BibleAsk Team

How did Gideon win the battle with only 300 soldiers?

This story of how the Lord gave victory to Israel with only 300 soldiers is found in the book of Judges chapter 7. God told Gideon to gather an army to fight the Midianites. So God’s servant gathered 32,000 soldiers but the enemy’s army consisted of 135,000 soldiers. Despite these odds, God told Gideon, “You are too many” (v.2) and directed a series of steps to decrease the number of Israel’s army. By decreasing their numbers even more, it would be humanly impossible to win the war and thus prove how miraculous the deliverance would be, ensuring that glory would be given God and not man.

The process of decreasing their numbers went as follows: The Lord said to Gideon: “Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once” (v. 3). When Gideon did that, 22,000 of his fighting men went home. Those that remained were only 10,000 men. Then again the Lord said to Gideon: “The people are still too many’ (v. 4) and instructed Gideon to have the men drink at a stream and then to send home all the people who took their time and put their face down to the water to drink. Only 300 men remained who kept watching while they drank. God said, I will give you the victory with the 300 men.

Gideon was extremely worried and discouraged by such a small army of 300 men going up against 135,000 enemy soldiers. In mercy, the Lord directed Gideon to secretly go into the Midianite camp where He would give him a sign of encouragement. Gideon heard a dialogue between some Midiante soldiers: “there was a man telling a dream to his companion. He said, “I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed. Then his companion answered and said, “This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel! Into his hand God has delivered Midian and the whole camp” (Judges 7:13, 14).

Strengthened by God’s message, Gideon divided his 300 men into three groups. He gave each soldier a horn, and a jar with a torch inside it. At midnight, they all surrounded the camp of the enemy. Then, at the same time, they all blew their horns and broke their jars, and shouted: “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” “When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled …” (Judges 7:20, 22). God gave Israel the victory that day and it was without a doubt a divine miracle.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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