Judges 7:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 7:18, NIV: When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, 'For the LORD and for Gideon.''

Judges 7:18, ESV: When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.’”

Judges 7:18, KJV: When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

Judges 7:18, NASB: When I and all who are with me blow the trumpet, then you also blow the trumpets around the entire camp and say, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon!’?'

Judges 7:18, NLT: As soon as I and those with me blow the rams' horns, blow your horns, too, all around the entire camp, and shout, 'For the LORD and for Gideon!''

Judges 7:18, CSB: When I and everyone with me blow our ram's horns, you are also to blow your ram's horns all around the camp. Then you will say, 'For the Lord and for Gideon! ' "

What does Judges 7:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Convinced the Lord will give the Midianite army into his hands (Judges 7:9–17), Gideon launches his strike. The "attack," such as it is, comes in the form of psychological warfare. Gideon is giving instructions to his 300 men (Judges 7:2–8). He has given each of them a ram's horn trumpet and a clay pitcher with a torch in it. He has shown them what to do with these items.

Gideon will approach the edge of the enemy camps, break his clay jar to expose a torch, blow his trumpet, and shout. The others are to do the same, scattered around the enemy tents. Their cry is to echo the prophetic words of the Midianite soldier overheard earlier that evening: referring to both God and to Gideon.

Obviously, this is not traditional warfare by any measure. Gideon's plan may have sounded completely absurd to his men. They are outnumbered something like 450-to-1 (Judges 8:10). And yet, they were all willing volunteers and ready to act on Gideon's command. The only viable way for this to work is if God gives them the victory. That's exactly what God wants every person to understand.

As it happens, Gideon's approach contains a clever sense of strategy. In a typical attack, only a few soldiers would have carried trumpets, and only a few torches. Surprising the enemy this way will make it appear as if the Israeli force is much larger. Further, Gideon times the attack just after the changing of the guard. At the moment the attack is announced, the prior group of guards will be walking back into the camp—in the dark, armed, and likely to be mistaken for invading troops.

The following passage shows the devastating effects of this ruse (Judges 7:19–23).