Judges 3: 3 Men of Valor

Synopsis:

The children of Israel did not drive out the inhabitants of the land they took. Instead, they intermarried and worshipped the local gods. So God sold them to Chushanrishathaim, King of Mesopotamia. They served him 8 years until Othniel, the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother got the spirit of the lord, rose up and defeated the king. The land had rest for 40 years, but then the children of Israel did evil again and Eglon, king of the Moabites, gathered an army and defeated Israel in the city of Palm Trees. Israel served Moab for 18 years, then Ehud (a Benjamite), a left handed man,  decided to kill king Eglon by taking him a present and stabbing him.  He managed to get close in a private meeting and stabbed him and got away while the staff was still in confusion. Ehud called the people of Israel to him and they slew the remaining Moabites and peace reigned for  four score years. After Ehud came Shamgar, the son of Anath, who slew the Philistines.

In other words:

We are told the story of 3 men of valor who rose up and delivered the Israelites out of the hands of the people who oppressed them.

Favorite bit:

Judges 3:14-30 – The story of Ehud is wonderful. Palace intrigue. Gifts and assassinations. Finally, something interesting happens.

Most interesting bit:

Judges 3:13 – when Elgon the Moab takes the city of Palm Trees. Since this was where the king of Mesopotamia lived, I was wondering if that was Babylon. But according to the online bible study sites I found, it was actually Jericho which is apparently near a spring so it had lots of trees.

Overall impression of the chapter:

While the ups and downs of the people of Israel are attributed to their failure to please god, to me, it just seems like the normal ebb and flow of tribal politics, alliances and land control. But I really enjoyed the chapter – it’s like reading a historical novel.

Moral Lesson Learned: 

Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose and then sometimes you win again. (Judges 3)