The Lord Tests Israel
1These 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. # Jos 1–12 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 # Jos 13:3; 1Sm 5:8,11 of the Philistines # Gn 10:14; Ex 13:17 and all of the Canaanites, the Sidonians, # Jos 13:4; 1Kg 5:6; Ezk 32:30 and the Hivites # Ex 38:17; Dt 20:17; Jos 9:1,7 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. # 1Kg 8:58; 2Kg 17:13; Ps 78:5; Jr 11:4 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. # Ex 23:33; Dt 7:16
Othniel, the First Judge
7The Israelites did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; they forgot the Lord their God # Dt 8:11,14,19; 1Sm 12:9; Jr 3:21 and worshiped the Baals and the Asherahs. 8The Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and He sold them to # Lit into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim # Lit Doubly-Evil king of Aram-naharaim, # = Mesopotamia # Gn 24:10; Dt 23:3-4; 1Ch 19:6; Ps 60 title and the Israelites served him eight years.
9The Israelites cried out to the Lord. # Jdg 3:15; 6:6-7; 10:10 So the Lord raised up Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s youngest brother, # Jdg 1:13 as a deliverer # Dt 28:29,31; Jdg 6:36; 1Sm 14:39; Is 19:20; 43:11; Hs 13:4 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 # Jdg 3:30; 5:31; 8:28; 2Ch 14:1,5-6 40 years, and Othniel son of Kenaz died.
12The Israelites again did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He gave Eglon king of Moab # Nm 22:3; Dt 2:8-9; 32:49 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. # = Jericho; Dt 34:3; Jdg 1:16; 2Ch 28:15 # Dt 34:3; Jdg 1:16; 2Ch 28:15 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 # Jdg 20:16 Benjaminite, # = son of the right hand as a deliverer for them. The Israelites sent him to Eglon king of Moab with tribute # 2Sm 8:2,6; 2Ch 9:24; 17:11 money.
16Ehud 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. 18When Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he dismissed the people who had carried it. 19At 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. 21Ehud # 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. 22Even 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. 23Ehud escaped by way of the porch, closing and locking the doors of the upstairs room behind him.
24Ehud 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!
26Ehud 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. # Jdg 12:5-6 29At that time they struck down about 10,000 Moabites, all strong and able-bodied men. Not one of them escaped. 30Moab became subject to Israel that day, and the land was peaceful 80 years.
31After Ehud, Shamgar son of Anath became judge. He delivered Israel by striking down 600 Philistines with an oxgoad.