Idolatry Leads to Servitude

(A)Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not [a]experienced any of the wars of Canaan; only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might [b]be taught war, [c]those who had not [d]experienced 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 [e]Lebo-hamath. They were for [f](C)testing Israel, to find out if they would [g]obey the commandments of the Lord, which He had commanded their fathers [h]through Moses. (D)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.

The sons of Israel did (F)what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and (G)forgot the Lord their God and (H)served the Baals and the [i]Asheroth. Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, so that He sold them into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim king of [j]Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.

The First Judge Delivers Israel

When the sons of Israel cried to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the sons of Israel to deliver them, (I)Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 (J)The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went out to war, the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of [k]Mesopotamia into his hand, so that [l]he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. 11 Then the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

12 Now the sons of Israel again (K)did evil in the sight of the Lord. So (L)the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord. 13 And he gathered to himself the sons of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and [m]defeated Israel, and they possessed (M)the city of the palm trees. 14 The sons of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

Ehud Delivers from Moab

15 But when the sons of Israel (N)cried to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for them, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man. And the sons of Israel sent tribute by [n]him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16 Ehud made himself a sword which had two edges, a cubit in length, and he bound it on his right thigh under his cloak. 17 He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 It came about when he had finished presenting the tribute, that he sent away the people who had carried the tribute. 19 But he himself turned back from the idols which were at Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” And he said, “Keep silence.” And all who attended him left him. 20 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 Ehud stretched out 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 When he had gone out, his servants came and looked, and behold, the doors of the roof chamber were locked; and they said, “(O)He is only [o]relieving himself in the cool room.” 25 They waited until they [p]became anxious; 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 [q]floor dead.

26 Now Ehud escaped while they were delaying, and he passed by the idols and escaped to Seirah. 27 It came about 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 He said to them, “Pursue them, for the Lord has given your enemies the Moabites into your hands.” So they went down after him and seized (Q)the fords of the Jordan opposite Moab, and did not allow anyone to cross. 29 They struck down at that time about ten thousand 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 undisturbed for eighty years.

Shamgar Delivers from Philistines

31 After him came (R)Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad; and he also saved Israel.

Footnotes

  1. Judges 3:1 Lit known
  2. Judges 3:2 Lit know, to teach them
  3. Judges 3:2 Lit only
  4. Judges 3:2 Lit known
  5. Judges 3:3 Or the entrance of Hamath
  6. Judges 3:4 Lit testing by them
  7. Judges 3:4 Lit hear
  8. Judges 3:4 Lit by the hand of
  9. Judges 3:7 I.e. wooden symbol of a female deity
  10. Judges 3:8 Heb Aram-naharaim
  11. Judges 3:10 Heb Aram
  12. Judges 3:10 Lit his hand was strong
  13. Judges 3:13 Lit smote
  14. Judges 3:15 Lit his hand
  15. Judges 3:24 Lit covering his feet
  16. Judges 3:25 Lit were ashamed
  17. Judges 3:25 Lit earth

These are the nations the Lord left to test(A) 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(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) 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.

The Israelites lived(H) among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites,(I) Hivites and Jebusites.(J) They took their daughters(K) in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.(L)

Othniel

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) 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. 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.

Ehud

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.

Shamgar

31 After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath,(AY) who struck down six hundred(AZ) Philistines(BA) 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.

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