1 These are the nations that Hashem left so that He might test by them all the Israelites who had not known any of the wars of Canaan,
2 so that succeeding generations of Israelites might be made to experience war—but only those who had not known the former wars:
ב רַק לְמַעַן דַּעַת דֹּרוֹת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל לְלַמְּדָם מִלְחָמָה רַק אֲשֶׁר־לְפָנִים לֹא יְדָעוּם׃
ד וַיִּהְיוּ לְנַסּוֹת בָּם אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל לָדַעַת הֲיִשְׁמְעוּ אֶת־מִצְוׂת יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה אֶת־אֲבוֹתָם בְּיַד־מֹשֶׁה׃
5 The Israelites settled among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites;
6 they took their daughters to wife and gave their own daughters to their sons, and they worshiped their gods.
ו וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת־בְּנוֹתֵיהֶם לָהֶם לְנָשִׁים וְאֶת־בְּנוֹתֵיהֶם נָתְנוּ לִבְנֵיהֶם וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֶת־אֱלֹהֵיהֶם׃
7 The Israelites did what was offensive to Hashem; they ignored Hashem their God and worshiped the Baalim and the Asheroth.
ז וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וַיִּשְׁכְּחוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֶת־הַבְּעָלִים וְאֶת־הָאֲשֵׁרוֹת׃
10 The spirit of Hashem descended upon him and he became Yisrael‘s chieftain. He went out to war, and Hashem delivered King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram into his hands. He prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim,
11 and the land had peace for forty years. When Otniel the Kenizzite died,
יא וַתִּשְׁקֹט הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וַיָּמָת עָתְנִיאֵל בֶּן־קְנַז׃
15 Then the Israelites cried out to Hashem, and Hashem 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.
16 So Ehud made for himself a two-edged dagger, a gomed in length, which he girded on his right side under his cloak.
טז וַיַּעַשׂ לוֹ אֵהוּד חֶרֶב וְלָהּ שְׁנֵי פֵיוֹת גֹּמֶד אָרְכָּהּ וַיַּחְגֹּר אוֹתָהּ מִתַּחַת לְמַדָּיו עַל יֶרֶךְ יְמִינוֹ׃
18 When [Ehud] had finished presenting the tribute, he dismissed the people who had conveyed the tribute.
יח וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר כִּלָּה לְהַקְרִיב אֶת־הַמִּנְחָה וַיְשַׁלַּח אֶת־הָעָם נֹשְׂאֵי הַמִּנְחָה׃
יט וְהוּא שָׁב מִן־הַפְּסִילִים אֲשֶׁר אֶת־הַגִּלְגָּל וַיֹּאמֶר דְּבַר־סֵתֶר לִי אֵלֶיךָ הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר הָס וַיֵּצְאוּ מֵעָלָיו כָּל־הָעֹמְדִים עָלָיו׃
3:20 And when Ehud approached him
Ehud tells the Moabite king Eglon that he has a message for him from God. Eglon stands up, and Ehud stabs him, thereby killing the oppressor of the Israelites. Although he delivered no verbal message, Ehud told the truth: Hashem had instructed him to kill Eglon. At its core, God’s message is that ultimately, even if it takes time, He will always save the People of Israel from their oppressors. This true message that Ehud delivered to Eglon remains equally true in our time. Often the enemies of the Jewish people appear strong, and even claim many innocent victims. But God continues to send the message that ultimately, those who oppress His people will always be destroyed. Over time, the Jews’ persecutors all fade away, while the Nation of Israel lives forever.2 comments
כא וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵהוּד אֶת־יַד שְׂמֹאלוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת־הַחֶרֶב מֵעַל יֶרֶךְ יְמִינוֹ וַיִּתְקָעֶהָ בְּבִטְנוֹ׃
22 The 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.
כב וַיָּבֹא גַם־הַנִּצָּב אַחַר הַלַּהַב וַיִּסְגֹּר הַחֵלֶב בְּעַד הַלַּהַב כִּי לֹא שָׁלַף הַחֶרֶב מִבִּטְנוֹ וַיֵּצֵא הַפַּרְשְׁדֹנָה׃
23 Stepping out into the vestibule, Ehud shut the doors of the upper chamber on him and locked them.
כג וַיֵּצֵא אֵהוּד הַמִּסְדְּרוֹנָה וַיִּסְגֹּר דַּלְתוֹת הָעַלִיָּה בַּעֲדוֹ וְנָעָל׃
24 After 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.”
כד וְהוּא יָצָא וַעֲבָדָיו בָּאוּ וַיִּרְאוּ וְהִנֵּה דַּלְתוֹת הָעֲלִיָּה נְעֻלוֹת וַיֹּאמְרוּ אַךְ מֵסִיךְ הוּא אֶת־רַגְלָיו בַּחֲדַר הַמְּקֵרָה׃
25 They 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!
כה וַיָּחִילוּ עַד־בּוֹשׁ וְהְנֵּה אֵינֶנּוּ פֹתֵחַ דַּלְתוֹת הָעֲלִיָּה וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת־הַמַּפְתֵּחַ וַיִּפְתָּחוּ וְהִנֵּה אֲדֹנֵיהֶם נֹפֵל אַרְצָה מֵת׃
27 When he got there, he had the shofar sounded through the hill country of Efraim, and all the Israelites descended with him from the hill country; and he took the lead.
28 “Follow me closely,” he said, “for Hashem has delivered your enemies, the Moabites, into your hands.” They followed him down and seized the fords of the Yarden against the Moabites; they let no one cross.
29 On that occasion they slew about 10,000 Moabites; they were all robust and brave men, yet not one of them escaped.
כט וַיַּכּוּ אֶת־מוֹאָב בָּעֵת הַהִיא כַּעֲשֶׂרֶת אֲלָפִים אִישׁ כָּל־שָׁמֵן וְכָל־אִישׁ חָיִל וְלֹא נִמְלַט אִישׁ׃