The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Judges
Chapter 3
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Spared they must be, so that a new generation of Israelites, who had not fought against Chanaan,
might learn a soldierly tradition, and skill in the use of arms;
the five princes of the Philistines, the Chanaanites in general, the men of Sidon, and the Hevites of mount Lebanon, between Baal-hermon hill and the path that leads to Emath.
Spared they must be, so as to have a test of Israel’s loyalty; would the Israelites obey the commands which the Lord had given to their fathers through Moses, or not?

Thus the men of Israel lived surrounded by Chanaanite and Hethite, by Amorrhite and Pherezite, by Hevite and Jebusite,
mated with their daughters, and gave Israelite wives to their sons, and so came to worship their gods.
They defied the Lord’s will, forsook him, their own God, and paid court instead to the gods of the country-side, and to Astaroth;
and the Lord, in high displeasure against Israel, left them at the mercy of Chusan-Rasathaim, king of the Mesopotamian land, who for eight years became their master.
Then they cried out to the Lord, and he sent a champion to their rescue, Othoniel son of Cenez, the younger brother of Caleb.
On him the Lord’s spirit fell, and he became the ruler of Israel; he fought, and the Lord gave him victory over the Syrian king Chusan-Rasathaim, whose power he crushed.
So, for forty years, the land was at peace, till Othoniel son of Cenez died.

Then, once again, Israel defied the Lord’s will, and he, thus defied, gave them a rival in Eglon king of Moab,
that had Ammon and Amelec fighting at his side. This Eglon made an expedition against the Israelites in which he defeated them, and took possession of the city of Palm-trees.
And for eighteen years the king of Moab was master of Israel.

And now they cried out to the Lord, and he sent them a fresh champion, a Benjamite called Aod, son of Gera. He was left-handed, and when the Israelites sent him to pay King Eglon their tribute,
he wore at his right side, under his cloak, a hilted dagger, two-edged, nine inches long.
Gift in hand he came before Eglon, who sat there gross and pampered of body.
So, letting his companions go on before him, when the tribute had been paid,
he himself went back all the way from the carved rocks of Galgal, and told the king he had a secret to make known to him. Eglon bade him keep his counsel, and sent all the courtiers out;
alone he sat in his summer parlour, when Aod found him. I have a message for thee from the Lord, said Aod, and, as Eglon rose from his seat,
the dagger hidden at Aod’s right side was plunged into his belly.
Such was the force of the blow, that hilt followed blade into the wound, stuck deep in the fat; and thereupon the bowels discharged their load.
Good care Aod took to secure lock and bolt behind him;
then he made his escape by a postern door.

When the king’s servants came and found locked doors they thought he was easing himself, like enough, there in his summer retreat.
But at last, ashamed of waiting, they brought a key to open it, and there was their master stretched on the ground dead.
In the confusion, Aod escaped; he made his way back to the Carved Rocks, and thence to Seirath.
There, on the slopes of Ephraim, he blew his horn, and the men of Israel came down from the hills with Aod at their head
crying out, Follow me, the Lord has granted us victory over the Moabite invader. Down they went at his heels, and seized the ford across Jordan that leads to Moab. Not a man did they allow to cross,
but slew, that day, some ten thousand Moabite warriors, cut off from all hope of escape.
Thus Israel brought Moab to the dust, and for eighty years the land was at peace.

Aod was followed by Samgar, the son of Anath; he it was that slew six hundred Philistines with a ploughshare; he, too, was a champion of Israel.