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Some Nations Remain in the Land

These are the nations that Yahweh left, to test Israel by them (that is, to test all those who had not experienced[a] any of the wars of Canaan, in order that the generations of Israel would know war, to teach those who had not experienced it[b] before): the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites,[c] the Sidonians,[d] and the Hivites[e] living on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon up to Lebo-Hamath. They were left for testing Israel, to know whether they would keep the commands of Yahweh that he commanded their ancestors[f] through the hand of Moses. And the Israelites[g] lived in the midst of the Canaanites,[h] the Hittites,[i] the Amorites,[j] the Perizzites,[k] the Hivites,[l] and the Jebusites.[m] And they took their daughters as wives for themselves, and they gave their daughters to their sons, and they served their gods.[n]


The Israelites[o] did evil in the eyes of Yahweh. They forgot Yahweh their God, and they served the Baals and the Asheroth.[p] And the anger of Yahweh was kindled[q] against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-Rishathaim, the king of Aram Naharaim; and the Israelites[r] served Cushan-Rishathaim eight years. The Israelites[s] cried out to Yahweh, and Yahweh raised up a deliverer for the Israelites[t] who delivered them, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 And the spirit of Yahweh came upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and Yahweh gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into his hand, and he prevailed over[u] Cushan-Rishathaim. 11 So the land rested forty years. Then Othniel son of Kenaz died.


12 And again the Israelites[v] did evil in the eyes of Yahweh. So Yahweh strengthened Eglon king of Moab against Israel, because they did evil in the eyes of Yahweh. 13 He gathered to himself the Ammonites and Amalekites,[w] and he went and defeated Israel, and they took possession of the city of palms. 14 And the Israelites[x] served Eglon king of Moab eighteen years.

15 And the Israelites[y] cried out to Yahweh, and Yahweh raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud son of Gera, a Benjaminite and a left-handed man.[z] And the Israelites[aa] sent a tribute to Eglon king of Moab through him.[ab] 16 Ehud made for himself a short, two-edged[ac] sword (a cubit in length), and he fastened it under his clothes on his right thigh. 17 Then he presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 When Ehud[ad] had finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people who carried the tribute. 19 But he turned back from the sculptured stones[ae] that were near Gilgal, and he said, “I have a secret message[af] for you, O king.” And he[ag] said, “Silence!” So all those standing in his presence went out, 20 and Ehud came to him while he was sitting alone in his cool upper room. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God[ah] for you.” So he got up from his seat. 21 Then Ehud reached with his left hand for the sword on his right thigh, and he thrust it into his[ai] stomach. 22 And the handle also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade because he did not draw back the sword from his stomach; and it went protruding out the back.[aj] 23 And Ehud went out the vestibule, and he closed the doors of the upper room and locked them behind him.

24 After he left, his servants returned. When they saw that the doors of the upper room were locked, they thought,[ak] “Surely he is relieving himself[al] in the cool inner room.” 25 And they waited so long they became embarrassed because he did not open the doors of the upper room. So they took the key and opened the doors, and there their lord was lying on the ground dead.

26 And Ehud escaped while they delayed. He passed by the sculptured stones[am] and escaped to Seirah. 27 And when he arrived he sounded the trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites[an] went down from the hill country with him leading them. 28 And he said to them, “Follow after me! Yahweh has given Moab your enemies into your hand.” So they went down after him, and they captured the fords of the Jordan toward Moab; and they did not allow anyone to cross over. 29 And they struck Moab at that time, about ten thousand men, all strong and able men;[ao] no one escaped. 30 And Moab was subdued on that day under the hand of Israel. And the land rested eighty years.[ap]


31 And Shamgar son of Anath came after him, and he killed six hundred Philistines with the goad of an ox; he also delivered Israel.


  1. Judges 3:1 Literally “did not know”
  2. Judges 3:2 Literally “who had not known it”
  3. Judges 3:3 Hebrew “Canaanite”
  4. Judges 3:3 Hebrew “Sidonian”
  5. Judges 3:3 Hebrew “Hivite”
  6. Judges 3:4 Or “fathers”
  7. Judges 3:5 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  8. Judges 3:5 Hebrew “Canaanite”
  9. Judges 3:5 Hebrew “Hittite”
  10. Judges 3:5 Hebrew “Amorite”
  11. Judges 3:5 Hebrew “Perizzite”
  12. Judges 3:5 Hebrew “Hivite”
  13. Judges 3:5 Hebrew “Jebusite”
  14. Judges 3:6 Or “worshiped their gods”
  15. Judges 3:7 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  16. Judges 3:7 Asheroth are cultic poles set up next to an altar symbolizing the goddess Asherah
  17. Judges 3:8 Literally “the nose of Yahweh became hot”
  18. Judges 3:8 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  19. Judges 3:9 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  20. Judges 3:9 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  21. Judges 3:10 Literally “his hand was strong over”
  22. Judges 3:12 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  23. Judges 3:13 Literally “sons of Ammon and Amalek” or “children of Ammon and Amalek”
  24. Judges 3:14 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  25. Judges 3:15 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  26. Judges 3:15 Literally “a man bound by his right hand”
  27. Judges 3:15 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  28. Judges 3:15 Literally “in his hand”
  29. Judges 3:16 Literally “with two mouths”
  30. Judges 3:18 That is, Eglon
  31. Judges 3:19 Or “Pesilim”; some translations translate the phrase as a proper name
  32. Judges 3:19 Literally “a word of secrecy”
  33. Judges 3:19 Hebrew “he”
  34. Judges 3:20 Literally “word of God”
  35. Judges 3:21 That is, Eglon’s
  36. Judges 3:22 The Hebrew is uncertain; some translations have “and the dirt/entrails came out”
  37. Judges 3:24 Hebrew “they said”
  38. Judges 3:24 Literally “covering his feet”
  39. Judges 3:26 Or “Pesilim;” some translations to translate the phrase as a proper name
  40. Judges 3:27 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  41. Judges 3:29 Literally “all fat and men of strength”
  42. Judges 3:30 Hebrew “year”