The people of Israel forgot the Lord their God; they sinned against him and worshiped the idols of Baal and Asherah.
So the Lord became angry with Israel and let King Cushan Rishathaim of Mesopotamia conquer them. They were subject to him for eight years.
Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he sent someone to free them. This was Othniel, the son of Caleb's younger brother Kenaz.
The spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he became Israel's leader. Othniel went to war, and the Lord gave him the victory over the king of Mesopotamia.
There was peace in the land for forty years, and then Othniel died.
The people of Israel sinned against the Lord again. Because of this the Lord made King Eglon of Moab stronger than Israel.
Eglon joined the Ammonites and the Amalekites; they defeated Israel and captured Jericho, the city of palm trees.
The Israelites were subject to Eglon for eighteen years.
Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he sent someone to free them. This was Ehud, a left-handed man, who was the son of Gera, from the tribe of Benjamin. The people of Israel sent Ehud to King Eglon of Moab with gifts for him.
Ehud had made himself a double-edged sword about a foot and a half long. He had it fastened on his right side under his clothes.
Then he took the gifts to Eglon, who was a very fat man.