1: Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;
2: Only that the generations of the sons of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;
3: Namely, five lords of the Philistines (see Josh. 13:2-6), and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baal-hermon to the pass of Hamath.
4: And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would listen to the commandments of the Lord, which He commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.
E² F 3:5-11. Chushan-rishathaim. (Othniel). G 3:12-30. Eglon. (Ehud). H 3:31. Shamgar. (Philistines). G 4:1–5:31. Jabin. (Barak). F 6:1–8:32. Midian. (Gideon).
F d 5-7. Evil commited. e 8-. Oppressor. (Cushan-rishathaim). f -8. Servitude. 8 years. d 9-. Evil repented of. e -9,10. Deliverer. (Othniel). f 11. Rest. 40 years.
5: And the sons of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites (not the Canaanites dwelling in Israel, but Israel dwelling among Canaanites, who were to be exterminated. Ex. 3:8,17; 23:23-28. Deut.7:1-5), Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites:
6: And they took their daughters to be their wives (contrary to Yahaveh's express command. Ex.34:16. Deut.7:3), and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
7: And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord (Heb. "the evil"; i.e. the special evil [idolatry] which had been forbidden as such), and forgot the Lord their God, and served Baalim and Asherim (see Deut. 34:13).
8: Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel,
1431 to 1423 B.C.
and He sold them (cp. 2:14. 490 years since Abraham left Mesopotamia) into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim (= chief of two governments) king of Mesopotamia (= between the rivers): and the sons of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim eight years. (#8 = new beginnings. A new beginning of servitudes for disobedience to God)
9: And when the sons of Israel cried to the Lord,
the Lord raised up a deliverer (= savior) to the sons of Israel, who saved them (cp. Luke 1:68-70), even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother (cp. Josh. 15:16,17).
10: And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him (bestowing gifts rather than power or might [Gen.1:2]. Cp. Isa. 11:2; 61:1), and he ruled Israel, and went out to war: and the Lord delivered Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushan-rishathaim.
1423 to 1383 B.C.
11: And the land had rest (repeated 4 times: 3:11,30; 5:31; 8:20, to prevent the periods of rest and servitude being "telescoped") forty years (#40 = probation). And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
G g 12-. Evil committed. h -12,13. Oppressor. (Eglon). i 14. Servitude. 18 years. g 15-. Evil repented of. h -15-30-. Deliverer. (Ehud). i -30. Rest. 80 years.
12: And the sons of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord:
and the Lord strengthened Eglon (= calf-like) the king of Moab (= of his father) against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord.
13: And he gathered to him the sons of Ammon (= sons of renown, mountaineers) and Amalek (see Ex. 17:16), and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees (cp. Deut. 34:3).
14: So the sons of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years (#18 = bondage).
1383 to 1365 B.C.
15: But when the sons of Israel cried to the Lord,
h j¹ -15-26. Assassination of Eglon. j² 27-30. Slaughter of Moabites.
j¹ k¹ l -15. Present sent. m 16. Dagger prepared. l 17,18. Present brought. k² n 19,20. Interview sought. o 21,22. Dagger used. n 23-26. Interview ended.
the Lord raised them up a savior, Ehud (= union) the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man left-handed:
and by him the sons of Israel sent a present to Eglon the king of Moab.
16: But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cut length (= a dirk, about 9 inches long); and he did gird it under his clothing upon his right thigh.
17: And he brought the admittance-offering (Heb. korban) to Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.
18: And when he had made an end to bring near the present, he sent away the people that bore the present.
19: But he himself turned again from the graven images that were by Gilgal (Heb. the same as at Gilgal), and said, “I have a secret errand to you, O king” (Heb. mouth. See note on "message", v.20): who said, “Keep silence.” And all that stood by him went out from him.
20: And Ehud came to him; and he was sitting in a summer parlor (cooling room), which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, “I have a message (= word; put by Fig., for what is meant by it: here it is the "errand" of v.19) from God to you.” And he arose out of his throne.
21: And Ehud put forth his left hand (note the 7 weak things in this Book, illustrating 1 Cor. 1:27. 2 Cor. 12:9: left hand [here]; ox goad [3:31]; a woman [4:4]; a nail [4:21]; piece of a millstone [9:53]; pitcher and trumpet [7:20]; jawbone of an ass [15:16]. So in later time. Luther [a miner's son], Calvin [a cooper's son], Zwingle [a shepherd's son], Melancthon [an armorer's son], John Knox [a plain burgess's son]), and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:
22: And the handle also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.
23: Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the cooling room upon him, and locked them.
24: When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the cooling room were locked, they said, “Surely he covers his feet in his cooling room chamber.” (a Euphemism for act performed while stooping, and causing feet to be covered, i.e. siting on toilet)
25: And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the cooling room; therefore they took the key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.
26: And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and he passed beyond the graven images of Ehud, and escaped to Seirath.
27: And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the sons of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.
28: And he said to them, “Follow after me: for the Lord has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.
29: And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valor; and there escaped not a man.
30: So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel.
And the land had rest fourscore years (the Sept. adds, "until he died").
1365 to 1285
31: And after him was Shamgar (= sword. Cp. 5:6-8) the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred(#600 = warfare) men with an ox goad (see 3:21. No weapons. Cp. 5:8. 1 Sam. 13:19-22): and he also delivered Israel.