Lap Like a Dog


And then YHVH God will choose you…..

What does this mean?

Judges, 7:5-7

There the Lord told him, "Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink." Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. The LORD said to Gideon, "With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you … "

How do you NOT lap like a dog without first getting down on all fours????

Like this?


This commentary does not make any more sense than the verse itself:

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 5, 6. – The water, viz., of the well or spring of Harod. That lappeth, etc. It showed a much more soldierly and self-controlled spirit just to quench the thirst by lapping the water out of the palm of the hand, than to kneel down and drink without stint out of the spring itself. The Lord saw the difference of character indicated by the two actions, and chose his instruments accordingly.


From this picture above, if accurate, I cannot tell which is the chosen group.

Both sets are on their knees in some way.

The ones closest to the water are drinking more like a dog would drink,

The ones bringing their hands to their mouth so they can possibly “lap” are less in a position to lap like a dog than the ones on their knees, who are more in a position to drink like a dog.

The more upright ones would just cup their hands and drink out of their hands without lapping.

In general, one would not expect any human to lap like a dog, as that is not normal behavior.

Humans do not lick in the water.

They just tilt the source of the water and pour it in.

This commentary says the opposite:

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

(5) Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue.—Josephus (Antt. v. 6, § 4) says that Gideon led them down to the spring in the fiercest heat of the noonday, and that he judged those to be the bravest who flung themselves down and drank, and those to be the cowards who lapped the water hastily and tumultuously. Theodoret also thinks that the Divine aid was shown by the fact that the greatest cowards were chosen. This may have been a Jewish legend (Hagadah); but it seems more reasonable to suppose that greater self-control would be shown by stooping and drinking the water out of the hand than by flinging themselves at full length to drink, which would be the natural instinct of a thirsty man. Rashi says that those who went down on their knees to drink were secret idolators, who had “bowed the knee to Baal” (1Kings 19:18).

Derek Prince says this:


Begin quote:

One Essential Character Requirement

The test focused on one single character requirement: vigilance.

Picture first those who drank in the normal way.

Laying aside their shield from the left arm and their spear—or sword—from the right arm, they went down on both knees and buried their faces in the water.

In this posture, they were totally vulnerable to a surprise attack.

They could not see any approaching enemy, nor did they have their weapons ready to use.

In the time they took to get themselves ready, the enemy would have overcome them.

What about those who lapped like dogs?

When a dog drinks, it does not bury its nose in the water, it stretches out its tongue and laps the water up into its mouth, usually splashing some water around.

How, then, should we picture the men who lapped?

They went down on one knee only.

Retaining their shield on their left arm, with the right arm they set down their spear or sword beside them.

Then, with a cupped hand, they scooped up the water to their mouths.

In this posture, they remained alert, constantly watching for any surprise attack.

Their shields were already in position and they could instantly pick up their spear or sword and have it ready to use.

There was no possibility of the enemy taking them by surprise.

End of quote

The above commentary adds details to the scripture that are not there.

So we cannot assume his description is correct, as it adds to the Word.

It does not say they put their weapons aside, for example, nor did it say they buried their noses in the water.

Dogs stand on all fours, not on bended knee, and then bring their heads down close to the water, and lap.

Those that got down close to the water could do the same thing.

And for those who did get down on bended knee, they would cup the water and bring it to their mouth to drink.

I cannot personally imagine either group lapping water like a dog.

It is just not human to do that, so to do it would be abnormal.

And why would abnormal behavior make them better soldiers?

One commentary (Justin B. Fung) puts it this way, with an alternative view:

begin quote:

The original distinction must have been between those who knelt and drank from their hands, and those (the 300) who put their faces to the water and lapped like dogs. Thus, it was probably the most unlikely who were chosen, to make it even clearer that the victory was no human achievement. (IVP New Bible Commentary)

I had been taught that God had chosen the fearless and the alert, that God chooses the fearless and the alert.

But actually, God may have chosen the 300 least likely to defeat the Midianites. That fits with his MO, doesn’t it? 

End quote

In other words, God chose the “abnormal” ones, the ones who “least likely to succeed,” to be the chosen 300.

This way, God would get all the glory, and it had nothing to do with how good the soldiers were.

I agree.

Jung continues:

Begin quote:

It might be instructive also to look at the story of Gideon’s call in chapter 6, or at least Gideon’s response to being called. He said,

“Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” (Judges 6:15)

But doesn’t that sound like God? Doesn’t that sound like the way God works? Doesn’t that sound like the stories that we find over and over in the Bible?

Choosing the weak to shame the strong, choosing the foolish to shame the wise, choosing the things that are not to overturn the things that are.

Siding with the poor and the oppressed and the weeping and the hungry and the outcasts.

Moses the exiled standing up to Pharaoh and the might of Egypt and leading the people of Israel out of slavery.

Achieving victory with an uncertain Gideon and the fearful and under resourced 300.

Defeating a ferocious giant with David the shepherd boy and one smooth stone.

I like the last view best.

Finally, a mystery solved.

So, according to this, we should not be puffed up with pride or self importance when God chooses us. 

It may be because we are a pathetic mess, not because we are smart, special, and wonderful.

This makes one need to humble ourselves even more.

But, this also gives hope to those that thought they had no chance to serve God.

Are you fat or ugly?

Are you homeless?

Are you uneducated?

Do you struggle with addictions?

Do you have a criminal history?

Do people reject you?

Have you been abused and shamed?

Are you sick or disabled?

Have you done everything wrong in your life, and can’t seem to do anything right?

If yes, God can still choose you to give Him glory.

Submit to Him!!!!!!

Let Him lead you to Himself, and to the world, to give your testimony, to serve Him and fight for Him.

We may be chosen NOT because we are qualified to do anything right. 

But, only because we are NOTHING, YHVH God can use us.

Any other thoughts from readers?

37 Responses to “Lap Like a Dog”

  1. […] here for […]

  2. Yes ma’am! Hineni, here am I

  3. Marianne – You obviously put a lot of thought into this post. But, I have to admit that my sense of what”lapping like a dog” means is with less thought, but is my first thought when reading this post.

    When I think about a dog lapping up water, the dog does so with such intensity. God wants us to want for Him with the intensity that a thirsty dog drinks. God wants us to thirst for Him with such focus.

    Unless I totally missed what you were trying to convey in this post. I admit I am quite tired, not having great sleep (or much sleep) for the last few days.

  4. I like the fact you have not treated the commrentaries as ‘gospel’. I learned it from childhood and assumed the ones who lapped were drinking directly from the river with their tongues whereas the others who were chosen did not put their tongues into the river directly but put their hands in to cup water to their mouths. I assumed dogs drink directly from water of course (no hands!). Now it seems to me to mean God prefers more humanlike behaviour and rejects doglike behaviour (Rev 21 and 22 ‘outside are the dogs’). But I beg to differ about normality: If as a child or adult you ever drank from streams like I did on camp you’ll realise how natural to put your face or at least tongue into the water but only if it is clean enough – otherwise if you think there might be creepy crawlies or mud or worse in it you first cup it to ensure you are not drinking anything awful with the water. A dog does not care about drinking dirty water. They have a great immune system. It is human to care how clean the water is BEFORE drinking it. Metaphorically that is why I like it that you do not treat the commentaries as ‘gospel’ meaning you carefully look and evaluate before ‘drinking’. It is doglike (hence Rev 21 and 22) to ignore the quality before lapping it all up regardless. Too many are like that in places of worship, etc. God will reject those who ignore the source quality before lapping up what comes to them. This is seen in the Law where those who listen to mediums and sorcerers and diviners are condemned. In Rev 21 and 22 God and Jesus in turn condemn it too because dogs both practice magic and lie and so forth. I believe when it says ‘dogs’ it means all those who behave in the ways listed subsequently. The word ‘dog’ generally describes those rejected into the Lake of Fire.

  5. Wow Marianne ‘ this one is a beauty ‘
    Lots of twists and turns but the story is a winner’ like you said’ give God the Glory’ he can make a nobody somebody’ in his eyes”
    No poetry with this one’

  6. THIS scriptures and comments are as stupit as believeing that a women can have a baby without a man , such as Mary and her son called Jesus , thats why he created man and women for and their off spring comes from haveing sex :

  7. Thanks again 👼👼🙏



    Obama, Chancellor [of Germany] Angela Merkel, and Melinda Gates [Bill Gates’ wife] all attended and spoke at the Protestant assembly in Germany, Kirchentag, ecumenical and interfaith event. one world religion.

  10. , ecumenical and interfaith event. one world religion. do not join !

    the is horrible video, you could see the one world religion is coming

  11. start from 40:00 there is caller ask pastor regarding to the financial crash
    , and concern about the money. i think pastor response is very very good.

  12. the Poland’s PM is very awesome !


    observe the shavuot


    they are live now

  15. seth rich and more body count

  16. Hi Marianne,

    what do you think about this video.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: