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.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;

Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;

Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath.

And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.

And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites:

And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgat the Lord their God, and served Baalim and the groves.

Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years.

And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.

10 And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the Lord delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.

11 And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

12 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord: and 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 unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees.

14 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

15 But when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.

16 But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.

17 And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.

18 And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present.

19 But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.

20 And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.

21 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:

22 And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.

23 Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them.

24 When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber.

25 And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.

26 And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath.

27 And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.

28 And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the Lord hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.

29 And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man.

30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.

31 And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.

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