The Israelites again did what was evil in the Lord's sight. He gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel, because they had done what was evil in the Lord's sight.
After Eglon convinced the Ammonites and the Amalekites to join forces with him, he attacked and defeated Israel and took possession of the City of Palms.a14
The Israelites served Eglon king of Moab 18 years.
Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and He raised up Ehud son of Gera, a left-handedb Benjaminite,c as a deliverer for them. The Israelites sent him to Eglon king of Moab with tribute [money].
Ehud made himself a double-edged sword 18 inches long.d He strapped it to his right thigh under his clothes
and brought the tribute to Eglon king of Moab, who was an extremely fat man.
When Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he dismissed the people who had carried it.
At the carved images near Gilgal he returned and said, "King [Eglon], I have a secret message for you." The king called for silence, and all his attendants left him.
Then Ehud approached him while he was sitting alone in his room upstairs [where it was] cool. Ehud said, "I have a word from God for you," and the king stood up from his throne.e21
Ehudf reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and plunged it into Eglon's belly.
Even the handle went in after the blade, and Eglon's fat closed in over it, so that Ehud did not withdraw the sword from his belly. And Eglon's insides came out.
Ehud escaped by way of the porch, closing and locking the doors of the upstairs room behind him.
Ehud was gone when Eglon's servants came in. They looked and found the doors of the upstairs room locked and thought he was relieving himselfg in the cool room.
The servants waited until they became worried and saw that he had still not opened the doors of the upstairs room. So they took the key and opened the doors-and there was their lord lying dead on the floor!
Ehud escaped while the servants waited. He crossed over [the Jordan] near the carved images and reached Seirah.
After he arrived, he sounded the ram's horn throughout the hill country of Ephraim. The Israelites came down with him from the hill country, and he became their leader.
He told them, "Follow me, because the Lord has handed over your enemies, the Moabites, to you." So they followed him, captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Moab, and did not allow anyone to cross over.
At that time they struck down about 10,000 Moabites, all strong and able-bodied men. Not one of them escaped.
Moab became subject to Israel that day, and the land was peaceful 80 years.