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Yahweh Tests Israel

(A)Now these are the nations which Yahweh allowed to remain, to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not known any of the wars of Canaan; [a]however, God tested them in order that the generations of the sons of Israel would know war, by learning war, [b]especially those who had not known it formerly). These nations are: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and (B)the Hivites who lived in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as [c]Lebo-hamath. And they were for [d](C)testing Israel, to know if they would [e]obey the commandments of Yahweh, which He had commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. (D)Now the sons of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and (E)they took their daughters for themselves as wives and gave their own daughters to their sons and served their gods.

Yahweh Raises Up Othniel

Thus the sons of Israel did (F)what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh and (G)forgot Yahweh their God and (H)served the Baals and the [f]Asheroth. Then the anger of Yahweh burned against Israel, so that He sold them into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim king of [g]Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. Then the sons of Israel cried to Yahweh, and Yahweh raised up a savior for the sons of Israel to save them, (I)Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 (J)And the Spirit of Yahweh came upon him, and he judged Israel. And he went out to war, and Yahweh gave Cushan-rishathaim king of [h]Mesopotamia into his hand. So his hand was strong against Cushan-rishathaim. 11 Then the land was quiet for forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

12 Then the sons of Israel again (K)did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh. So (L)Yahweh strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel because they had done what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh. 13 And he gathered to himself the sons of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and struck Israel, and they possessed (M)the city of the palm trees. 14 So the sons of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

Yahweh Raises Up Ehud and Shamgar

15 Then the sons of Israel (N)cried to Yahweh, and Yahweh raised up a savior for them, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man. And the sons of Israel sent tribute by his hand to Eglon the king of Moab. 16 And Ehud made himself a sword which had two edges, a [i]cubit in length, and he bound it on his right thigh under his cloak. 17 Then he brought the tribute near to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 And it happened when he had finished bringing the tribute near, that he sent away the people who had carried the tribute. 19 But he himself turned back from the graven images which were at Gilgal and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” And he said, “Keep silence.” And all who stood by him left him. 20 But Ehud came to him while he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” And he arose from his seat. 21 Then Ehud sent forth his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. 22 The handle also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he 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 roof chamber behind him and locked them.

24 Now he went out, and his servants came in and looked, and behold, the doors of the roof chamber were locked; and they said, “(O)He is surely [j]relieving himself in the cool room.” 25 Then they waited until they were ashamed; but behold, he did not open the doors of the roof chamber. Therefore they took the key and opened them, and behold, their master had fallen to the [k]floor dead.

26 Now Ehud escaped while they were delaying, and he passed by the graven images and escaped to Seirah. 27 And it happened when he had arrived, that (P)he blew the 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 Then he said to them, “Pursue them, for Yahweh has given your enemies the Moabites into your hands.” So they went down after him and captured (Q)the fords of the Jordan opposite Moab and did not allow anyone to cross. 29 And they struck down at that time about 10,000 Moabites, all robust and valiant men; and no one escaped. 30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land was quiet for eighty years.

31 Now after him was (R)Shamgar the son of Anath. And he struck down 600 Philistines with an oxgoad; and he also saved Israel.


  1. Judges 3:2 Lit only
  2. Judges 3:2 Lit only
  3. Judges 3:3 Or the entrance of Hamath
  4. Judges 3:4 Lit testing by them
  5. Judges 3:4 Lit hear
  6. Judges 3:7 Wooden symbols of a female deity
  7. Judges 3:8 Heb Aram-naharaim
  8. Judges 3:10 Heb Aram
  9. Judges 3:16 A cubit was approx. 18 in. or 45 cm
  10. Judges 3:24 Lit covering his feet
  11. Judges 3:25 Lit earth