Judges 3:22
And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) The haft also went in after the blade.—The tremendous violence of the blow marks that resoluteness of character which Ehud shows throughout. The Hebrew for “blade” is “flame,” as the LXX. here render it. It is as though the vivid narrator would make us see the flash of the dagger ere it is buried, hilt and all, in the huge body. So in Nahum 3:3 we have, “The horseman lifteth up the flame of the sword and the lightning of the spear.” The only other passage where the word occurs is to describe the polished head of the spear of Goliath (1Samuel 17:7).

So that he could not draw the dagger out.—Thus he had disarmed himself by the force of his own blow; but the original only says, “for he did not draw the dagger out.”

And the dirt came out.—The meaning of this clause is excessively doubtful, because the Hebrew word rendered “dirt” (parsedonah) occurs here and here only. (1) Our E.V. follows the Chaldee and the Vulgate with the alternative rendering (2) “it came out at the fundament” (marg.), which is the view of Gesenius. The Jews were themselves uncertain of the meaning and even in Rabbi Tanchum’s commentary we find that some understood it to mean (3) “he (Ehud) ran out into the gallery.” (4) A fourth guess—that of the Syriac version—is, “he went out hastily.” The LXX. omit it altogether, either because they thought that they were consulting propriety—a tendency which they constantly show—or because they could not rightly explain it. The resemblance of the word parsedonah to the word misderōnah (“porch”), in the next clause, is certainly in favour of its meaning some part of the house. Ewald renders it, “he rushed out into the gallery,” which runs round the roof. He refers to Ezekiel 42:5. To understand it more exactly, we should require to know the structure of the house. Following the analogy of other Eastern houses, as described by Shaw, it seems that Eglon’s alijah was a separate building (domation, Jos.), or part of a building, with one door opening on a balcony, and another on a private staircase and closet (Judges 3:24). It was an inner room, and its outer door communicated with the house.

Jdg 3:22. And the dirt came out — The Hebrew word פרשׁדנה, parschedona, here translated dirt, is found only in this place. It is from the Chaldee that it is thus rendered, and all agree that it signifies the excrements.

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.The King James Version and margin give different explanations of the last words of this verse. Others explain it of a vestibule or chamber, through which Ehud passed into the porch where the entrance doors were. He locked the doors, took the key with him; and then retired through the midst of the attendants below (or: more probably, through the door which communicated directly with the outside). 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. i.e. His excrements came forth, not at the wound, which closed up, but at the fundament, as is usual when persons die either a natural or violent death.

And the haft went in, after the blade,.... The handle of the dagger, as well as the blade; so strong and violent was the thrust, he determining to do his business effectually:

and the fat closed upon the blade; being an excessive fat man, the wound made by the dagger closed up at once upon it, through the fat:

so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; being not able to take hold of the haft or handle, that having slipped in through the fat after the blade, so that he was obliged to leave it in him:

and the dirt came out; the margin of our Bibles is, "it came out at the fundament"; that is, the dagger did, the thrust being so strong and vehement; but that is not so likely, the dagger being so short, and Eglon a very fat man. The Targum is,"his food went out;''which was in his bowels; but as the wound was closed up through fat, and the dagger stuck fast in it, it could not come out that way: rather therefore this is to he understood of his excrements, and of their coming out at the usual place, it being common for persons that die a violent death, and indeed others, to purge upon it; some, as Kimchi observes, interpret it of the place where the guards were, the guard room, through which Ehud went out, but that is expressed in another word in Judges 3:23; the Syriac and Arabic versions read, "he went out in haste", that is, Ehud.

And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. and it came out behind] i.e. the sword; but this is hardly grammatical, for sword is fem. and came out is mas. The marg. he went out into the ante-chamber is merely based upon a guess of the LXX (τὴν προστάδα). The AV. renders and the dirt came out, so Vulgate statimque per secreta naturae alvi stercora proruperunt, Targ., Jews, and many moderns, correcting the unknown and corrupt Hebr. word parshědon to peresh = dung. “This somewhat drastic touch is altogether in the vein of the narrator” (Moore); cf. Jdg 3:16-17; Jdg 3:24 b. On the other hand the clause is so much like the words at the beginning of the next verse in Hebr., that it may be a dittograph, a miswritten form of what follows.

Verse 22. - The haft, etc. Ehud, feeling the necessity of killing Eglon at one blow, plunged the dagger into his body with such force that the handle went in with the blade, and he was unable to draw it out. Leaving it, therefore, buried in his fat, he went out at once into the parshedon, or antechamber, for so it is best to render the last words of the verse, and thence into the misederon, the outer porch, having first locked the door of the summer chamber. The words parshedon and misederon occur only here, and the former is very variously rendered. Judges 3:22But 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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