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Deceit, Assassination, and Deliverance

3:12 The Israelites again did evil in the Lord’s sight.19 The Lord gave King Eglon of Moab control over Israel20 because they had done evil in the Lord’s sight. 3:13 Eglon formed alliances with21 the Ammonites and Amalekites. He came and defeated Israel, and they seized the City of Date Palm Trees. 3:14 The Israelites were subject to22 King Eglon of Moab for eighteen years.

3:15 When the Israelites cried out for help to the Lord, he23 raised up a deliverer for them. His name was Ehud son of Gera the Benjaminite, a left-handed man.24 The Israelites sent him to King Eglon of Moab with their tribute payment.25 3:16 Ehud made himself a sword—it had two edges and was eighteen inches long.26 He strapped it under his coat on his right thigh. 3:17 He brought the tribute payment to King Eglon of Moab. (Now Eglon was a very fat man.)

3:18 After Ehud brought the tribute payment, he dismissed the people who had carried it.27 3:19 But he went back28 once he reached29 the carved images30 at Gilgal. He said to Eglon,31 “I have a secret message for you, O king.” Eglon32 said, “Be quiet!”33 All his attendants left. 3:20 When Ehud approached him, he was sitting in his well-ventilated34 upper room all by himself. Ehud said, “I have a message from God35 for you.” When Eglon rose up from his seat,36 3:21 Ehud reached with his left hand, pulled the sword from his right thigh, and drove it into Eglon’s37 belly. 3:22 The handle went in after the blade, and the fat closed around the blade, for Ehud38 did not pull the sword out of his belly.39 3:23 As Ehud went out into the vestibule,40 he closed the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.

3:24 When Ehud had left, Eglon’s41 servants came and saw the locked doors of the upper room. They said, “He must be relieving himself42 in the well-ventilated inner room.”43 3:25 They waited so long they were embarrassed, but he still did not open the doors of the upper room. Finally they took the key and opened the doors.44 Right before their eyes was their master, sprawled out dead on the floor!45 3:26 Now Ehud had escaped while they were delaying. When he passed the carved images, he escaped to Seirah.

3:27 When he reached Seirah,46 he blew a trumpet47 in the Ephraimite hill country. The Israelites went down with him from the hill country, with Ehud in the lead.48 3:28 He said to them, “Follow me, for the Lord is about to defeat your enemies, the Moabites!”49 They followed him, captured the fords of the Jordan River50 opposite Moab,51 and did not let anyone cross. 3:29 That day they killed about ten thousand Moabites52—all strong, capable warriors; not one escaped. 3:30 Israel humiliated Moab that day, and the land had rest for eighty years.

3:31 After Ehud53 came54 Shamgar son of Anath; he killed six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad and, like Ehud,55 delivered Israel.


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