Judges 3 (Today's New International Version)

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1 These are the nations the LORD left to test1 all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan 2 (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): 3 the five2 rulers of the Philistines,3 all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites4 living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon5 to Lebo Hamath.6 4 They were left to test7 the Israelites to see whether they would obey the LORD's commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses. 5 The Israelites lived8 among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites,9 Hivites and Jebusites.10 6 They took their daughters11 in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.1213

Othniel

7 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD14 their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.15 8 The anger of the LORD burned against Israel so that he sold16 them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim17 king of Aram Naharaim,a18 to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years. 9 But when they cried out19 to the LORD, he raised up for them a deliverer,20 Othniel21 son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, who saved them. 10 The Spirit of the LORD came on him,22 so that he became Israel's judgeb and went to war. The LORD gave Cushan-Rishathaim23 king of Aram24 into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him. 11 So the land had peace25 for forty years,26 until Othniel son of Kenaz27 died.

Ehud

12 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD,28 and because they did this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab29 power over Israel. 13 Getting the Ammonites30 and Amalekites31 to join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms.c32 14 The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab33 for eighteen years. 15 Again the Israelites cried out to the LORD, and he gave them a deliverer34--Ehud35, a left-handed36 man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. The Israelites sent him with tribute37 to Eglon king of Moab. 16 Now Ehud38 had made a double-edged sword about a cubitd long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing. 17 He presented the tribute39 to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man.40 18 After Ehud had presented the tribute, he dismissed those who had carried it. 19 But on reaching the stone images near Gilgal he himself went back to Eglon and said, "Your Majesty, I have a secret message for you." The king said to his attendants, "Leave us!" And they all left. 20 Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his palacee41 and said, "I have a message from God for you." As the king rose42 from his seat, 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword43 from his right thigh and plunged it into the king's belly. 22 Even the handle sank in after the blade, and his bowels discharged. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it. 23 Then Ehud went out to the porchf; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them. 24 After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, "He must be relieving himself44 in the inner room of the palace." 25 They waited to the point of embarrassment,45 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. 26 While they waited, Ehud got away. He passed by the stone images and escaped to Seirah. 27 When he arrived there, he blew a trumpet46 in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down with him from the hills, with him leading them. 28 "Follow me," he ordered, "for the LORD has given Moab,47 your enemy, into your hands.48" So they followed him down and took possession of the fords of the Jordan49 that led to Moab; they allowed no one to cross over. 29 At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all vigorous and strong; not one escaped. 30 That day Moab50 was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace51 for eighty years.

Shamgar

31 After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath,52 who struck down six hundred53 Philistines54 with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.
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