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Eglon of Moab

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CHAPTER 3 Jun. 7 
The Nations Left in the Land
Now these are the nations which Yahweh left to test Israel, those who had not known all the wars of Canaan, 2so that the later generations of the children of Israel might learn battle experience, those who before knew nothing of it: 3the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites, the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath. 4They were left to test Israel, to know whether they would listen to the commandments of Yahweh which He commanded their fathers by Moses. 5The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, 6and they took their daughters to be their wives and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. 7The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh and forgot Yahweh their God, and served the Baals and the Asherahs. 8Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel and He sold them into the hand of Cushan Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. The Israelites served Cushan Rishathaim for eight years. 
Othniel Saves Israel
9When the Israelites cried to Yahweh, Yahweh raised up a saviour for them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10The Spirit of Yahweh came on him and he judged Israel. He went out to war and Yahweh delivered Cushan Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Cushan Rishathaim. 11The land had rest forty years. Othniel the son of Kenaz died. 
Ehud Saves Israel
12The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh. Yahweh strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of Yahweh. 13He gathered to him the Ammonites and Amalek and he went and struck Israel; and they took possession of the city of palm trees. 14The Israelites served Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years. 15But when the Israelites cried to Yahweh, Yahweh raised up a saviour for them, Ehud the son of Gera the Benjamite, a left-handed man. The children of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16Ehud made himself a sword which had two edges, a cubit in length; and he wore it under his clothing on his right thigh. 17He offered the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18When he had finished offering the tribute he sent away the people who carried the tribute, 19but he himself turned back from the idols that were by Gilgal and said, I have a secret errand to you, king. The king said, Keep silence! All his attendants left him. 20Ehud came to him as he was sitting alone in the cool upper room. Ehud said, I have a message from God to you. He arose out of his seat. 21Ehud put forth his left hand and took the sword from his right thigh and thrust it into his body. 22The handle also went in after the blade and the fat closed on the blade, for he didn’t draw the sword out of his body, and it came out behind. 23Then Ehud went out into the porch and shut the doors of the upper room on him and locked them. 24Now when he had gone out, the servants came and saw that the doors of the upper room were locked, and they said, Surely he is covering his feet in the upper room. 25They waited until they were ashamed; but still he didn’t open the doors of the upper room, therefore they took the key and opened them and behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth. 26Ehud escaped while they waited and passed beyond the idols and escaped to Seirah. 27When he had arrived, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down with him from the hill country, and he went before them. 28He said to them Follow me, for Yahweh has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. They followed him and took the fords of the Jordan opposite the Moabites and didn’t allow any man to pass over. 29They struck down about ten thousand Moabite men at that time, every strong man and every man of valour, and none escaped. 30So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. The land had rest for eighty years. 31After him came Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed six hundred Philistine men with an ox goad, and he also saved Israel.


3:1 The nations which Yahweh left to test Israel- The process of temptation is internal to the human mind (James 1:13-15; Mk. 7:15-23). But God can test us as He did Abraham (Gen. 22:1). It could be argued that God knows all about us anyway, and so the testing process is really to reveal us to ourselves. Another angle is that this language is relevant to the Angels, who were the practical manifestation of God at this time (see on 2:1-3), but their knowledge isn’t total (Mt. 24:36); it could be that some of our tests are to reveal us to our guardian Angels. The cases of Divine ‘testing’ of people are usually in the context of Angelic involvement with people.
3:2 Might learn battle experience - elsewhere the presence of those remaining nations is clearly linked to Israel's faithlessness, and their survival in the land was actually part of God's punishment of Israel. God therefore works through His judgments of sin in order to try to positively teach His ways to people. 
3:6 In nearly every reference to marriage to Gentiles, there is the comment that this would surely lead to adopting the religious views of the Gentile partner; views which inevitably take a man away from his covenant with Yahweh. The connection between marriage out of the covenant and adopting idolatry is emphasized: Ex. 34:12-16; Dt. 7:2-9; 1 Kings 11:2,3; Mal. 2:11; 2 Cor. 6:14. Dt. 7:4 dogmatically predicts that a Gentile man will definitely turn away the heart of his Hebrew son-in-law. So certain is it that marriage to Gentiles leads to accepting their idols that Ezra 9:1,2 reasons that Israel hadn't separated from idols because they had married Gentiles. Time and again, those who marry out of the covenant claim that they feel strong enough to cope with it, that marriage is only a human thing, and that their spiritual relationship with God is between them and God, and unaffected by their worldly partner. Yet this is exactly the opposite of what God's word says. It's not true that you can marry into the world and be unaffected in your own spirituality.
3:8 The book of Judges describes a consistent sequence of Israel turning away from God, being punished by neighbouring Arab enemies, and then being sent a 'saviour' - a 'Jesus'.   This points forward to how Israel will be brought to her knees by the future Arab oppression, resulting in the coming of the true Saviour (cp. Mt. 1:21).   It is significant that almost all the judges were initially rejected by Israel, and had various features which meant that they did not have charismatic appeal to the people.   Those facts make them all types of Christ.  The pattern of 'serving' their Arab conquerors and then 'crying unto the Lord' (:8,9,14,15) recalls their servitude to the Egyptians, resulting in Israel 'crying to the Lord' (Ex. 2:23), and being answered by the Passover deliverance - which also represented Christ’s coming.   Their deliverances by the judges also typify this. "Saviours (judges) shall come up upon mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau (so that) the Kingdom shall be the Lord's" (Obadiah 21). "Saviours / judges" may be an intensive plural referring to the one true saviour / judge, Jesus. 
3:21 There are seven weak things which are mentioned in Judges as being the tools of God's salvation: a left handed man; an ox goad (3:31); a woman (4:4); a nail (4:21); a piece of a millstone (9:53); a pitcher and trumpet (7:20), a jaw bone of an ass (15:16). God delights to work through the weak; indeed, only if we perceive our own weakness can God work through us.