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Ehud

Ehud, from the Hebrew pronounced ay-khood, meaning united, was the son of Gera, of the tribe of Benjamin. Ehud lived during the era of The Judges, the segment of Bible History reckoned by some as the few centuries from the death of Joshua to the rise of Israel's first king, Saul. Ehud was chosen by The Lord to lead the liberation of the southern area of the land of Israel from Eglon, the king of Moab.

"Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded"

As so many times before and since (including the present), when the people of Israel and Judah were unfaithful and disobedient to Him, The Lord allowed, or brought about, the enemies of Israel to prevail over them (see also The Galilee Captivity and Why Babylon?). In this case it was the Moabites, "the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years."

Sword

"And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of The Lord: and The Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of The Lord. And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees [i.e. Jericho]. So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years." (Judges 3:12-14 KJV)

When the Israelites cried out to The Lord in repentance, "The Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera." The liberation of Israel would begin with the assassination of Moab's king (see Assassins to understand how and where the term originated), a lawful military act, not an act of murder (see "Thou shalt not kill").

"But when the children of Israel cried unto The Lord, The Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab. But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh. And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man. And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present. But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.

"And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat. And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: 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. Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them.

"When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber. And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth." (Judges 3:15-25 KJV)

Ehud made his escape, rejoined the forces of Israel, and then led the attack on Moab. It was sure victory ("for The Lord hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand") because the Israelites had returned to The Lord, at least for 80 years i.e. "the land had rest fourscore years."

"And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath. And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.

And he said unto them, Follow after me: for The Lord hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over. And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man. So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years." (Judges 3:26-30 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who were the "dagger men" of first century Judea? Was there at least one of them among the twelve apostles?
See Zealots

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