A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible
Hunc tu caveto.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

At the end of the chapter, two Midianite leaders are decapitated and their heads brought to Gideon.  From Firaze Shakir

Gideon Defeats an Army With Only 300 Men (Judges, Chapter 7) - Good ol' Gideon, now that he's been selected to be Yahweh's chosen general, must now select men for his army.  The selection process is very odd indeed.

Starting with about 32,000 people, Gideon asks those who are afraid to return to their homes.  Only 10,000 remain.  Still, Yahweh - cocky as ever - suggests that even 10,000 is too much.  Yahweh says he will select the men who will fight by the manner in which they drink water!  That's right, if they naturally get down and lap up water with their tongues like dogs, they're the ones He wants.

So, Yahweh and Gideon observe how each man drinks water.  Finally, after everyone drank water, it turns out that only 300 people drank water like a dog.  Gideon becomes another King Leonidas.

The Midianite Army

The author of Judges really took some pains in order to describe the vastness of the opposing army.  The Midianites were numerous like grasshoppers and - get this - their camels were numberless, like the sands along the seashore.  If we were to take this description seriously, that's a lot of fucking camels!!!

But, what do camels matter in this equation?  Seriously.  This is a sword and spear fight. 

The Battle

Like most of these stories, the description of the battle seems a little fishy.  If true, King Leonidas would've done better with these 300 rather than his own.  Actually, Leonidas would've only needed Yahweh; He did all the work.

Armed with a trumpet, an empty pitcher, and a lamp; the 300 men faced off against the locustlike horde of Midianites.  Following instructions from a dream, Gideon ordered his men to first break the pitcher, hold the lamp in their left hands, and then simultaneously blow on the trumpet with their right.

When they do this, all of the opposing army turn on each other, killing each other off rather rapidly, and the Israelites win.  They later hunt down two Midianite princes, Oreb and Zeeb, decapitate them, and then bring the heads to Gideon. 

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