Judges Chapter 3  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Judg 3
Yahweh Tests Israel

1Now these are the nations that Yahweh left to test Israel by them, that is, all those Israelites who had not known all the wars of Canaan.
  2Yahweh left them only in order that the generations of the children of Israel might have knowledge of war—to teach them war—because they had not known the former wars:
  3the five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon to Lebo-hamath.
  4And they were left to test Israel by them, to know whether they would listen to the commandments of Yahweh that he had commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.
  5The children of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites and the Amorites, and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites;
  6and they took their daughters as wives for themselves, and gave their own daughters to their sons, and they served their gods.

Othniel, the First Judge

7The children of Israel did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh, and forgot Yahweh their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.
  8Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Aram-naharaim. And the children of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.

9And the children of Israel cried out to Yahweh, so Yahweh raised up a savior for the children of Israel who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.
  10The spirit of Yahweh came upon him and he judged Israel. And he went out to war and Yahweh gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Aram into his hand, and his hand prevailed against Cushan-rishathaim.
  11And the land had rest: 40 years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.


12And the children of Israel again did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh. And Yahweh strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel because they had done what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh.
  13He gathered to himself the children of Ammon and Amalek and he went and struck Israel, and they possessed the City of Date Palms.
  14And the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab 18 years.

15And the children of Israel cried out to Yahweh, so Yahweh raised up a savior for them, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a left-handed man. The children of Israel sent by his hand a tribute to Eglon the king of Moab.

16Ehud made himself a sword that had two edges, a gomeda in length, and he strapped it under his clothing on his right thigh.
  17He offered the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man.
  18And when he had finished offering the tribute, he sent away the people who had carried the tribute.
  19But he himself turned back from the carved idols that were near Gilgal and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” The king said, “Hush!” And all who were standing by him went out from him.
  20Then Ehud came to him, and he was sitting alone in his cool upper room. Ehud said, “I have a message from God to you!” And he arose from his throne.
  21And Ehud reached with his left hand and took the sword from his right thigh and thrust it into his belly,
  22and 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 feces came out.
  23Then Ehud went out to the porch and shut the doors of the upper room behind himself and locked them.

24Now after he had gone out, his servants came and they saw, and behold, the doors of the upper room were locked, and they said, “Surely he is covering his feet in the cool inner room.”
  25And they waited anxiously until they were ashamed, and behold, he did not open the doors of the upper room, so they took the key and opened them, and behold, their lord was fallen down to the ground dead.

26And Ehud escaped while they waited and he passed beyond the carved idols and escaped to Seirah.
  27It came to pass when he had come that he blew a shofar in the hill country of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he was before them.
  28And he said to them, “Follow after me, for Yahweh has given your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” They went down after him and captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Moab, and did not allow any man to cross over.
  29And they struck of Moab at that time about 10,000 men, all stout ones and all men of valor, and no one escaped.
  30So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. The land had rest: 80 years.


31After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck down 600 men of the Philistines with an oxgoad; and he also saved Israel.

A “gomed” is likely just shorter than a cubit. Likely 16 inches or so.

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