Judges 7:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 7:13, NIV: Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. 'I had a dream,' he was saying. 'A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.'

Judges 7:13, ESV: When Gideon came, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade. And he said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian and came to the tent and struck it so that it fell and turned it upside down, so that the tent lay flat.”

Judges 7:13, KJV: And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along.

Judges 7:13, NASB: When Gideon came, behold, a man was relating a dream to his friend. And he said, 'Behold, I had a dream; a loaf of barley bread was tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent collapsed.'

Judges 7:13, NLT: Gideon crept up just as a man was telling his companion about a dream. The man said, 'I had this dream, and in my dream a loaf of barley bread came tumbling down into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent, turned it over, and knocked it flat!'

Judges 7:13, CSB: When Gideon arrived, there was a man telling his friend about a dream. He said, "Listen, I had a dream: a loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp, struck a tent, and it fell. The loaf turned the tent upside down so that it collapsed."

What does Judges 7:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

God has directed Gideon and his servant Purah to spy on the enemy in the valley below the Israelite camp in the hills (Judges 7:9–12). They arrived and witnessed the massive number of men, camels, and tents crowded into the valley (Judges 6:1–5). It's a staggering force to see, even in the night as most of the men are sleeping. It's more intimidating because Gideon has recently reduced his forces to a mere 300 men (Judges 7:2–7).

Rather than leaving in terror, Gideon is gifted with an encouraging incident. He overhears two men talking nearby. The text does not reveal if they are in a tent or merely somewhere in the darkness. One man has had a dream, and he is describing it to the other. He dreamed that a cake of barley bread rolled into the camp where they were and struck a tent. Barley cakes would have been small, easily carried and made from cheap grains (John 6:9). And yet, the impact of this little loaf was so powerful that the tent turned upside down and lay flat.

God promised Gideon that he would hear something on this mission that would strengthen him. This context makes it clear the Lord planted this dream in the mind of this soldier. That, in turn, was meant to be described aloud to his friend. While the meaning of the dream might have been unclear, at first, God will provide for that, as well (Judges 7:14).