1 Now these are the nations that Jehovah left to test the Israelites who had not known all the wars of Canaan.
2 He did this to teach warfare to the generations of the children of Israel who had not had previous battle experience.
3 Those left in the land were the five Philistine cities, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived in the Lebanon Mountains from Mount Baal Hermon as far as Hamath Pass.
4 They were to be a test for Israel. This would find out whether or not the Israelites would obey the commandments that Jehovah gave their ancestors through Moses.
5 The people of Israel settled down among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
6 They intermarried with them and worshiped their gods.
7 The people of Israel forgot Jehovah their God. They sinned against him and worshiped the idols of Baal and Asherah.
8 Jehovah became angry at Israel and let King Cushan Rishathaim of Mesopotamia conquer them. They were subject to him for eight years.
9 The Israelites cried out to Jehovah, and he sent someone to free them. This was Othniel, the son of Calebs younger brother Kenaz.
10 The Spirit of Jehovah came upon him, and he became Israels leader judge. Othniel went to war, and Jehovah gave him the victory over the king of Mesopotamia.
11 There was peace in the land for forty years until Othniel died.
12 The people of Israel sinned against Jehovah again. Because of this Jehovah made King Eglon of Moab stronger than Israel.
13 Eglon joined the Ammonites and the Amalekites. They defeated Israel and captured Jericho, the city of palm trees.
14 The Israelites were subject to Eglon for eighteen years.
15 Then the Israelites cried out to Jehovah. So 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.
16 Ehud made himself a double-edged sword about a foot and a half long. He fastened it on his right side under his clothes.
17 He took the gifts to Eglon, who was a very fat man.
18 When Ehud gave him the gifts, he told the men who carried them to go back home.
19 But Ehud turned back at the carved stones near Gilgal, went back to Eglon, and said: »Your Majesty, I have a secret message for you.« So the king ordered his servants: »Leave us alone!« Then they all went out.
20 The king was sitting there alone in his cool room on the roof. Ehud went over to him and said: »I have a message from God for you.« The king stood up.
21 With his left hand Ehud took the sword from his right side and plunged it into the kings belly.
22 The whole sword went in, handle and all, and the fat covered it up. Ehud did not pull it out of the kings belly, and it stuck out behind, between his legs.
23 Ehud went outside, closed the doors behind him, locked them.
24 Then he left. The servants came and saw that the doors to the upstairs room were locked. They only thought that the king was inside, relieving himself.
25 They waited as long as they thought they should. When he still did not open the door, they took the key and opened it. There lying dead on the floor was their master.
26 Ehud got away while they were waiting. He went past the carved stones and escaped to Seirah.
27 When he arrived there in the hill country of Ephraim, he blew a trumpet to call the people of Israel to battle. Then he led them down from the hills.
28 He said to them: »Follow me! Jehovah has given you victory over your enemies, the Moabites.« So they followed Ehud and captured the place where the Moabites were to cross the Jordan. They did not allow anyone to cross.
29 They killed about ten thousand of the best Moabite soldiers. None of them escaped.
30 That day the Israelites defeated Moab. There was peace in the land for eighty years.
31 The next leader was Shamgar son of Anath. He too rescued Israel, and did so by killing six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad.