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Shoftim - Judges - Chapter 7

Shoftim - Judges - Chapter 7

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Chapter 7

1And Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, arose early, and all the people that were with him, and they encamped beside En- harod, and the camp of Midian was on the north side of him by Gibeath-moreh, in the valley.   אוַיַּשְׁכֵּ֨ם יְרֻבַּ֜עַל ה֣וּא גִדְע֗וֹן וְכָל־הָעָם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אִתּ֔וֹ וַֽיַּחֲנ֖וּ עַל־עֵ֣ין חֲרֹ֑ד וּמַחֲנֵ֚ה מִדְיָן֙ הָיָה־ל֣וֹ מִצָּפ֔וֹן מִגִּבְעַ֥ת הַמּוֹרֶ֖ה בָּעֵֽמֶק:
By Gibeath moreh, in the valley: (מִגִּבְעַת הַמּוֹרָה בָּעֵמֶק.) by the mountain that overlooks the plain (Targum Jonathan). הַמּוֹרָה is an expression of instructing and looking (וּרְאִיָּה הוֹרָאָה, as in (Prov. 6:13) “Instructing (מוֹרֶה) with his fingers,” because from there, one could see and signal into the valley.  
2And the Lord said to Gideon, "The people that are with you are too numerous for Me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel vaunt themselves against Me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.'   בוַיֹּ֚אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־גִּדְע֔וֹן רַ֗ב הָעָם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אִתָּ֔ךְ מִתִּתִּ֥י אֶת־מִדְיָ֖ן בְּיָדָ֑ם פֶּן־יִתְפָּאֵ֨ר עָלַ֚י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר יָדִ֖י הוֹשִׁ֥יעָה לִּֽי:
vaunt: vanter in French (i.e., praise themselves)  
3So now proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, 'Whosoever is fearful and trembling, let him return and depart early from Mount Gilead.' " And there returned of the people twenty-two thousand; and ten thousand remained.   גוְעַתָּ֗ה קְרָ֨א נָ֜א בְּאָזְנֵ֚י הָעָם֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר מִֽי־יָרֵ֣א וְחָרֵ֔ד יָשֹׁ֥ב וְיִצְפֹּ֖ר מֵהַ֣ר הַגִּלְעָ֑ד וַיָּ֣שָׁב מִן־הָעָ֗ם עֶשְׂרִ֚ים וּשְׁנַ֙יִם֙ אֶ֔לֶף וַעֲשֶֹ֥רֶת אֲלָפִ֖ים נִשְׁאָֽרוּ:
and depart early: Heb. וְיִצְפֹּר. I.e., in the morning, as in the Aramaic term צַפְרָא (morning).  
4And the Lord said to Gideon, "The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will purify them for you there. And it shall be, that of whom I say to you, 'This (one) shall go with you,' he shall go with you, and of whomsoever I shall say to you, 'This (one) shall not go with you,' he shall not go."   דוַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־גִּדְע֗וֹן עוֹד֘ הָעָ֣ם רָב֒ הוֹרֵ֚ד אוֹתָם֙ אֶל־הַמַּ֔יִם וְאֶצְרְפֶ֥נּוּ לְךָ֖ שָׁ֑ם וְהָיָ֡ה אֲשֶׁר֩ אֹמַ֨ר אֵלֶ֜יךָ זֶ֣ה | יֵלֵ֣ךְ אִתָּ֗ךְ ה֚וּא יֵלֵ֣ךְ אִתָּ֔ךְ וְכֹ֨ל אֲשֶׁר־אֹמַ֜ר אֵלֶ֗יךָ זֶ֚ה לֹא־יֵלֵ֣ךְ עִמָּ֔ךְ ה֖וּא לֹ֥א יֵלֵֽךְ:
5And he brought down the people to the water. Then the Lord said to Gideon, "Everyone who laps with his tongue as the dog laps, him shall you set by himself, and (likewise) every one that kneels upon his knees to drink."   הוַיּ֥וֹרֶד אֶת־הָעָ֖ם אֶל־הַמָּ֑יִם ס וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־גִּדְע֗וֹן כֹּ֣ל אֲשֶׁר־יָלֹק֩ בִּלְשׁוֹנ֨וֹ מִן־הַמַּ֜יִם כַּאֲשֶׁ֧ר יָלֹ֣ק הַכֶּ֗לֶב תַּצִּ֚יג אוֹתוֹ֙ לְבָ֔ד וְכֹ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־יִכְרַ֥ע עַל־בִּרְכָּ֖יו לִשְׁתּֽוֹת:
“Every one who laps with his tongue, etc., and (likewise) every one that kneels upon his knees to drink.”: Set him (i.e., he who kneels) separately away from your group because they will not go with you since they are thus accustomed to kneel before idols.  
6Now it was the number of those that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, three hundred men, and all the rest of the people kneeled upon their knees to drink water.   ווַיְהִ֗י מִסְפַּ֞ר הַֽמֲלַקְקִ֚ים בְּיָדָם֙ אֶל־פִּיהֶ֔ם שְׁל֥שׁ מֵא֖וֹת אִ֑ישׁ וְכֹל֙ יֶ֣תֶר הָעָ֔ם כָּרְע֥וּ עַל־בִּרְכֵיהֶ֖ם לִשְׁתּ֥וֹת מָֽיִם:
of those that lapped, putting their hand…: This is not a kneeling procedure just as one who laps with his tongue (is not considered kneeling).  
7And the Lord said to Gideon, "With the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and I will give the Midianites into your hand. Let all the (other) people go each to his place."   זוַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־גִּדְע֗וֹן בִּשְׁלשׁ֩ מֵא֨וֹת הָאִ֚ישׁ הַֽמֲלַקְקִים֙ אוֹשִׁ֣יעַ אֶתְכֶ֔ם וְנָתַתִּ֥י אֶת־מִדְיָ֖ן בְּיָדֶ֑ךָ וְכָל־הָעָ֔ם יֵלְכ֖וּ אִ֥ישׁ לִמְקֹמֽוֹ:
8And they took the provisions of the people in their hands, and their trumpets; and all the rest of the men of Israel he sent each to his tent, but the three hundred men he retained. Now the camp of Midian was beneath him in the valley.   חוַיִּקְח֣וּ אֶת־צֵדָה֩ הָעָ֨ם בְּיָדָ֜ם וְאֵ֣ת שׁוֹפְרֹֽתֵיהֶ֗ם וְאֵ֨ת כָּל־אִ֚ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ שִׁלַּח֙ אִ֣ישׁ לְאֹֽהָלָ֔יו וּבִשְׁלשׁ־מֵא֥וֹת הָאִ֖ישׁ הֶֽחֱזִ֑יק וּמַחֲנֵ֣ה מִדְיָ֔ן הָ֥יָה ל֖וֹ מִתַּ֥חַת בָּעֵֽמֶק:
9And it was on that night, that the Lord said to him, "Arise, go down upon the camp, for I have given it into your hand.   טוַֽיְהִי֙ בַּלַּ֣יְלָה הַה֔וּא וַיֹּ֚אמֶר אֵלָיו֙ יְהֹוָ֔ה ק֖וּם רֵ֣ד בַּֽמַּחֲנֶ֑ה כִּ֥י נְתַתִּ֖יו בְּיָדֶֽךָ:
10But if you fear to go down, go down, you with Purah your lad to the camp.   יוְאִם־יָרֵ֥א אַתָּ֖ה לָרֶ֑דֶת רֵ֥ד אַתָּ֛ה וּפֻרָ֥ה נַעַרְךָ֖ אֶל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶֽה:
11And you will hear what they speak, and afterward your hands will be strengthened, and you will go down upon the camp." And he went down with Purah his lad to the edge of the armed men that were in the camp.   יאוְשָֽׁמַעְתָּ֙ מַה־יְדַבֵּ֔רוּ וְאַחַר֙ תֶּחֱזַ֣קְנָה יָדֶ֔יךָ וְיָרַדְתָּ֖ בַּֽמַּחֲנֶ֑ה וַיֵּ֚רֶד הוּא֙ וּפֻרָ֣ה נַעֲר֔וֹ אֶל־קְצֵ֥ה הַחֲמֻשִׁ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר בַּֽמַּחֲנֶֽה:
12Now the Midianites and the Amalekites and all those of the East camped in the valley, as numerous as locusts; their camels without numbers; as numerous as the sand which is upon the seashore.   יבוּמִדְיָ֨ן וַעֲמָלֵ֚ק וְכָל־בְּנֵי־קֶ֙דֶם֙ נֹפְלִ֣ים בָּעֵ֔מֶק כָּאַרְבֶּ֖ה לָרֹ֑ב וְלִגְמַלֵּיהֶם֙ אֵ֣ין מִסְפָּ֔ר כַּח֛וֹל שֶׁעַל־שְׂפַ֥ת הַיָּ֖ם לָרֹֽב:
נֹפְלִים בָּעֵמֶק: I.e., they were encamped in the valley.  
13And Gideon came, and behold, a man was telling his fellow a dream. And he said, "Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a roasted cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent, and smote it, and it fell; and it turned it upside down, and the tent fell."   יגוַיָּבֹ֣א גִדְע֔וֹן וְהִ֨נֵּה־אִ֔ישׁ מְסַפֵּ֥ר לְרֵעֵ֖הוּ חֲל֑וֹם וַיֹּ֜אמֶר הִנֵּ֧ה חֲל֣וֹם חָלַ֗מְתִּי וְהִנֵּ֨ה צְלִ֜יל (כתיב צְלִ֜ול) לֶ֚חֶם שְׂעֹרִים֙ מִתְהַפֵּךְ֙ בְּמַחֲנֵ֣ה מִדְיָ֔ן וַיָּבֹ֣א עַד־הָ֠אֹהֶל וַיַּכֵּ֧הוּ וַיִּפֹּ֛ל וַיַּהַפְכֵ֥הוּ לְמַ֖עְלָה וְנָפַ֥ל הָאֹֽהֶל:
צְלִיל: This is written צְלִול (i.e., empty), because the generation was empty of righteous people. צְלִיל לֶחֶם שׂעוֹרִים A roasted barley bread (Targum Jonathan). A cake baked (צְלִי) on coals.  
barley bread: Symbolizing the merit of the Omer sacrificed on Passover.  
and smote it, and it fell: i.e., The tent.  
and it turned it: i.e., The tent was completely overturned, and fell.  
14And his fellow answered and said, "This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, the man of Israel; God has given Midian, and all the camp into his hand."   ידוַיַּ֨עַן רֵעֵ֚הוּ וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ אֵ֣ין זֹ֔את בִּלְתִּ֗י אִם־חֶ֛רֶב גִּדְע֥וֹן בֶּן־יוֹאָ֖שׁ אִ֣ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל נָתַ֚ן הָֽאֱלֹהִים֙ בְּיָד֔וֹ אֶת־מִדְיָ֖ן וְאֶת־כָּל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶֽה:
15Now when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down. And he returned to the camp of Israel, and said, "Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your hands."   טווַיְהִי֩ כִשְׁמֹ֨עַ גִּדְע֜וֹן אֶת־מִסְפַּ֧ר הַחֲל֛וֹם וְאֶת־שִׁבְר֖וֹ וַיִּשְׁתָּ֑חוּ וַיָּ֙שָׁב֙ אֶל־מַחֲנֵ֣ה יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַיֹּ֣אמֶר ק֔וּמוּ כִּֽי־נָתַ֧ן יְהֹוָ֛ה בְּיֶדְכֶ֖ם אֶת־מַחֲנֵ֥ה מִדְיָֽן:
telling of the dream: Heb. מִסְפַּר). The story (סִפּוּר) of the dream, (as Targum Jonathan renders) יַת שוּעִית חֶלְמָא וְיַת פִּשְׁרֵיהּ (the telling of the dream and its interpretation).  
and its interpretation: Its exchange; meaning, its interpretation (which takes the place of the dream).  
16And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and gave trumpets into the hands of all of them, and empty pitchers with torches inside the pitchers.   טזוַיַּ֛חַץ אֶת־שְׁלשׁ־מֵא֥וֹת הָאִ֖ישׁ שְׁלשָׁ֣ה רָאשִׁ֑ים וַיִּתֵּ֨ן שׁוֹפָר֚וֹת בְּיַד־כֻּלָּם֙ וְכַדִּ֣ים רֵקִ֔ים וְלַפִּדִ֖ים בְּת֥וֹךְ הַכַּדִּֽים:
trumpets… torches: To commemorate the merit of the giving of the Torah. However, the simple meaning is that since it was night, as it states (v. 9), it was dark, therefore they took the torches to provide light, and placed them into pitchers lest the torches be discerned.  
17And he said to them, "You shall look at me and do likewise. Now behold, when I come to the edge of the camp, then it shall be that as I do, so shall you do.   יזוַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵיהֶ֔ם מִמֶּ֥נִּי תִרְא֖וּ וְכֵ֣ן תַּעֲשֹ֑וּ וְהִנֵּ֨ה אָנֹכִ֥י בָא֙ בִּקְצֵ֣ה הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֔ה וְהָיָ֥ה כַאֲשֶׁר־אֶעֱשֶֹ֖ה כֵּ֥ן תַּעֲשֹֽוּן:
You shall look at me: At what I do, and do likewise.  
18When I shall blow the trumpet, I and all that are with me, then you too blow the trumpets on every side of all the camp, and say, 'For the Lord and for Gideon.' "   יחוְתָקַעְתִּי֙ בַּשּׁוֹפָ֔ר אָנֹכִ֖י וְכָל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר אִתִּ֑י וּתְקַעְתֶּ֨ם בַּשּׁוֹפָר֜וֹת גַּם־אַתֶּ֗ם סְבִיבוֹת֙ כָּל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֔ה וַאֲמַרְתֶּ֖ם לַיהֹוָ֥ה וּלְגִדְעֽוֹן:
I and all that are with me: One of the companies consisting of one hundred men was with him.  
For the Lord and for Gideon: (Targum Jonathan paraphrases:) The sword that kills is prompted by the Lord, and the victory is through Gideon.  
19Now Gideon came with the hundred men that were with him to the edge of the camp, in the beginning of the middle watch, when they had but recently awakened the guards; and they blew the trumpets, and they smashed the pitchers that were in their hands.   יטוַיָּבֹ֣א גִ֠דְעוֹן וּמֵאָה־אִ֨ישׁ אֲשֶׁר־אִתּ֜וֹ בִּקְצֵ֣ה הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֗ה רֹ֚אשׁ הָאַשְׁמֹ֣רֶת הַתִּֽיכוֹנָ֔ה אַ֛ךְ הָקֵ֥ם הֵקִ֖ימוּ אֶת־הַשֹּֽׁמְרִ֑ים וַֽיִּתְקְעוּ֙ בַּשּׁ֣וֹפָר֔וֹת וְנָפ֥וֹץ הַכַּדִּ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּיָדָֽם:
they had but recently awakened: I.e., The soldiers previously (had but recently awakened) the guards, who were to guard during the middle watch; for so it is customary for soldiers to set up watchmen, these would watch for the first third of the night, these for the second third, and these for the last third.  
and they smashed the pitchers that were in their hands: (and he told them) to break the pitchers which were in their hands.  
20And the three companies blew the trumpets, and broke the pitchers; and they held the torches in their left hands, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow; and they cried, "The sword for the Lord and for Gideon."   כוַֽ֠יִּתְקְעוּ שְׁלֹ֨שֶׁת הָרָאשִׁ֥ים בַּשּֽׁוֹפָרוֹת֘ וַיִּשְׁבְּר֣וּ הַכַּדִּים֒ וַיַּחֲזִ֚יקוּ בְיַד־שְׂמֹאולָם֙ בַּלַּפִּדִ֔ים וּבְיַ֨ד־יְמִינָ֔ם הַשּׁוֹפָר֖וֹת לִתְק֑וֹעַ וַֽיִּקְרְא֔וּ חֶ֥רֶב לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה וּלְגִדְעֽוֹן:
21And every man stood in his place around the camp; and the entire camp ran, and they trumpeted, and fled.   כאוַיַּֽעַמְדוּ֙ אִ֣ישׁ תַּחְתָּ֔יו סָבִ֖יב לַֽמַּחֲנֶ֑ה וַיָּ֧רָץ כָּל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֛ה וַיָּרִ֖יעוּ וַיָּנֽוּסוּ (כתיב וַיָּנֽיּסוּ) :
and they trumpeted: A blast to disencamp and flee.  
22And they blew the three hundred trumpets, and the Lord set every man's sword against his fellow, and throughout the whole camp. And the camp fled until Bet Hashittah to Zreira as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.   כבוַֽיִּתְקְעוּ֘ שְׁלשׁ־מֵא֣וֹת הַשּׁוֹפָרוֹת֒ וַיָּ֣שֶׂם יְהֹוָ֗ה אֵ֣ת חֶ֥רֶב אִ֛ישׁ בְּרֵעֵ֖הוּ וּבְכָל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֑ה וַיָּ֨נָס הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֜ה עַד־בֵּ֚ית הַשִּׁטָּה֙ צְֽרֵרָ֔תָה עַ֛ד שְׂפַת־אָבֵ֥ל מְחוֹלָ֖ה עַל־טַבָּֽת:
23And there gathered the men of Israel out of Naphtali, and of Asher, and of all Menasseh, and they pursued Midian.   כגוַיִּצָּעֵ֧ק אִֽישׁ־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל מִנַּפְתָּלִ֥י וּמִן־אָשֵׁ֖ר וּמִן־כָּל־מְנַשֶּׁ֑ה וַֽיִּרְדְּפ֖וּ אַחֲרֵ֥י מִדְיָֽן:
24And Gideon sent messengers throughout all the mountain of Ephraim, saying, "Come down against Midian, and seize before them the waters, as far as Beth-barah, and (also) the Jordan." And all the men of Ephraim gathered, and they seized the waters as far as Beth- barah, and the Jordan.   כדוּמַלְאָכִ֡ים שָׁלַ֣ח גִּדְעוֹן֩ בְּכָל־הַ֨ר אֶפְרַ֜יִם לֵאמֹ֗ר רְד֞וּ לִקְרַ֚את מִדְיָן֙ וְלִכְד֚וּ לָהֶם֙ אֶת־הַמַּ֔יִם עַ֛ד בֵּ֥ית בָּרָ֖ה וְאֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֑ן וַיִּצָּעֵ֞ק כָּל־אִ֚ישׁ אֶפְרַ֙יִם֙ וַיִּלְכְּד֣וּ אֶת־הַמַּ֔יִם עַ֛ד בֵּ֥ית בָּרָ֖ה וְאֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּֽן:
and seize before them the waters: Which separate between Edom and Canaan (Text per Rabbi Joseph Karo).  
and (also) the Jordan: For it also separated.  
25And they captured two princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb, and they killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb they killed at the winepress of Zeeb; and they pursued Midian, and the heads of Oreb and Zeeb they brought to Gideon beyond the Jordan.   כהוַֽיִּלְכְּד֡וּ שְׁנֵֽי־שָׂרֵ֨י מִדְיָ֜ן אֶת־עֹרֵ֣ב וְאֶת־זְאֵ֗ב וַיַּהַרְג֨וּ אֶת־עוֹרֵ֚ב בְּצוּר־עוֹרֵב֙ וְאֶת־זְאֵב֙ הָרְג֣וּ בְיֶֽקֶב־זְאֵ֔ב וַֽיִּרְדְּפ֖וּ אֶל־מִדְיָ֑ן וְרֹאשׁ־עֹרֵ֣ב וּזְאֵ֔ב הֵבִ֙יאוּ֙ אֶל־גִּדְע֔וֹן מֵעֵ֖בֶר לַיַּרְדֵּֽן:
they brought to Gideon beyond the Jordan: In the morning, when Gideon crossed the Jordan in pursuit of Zebah and Zalmunna.  
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