Judges 3
Holman Christian Standard Bible  Par ▾ 

The Lord Tests Israel

1These are the nations the LORD left in order to test Israel, since the Israelites had fought none of these ina 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.c 3These nations included: the five rulersd of the Philistinese and all of the Canaanites, the Sidonians,f and the Hivitesg who lived in the Lebanese mountainsh from Mount Baal-hermon as far as the entrance to Hamath.i 4The LORD left them to test Israel, to determine if they would keep the LORD’s commands He had given their fathers throughj 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

7The Israelites did what was evil in the LORD’s sight; they forgot the LORD their Godm and worshiped the Baals and the Asherahs. 8The LORD’s anger burned against Israel, and He sold them ton Cushan-rishathaimo king of Aram-naharaim,p, q and the Israelites served him eight years.

9The Israelites cried out to the LORD.r So the LORD raised up Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s youngest brother,s as a deliverert 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 peacefulu 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 Moabv 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.w, x 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-handedy Benjaminite,z as a deliverer for them. The Israelites sent him to Eglon king of Moab with tributeaa money.

16Ehud made himself a double-edged sword 18 inches long.ab 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.ac 21Ehudad 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 himselfae 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.af 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.

a. 3:1 Lit had known
b. 3:1 Jos 1–12
c. 3:2 Lit not known it
d. 3:3 Jos 13:3; 1Sm 5:8,11
e. 3:3 Gn 10:14; Ex 13:17
f. 3:3 Jos 13:4; 1Kg 5:6; Ezk 32:30
g. 3:3 Ex 38:17; Dt 20:17; Jos 9:1,7
h. 3:3 LXX reads in Lebanon
i. 3:3 Or as Lebo-hamath
j. 3:4 Lit by the hand of
k. 3:4 1Kg 8:58; 2Kg 17:13; Ps 78:5; Jr 11:4
l. 3:6 Ex 23:33; Dt 7:16
m. 3:7 Dt 8:11,14,19; 1Sm 12:9; Jr 3:21
n. 3:8 Lit into the hand of
o. 3:8 Lit Doubly-Evil
p. 3:8 = Mesopotamia
q. 3:8 Gn 24:10; Dt 23:3-4; 1Ch 19:6; Ps 60 title
r. 3:9 Jdg 3:15; 6:6-7; 10:10
s. 3:9 Jdg 1:13
t. 3:9 Dt 28:29,31; Jdg 6:36; 1Sm 14:39; Is 19:20; 43:11; Hs 13:4
u. 3:11 Jdg 3:30; 5:31; 8:28; 2Ch 14:1,5-6
v. 3:12 Nm 22:3; Dt 2:8-9; 32:49
w. 3:13 = Jericho; Dt 34:3; Jdg 1:16; 2Ch 28:15
x. 3:13 Dt 34:3; Jdg 1:16; 2Ch 28:15
y. 3:15 Jdg 20:16
z. 3:15 = son of the right hand
aa. 3:15 2Sm 8:2,6; 2Ch 9:24; 17:11
ab. 3:16 Lit sword a gomed in length
ac. 3:20 LXX reads “A word of my God for you, O king,” and Eglon rose up from the throne near him.
ad. 3:21 LXX reads It happened that when he rose up, Ehud immediately
ae. 3:24 Lit was covering his feet
af. 3:28 Jdg 12:5-6
Judges 2
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