Judges 3
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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,

א  וְאֵלֶּה הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר הִנִּיחַ יְהֹוָה לְנַסּוֹת בָּם אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָדְעוּ אֵת כָּל־מִלְחֲמוֹת כְּנָעַן׃

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׃

3  the 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.

ג  חֲמֵשֶׁת סַרְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים וְכָל־הַכְּנַעֲנִי וְהַצִּידֹנִי וְהַחִוִּי יֹשֵׁב הַר הַלְּבָנוֹן מֵהַר בַּעַל חֶרְמוֹן עַד לְבוֹא חֲמָת׃

4  These served as a means of testing Yisrael, to learn whether they would obey the commandments which Hashem had enjoined upon their fathers through Moshe.

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;

ה  וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יָשְׁבוּ בְּקֶרֶב הַכְּנַעֲנִי הַחִתִּי וְהָאֱמֹרִי וְהַפְּרִזִּי וְהַחִוִּי וְהַיְבוּסִי׃

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׃

8  Hashem became incensed at Yisrael and surrendered them to King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram-Naharaim; and the Israelites were subject to Cushan-rishathaim for eight years.

ח  וַיִּחַר־אַף יְהֹוָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּמְכְּרֵם בְּיַד כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתַיִם מֶלֶךְ אֲרַם נַהֲרָיִם וַיַּעַבְדוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתַיִם שְׁמֹנֶה שָׁנִים׃

9  The Israelites cried out to Hashem, and Hashem raised a champion for the Israelites to deliver them: Otniel the Kenizzite, a younger kinsman of Kalev.

ט  וַיִּזְעֲקוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־יְהֹוָה וַיָּקֶם יְהֹוָה מוֹשִׁיעַ לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיּוֹשִׁיעֵם אֵת עָתְנִיאֵל בֶּן־קְנַז אֲחִי כָלֵב הַקָּטֹן מִמֶּנּוּ׃

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,

י  וַתְּהִי עָלָיו רוּחַ־יְהֹוָה וַיִּשְׁפֹּט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה וַיִּתֵּן יְהֹוָה בְּיָדוֹ אֶת־כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתַיִם מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם וַתָּעָז יָדוֹ עַל כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתָיִם׃

11  and the land had peace for forty years. When Otniel the Kenizzite died,

יא  וַתִּשְׁקֹט הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וַיָּמָת עָתְנִיאֵל בֶּן־קְנַז׃

12  the Israelites again did what was offensive to Hashem. And because they did what was offensive to Hashem, Hashem let King Eglon of Moab prevail over Yisrael.

יב  וַיֹּסִפוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וַיְחַזֵּק יְהֹוָה אֶת־עֶגְלוֹן מֶלֶךְ־מוֹאָב עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל כִּי־עָשׂוּ אֶת־הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה׃

13  [Eglon] brought the Ammonites and the Amalekites together under his command, and went and defeated Yisrael and occupied the City of Palms.

יג  וַיֶּאֱסֹף אֵלָיו אֶת־בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן וַעֲמָלֵק וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיַּךְ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּירְשׁוּ אֶת־עִיר הַתְּמָרִים׃

14  The Israelites were subject to King Eglon of Moab for eighteen years.

יד  וַיַּעַבְדוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־עֶגְלוֹן מֶלֶךְ־מוֹאָב שְׁמוֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה׃

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.

טו  וַיִּזְעֲקוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־יְהֹוָה וַיָּקֶם יְהֹוָה לָהֶם מוֹשִׁיעַ אֶת־אֵהוּד בֶּן־גֵּרָא בֶּן־הַיְמִינִי אִישׁ אִטֵּר יַד־יְמִינוֹ וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּיָדוֹ מִנְחָה לְעֶגְלוֹן מֶלֶךְ מוֹאָב׃

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׃

17  He presented the tribute to King Eglon of Moab. Now Eglon was a very stout man.

יז  וַיַּקְרֵב אֶת־הַמִּנְחָה לְעֶגְלוֹן מֶלֶךְ מוֹאָב וְעֶגְלוֹן אִישׁ בָּרִיא מְאֹד׃

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׃

19  But 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;

יט  וְהוּא שָׁב מִן־הַפְּסִילִים אֲשֶׁר אֶת־הַגִּלְגָּל וַיֹּאמֶר דְּבַר־סֵתֶר לִי אֵלֶיךָ הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר הָס וַיֵּצְאוּ מֵעָלָיו כָּל־הָעֹמְדִים עָלָיו׃

20  and when Ehud approached him, he was sitting alone in his cool upper chamber. Ehud said, “I have a message for you from Hashem”; whereupon he rose from his seat.

v’-ay-HUD BA ay-LAV v’-hu yo-SHAYV ba-a-li-YAT ha-m’-kay-RAH a-sher LO l’-va-DO va-YO-mer ay-HUD d’-var e-lo-HEEM LEE ay-LE-kha va-YA-kom may-AL ha-ki-SAY

כ  וְאֵהוּד בָּא אֵלָיו וְהוּא־יֹשֵׁב בַּעֲלִיַּת הַמְּקֵרָה אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ לְבַדּוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵהוּד דְּבַר־אֱלֹהִים לִי אֵלֶיךָ וַיָּקָם מֵעַל הַכִּסֵּא׃

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

21  Reaching with his left hand, Ehud drew the dagger from his right side and drove it into [Eglon’s] belly.

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׃

26  But Ehud had made good his escape while they delayed; he had passed Pesilim and escaped to Seirah.

כו  וְאֵהוּד נִמְלַט עַד הִתְמַהְמְהָם וְהוּא עָבַר אֶת־הַפְּסִילִים וַיִּמָּלֵט הַשְּׂעִירָתָה׃

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.

כז  וַיְהִי בְּבוֹאוֹ וַיִּתְקַע בַּשּׁוֹפָר בְּהַר אֶפְרָיִם וַיֵּרְדוּ עִמּוֹ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִן־הָהָר וְהוּא לִפְנֵיהֶם׃

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.

כח  וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם רִדְפוּ אַחֲרַי כִּי־נָתַן יְהֹוָה אֶת־אֹיְבֵיכֶם אֶת־מוֹאָב בְּיֶדְכֶם וַיֵּרְדוּ אַחֲרָיו וַיִּלְכְּדוּ אֶת־מַעְבְּרוֹת הַיַּרְדֵּן לְמוֹאָב וְלֹא־נָתְנוּ אִישׁ לַעֲבֹר׃

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׃

30  On that day, Moab submitted to Yisrael; and the land was tranquil for eighty years.

ל  וַתִּכָּנַע מוֹאָב בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא תַּחַת יַד יִשְׂרָאֵל וַתִּשְׁקֹט הָאָרֶץ שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה׃

31  After him came Shamgar son of Anath, who slew six hundred Philistines with an ox-goad. He too was a champion of Yisrael.

לא  וְאַחֲרָיו הָיָה שַׁמְגַּר בֶּן־עֲנָת וַיַּךְ אֶת־פְּלִשְׁתִּים שֵׁשׁ־מֵאוֹת אִישׁ בְּמַלְמַד הַבָּקָר וַיֹּשַׁע גַּם־הוּא אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

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