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Free Bible Version - Judges

Judges 3

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1The following are the nations the Lord left and used to test all those Israelites who had not known what it was like to be part of any of the wars in Canaan.
2(He did so to teach warfare to the later generations of Israel, particularly to those who had not previously experienced it.)
3They are: the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the mountains of Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to Lebo-hamath.
4They were left there be to a test for the Israelites, to find out whether the Israelites would keep the Lord's commandments which he had given their forefathers through Moses.
5They lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
6The Israelites intermarried with them, marrying their daughters, giving their own daughters to their sons, and worshiped their gods.
7The Israelites did what was evil in the Lord's sight. They ignored the Lord their God and worshiped the images of Baals and Asherahs.
8The Lord became angry with Israel, so he sold them to Cushan-Rishathaim, king of Aram Naharaim. The Israelites were subject to Cushan-Rishathaim for eight years.
9But when the Israelites cried out to the Lord to help them, he provided someone to rescue them, Othniel, son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, and he saved them.
10The Spirit of the Lord came on him, and he became Israel's judge. He went to war with Cushan-Rishathaim, king of Aram, and the Lord handed the king over to Othniel, who was victorious.
11As a result, the country was a peace for forty years until Othniel, son of Kenaz, died.
12But once again the Israelites did what was evil in the Lord's sight, and because they did this the Lord gave power to Eglon, king of Moab, to conquer Israel.
13Eglon had the Ammonites and the Amalekite join him, and then attacked and defeated Israel, taking possession of the City of Palms.
14The Israelites were subject to Eglon, king of Moab, for eighteen years.
15Again the Israelites cried out to the Lord to help them, and he provided someone to rescue them, Ehud, son of Gera the Benjamite, a left-handed man. The Israelites sent him to pay the tribute to Eglon, king of Moab.
16Ehud had made for himself a cubit long double-edged sword, and he strapped it to his right thigh under his clothes.
17He came and presented the tribute to Eglon, king of Moab, who was a very fat man.
18Then after delivering the tribute he sent home those who had helped carry it.

19But when he reached the stone idols near Gilgal, he turned back. He went to see Eglon, and told him, “Your Majesty, I have a secret message for you.” The king told his attendants, “Silence!” and they all left.
20Ehud then went over to where Eglon was sitting alone in his cool upstairs room, and told him, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king got up from his seat,
21Ehud grabbed his sword with his left hand from his right thigh and drove it into Eglon's belly.
22The handle went in with the blade and the fat closed over it. So Ehud didn't pull the sword out, and the king defecated.
23Then Ehud closed and locked the doors, and escaped through the toilet.
24After he had left, the servants came and saw that the doors of the room were locked. “He must be using the toilet,” they concluded.
25So they waited until they couldn't stand it any more, and since he still hadn't opened the doors of the room, they went and found the key and opened the doors. There was their lord, lying dead on the floor.
26While the servants delayed acting, Ehud escaped, passing the stone idols and on to Seirah.
27When he got there, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites joined him. They went down from the hills, with Ehud leading them.
28He told them, “Follow me, for the Lord has handed Moab, your enemy, over to you.” So they followed him down and took control of the fords of the Jordan leading to Moab. They didn't let anyone cross.
29Then they attacked the Moabites and killed around 10,000 of their best and strongest fighting men. Not a single one escaped.
30Moab was conquered that day and made subject to Israel, and the country was at peace for eighty years.
31After Ehud was Shamgar, son of Anath, who killed six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He also rescued Israel.