|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:12-30 When Israel sins again, God raises up a new oppressor. The Israelites did ill, and the Moabites did worse; yet because God punishes the sins of his own people in this world, Israel is weakened, and Moab strengthened against them. If lesser troubles do not do the work, God will send greater. When Israel prays again, God raises up Ehud. As a judge, or minister of Divine justice, Ehud put to death Eglon, the king of Moab, and thus executed the judgments of God upon him as an enemy to God and Israel. But the law of being subject to principalities and powers in all things lawful, is the rule of our conduct. No such commissions are now given; to pretend to them is to blaspheme God. Notice Ehud's address to Eglon. What message from God but a message of vengeance can a proud rebel expect? Such a message is contained in the word of God; his ministers are boldly to declare it, without fearing the frown, or respecting the persons of sinners. But, blessed be God, they have to deliver a message of mercy and of free salvation; the message of vengeance belongs only to those who neglect the offers of grace. The consequence of this victory was, that the land had rest eighty years. It was a great while for the land to rest; yet what is that to the saints' everlasting rest in the heavenly Canaan.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But Ehud made him a dagger, which had two edges, of a cubit length,.... A little sword, as Josephus calls it (y), with two edges, that it might cut both ways, and do the execution he designed by it, and was about half a yard long; which he could the more easily conceal, and use for his purpose:
and he did gird it under his raiment; that it might not be seen, and give occasion of suspicion; this was a military garment, the "sagum", as the Vulgate Latin version, which was coarse, and made of wool, and reached to the ankle, and was buttoned upon the shoulder, and put over the coat (z); the Septuagint makes use of a word Suidas (a) interprets a coat of mail:
upon his right thigh; whereas a sword is more commonly girt upon the left; though some observe, from various writers, that the eastern people used to gird their swords on their right thigh; or this was done that it might be the less discernible and suspected, and chiefly as being most convenient for him, a lefthanded man, to draw it out upon occasion.
(y) Ibid. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 2.) (z) Vid. Valtrinum de re militar. Roman. l. 3. c. 13. (a) In voce
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. Ehud made him a dagger … and he did gird it … upon his right thigh—The sword was usually worn on the left side; so that Ehud's was the more likely to escape detection.
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