Judges 3

The Lord Tests Israel

1 These are the nations the Lord left in order to test Israel, since the Israelites had fought none of these in
Lit had known
any of the wars with Canaan. b
2This was to teach the future generations of the Israelites how to fight in battle, especially those who had not fought before.
Lit not known it
3These nations included: the five rulers d of the Philistines e and all of the Canaanites, the Sidonians, f and the Hivites g who lived in the Lebanese mountains
LXX reads in Lebanon
from Mount Baal-hermon as far as the entrance to Hamath.
Or as Lebo-hamath
4The Lord left them to test Israel, to determine if they would keep the Lord’s commands He had given their fathers through
Lit by the hand of
Moses. k
5But they settled among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 6The Israelites took their daughters as wives for themselves, gave their own daughters to their sons, and worshiped their gods. l

Othniel, the First Judge

7 The Israelites did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; they forgot the Lord their God m and worshiped the
Baal: A fertility god who was the main god of the Canaanite religion and the god of rain and thunderstorms; also the Hebrew word meaning "lord," "master," "owner," or "husband"
Baals and the
Asherah(s): A Canaanite fertility goddess, who was the mother of the god Baal; also the wooden poles associated with the worship of her
8The Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and He sold them to
Lit into the hand of
Lit Doubly-Evil
king of Aram-naharaim,
= Mesopotamia
s and the Israelites served him eight years.

9The Israelites cried out to the Lord. t So the Lord raised up Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s youngest brother, u as a deliverer v to save the Israelites. 10The Spirit of the Lord came on him, and he judged Israel. Othniel went out to battle, and the Lord handed over Cushan-rishathaim king of Aram to him, so that Othniel overpowered him. 11Then the land was peaceful w 40 years, and Othniel son of Kenaz died.


12 The Israelites again did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He gave Eglon king of Moab x power over Israel, because they had done what was evil in the Lord’s sight. 13After Eglon convinced the Ammonites and the Amalekites to join forces with him, he attacked and defeated Israel and took possession of the City of Palms. , z 14The Israelites served Eglon king of Moab 18 years.

15Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and He raised up Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed aa Benjaminite,
= son of the right hand
as a deliverer for them. The Israelites sent him to Eglon king of Moab with tribute ac money.

16 Ehud made himself a double-edged sword 18 inches long.
Lit sword a gomed in length
He strapped it to his right thigh under his clothes
17and brought the tribute to Eglon king of Moab, who was an extremely fat man. 18 When Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he dismissed the people who had carried it. 19 At the carved images near Gilgal he returned and said, “King Eglon, I have a secret message for you.” The king called for silence, and all his attendants left him. 20Then Ehud approached him while he was sitting alone in his room upstairs where it was cool. Ehud said, “I have a word from God for you,” and the king stood up from his throne.
LXX reads “A word of my God for you, O king,” and Eglon rose up from the throne near him.
21 Ehud
LXX reads It happened that when he rose up, Ehud immediately
reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and plunged it into Eglon’s belly.
22 Even the handle went in after the blade, and Eglon’s fat closed in over it, so that Ehud did not withdraw the sword from his belly. And Eglon’s insides came out. 23 Ehud escaped by way of the porch, closing and locking the doors of the upstairs room behind him.

24 Ehud was gone when Eglon’s servants came in. They looked and found the doors of the upstairs room locked and thought he was relieving himself
Lit was covering his feet
in the cool room.
25The servants waited until they became worried and saw that he had still not opened the doors of the upstairs room. So they took the key and opened the doors – and there was their lord lying dead on the floor!

26 Ehud escaped while the servants waited. He crossed over the Jordan near the carved images and reached Seirah. 27After he arrived, he sounded the ram’s horn throughout the hill country of Ephraim. The Israelites came down with him from the hill country, and he became their leader. 28He told them, “Follow me, because the Lord has handed over your enemies, the Moabites, to you.” So they followed him, captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Moab, and did not allow anyone to cross over. ah 29At that time they struck down about 10,000 Moabites, all strong and able-bodied men. Not one of them escaped. 30 Moab became subject to Israel that day, and the land was peaceful 80 years.


31 After Ehud, Shamgar son of Anath became judge. He delivered Israel by striking down 600 Philistines with an oxgoad.
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