Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;
A. M. 2561. B.C. 1443. An. Ex. Is. 48. the nations
as had not
Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;
Their fathers fought by a divine power. God taught their hands to war and their fingers to fight, that they might be the instruments of destruction to the wicked nations on whom the curse rested; but now that they had forfeited His favour, they must learn what it is to fight like other men.
Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath.
And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.
And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites:
And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves.
Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years.
A. M. 2591. B.C. 1413. An. Ex. Is. 78. was hot
Heb. Aram-naharaim. Aram-naharayim, "Syria of the two rivers," or Mesopotamia, "between the rivers," is a famous province situated between the Tigris and Euphrates. It is called by Arabian geographers, Maverannaher, "the country beyond the river;" and is now called Diarbek.
And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.
A. M. 2599. B.C. 1405. An. Ex. Is. 86. cried
Heb. saviour. Othniel.
And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.
Heb. was. Mesopotamia. Heb. Aram.
And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.
A. M. 2662. B.C. 1342. An. Ex. Is. 148. did evil
and the Lord
And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees.
So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.
A. M. 2679. B.C. 1325. An. Ex. Is. 166. cried unto
or, the son of Jemini. left-handed. Heb. shut of his right hand. This Hebrew phrase intimates that, either through disease or disuse, he made little or no use of the right hand, but of his left only, and so was the less fit for war, because he would most likely wield a dagger awkwardly: yet God chose this left-handed man to be the minister of his retributive justice. It was God's right hand that gained Israel the victory, Ps 44:3; not the right hand of the instruments he employed.
sent a present
But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.
And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.
a very fat
But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.
or graven images.
And all that
And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.
a summer parlour
Heb. a parlour of cooling. The ‚leeyah, or upper chamber, seems to have been of the same description as the olÎah of the Arabs, but properly ventilated, described by Dr. Shaw, who says, that to most of their houses there is a smaller one annexed, which sometimes rises one story higher than the house; at other times, it consists of one or two rooms only, and a terrace; while others that are built, as they frequently are, over the porch or gateway, have, if we except the ground floor, which they want, all the conveniences that belong to the house itself. There is a door of communication from them into the gallery of the house; besides another, which opens immediately from a private staircase, down into the porch or street, without giving the least disturbance to the house. In these back houses strangers are usually lodged and entertained; and to them likewise the men are wont to retire from the noise and hurry of their families, to be more at leisure for mediation or diversions.
And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:
And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.
the dirt came out
or, it came out at the fundament.
When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber.
or, doeth his easement.
And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath.
And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.
And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.
And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man.
So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.
And the land
And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.
an ox goad
This implement, Mr. Maundrell informs us, in Palestine and Syria is of an extraordinary size. He measured several, and "found them about eight feet long; and at the bigger end about six inches in circumference. They were armed at the lesser end with a sharp prickle for driving the oxen; and at the other end with a small paddle of iron, strong and massive, for cleansing the plough from the clay. In the hand of a powerful man such an instrument must be more dangerous and fatal than a sword."
"So part is called Israel."