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lapping water in the Bible

The dog drinks by shaping the end of his long thin tongue into the form of a spoon, thus rapidly lifting up water, which he throws into his mouth.

Humans who lack a vessel to hold drinking water may fill their hands with water and put it to their mouth to lap it up. The 300 men that went with Gideon did this, as recorded in Judges 5:4-8:

Then the Lord said to Gideon,

“The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”

So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon,

“You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.”

Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water. The Lord said to Gideon,

“I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home.”

So the 300 men took the people’s provisions and their trumpets into their hands. And Gideon sent all the other men of Israel, each to his tent, but retained the 300 men; and the camp of Midian was below him in the valley. (NASB)

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Article Version: February 20, 2020