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Judges Chapter 3 | Parsha:

1These are the nations that the Lord left so that He might test by them all the Israelites who had not known any of the wars of Canaan, 2so that succeeding generations of Israelites might be made to experience war—but only those who had not known the former wars: 3the five principalities of the Philistines and all the Canaanites, Sidonians, and Hivites who inhabited the hill country of the Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to Lebo-hamath. 4These served as a means of testing Israel, to learn whether they would obey the commandments which the Lord had enjoined upon their fathers through Moses.

5The Israelites settled among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites; 6they took their daughters to wife and gave their own daughters to their sons, and they worshiped their gods. 7The Israelites did what was offensive to the Lord; they ignored the Lord their God and worshiped the Baalim and the Asheroth. 8The Lord became incensed at Israel and surrendered them to King Cushan- rishathaim of Aram-naharaim; and the Israelites were subject to Cushan- rishathaim for eight years. 9The Israelites cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised a champion for the Israelites to deliver them: Othniel the Kenizzite, a younger kinsman of Caleb. 10The spirit of the Lord descended upon him and he became Israel’s chieftain. He went out to war, and the Lord delivered King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram into his hands. He prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim, 11and the land had peace for forty years.
When Othniel the Kenizzite died,
12the Israelites again did what was offensive to the Lord. And because they did what was offensive to the Lord, the Lord let King Eglon of Moab prevail over Israel. 13[Eglon] brought the Ammonites and the Amalekites together under his command, and went and defeated Israel and occupied the City of Palms. 14The Israelites were subject to King Eglon of Moab for eighteen years.

15Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up a champion for them: the Benjaminite Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man. It happened that the Israelites sent tribute to King Eglon of Moab through him. 16So Ehud made for himself a two-edged dagger, a gomed in length, which he girded on his right side under his cloak. 17He presented the tribute to King Eglon of Moab. Now Eglon was a very stout man. 18When [Ehud] had finished presenting the tribute, he dismissed the people who had conveyed the tribute. 19But he himself returned from Pesilim, near Gilgal, and said, “Your Majesty, I have a secret message for you.” [Eglon] thereupon commanded, “Silence!” So all those in attendance left his presence; 20and when Ehud approached him, he was sitting alone in his cool upper chamber. Ehud said, “I have a message for you from God”; whereupon he rose from his seat. 21Reaching with his left hand, Ehud drew the dagger from his right side and drove it into [Eglon’s] belly. 22The fat closed over the blade and the hilt went in after the blade—for he did not pull the dagger out of his belly—and the filth came out.

23Stepping out into the vestibule, Ehud shut the doors of the upper chamber on him and locked them. 24After he left, the courtiers returned. When they saw that the doors of the upper chamber were locked, they thought, “He must be relieving himself in the cool chamber.” 25They waited a long time; and when he did not open the doors of the chamber, they took the key and opened them—and there their master was lying dead on the floor! 26But Ehud had made good his escape while they delayed; he had passed Pesilim and escaped to Seirah. 27When he got there, he had the ram’s horn sounded through the hill country of Ephraim, and all the Israelites descended with him from the hill country; and he took the lead. 28“Follow me closely,” he said, “for the Lord has delivered your enemies, the Moabites, into your hands.” They followed him down and seized the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites; they let no one cross. 29On that occasion they slew about 10,000 Moabites; they were all robust and brave men, yet not one of them escaped. 30On that day, Moab submitted to Israel; and the land was tranquil for eighty years.

31After him came Shamgar son of Anath, who slew six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too was a champion of Israel.

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