Judges 7:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 7:22, NIV: When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.

Judges 7:22, ESV: When they blew the 300 trumpets, the LORD set every man’s sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.

Judges 7:22, KJV: And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.

Judges 7:22, NASB: And when they blew the three hundred trumpets, the LORD set the sword of one against another even throughout the entire army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.

Judges 7:22, NLT: When the 300 Israelites blew their rams' horns, the LORD caused the warriors in the camp to fight against each other with their swords. Those who were not killed fled to places as far away as Beth-shittah near Zererah and to the border of Abel-meholah near Tabbath.

Judges 7:22, CSB: When Gideon's men blew their three hundred ram's horns, the Lord caused the men in the whole army to turn on each other with their swords. They fled to Acacia House in the direction of Zererah as far as the border of Abel-meholah near Tabbath.

What does Judges 7:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Gideon's plan (Judges 7:15–18) worked perfectly. His 300 men spread around the perimeter of the camp, in the dead of night, blew trumpets and smashed pitchers and shouted battle cries while holding torches in the air. The Lord uses this panic and chaos to convince the Midianites and their allies that the attackers were already in the camp (Judges 7:19–21).

Those awakened by the noise and lights assumed they were surrounded and under attack by a massive army. They cried out and tried to run away, likely straight into armed guards just returning from their late-night duty, and assuming them to be the enemy. They began fighting each other. That would lead others, coming across a skirmish, to assume some of the men were invaders, and attack them. In this way, the whole Midianite army is thrown into utter chaos. It's unclear how many died in this way before the army could reorganize enough to retreat from this phantom battle.

At some point, they gain their senses enough to start running in the same direction: east. Whether the entire army stayed together, or split as they ran, Scripture does not specify. The location of these places is not known with certainty to modern scholars. The general idea is that the Midianite forces fled toward the Jordan River, hoping to cross at the fords and escape into the desert beyond.