The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD 1 their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.28
The anger of the LORD burned against Israel so that he sold3 them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim4 king of Aram Naharaim,a5 to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years.
But when they cried out6 to the LORD, he raised up for them a deliverer,7 Othniel8 son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, who saved them.
The Spirit of the LORD came upon him,9 so that he became Israel's judgeb and went to war. The LORD gave Cushan-Rishathaim10 king of Aram11 into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him.
So the land had peace12 for forty years,13 until Othniel son of Kenaz14 died.
Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD,15 and because they did this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab16 power over Israel.
Getting the Ammonites17 and Amalekites18 to join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms.c1914
The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab20 for eighteen years.
Again the Israelites cried out to the LORD, and he gave them a deliverer21--Ehud22, a left-handed23 man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. The Israelites sent him with tribute24 to Eglon king of Moab.
Now Ehud25 had made a double-edged sword about a foot and a halfd long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing.
He presented the tribute26 to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man.2718
After Ehud had presented the tribute, he sent on their way the men who had carried it.
At the idolse 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 palacef28 and said, "I have a message from God for you." As the king rose29 from his seat,
Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword30 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 porchg; 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 himself31 in the inner room of the house."
They waited to the point of embarrassment,32 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 trumpet33 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,34 your enemy, into your hands.35" So they followed him down and, taking possession of the fords of the Jordan36 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 Moab37 was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace38 for eighty years.