It starts out in the usual way: The Israelites "do evil in the sight of the Lord," so God sells them into slavery. Then "the children of Israel cried unto the LORD" and God kills all the guys that he sold them to. (Midianites, this time around)
Here's the long version.
An angel of the Lord was sitting under an oak tree and he saw Gideon threshing some wheat. So he started up a conversation with him.
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. Judges 6:12And then God joined in.
And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? ... And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. Judges 6:14-16(As always, the best way to picture this is to read the Brick Testament story.)
So Gideon has a three-way conversation with the angel and God, but he doesn't believe either of them. He demands a sign.
But first, he runs off to slaughter a goat. And then, guess what happened.
Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff ... and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Judges 6:19-21Yep. The angel touched the bloody, dead goat and it burst into flames.
But it still didn't convince Gideon. He needed another sign to prove that God wasn't lying to him. So he put some wool on the ground and asked God to make it wet, while keeping the surrounding ground dry.
And Gideon said unto God ... Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. Judges 6:36-37And God passed that test, no sweat.
And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. Judges 6:38Now you might think that would be enough proof for Gideon. But no. He's still not sure he can trust God, so he asks God to reverse the trick, and make the ground wet and the wool dry.
And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. Judges 6:39And God did that trick, too!
So God passed all of Gideon's tests and Gideon and God got down to business. But first, they had to select some accomplices.
I'm not sure how this happened, but it always happens this way. The Israelites were enslaved, but somehow they managed to keep a huge, well-equipped army. I guess they did this so they'd be ready when they cry out to God and he decides to kill those guys that he sold them to.
Well, this time is no different. The Israelite slaves had a big army, too big, in fact, for God's liking. He worried that if they killed all the Midianites with that big of an army, nobody would believe that it was God that was doing the killing. And God wants all the credit for his killings.
The LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Judges 7:2So God tells Gideon to get rid of some of the men. Start with the chicken shits.
Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. Judges 7:3That got rid of 22,000. But 10,000 were still there, which was still too many. But God had a plan.
God told Gideon to have the soldiers go down to the water to get a drink. Those that lap the water "as a dog lappeth" are the natural-born killers that he's looking for, while those that got down on their knees to use a cup or their hands are fucking wusses that should be sent home.
So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men ... And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you. Judges 7:5-7You see, God knows that real men pee standing up and lap water like dogs.
Now the Bible tells us that there were gazillions of Midianites. They were like grasshoppers. Like the sands of the seashore. Like that.
(Which is strange since God killed every male Midianite during the time of Moses, and yet here, 200 years later, they flourish like grasshoppers "without number.")
And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude. Judges 7:12Was Gideon worried about attacking a gazillion Midiantes with 300 water lappers?
No. Because some guy had a dream about barley cakes and tents, and that guy told some other guy about the dream that he had, and then later Gideon heard about it.
And ... behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshiped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. Judges 7:13-15But enough with the dreams. It's time to get down to killing. Gideon gives each dog-lapper a trumpet and a pitcher with a lamp in it, and tells them:
When I blow with a trumpet ... then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. Judges 7:18And that's what they did.
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. Judges 7:20Great idea, eh? But it didn't really do anything. It was God that did all the dirty work by forcing the gazillions of Amalekites to kill each other.
The LORD set every man's sword against his fellow. Judges 7:22The story gets a bit confusing after that. Two princes are caught, decapitated, and their heads are brought to Gideon. The princes of Succoth question Gideon's leadership and he promises to come back and torture them later. (Which he did and then killed all the men in their city.) And Gideon tells his son to kill two kings, but ends up having to do it himself, since his son was a chicken-shit, cup-drinking, sit-down-pee-er.
But finally we are told that 120,000 were killed in the whole wet-fleece, water-lapping, trumpet-blowing, pitcher-smashing, the-Sword-of-the-Lord-and-of-Gideon episode.
There fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. Judges 8:10Sorry that was so long. But at least now you know why the Gideons chose Gideon as their namesake.
They're fucking crazy.
God's next killing: A city is massacred and 1000 people burn to death because of God’s evil spirit