Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD,1 and because they did this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab2 power over Israel.
Getting the Ammonites3 and Amalekites4 to join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms.a514
The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab6 for eighteen years.
Again the Israelites cried out to the LORD, and he gave them a deliverer7--Ehud8, a left-handed9 man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. The Israelites sent him with tribute10 to Eglon king of Moab.
Now Ehud11 had made a double-edged sword about a foot and a halfb long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing.
He presented the tribute12 to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man.1318
After Ehud had presented the tribute, he sent on their way the men who had carried it.
At the idolsc near Gilgal he himself turned back and said, "I have a secret message for you, O king." The king said, "Quiet!" And all his attendants left him.
Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his summer palaced14 and said, "I have a message from God for you." As the king rose15 from his seat,
Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword16 from his right thigh and plunged it into the king's belly.
Even the handle sank in after the blade, which came out his back. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it.
Then Ehud went out to the porche; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.
After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, "He must be relieving himself17 in the inner room of the house."
They waited to the point of embarrassment,18 but when he did not open the doors of the room, they took a key and unlocked them. There they saw their lord fallen to the floor, dead.
While they waited, Ehud got away. He passed by the idols and escaped to Seirah.
When he arrived there, he blew a trumpet19 in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down with him from the hills, with him leading them.
"Follow me," he ordered, "for the LORD has given Moab,20 your enemy, into your hands.21" So they followed him down and, taking possession of the fords of the Jordan22 that led to Moab, they allowed no one to cross over.
At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all vigorous and strong; not a man escaped.
That day Moab23 was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace24 for eighty years.