Judges 7:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 7:11, NIV: and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.' So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp.

Judges 7:11, ESV: And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outposts of the armed men who were in the camp.

Judges 7:11, KJV: And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.

Judges 7:11, NASB: so that you will hear what they say; and afterward you will have the courage to go down against the camp.' So he went down with Purah his servant to the outposts of the army that was in the camp.

Judges 7:11, NLT: Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack.' So Gideon took Purah and went down to the edge of the enemy camp.

Judges 7:11, CSB: Listen to what they say, and then you will be encouraged to attack the camp." So he went down with Purah his servant to the outpost of the troops who were in the camp.

What does Judges 7:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Lord is speaking to Gideon in the night. He has told him to attack (Judges 7:9) the massive swarms of Midianites in the valley below (Judges 8:10). Knowing how doubtful Gideon can be (Judges 6:17, 36–40), God offers to let him spy on the enemy first (Judges 7:10). Gideon can take his servant Purah with him for the short nighttime hike to the outskirts of the camp. God's purpose in allowing this detour is to further strengthen Gideon's resolve. By spying on the enemy, Gideon will overhear something that will give him strength.

In this case, Gideon seems to obey without challenging or pushing back. After all, in this case, God didn't wait for Gideon to make excuses or ask for signs: He simply told him to go if he was afraid. The two men sneak down until they come near the outer guard posts of the Midianite camp. This puts them in a dangerous area; to be discovered would be certain death.