In the book of Judges, in the section about Gideon, there is a dream and an interpretation of that dream is given. I’ve always been a bit puzzled by it. God tells Gideon to take his armor-bearer Purah and reconnoiter the enemy camp.
When Gideon came to the enemy camp, he heard a man telling his friend about a dream. He was saying, “I dreamed that a loaf of barley bread rolled into the camp of Midian. It hit the tent so hard that the tent turned over and fell flat!” – Judges 7:13
Now I don’t know about you, but my interpretation of the dream would have gone something like the following.
“Well obviously this is about the fact that we haven’t brought enough food with us. These Israelis can barely feed themselves. Look how many of us there are! We’re going to have to scour the countryside for food or we will all collapse in hunger.”
But no, a different interpretation was given by the friend.
The man’s friend said, “Your dream is about the sword of Gideon son of Joash, a man of Israel. God will hand Midian and the whole army over to him!” – Judges 7:14
Huh? Where did that come from?
An interesting thing happens when you dig into the etymology of words. you find that the Hebrew word for bread is ‘Lechem’. However, this word has a root word of ‘Lacham’. This word means to fight or to battle, in addition to eat or consume. The word for rolled is the Hebrew word “Bo”. Another meaning of that word is to fall-upon, as in an attack. So this round cake of barley bread attacked and beat down a tent.
Stay with me.
Gideon means “hewer”. Which means, “to strike forcibly with an ax, sword, or other cutting instrument; chop; hack.”
Notice that the friend who interpreted the dream doesn’t say that the cake of bread is Gideon attacking the camp. No, he says, “Your dream is about the sword of Gideon…”
The hewer’s tool (or weapon) forcibly struck the enemy camp and leveled it.
The friend, understanding the symbolism and words behind them, saw the full implied meaning – they were going to be hewed down.
Funny thing is that they themselves were the instrument of their own destruction.
When Gideon’s three hundred men blew their trumpets, the LORD made all the Midianites fight each other with their swords! – Judges 7:22a
Father, may I listen to my friends. Often times they have knowledge or revelation that I desperately need. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I’m feeling sleepy. Jan