Ehud the second Judge of Israel

Judges 3:12-30. After an oppression of 18 years by the Moabites, again the Israelites cried out to the LORD, and He gave them a deliverer or Judge called Ehud. The previous Judge or ruler was Othniel.

Ehud, the second Judge or Ruler of Israel, was the son of Gera the Benjamite and was left-handed. Ehud ruled Israel in peace for 80 years 1316BC-1237BC.

Ehud’s first act was to deceive Eglon the king of Moab into seeing him alone and then killing him with a dagger he brought for the purpose. Then he got his army to defeat the Moabites.

Ehud in Hebrew means: strong.

Background Reading:

Ehud, Israel’s Second Judge

3:12 The Israelis again practiced evil in full view of the LORD. So the LORD strengthened Eglon king of Moab in his control over Israel, because they had practiced evil in full view of the LORD. 13 Eglon assembled together the Ammonites and the Amalekites, proceeded to attack Israel, and captured the cities of palms. 14 So the Israelis served king Eglon of Moab for eighteen years.

15 But when the Israelis cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up Gera’s son Ehud, a left-handed descendant of Benjamin, as a deliverer for them. The Israelis paid tribute through him to king Eglon of Moab. 16 Ehud forged a double-edged sword that was one cubit long, tied it to his right thigh under his cloak, 17 and went to present the tribute to King Eglon of Moab. Now Eglon happened to be a very obese man.

18 As he finished presenting the tribute, Ehud sent away the people who had been carrying it. 19 He had turned away from the idols that were at Gilgal. So he told Eglon, “I have a secret message for you, king.”

King Eglon responded “Silence!” and all of his attendants left him.

20 Ehud approached him while he was sitting by himself in the cool roof chamber of his palace. He said, “I have a message from God for you!” So when Eglon got up from his seat, 21 Ehud used his left hand to take the sword from his right thigh and then plunged it into Eglon’s abdomen. 22 The hilt also penetrated along with the sword blade, and Eglon’s fat closed in over the blade. Because he did not withdraw the sword from Eglon’s abdomen, the sword point exited from Eglon’s entrails.

23 Then Ehud left the cool chamber in the direction of the vestibule, shutting and locking the doors behind him. 24 After he left, Eglon’s attendants came to look, but the doors to the cool chamber were locked! So they said, “He must be relieving himself in the inner part of the cool chamber.” 25 They waited until they were embarrassed, since he never opened the doors to the chamber. Eventually they took a key, opened the doors, and found their master dead on the ground.

26 Meanwhile, Ehud escaped while they were delayed, passed by the idols, and escaped in the direction of Seirah. 27 When he arrived there, he sounded a trumpet in the mountainous region of Ephraim. While the Israeli army accompanied Ehud from the mountainous regions, 28 he told them, “Attack them, because the LORD has given your enemies—the Moabites—into your control.” So the Israeli army followed after him, seized the fords of the Jordan River opposite Moab, and did not allow anyone to cross. 29 At that time they attacked about 10,000 Moabites, all of whom were strong and valiant men. Not one man escaped. 30 As a result, Moab was subdued under the control of Israel, and the land remained quiet for 80 years.
Judges 3:12–30

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