Bible: Judges 3:!5

3:1 These were the nations the Lord permitted to remain so he could use them to test Israel – he wanted to test all those who had not experienced battle against the Canaanites. 1  3:2 He left those nations simply because he wanted to teach the subsequent generations of Israelites, who had not experienced the earlier battles, how to conduct holy war. 2  3:3 These were the nations: 3  the five lords of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo-Hamath. 4  3:4 They were left to test Israel, so the Lord would know if his people would obey the commands he gave their ancestors through Moses. 5 

3:5 The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 3:6 They took the Canaanites’ daughters as wives and gave their daughters to the Canaanites; 6  they worshiped 7  their gods as well.

Othniel: A Model Leader

3:7 The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. 8  They forgot the Lord their God and worshiped the Baals and the Asherahs. 9  3:8 The Lord was furious with Israel 10  and turned them over to 11  King Cushan-Rishathaim 12  of Aram-Naharaim. They were Cushan-Rishathaim’s subjects 13  for eight years. 3:9 When the Israelites cried out for help to the Lord, he 14  raised up a deliverer for the Israelites who rescued 15  them. His name was Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 16  3:10 The Lord’s spirit empowered him 17  and he led Israel. When he went to do battle, the Lord handed over to him King Cushan-Rishathaim of Aram and he overpowered him. 18  3:11 The land had rest for forty years; then Othniel son of Kenaz died.

Deceit, Assassination, and Deliverance

3:12 The Israelites again did evil in the Lord’s sight. 19  The Lord gave King Eglon of Moab control over Israel 20  because they had done evil in the Lord’s sight. 3:13 Eglon formed alliances with 21  the Ammonites and Amalekites. He came and defeated Israel, and they seized the City of Date Palm Trees. 3:14 The Israelites were subject to 22  King Eglon of Moab for eighteen years.

3:15 When the Israelites cried out for help to the Lord, he 23  raised up a deliverer for them. His name was Ehud son of Gera the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. 24  The Israelites sent him to King Eglon of Moab with their tribute payment. 25  3:16 Ehud made himself a sword – it had two edges and was eighteen inches long. 26  He strapped it under his coat on his right thigh. 3:17 He brought the tribute payment to King Eglon of Moab. (Now Eglon was a very fat man.)

3:18 After Ehud brought the tribute payment, he dismissed the people who had carried it. 27  3:19 But he went back 28  once he reached 29  the carved images 30  at Gilgal. He said to Eglon, 31  “I have a secret message for you, O king.” Eglon 32  said, “Be quiet!” 33  All his attendants left. 3:20 When Ehud approached him, he was sitting in his well-ventilated 34  upper room all by himself. Ehud said, “I have a message from God 35  for you.” When Eglon rose up from his seat, 36  3:21 Ehud reached with his left hand, pulled the sword from his right thigh, and drove it into Eglon’s 37  belly. 3:22 The handle went in after the blade, and the fat closed around the blade, for Ehud 38  did not pull the sword out of his belly. 39  3:23 As Ehud went out into the vestibule, 40  he closed the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.

3:24 When Ehud had left, Eglon’s 41  servants came and saw the locked doors of the upper room. They said, “He must be relieving himself 42  in the well-ventilated inner room.” 43  3:25 They waited so long they were embarrassed, but he still did not open the doors of the upper room. Finally they took the key and opened the doors. 44  Right before their eyes was their master, sprawled out dead on the floor! 45  3:26 Now Ehud had escaped while they were delaying. When he passed the carved images, he escaped to Seirah.

3:27 When he reached Seirah, 46  he blew a trumpet 47  in the Ephraimite hill country. The Israelites went down with him from the hill country, with Ehud in the lead. 48  3:28 He said to them, “Follow me, for the Lord is about to defeat your enemies, the Moabites!” 49  They followed him, captured the fords of the Jordan River 50  opposite Moab, 51  and did not let anyone cross. 3:29 That day they killed about ten thousand Moabites 52 all strong, capable warriors; not one escaped. 3:30 Israel humiliated Moab that day, and the land had rest for eighty years.

3:31 After Ehud 53  came 54  Shamgar son of Anath; he killed six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad and, like Ehud, 55  delivered Israel.

Celebrating the Victory in Song

5:1 On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this victory song: 56 

5:2When the leaders took the lead 57  in Israel,

When the people answered the call to war –

Praise the Lord!

5:3 Hear, O kings!

Pay attention, O rulers!

I will sing to the Lord! 58 

I will sing 59  to the Lord God of Israel!

5:4 O Lord, when you departed 60  from Seir,

when you marched from Edom’s plains,

the earth shook, the heavens poured down,

the clouds poured down rain. 61 

5:5 The mountains trembled 62  before the Lord, the God of Sinai; 63 

before the Lord God of Israel.

5:6 In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,

in the days of Jael caravans 64  disappeared; 65 

travelers 66  had to go on winding side roads.

5:7 Warriors 67  were scarce, 68 

they were scarce in Israel,

until you 69  arose, Deborah,

until you arose as a motherly protector 70  in Israel.

5:8 God chose new leaders, 71 

then fighters appeared in the city gates; 72 

but, I swear, not a shield or spear could be found, 73 

among forty military units 74  in Israel.

5:9 My heart went out 75  to Israel’s leaders,

to the people who answered the call to war.

Praise the Lord!

5:10 You who ride on light-colored female donkeys,

who sit on saddle blankets, 76 

you who walk on the road, pay attention!

5:11 Hear 77  the sound of those who divide the sheep 78  among the watering places;

there they tell of 79  the Lord’s victorious deeds,

the victorious deeds of his warriors 80  in Israel.

Then the Lord’s people went down to the city gates

5:12 Wake up, wake up, Deborah!

Wake up, wake up, sing a song!

Get up, Barak!

Capture your prisoners of war, 81  son of Abinoam!

5:13 Then the survivors 82  came down 83  to the mighty ones; 84 

the Lord’s people came down to me 85  as 86  warriors.

5:14 They came from Ephraim, who uprooted Amalek, 87 

they follow 88  after you, Benjamin, with your soldiers.

From Makir leaders came down,

from Zebulun came 89  the ones who march carrying 90  an officer’s staff.

5:15 Issachar’s leaders were with Deborah,

the men of Issachar 91  supported 92  Barak;

into the valley they were sent under Barak’s command. 93 

Among the clans of Reuben there was intense 94  heart searching. 95 

5:16 Why do you remain among the sheepfolds, 96 

listening to the shepherds playing their pipes 97  for their flocks? 98 

As for the clans of Reuben – there was intense searching of heart.

5:17 Gilead stayed put 99  beyond the Jordan River.

As for Dan – why did he seek temporary employment in the shipyards? 100 

Asher remained 101  on the seacoast,

he stayed 102  by his harbors. 103 

5:18 The men of Zebulun were not concerned about their lives; 104 

Naphtali charged on to the battlefields. 105 

5:19 Kings came, they fought;

the kings of Canaan fought,

at Taanach by the waters of Megiddo, 106 

but 107  they took no silver as plunder.

5:20 From the sky 108  the stars 109  fought,

from their paths in the heavens 110  they fought against Sisera.

5:21 The Kishon River carried them off;

the river confronted them 111  – the Kishon River.

Step on the necks of the strong! 112 

5:22 The horses 113  hooves pounded the ground; 114 

the stallions galloped madly. 115 

5:23Call judgment down on 116  Meroz,’ says the Lord’s angelic 117  messenger;

Be sure 118  to call judgment down on 119  those who live there,

because they did not come to help in the Lord’s battle, 120 

to help in the Lord’s battle against the warriors.’ 121 

5:24 The most rewarded 122  of women should be Jael,

the wife of Heber the Kenite!

She should be the most rewarded of women who live in tents.

5:25 He asked for water,

and she gave him milk;

in a bowl fit for a king, 123 

she served him curds.

5:26 Her left 124  hand reached for the tent peg,

her right hand for the workmen’s hammer.

She “hammered” 125  Sisera,

she shattered his skull, 126 

she smashed his head, 127 

she drove the tent peg through his temple. 128 

5:27 Between her feet he collapsed,

he fell limp 129  and was lifeless; 130 

between her feet he collapsed and fell limp,

in the spot where he collapsed,

there he fell limp – violently murdered! 131 

5:28 Through the window she looked;

Sisera’s mother cried out through the lattice:

‘Why is his chariot so slow to return?

Why are the hoofbeats of his chariot-horses 132  delayed?’

5:29 The wisest of her ladies 133  answer;

indeed she even thinks to herself,

5:30No doubt they are gathering and dividing the plunder 134 

a girl or two for each man to rape! 135 

Sisera is grabbing up colorful cloth, 136 

he is grabbing up colorful embroidered cloth, 137 

two pieces of colorful embroidered cloth,

for the neck of the plunderer!’ 138 

5:31 May all your enemies perish like this, O Lord!

But may those who love you shine

like the rising sun at its brightest!” 139 

And the land had rest for forty years.

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