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Judges 3Amplified Bible (AMP)

Idolatry Leads to Servitude

Now these are the nations which the Lord left [in order] to test Israel by them (that is, all [the people of Israel] who had not [previously] experienced any of the wars in Canaan; only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might be taught war, at least those who had not experienced it previously). The remaining nations are: the five lords (governors) of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to the entrance of Hamath. They were [allowed to remain] for the testing of Israel, to determine whether Israel would listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord, which He had commanded their fathers (ancestors) through Moses. And the Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites; and they took their daughters for themselves as wives and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their [pagan] gods.

And the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the [a]Asheroth. So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of [b]Mesopotamia; and the Israelites served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.

The First Judge Rescues Israel

But when the Israelites cried out to the Lord [for help], the Lord raised up a [c]man to rescue the people of Israel, [d]Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand, and he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. 11 And the land was at rest [from oppression for] forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

12 Now the Israelites again did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord strengthened Eglon king of Moab against Israel, since they had done what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 13 And Eglon gathered to him the sons of Ammon and Amalek, and went and struck down Israel [in defeat], and they took possession of the City of Palm Trees (Jericho). 14 And the Israelites served Eglon king of Moab eighteen years.

Ehud Rescues Israel from Moab

15 But when the Israelites cried out to the Lord [for help], the Lord raised up a [e]man to rescue them, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, [f]a left-handed man. And the Israelites sent a gift of tribute by him to Eglon king of Moab. 16 Now Ehud made for himself a sword a [g]cubit long, which had two edges, and he bound it on his [h]right thigh under his robe. 17 And he brought the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 And when Ehud had finished presenting the [i]tribute, he sent away the people who had carried it. 19 But Ehud himself turned back from the [j]sculptured stones at Gilgal, [and he returned to Eglon] and said [to him], “I have a secret message for you, O king.” Eglon said “Keep silence.” And all who attended him left him. 20 Ehud came to him as he was sitting alone in his [private] cool upper chamber, and Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” And the king got up from his seat. 21 Then Ehud reached out with his left hand and took the sword from his right thigh, and plunged it into Eglon’s belly. 22 And the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, because Ehud did not draw the sword out of his belly; and the refuse came out. 23 Then Ehud went out into the vestibule and shut the doors of the upper chamber behind him, and locked them.

24 When Ehud departed, Eglon’s servants came. And when they saw that the doors of the upper room were locked, they said, “He is only [k]relieving himself in the cool room.” 25 They waited [a very long time] until they became embarrassed and uneasy, but he still did not open the doors of the upper room. So [finally] they took the key and opened them, and behold, their master had fallen to the floor, dead.

26 Now Ehud escaped while they lingered, and he passed beyond the sculptured stones and escaped to Seirah. 27 When he had arrived, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he was in front of them. 28 And he said to them, “Pursue them, for the Lord has handed over your enemies the Moabites to you.” So they went down after him and seized the [l]fords of the Jordan opposite Moab and did not allow anyone to cross. 29 They struck down at that time about ten thousand Moabite men, all strong, courageous men; not a man escaped. 30 So Moab was subdued and humbled that day under the hand of Israel, and the land was at rest for eighty years.

Shamgar Rescues from Philistines

31 After Ehud came Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistine men with an [m]oxgoad. He too saved Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 3:7 Various Canaanite goddesses of fertility and warfare.
  2. Judges 3:8 Heb Aram-naharaim; Aram of Two Rivers.
  3. Judges 3:9 Lit deliverer.
  4. Judges 3:9 Othniel was the first of the twelve people God appointed to rescue and lead Israel. In addition to specific judicial duties, the judges served as both civil and military leaders.
  5. Judges 3:15 Lit deliverer.
  6. Judges 3:15 Lit bound in his right hand.
  7. Judges 3:16 I.e. about eighteen inches.
  8. Judges 3:16 If a bodyguard searched Ehud he would have focused on his left side, where a right-handed man would hide a sword.
  9. Judges 3:18 The tribute apparently required a company of people to transport and may have consisted of such things as valuable commodities, precious metals, and domestic animals.
  10. Judges 3:19 These stones may have been either boundary markers or idols.
  11. Judges 3:24 Lit covering his feet (with his garment)—a euphemism for defecating, probably because of the squatting position taken.
  12. Judges 3:28 I.e. narrow or shallow places where a river may be crossed by wading.
  13. Judges 3:31 I.e. a rod with a pointed end or fitted with a spike.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Judges 3New International Version (NIV)

These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.

The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.

Othniel

The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs. The anger of the Lord burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim,[a] to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years. But when they cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came on him, so that he became Israel’s judge[b] and went to war. The Lord gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him. 11 So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died.

Ehud

12 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and because they did this evil the Lord gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel. 13 Getting the Ammonites and Amalekites to join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms.[c] 14 The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years.

15 Again the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. The Israelites sent him with tribute to Eglon king of Moab. 16 Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a cubit[d] long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing. 17 He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man. 18 After Ehud had presented the tribute, he sent on their way those who had carried it. 19 But on reaching the stone images near Gilgal he himself went back to Eglon and said, “Your Majesty, I have a secret message for you.”

The king said to his attendants, “Leave us!” And they all left.

20 Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his palace[e] and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose from his seat, 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly. 22 Even the handle sank in after the blade, and his bowels discharged. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it. 23 Then Ehud went out to the porch[f]; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.

24 After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, “He must be relieving himself in the inner room of the palace.” 25 They waited to the point of embarrassment, but when he did not open the doors of the room, they took a key and unlocked them. There they saw their lord fallen to the floor, dead.

26 While they waited, Ehud got away. He passed by the stone images and escaped to Seirah. 27 When he arrived there, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down with him from the hills, with him leading them.

28 “Follow me,” he ordered, “for the Lord has given Moab, your enemy, into your hands.” So they followed him down and took possession of the fords of the Jordan that led to Moab; they allowed no one to cross over. 29 At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all vigorous and strong; not one escaped. 30 That day Moab was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace for eighty years.

Shamgar

31 After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 3:8 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
  2. Judges 3:10 Or leader
  3. Judges 3:13 That is, Jericho
  4. Judges 3:16 That is, about 18 inches or about 45 centimeters
  5. Judges 3:20 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain; also in verse 24.
  6. Judges 3:23 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

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