Judges 3

1- 2The Lord did not force all the people of those other nations to leave Israel’s land. The Lord wanted to test the people of Israel. None of the people of Israel living at this time had fought in the wars to take the land of Canaan. So the Lord let those other nations stay in their country. (The Lord did this to teach the people of Israel that had not fought in those wars.) Here are the names of the nations the Lord left in the land: 3the five rulers of the Philistine people, all of the Canaanite people, the people of Sidon, and the Hivite people that lived in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. 4The Lord left those nations in the land to test the people of Israel. He wanted to see if the people of Israel would obey the Lord’s commands that he had given to their ancestors through Moses. 5The people of Israel lived with the Canaanite people, the Hittite people, the Amorite people, the Perizzite people, the Hivite people, and the Jebusite people. 6The people of Israel began to marry the daughters of those people. The people of Israel allowed their own daughters to marry the sons of those people. And the people of Israel began to worship the gods of those people. 7The Lord saw that the people of Israel did evil things. The people of Israel forgot about the Lord their God and served the false gods Baal and Asherah. 8The Lord was angry with the people of Israel. The Lord allowed Cushan Rishathaim, the king of Aram Naharaim to defeat the people of Israel and to rule over them. The people of Israel were under that king’s rule for eight years. 9But the people of Israel cried to the Lord for help. The Lord sent a man to save them. That man’s name was Othniel. He was the son of a man named Kenaz. Kenaz was Caleb’s younger brother. Othniel saved the people of Israel. 10The Spirit of the Lord came on Othniel and he became a judge for the people of Israel. Othniel led the people of Israel to war. The Lord helped Othniel defeat Cushan Rishathaim, the king of Aram. 11So the land was at peace for 40 years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died. 12Again the Lord saw the people of Israel do evil things. So the Lord gave Eglon king of Moab power to defeat the people of Israel. 13Eglon got help from the Ammonite people and the Amalekite people. They joined him and attacked the people of Israel. Eglon and his army defeated the people of Israel and forced them to leave the City of Palm Trees ˻(Jericho)˼. 14Eglon king of Moab ruled over the people of Israel for 18 years. 15The people cried to the Lord. The Lord sent a man to save the people of Israel. This man’s name was Ehud. Ehud was the son of a man named Gera from the family group of Benjamin. Ehud was trained to fight with his left hand. The people of Israel sent Ehud with a gift to Eglon king of Moab. 16Ehud made a sword for himself. That sword had two sharp edges and was about 18 inches long. Ehud tied the sword to his right thigh and hid it under his uniform. 17So Ehud brought the gift to Eglon king of Moab. Eglon was a very fat man. 18After offering the gift, he sent away the men that had carried the gift. 19˻They left the king’s palace.˼ When ˻Ehud˼ reached the statues near Gilgal, he turned and went back ˻to see the king˼. Ehud said to King Eglon, “King, I have a secret message for you.” The king told him to be quiet and then sent all of the servants out of the room. 20Ehud went to King Eglon. The king was sitting all alone in the upper room of his palace. Then Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” The king stood up from his throne. He was very close to Ehud. 21As the king was getting up from his throne, Ehud reached with his left hand and took out the sword that was tied to his right thigh. Then Ehud pushed the sword into the king’s belly. 22The sword went into Eglon’s belly so far that even the handle sank in and the king’s fat covered it. Ehud left the sword inside Eglon. ˻When he was stabbed, Eglon lost control of his bowels˼ and the excrement came out. 23Ehud went out of the the private room, closing the doors to the upper room and locking the king inside. 24Ehud then left the main room and the servants went back in. The servants found the doors to the upper room locked. So the servants said, “The king must be relieving himself in his private restroom.” 25So the servants waited for a long time. The king never opened the doors to the upper room. Finally the servants became worried. They got the key and unlocked the doors. When the servants entered, they saw their king lying on the floor, dead. 26While the servants were waiting for the king, Ehud had time to escape. Ehud passed by the statues and went toward the place named Seirah. 27When Ehud came to Seirah, he blew a trumpet there in the hill country of Ephraim. The people of Israel heard the trumpet and went down from the hills, with Ehud leading them. 28Ehud said to the people of Israel, “Follow me! The Lord has helped us to defeat our enemies, the people of Moab.” So the people of Israel followed Ehud. They went down with Ehud to take control of the places where people could easily cross the Jordan River into the land of Moab. The people of Israel did not allow any one to go across the Jordan River. 29The people of Israel killed about 10,000 strong and brave men from Moab. Not one Moabite man escaped. 30So on that day the people of Israel began to rule over the people of Moab. And there was peace in the land for 80 years. 31After Ehud saved the people of Israel, another man saved Israel. That man’s name was Shamgar son of Anath. Shamgar used an oxgoad to kill 600 Philistine men.

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