Judges 7:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 7:12, NIV: The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.

Judges 7:12, ESV: And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the East lay along the valley like locusts in abundance, and their camels were without number, as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance.

Judges 7:12, KJV: And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.

Judges 7:12, NASB: Now the Midianites, the Amalekites, and all the people of the east were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore.

Judges 7:12, NLT: The armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east had settled in the valley like a swarm of locusts. Their camels were like grains of sand on the seashore--too many to count!

Judges 7:12, CSB: Now the Midianites, Amalekites, and all the people of the east had settled down in the valley like a swarm of locusts, and their camels were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore.

What does Judges 7:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

At the Lord's command, Gideon and his servant Purah are on a late-night spying mission to the outskirts of the Midianite camp (Judges 7:9–11). Looking out over the scene, the size of the enemy must have been overwhelming to Gideon. As far as they could have possibly seen in the darkness, the Midianites and the Amalekites and their other allies from east of the Jordan were spread out along the valley like locusts (Judges 6:5). At this time of night, they would have seen countless torches and fires.

The comparison to locusts was made in the previous chapter, and it is appropriate. The horde from the east descended on Israel and consumed everything in sight. They left a wasted landscape everywhere they went (Judges 6:1–4). Also crowded into the valley were countless camels, used by the Midianites and the others to ride and to carry their gear to Israel and to carry Israel's food away from it. The writer uses the phrase "as sand on the seashore" to emphasize the massive number of animals and tents and bodies packed into the Valley of Jezreel.

If this late-night trip to the enemy camp was supposed to strengthen Gideon's faith, seeing a swarming horde of enemies wouldn't help. As promised, however, Gideon then hears something that proves God's purposes in sending him on this mission (Judges 7:13–14).