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Judges - Chapter 3

Judges Chapters

1 These are the nations which Yahweh allowed to remain, by their means to put all those Israelites to the test who had not experienced any of the Canaanite wars

2 (this was only to instruct the Israelites' descendants, to teach them the art of war, those at least who had not experienced it previously):

3 the five chiefs of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hittites who lived in the range of the Lebanon, from the uplands of Baal-Hermon to the Pass of Hamath.

4 They were used to put Israel to the test and see if they would keep the orders which Yahweh had given their ancestors through Moses.

5 The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites and Amorites, the Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites;

6 they married their daughters, they gave their own sons to their daughters and they served their gods.

7 The Israelites did what is evil in Yahweh's eyes. They forgot Yahweh their God and served Baals and Asherahs.

8 Then Yahweh's anger blazed out against Israel: he handed them over to Cushan-Rishathaim king of Edom, and the Israelites were enslaved to Cushan-Rishathaim for eight years.

9 The Israelites then cried to Yahweh and Yahweh raised for the Israelites a deliverer who rescued them, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.

10 The spirit of Yahweh was on him; he became judge in Israel and set out for war. Yahweh delivered Cushan-Rishathaim king of Edom into his hands, and he triumphed over Cushan- Rishathaim.

11 The country then had peace for forty years. Othniel son of Kenaz then died.

12 Again the Israelites began doing what is evil in Yahweh's eyes, and Yahweh strengthened Eglon king of Moab against Israel, since they were doing what is evil in Yahweh's eyes.

13 Eglon in conjunction with the sons of Ammon and Amalek marched on Israel, beat them and captured the City of Palm Trees.

14 The Israelites were enslaved to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years.

15 The Israelites then cried to Yahweh, and Yahweh raised a deliverer for them, Ehud son of Gera, a Benjaminite; he was left-handed. The Israelites appointed him to take their tribute to Eglon king of Moab.

16 Ehud made himself a dagger -- it was double-edged and a foot long -- and strapped it under his clothes on his right thigh.

17 He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. This Eglon was a very fat man.

18 Having presented the tribute, Ehud sent away the men who had been carrying it;

19 but he himself, on reaching the Idols which are near Gilgal, went back and said, 'I have a secret message for you, O king.' The king commanded silence, and all his attendants withdrew.

20 Ehud went up to him; he was sitting in his private room upstairs, where it was cool. Ehud said to him, 'I have a message from God for you, O king.' The latter immediately rose from his seat.

21 Then Ehud, reaching with his left hand, drew the dagger he was carrying on his right thigh and thrust it into the king's belly.

22 The hilt too went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, since Ehud did not pull the dagger out of his belly again.

23 Ehud went out through the privies, having shut and bolted the doors of the upstairs room behind him.

24 When he had gone, the servants came back and looked; the doors of the upstairs room were bolted. They thought, 'He is probably covering his feet in the inner part of the cool room.'

25 They waited until they became embarrassed, but still he did not open the doors of the upstairs room. Eventually, they took the key and opened the door; and there lay their master, dead, on the ground.

26 Meanwhile, Ehud had got away, passed the Idols and made good his escape to safety in Seirah.

27 Once there, he sounded the horn in the highlands of Ephraim, and the Israelites came down from the hills with him at their head.

28 And he said to them, 'Follow me, because Yahweh has delivered your enemy Moab into your hands.' So they followed him, seized the fords of the Jordan against Moab and allowed no one to cross.

29 On that occasion they beat the Moabites, some ten thousand men, all tough and seasoned fighters, and not one escaped.

30 That day Moab was humbled under the hand of Israel, and the country had peace for eighty years.

31 After him came Shamgar son of Anath. He routed six hundred of the Philistines with an ox-goad; he too was a deliverer of Israel.


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