Friday, July 27, 2007

Gideon's Tongue

The story of Gideon, found in the Biblical book of Judges chapter 7 is quite extraordinary. I don't mean the bit about his 300 men beating an army many times their size, "no more to be counted than the sand on the seashore".

Rather I mean the bit about the selection procedure for Gideon's band of 300. You know the story, Gideon marches 10,000 men to a spring and orders them to drink the water. Some of them kneel down to drink, while 300 "lap with their hands to their a dog". These are the ones who are chosen.

Now I don't know when was the last time you had to drink from a spring. Kneeling down and putting your mouth directly to the water (which is what the majority of Gideon's lot apparently did) is not my idea of fun. In other words, I too would have bunched my fingers and my palm and scooped the water up to my mouth. But then I would have half-sucked and half-poured the water into my mouth.

In fact, I have tried to lap like a dog to check out the Gideon story, and I can tell you that you can't get much water into your system by that method.

So I can only surmise that the construction of the tongues of the humans of that time must have been rather like a dog's - and therefore rather different from mine (I can't speak for the rest of humanity on this point, as I am not a regular examiner of tongues and of their "lapping capability").

In any case, I regret that I would not have been of much use to Gideon. Sphere: Related Content

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