And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed on 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)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.
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. Deuteronomy 22:1, from שׂה), a cubit long (גּמר, ἁπ. λεγ., signified primarily a staff, here a cubit, according to the Syriac and Arabic; not "a span," σπιθαμή, lxx), and "did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh."
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