ESL Lesson 16 – Gideon and His 300 Men

Lesson 16

Gideon and His 300 Men

Judges 6 and 7


Joshua was the leader of the Jews for about twenty-five years.  During that time the Jews usually obeyed God and did not worship idols.  While Joshua was their leader, the Jews drove most of their enemies out of the promised land.  God helped the Jews because they obeyed Him.   Before Joshua died he told the people, “You must never worship any god except the true God in heaven who created the earth.  If you worship other gods, God will punish you.”  The Jews promised Joshua that they would not worship other gods and idols.


God told the Jews to drive people of other nations out of the promised land.  God did not want the Jews to make friends with these nations and begin to worship their gods.  But the Jews let some of these nations stay in the land.  They made friends with them and married people from these other nations.  The Jews began worshipping their god Baal.  God was very angry about this.  He sent enemies to fight against the Jews.


Each time the Jews asked God for help, God gave them a leader called a judge.  While the judge lived, God helped the Jews fight their enemies.  But each time a judge died, the people began worshipping other gods and idols again.  Then God let their enemies conquer them.  The time of the judges lasted for three hundred years.

                        One of these judges was a man named Gideon.  One day Gideon was hiding from the enemy and threshing some wheat.  He was afraid the enemy would steal his grain. 


For seven years this enemy nation had treated the Jews cruelly.  They drove the Jews from their homes and made them live in caves in the mountains.  The enemies destroyed the Jews’ crops and took their livestock so the Jews were poor and hungry.


God told Gideon, “I am with you.”  


Gideon said, “But if You are with us, why have all of these bad things happened to us?  Where are all the miracles that our fathers told us about?”


God told Gideon that He would use him to save the Jews from their enemies.  But first God told Gideon to tear down the place that his father used to worship Baal. 


Gideon obeyed God.  But he was afraid of his family and the people in town.  He did it at night so no one could see him do it. 


The next morning the men in town found out what Gideon had done.  They wanted to kill Gideon.  They told Gideon’s father, “Bring us your son.  He must die because he destroyed the place where we worship our god.”

Gideon’s father said, “Are you trying to save Baal?  If Baal is really a god, he can save himself.”







conquer (v)

cave (v)

last (v)

tear down

thresh (v)



Irregular Verbs



Past Participle




has torn

will tear


1.  Did God want the Jews to make friends with other nations? Why?

2.  After Joshua died, what were the new leaders of the Jews called?

3.  When the Jews started worshipping other gods, what did God let happen?

4.  How long did the time of the judges last?

5.  What was Gideon doing when God came to talk to him?

6.  What did God want Gideon to tear down? 

7.  What did the men in town want to do to Gideon when they found out what he had done?


God told Gideon that He would save the Jews from their enemies.  So Gideon called the Jewish men together to make an army.  The Jewish army was much smaller than the enemies’ army.  But God told Gideon, “You have too many men in your army.  If you win the battle with this many men, the men will brag about how strong they are.  Tell the men that anyone who is afraid can leave and go home.”


When Gideon told the men this, twenty-two thousand (22,000) men left.  Now Gideon’s army had only ten thousand men (10,000).  But God told Gideon, “You still have too many men.  Take them down to the water to get a drink.”


At the river some men lifted the water to their mouths in their hands.  Others put their mouths into the water to drink.  God told Gideon he should keep only the men who drank water from their hands.  After that Gideon had only three hundred men to help him fight the enemy.


Gideon was afraid to fight the huge enemy army with only three hundred men.  But God helped Gideon to be brave and to know what to do.  Gideon divided the men into three groups.  Each man brought a trumpet and a jar with a torch inside.  Then one night each group went to a different place around the enemy camp.  When Gideon gave them a signal, all of the men blew their trumpets.  They broke the jars so their torches showed in the darkness.  Then they all shouted.  When the enemy saw the lights and heard the noise, they thought a huge army was around their camp.  They were afraid. 


God made the enemies to be afraid of each other and fight and kill each other.  They ran away.  Gideon’s army ran after them and fought them.  In this way Gideon and his three hundred  men won the battle. 


Gideon was the judge of Israel for forty more years.  During this time the Jews’ enemies didn’t bother them anymore.



brag (v)

torch (n)

lift (v)

signal (n)

brave (adj)

noise (n)

jar (n)

bother (n)


Irregular Verbs



Past Participle




has left

will leave



 8.  In Gideon’s army how many men were afraid and went home?

 9.  How many men were in Gideon’s army when they fought the enemy?  Why didn’t God want Gideon to use more men?

10.  What did each man bring to the battle?

11.  What did the enemy think when they saw the lights and heard the noise around their camp?


To Think About

The ten commandments say, “Honor your father and mother.”  Yet God told Gideon to tear down the place his father used to worship other gods.  Is it ever right to go against our parents’ wishes*?  When?  What should we do when our parents ask us to do something that the Bible says is wrong?


Some people worship their ancestors.   The Bible says we should only worship God.  How can we show honor to our parents without worshipping them?



wishes (n)