Then Jerubbaal, that is, Gideon, and all of the people with him rose early and set up camp beside the Harod spring; Midian’s camp was north of theirs, in the valley by the Moreh hill. 2
The LORD said to Gideon: “You have too many people on your side. If I were to hand Midian over to them, the Israelites might claim credit for themselves rather than for me, thinking, We saved ourselves. 3
So now, announce in the people’s hearing, ‘Anyone who is afraid or unsteady may return home from Gideon’s mountain.’” At this, twenty-two thousand people went home, and ten thousand were left. 4
The LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many people. Take them down to the water, and I will weed them out for you there. Whenever I tell you, ‘This one will go with you,’ he should go with you; but whenever I tell you, ‘This one won’t go with you,’ he should not go.” 5
So he took the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, “Set aside those who lap the water with their tongues, as a dog laps, from those who bend down on their knees to drink.” 6
The number of men who lapped was three hundred, and all the rest of the people bent down on their knees to drink water, with their hands to their mouths. 7
Then the LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men who lapped I will rescue you and hand over the Midianites to you. Let everyone else go home.” 8
So the people gathered their supplies and trumpets, and Gideon sent all the Israelites home, but kept the three hundred. Now Midian’s camp was below Gideon in the valley.