Which group of soldiers did Gideon keep?

Gideon was a judge of Israel who is best known for his victory over the Midianites, as described in the book of Judges in the Old Testament. According to the story, Gideon was initially called upon by God to lead an army of 32,000 Israelites against the Midianites, who had been oppressing the Israelites for many years. However, God instructed Gideon to reduce his army to just 300 men, in order to demonstrate that it was God's power, not the strength of the Israelite army, that would bring about victory.

The question of which group of soldiers Gideon kept is central to this story. According to Judges 7:1-8, Gideon initially had an army of 32,000 men. However, God instructed him to reduce his army, saying, "The people who are with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me'" (Judges 7:2).

To reduce his army, Gideon first instructed those who were afraid to go home, leaving him with 10,000 men. However, God told Gideon that even this number was too many, and instructed him to bring the men down to the water to drink. Those who lapped the water with their tongues, like a dog, were to be kept, while those who knelt down to drink were to be sent home. Only 300 men lapped the water and were kept.

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Jamie Larson