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Judges 7:4-7

7:4 The Lord spoke to Gideon again, “There are still too many men. 1  Bring them down to the water and I will thin the ranks some more. 2  When I say, ‘This one should go with you,’ pick him to go; 3  when I say, 4  ‘This one should not go with you,’ do not take him.” 5  7:5 So he brought the men 6  down to the water. Then the Lord said to Gideon, “Separate those who lap the water as a dog laps from those who kneel to drink.” 7  7:6 Three hundred men lapped; 8  the rest of the men 9  kneeled to drink water. 7:7 The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men who lapped I will deliver the whole army 10  and I will hand Midian over to you. 11  The rest of the men should go home.” 12 

1 tn Heb “too many people.”

2 tn Heb “test them for you there.”

3 tn Heb “he should go with you.”

4 tn Heb also has “to you.”

5 tn Heb “he should not go.”

6 tn Heb “the people.”

7 tn Heb “Everyone who laps with his tongue from the water, as a dog laps, put him by himself, as well as the one who gets down on his knees to drink.”

8 tc The Hebrew text adds, “with their hands to their mouths,” This makes no sense in light of v. 5, which distinguishes between dog-like lappers (who would not use their hands to drink) and those who kneel (who would use their hands). It seems likely that the words “with their hands to their mouths” have been misplaced from v. 6. They fit better at the end of v. 5 or v. 6. Perhaps these words were originally a marginal scribal note which was later accidentally inserted into the text in the wrong place.

9 tn Heb “the people.”

10 tn Heb “you.” The Hebrew pronoun is masculine plural, probably referring to the entire army.

11 tn The Hebrew pronoun here is singular.

12 tn Heb “All the people should go, each to his place.”

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