Good News Translation
The Nations Remaining in the Land
3 So then, the Lord left some nations in the land to test the Israelites who had not been through the wars in Canaan. 2 He did this only in order to teach each generation of Israelites about war, especially those who had never been in battle before. 3 Those left in the land were the five Philistine cities, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived in the Lebanon Mountains from Mount Baal Hermon as far as Hamath Pass. 4 They were to be a test for Israel, to find out whether or not the Israelites would obey the commands that the Lord had given their ancestors through Moses. 5 And so the people of Israel settled down among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 6 They intermarried with them and worshiped their gods.
7 The people of Israel forgot the Lord their God; they sinned against him and worshiped the idols of Baal and Asherah. 8 So the Lord became angry with Israel and let King Cushan Rishathaim of Mesopotamia conquer them. They were subject to him for eight years. 9 Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he sent someone to free them. This was Othniel, the son of Caleb's younger brother Kenaz. 10 The spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he became Israel's leader. Othniel went to war, and the Lord gave him the victory over the king of Mesopotamia. 11 There was peace in the land for forty years, and then Othniel died.
12 The people of Israel sinned against the Lord again. Because of this the Lord made King Eglon of Moab stronger than Israel. 13 Eglon joined the Ammonites and the Amalekites; they defeated Israel and captured Jericho, the city of palm trees. 14 The Israelites were subject to Eglon for eighteen years.
15 Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he sent someone to free them. This was Ehud, a left-handed man, who was the son of Gera, from the tribe of Benjamin. The people of Israel sent Ehud to King Eglon of Moab with gifts for him. 16 Ehud had made himself a double-edged sword about a foot and a half long. He had it fastened on his right side under his clothes. 17 Then he took the gifts to Eglon, who was a very fat man. 18 When Ehud had given him the gifts, he told the men who had carried them to go back home. 19 But Ehud himself turned back at the carved stones near Gilgal, went back to Eglon, and said, “Your Majesty, I have a secret message for you.”
So the king ordered his servants, “Leave us alone!” And they all went out.
20 Then, as the king was sitting there alone in his cool room on the roof, Ehud went over to him and said, “I have a message from God for you.” The king stood up. 21 With his left hand Ehud took the sword from his right side and plunged it into the king's belly. 22 The whole sword went in, handle and all, and the fat covered it up. Ehud did not pull it out of the king's belly, and it stuck out behind, between his legs.[a] 23 Then Ehud went outside, closed the doors behind him, locked them, 24 and left. The servants came and saw that the doors were locked, but they only thought that the king was inside, relieving himself. 25 They waited as long as they thought they should, but when he still did not open the door, they took the key and opened it. And there was their master, lying dead on the floor.
26 Ehud got away while they were waiting. He went past the carved stones and escaped to Seirah. 27 When he arrived there in the hill country of Ephraim, he blew a trumpet to call the people of Israel to battle; then he led them down from the hills. 28 He told them, “Follow me! The Lord has given you victory over your enemies, the Moabites.” So they followed Ehud down and captured the place where the Moabites were to cross the Jordan; they did not allow anyone to cross. 29 That day they killed about ten thousand of the best Moabite soldiers; none of them escaped. 30 That day the Israelites defeated Moab, and there was peace in the land for eighty years.
31 The next leader was Shamgar son of Anath. He too rescued Israel, and did so by killing six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad.
- Judges 3:22 Probable text it stuck … legs; Hebrew unclear.
New International Version
3 These are the nations the Lord left to test(A) all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan 2 (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): 3 the five(B) rulers of the Philistines,(C) all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites(D) living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon(E) to Lebo Hamath.(F) 4 They were left to test(G) the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.
5 The Israelites lived(H) among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites,(I) Hivites and Jebusites.(J) 6 They took their daughters(K) in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.(L)
7 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord(M) their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.(N) 8 The anger of the Lord burned against Israel so that he sold(O) them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim(P) king of Aram Naharaim,[a](Q) to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years. 9 But when they cried out(R) to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer,(S) Othniel(T) son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came on him,(U) so that he became Israel’s judge[b] and went to war. The Lord gave Cushan-Rishathaim(V) king of Aram(W) into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him. 11 So the land had peace(X) for forty years,(Y) until Othniel son of Kenaz(Z) died.
12 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord,(AA) and because they did this evil the Lord gave Eglon king of Moab(AB) power over Israel. 13 Getting the Ammonites(AC) and Amalekites(AD) to join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms.[c](AE) 14 The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab(AF) for eighteen years.
15 Again the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliverer(AG)—Ehud(AH), a left-handed(AI) man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. The Israelites sent him with tribute(AJ) to Eglon king of Moab. 16 Now Ehud(AK) 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(AL) to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man.(AM) 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](AN) and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose(AO) from his seat, 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword(AP) 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(AQ) in the inner room of the palace.” 25 They waited to the point of embarrassment,(AR) 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(AS) 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,(AT) your enemy, into your hands.(AU)” So they followed him down and took possession of the fords of the Jordan(AV) 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(AW) was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace(AX) for eighty years.
- Judges 3:8 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
- Judges 3:10 Or leader
- Judges 3:13 That is, Jericho
- Judges 3:16 That is, about 18 inches or about 45 centimeters
- Judges 3:20 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain; also in verse 24.
- Judges 3:23 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.