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And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

7:7 three hundred men that lapped. God first had Gideon reduce his army by sending 22,000 men who were fearful and afraid back home (Judges 7:3), leaving only 10,000 to face the 135,000 Midianites (Judges 8:10). Then it was further diminished to only three hundred men who did not bow “down upon his knees to drink water” but instead “lappeth of the a dog lappeth” (Judges 7:5-6). No explanation for this choice is given, but it probably was based on alertness, just as the first was based on courage. The men may have drunk from cupped hands rather than directly from the brook surface.

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