Judges 3-4 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Idolatry Leads to Servitude
3 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; 2 only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might be taught war, at least those who had not experienced it previously). 3 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. 4 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. 5 And the Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites; 6 and they took their daughters for themselves as wives and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their [pagan] gods.
7 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. 8 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
9 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.
Deborah and Barak Rescue from Canaanites
4 But the Israelites again did evil in the sight of the Lord, after Ehud died. 2 So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in [n]Harosheth-hagoyim. 3 Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord [for help], for Jabin had nine hundred iron chariots and had oppressed and tormented the sons of Israel severely for twenty years.
4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5 She used to sit [to hear and decide disputes] under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the Israelites came up to her for judgment. 6 Now she sent word and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, “Behold, the Lord, the God of Israel, has commanded, ‘Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men [of war] from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun. 7 I will draw out Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his infantry to meet you at the river Kishon, and I will hand him over to you.’” 8 Then Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” 9 She said, “I will certainly go with you; nevertheless, [o]the journey that you are about to take will not be for your honor and glory, because the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 And Barak summoned [the fighting men of the tribes of] Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh, and ten thousand men went up [p]under his command; Deborah also went up with him.
11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, from the sons of Hobab the [q]father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the [r]terebinth tree in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.
12 When someone told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 Sisera called together all his chariots, nine hundred iron chariots, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon. 14 Deborah said to Barak, “Arise! For this is the day when the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Has the Lord not gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. 15 And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and [confused] all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera dismounted from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoyim, and the entire army of Sisera fell by the sword; not even one man was left.
17 But Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me! Have no fear.” So he turned aside to her [and went] into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19 And he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink because I am thirsty.” And she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink; then she covered him. 20 And he said to her, “Stand at the door of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, ‘Is there anyone here?’ tell him, ‘No.’” 21 But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and a hammer in her hand, and came up quietly to him and drove the peg through his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died. 22 And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” And he entered [her tent] with her, and behold Sisera lay dead with the tent peg in his temple.
23 So on that day God subdued and humbled Jabin king of Canaan before the sons of Israel. 24 And the hand of the sons of Israel pressed down heavier and heavier on Jabin king of Canaan, until they had destroyed him.
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