Judges 3:21
And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:
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(21) Thrust it into his belly.—This would involve certain, though not necessarily instant death. Josephus says, inaccurately, that he stabbed him to the heart (Antt. v. 4, § 2). The assassination is exactly similar to that of Henry III. of France, by the Dominican monk, Jacques Clement, who had provided himself with a commission from a friend of the king: “On Tuesday, Aug. 1, at 8 a.m.,” says L’Estoile, “he was told that a monk desired to speak with him. The king ordered him to be admitted. The monk entered, having in his sleeve a knife, unsheathed. He made a profound reverence to the king, who had just got up, and had nothing but a dressing-gown on, and presented him despatches from the Comte de Brienne, saying that he had further orders to tell the king privately something of importance. Then the king ordered those who were present to retire, and began reading the letter. The monk, seeing his attention engaged, drew his knife from his sleeve, and drove it right into the king’s small gut, below the navel, so home that he left the knife in the hole.”—Guizot, “Hist. of France,” iii. 479.

Jdg 3:21. Ehud put forth his hand and took the dagger — It is justly observed by Dr. Dodd, that this action of Ehud “is certainly among the number of those which are not to be imitated without that which gave it all its sanction; namely, a divine commission. The text expressly says, The Lord raised up Ehud; and it is well known that all the deliverances which the Jews had under the judges, were directed and conducted by the immediate hand of God, according as the people, by their repentance, became fit to receive them. A divine warrant, in such a case, is a clear ground to go upon, but it can be no precedent for others to go upon, who have no divine warrant at all, but quite the contrary. What are reason and understanding given us for, but to distinguish upon cases and circumstances?” As reasons why God excited Ehud to this action, it may be observed, that Eglon had been the aggressor, and that he was the oppressor of God’s people, and held them under a cruel subjection and bondage; that he was undoubtedly guilty of great injustice and violence toward them, and, in all probability, continued to make many thousands of them miserable daily, by means of their servitude, which he had no right to do. Therefore God, who had called Ehud to the office of delivering and governing Israel, stirred him up on this occasion, to take this method of cutting off their enemy and oppressor.

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.Probably Ehud's first message Judges 3:19 had been delivered to the attendants, and by them carried to the king. Now Ehud is admitted to the king's presence, into the cool upper chamber.

I have a message from God unto thee - Ehud believed himself to be accomplishing the divine mandate, and so his words were true in a certain sense. But it was also a stratagem to cause the king to rise, that the thrust might be sure. (The king rose at once, in true Oriental respect for a divine message, or from fear, compare Joshua 9:24.)

21-26. Ehud put forth his left hand—The whole circumstance of this daring act—the death of Eglon without a shriek, or noise—the locking of the doors—the carrying off the key—the calm, unhurried deportment of Ehud—show the strength of his confidence that he was doing God service. No text from Poole on this verse.

And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh,.... Being, as before observed, a lefthanded man; Judges 3:15, and this he could the better do, without being taken notice of by the king, who, if he saw him move his left hand, would have no suspicion of his going to draw a dagger with it, and which also was hidden under his raiment, Judges 3:16,

and thrust it into his belly; Josephus (d) says into his heart; it is certain the wound was mortal, and must have been in a part on which, life depended.

(d) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 2.

And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:
Judges 3:21But when the king stood up, Ehud drew his sword from under his garment, and plunged it so deeply into his abdomen that even the hilt followed the blade, and the fat closed upon the blade (so that there was nothing to be seen of it in front, because he did not draw the sword again out of his body), and the blade came out between the legs. The last words have been rendered in various ways. Luther follows the Chaldee and Vulgate, and renders it "so that the dirt passed from him," taking the ἁπ. λεγ. פּרשׁדנה as a composite noun from פּרשׁ, stercus, and שׁדה, jecit. But this is hardly correct, as the form of the word פּרשׁדנה, and its connection with יצא, rather points to a noun, פּרשׁדן, with ה local. The explanation given by Gesenius in his Thes. and Heb. lex. has much more in its favour, viz., interstitium pedum, the place between the legs, from an Arabic word signifying pedes dissitos habuit, used as a euphemism for anus, podex. The subject to the verb is the blade.

(Note: At any rate the rendering suggested by Ewald, "Ehud went into the open air, or into the enclosure, the space in front of the Alija," is untenable, for the simple reason that it is perfectly irreconcilable with the next clause, "Ehud went forth," etc. (consequently Fr. Bttcher proposes to erase this clause from the text, without any critical authority whatever). For if Ehud were the subject to the verb, the subject would necessarily have been mentioned, as it really is in the next clause, Judges 3:23.)

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