that they could blow them. They shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 While each man kept his position around the camp, everyone in the Midianite camp began to run away, screaming as they fled. 22 The 300 men kept on blowing their rams’ horns, and the Lord caused the whole camp of Midian to fight among themselves. They fled as far as Beth Shittah, toward Zererah, and as far as the bank of the stream at Abel Meholah near Tabbath.
23 The men of Israel were summoned from Naphtali, Asher, and all Manasseh to help pursue the troops of Midian. 24 Gideon also sent messengers to the whole mountain region of Ephraim with this message, “Go into battle against Midian. Capture the watering holes as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan River.” All the men of Ephraim were also summoned to help. They captured the watering holes as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan River. 25 They also captured Oreb and Zeeb, the two Midianite commanders. They killed Oreb at the Rock of Oreb and Zeeb at the Winepress of Zeeb and kept on pursuing Midian. Then they brought the severed heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side of the Jordan River.
8 The men from Ephraim strongly protested Gideon’s actions. They said, “Why did you do this to us? You didn’t invite us to go fight Midian with you.”
2 Gideon replied, “I haven’t done anything compared with what you have done. Aren’t the grapes that Ephraim picked after the harvest better than all the grapes in Abiezer’s entire harvest? 3 God handed Oreb and Zeeb, Midian’s commanders, over to you. What have I done compared with that?” When they heard what Gideon said, they weren’t angry with him anymore.
4 Gideon and his 300 men headed toward the Jordan River. They were exhausted when they crossed it, but they kept pursuing the enemy. 5 So Gideon said to the men of Succoth, “Please give me some food for the men under my command. They’re exhausted, and I’m pursuing King Zebah and King Zalmunna of Midian.”
6 The generals at Succoth replied, “We shouldn’t give your army food. You haven’t captured Zebah and Zalmunna yet.”
7 Gideon responded, “Alright, then. When the Lord hands Zebah and Zalmunna over to me, I’ll whip your bodies with thorns and thistles from the desert.”
8 Then Gideon went to Penuel and asked the people there for the same help. But they gave him the same reply that the men of Succoth gave. 9 So he told them, “When I come back after my victory, I’ll tear down this tower.”
10 Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with an army of about 15,000 men. This was all that was left of Kedem’s entire army. In the battle, 120,000 soldiers died. 11 So Gideon went up Tent Dwellers Road, east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and defeated the unsuspecting Midianite army. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna fled as Gideon pursued them. He captured King Zebah and King Zalmunna of Midian, and the whole Midianite army panicked.
13 Gideon, son of Joash, returned from the battle through the Heres Pass 14 and captured a young man from Succoth. He questioned him, and the young man wrote down for him the names of the 77 officials and leaders of Succoth. 15 Gideon went to the men of Succoth and said, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna! You insulted me when you said, ‘We shouldn’t give your exhausted men food before you’ve captured Zebah and Zalmunna.’” 16 So Gideon took the leaders of the city and taught them a lesson using thorns and thistles from the desert. 17 Then he tore down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of that city.
13 Then Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people. 14 He told them, “You brought me this man as someone who turns the people against the government. I’ve questioned him in front of you and haven’t found this man guilty of the crimes of which you accuse him. 15 Neither could Herod. So he sent this man back to us. This man hasn’t done anything to deserve the death penalty. 16 So I’m going to have him whipped and set free.”[a]
The Crowd Rejects Jesus
18 The whole crowd then shouted, “Take him away! Free Barabbas for us.” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for his involvement in a riot that had taken place in the city and for murder.)
20 But because Pilate wanted to free Jesus, he spoke to the people again.
21 They began yelling, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
22 A third time Pilate spoke to them. He asked, “Why? What has he done wrong? I haven’t found this man deserving of the death penalty. So I’m going to have him whipped and set free.”
23 But the crowd pressured Pilate. They shouted that Jesus had to be crucified, and they finally won. 24 Pilate decided to give in to their demand. 25 He freed Barabbas, who had been put in prison for rioting and murdering, because that’s what they wanted. But he let them do what they wanted to Jesus.
Jesus Is Led Away to Be Crucified
26 As the soldiers led Jesus away, they grabbed a man named Simon, who was from the city of Cyrene. Simon was coming into Jerusalem. They laid the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
27 A large crowd followed Jesus. The women in the crowd cried and sang funeral songs for him. 28 Jesus turned to them and said, “You women of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me! Rather, cry for yourselves and your children! 29 The time is coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the women who couldn’t get pregnant, who couldn’t give birth, and who couldn’t nurse a child.’ 30 Then people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ 31 If people do this to a green tree, what will happen to a dry one?”
32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be executed with him.
33 When they came to the place called The Skull, they crucified him. The criminals were also crucified, one on his right and the other on his left.
34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”[b]
Meanwhile, the soldiers divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice.
35 The people stood there watching. But the rulers were making sarcastic remarks. They said, “He saved others. If he’s the Messiah that God has chosen, let him save himself!” 36 The soldiers also made fun of him. They would go up to him, offer him some vinegar, 37 and say, “If you’re the king of the Jews, save yourself!”
38 A written notice was placed above him. It said, “This is the king of the Jews.”
Criminals Talk to Jesus
39 One of the criminals hanging there insulted Jesus by saying, “So you’re really the Messiah, are you? Well, save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal scolded him: “Don’t you fear God at all? Can’t you see that you’re condemned in the same way that he is? 41 Our punishment is fair. We’re getting what we deserve. But this man hasn’t done anything wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”
43 Jesus said to him, “I can guarantee this truth: Today you will be with me in paradise.”
1 The Lord rules as king.
Let the earth rejoice.
Let all the islands be joyful.
2 Clouds and darkness surround him.
Righteousness and justice are the foundations of his throne.
3 Fire spreads ahead of him.
It burns his enemies who surround him.
4 His flashes of lightning light up the world.
The earth sees them and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax in the presence of the Lord,
in the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
6 The heavens tell about his righteousness,
and all the people of the world see his glory.
7 Everyone who worships idols
and brags about false gods will be put to shame.
All the gods will bow to him.
8 Zion hears about this and rejoices.
The people of Judah are delighted with your judgments, O Lord.
9 You, O Lord, the Most High, are above the whole earth.
You are highest. You are above all the gods.
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil.
The one who guards the lives of his godly ones
will rescue them from the power of wicked people.
11 Light dawns for righteous people[a]
and joy for those whose motives are decent.
12 Find joy in the Lord, you righteous people.
Give thanks to him as you remember how holy he is.
1 Sing a new song to the Lord
because he has done miraculous things.
His right hand and his holy arm have gained victory for him.
2 The Lord has made his salvation known.
He has uncovered his righteousness for the nations to see.
3 He has not forgotten to be merciful and faithful
to Israel’s descendants.
All the ends of the earth have seen how our God saves them.
4 Shout happily to the Lord, all the earth.
Break out into joyful singing, and make music.
5 Make music to the Lord with a lyre,
with a lyre and the melody of a psalm,
6 with trumpets and the playing of a ram’s horn.
Shout happily in the presence of the king, the Lord.
7 Let the sea, everything in it,
the world, and those who live in it roar like thunder.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands
and the mountains sing joyfully
9 in the Lord’s presence
because he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice
and its people with fairness.
- Psalm 97:11 One Hebrew manuscript, Greek, Syriac, Latin; other Hebrew manuscripts “Light is planted for righteous people.”
7 Stay away from a fool,
because you will not receive knowledge from his lips.
8 The wisdom of a sensible person guides his way of life,
but the stupidity of fools misleads them.