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Sunday, February 23 2014

Judges 3: Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar

"When the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel"

The era of the Judges (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Judges) spanned approximately two centuries, from the passing of Joshua's generation (see Joshua 24: The Covenant Of Shechem and Judges 2: The Rise Of The Judges) to the time of King Saul and King David (see the Fact Finder question below). It was a time marked by the people of Israel falling into gross idolatry, from which the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) allowed their enemies to defeat and oppress them - after which "the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel."

The remnant of the Canaanites (see also What Does The Bible Really Say About Canaanites?) in the land served as a test of Israel's faithfulness and obedience to the LORD.

"3:1 Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; 3:2 Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; 3:3 Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. 3:4 And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.

3:5 And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: 3:6 And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods." (Judges 3:1-6 KJV)

There were numerous "Judges." One of the first recorded was Othniel, a nephew of Caleb (see Joshua 14: Caleb's Hebron).

Ehud kills Eglon

"3:7 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. 3:8 Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years. 3:9 And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. 3:10 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. 3:11 And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died." (Judges 3:7-11 KJV)

The LORD empowered Ehud, a Benjamite, to deliver the Israelites from the king of Moab. It was a natural choice - the territory of Benjamin (see Joshua 18: The Land Of Benjamin) was directly across the Jordan River from Moab.

"3:12 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. 3:13 And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees. 3:14 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

3:15 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. 3:16 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. 3:17 And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man. 3:18 And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present. 3:19 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.

3:20 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. 3:21 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: 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. 3:23 Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them.

3:24 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. 3:25 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.

3:26 And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath. 3:27 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.

3:28 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. 3:29 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. 3:30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years." (Judges 3:12-30 KJV)

"Shamgar the son of Anath" was another of the earliest Judges.

"3:31 And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel." (Joshua 3:31 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who was the last of the Judges? How did the LORD use him to establish the Israelite monarchy?
See Israel In History and Prophecy: Samuel


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This Day In History, February 23

303: Prior to its creation of a perverted version of Christianity for itself (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy), Emperor Diocletian began the persecution of unspecified "Christians" in Rome (see also The Church Of God At Rome).

532: Byzantine Emperor Justinian I proclaimed the construction of a new Orthodox "Christian" basilica in Constantinople (today known as Istanbul, Turkey). It became known as the Hagia Sophia. It later became mosque (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy) and is today a museum.

Gutenberg Bible 1455: Johannes Gutenberg printed the first book with the newly-invented process of movable type - the Bible.

1554: Mapuche forces under Lautaro defeated the Spanish at the Battle of MarihueƱu in Chile.

1574: The Fifth War of Religion began in France.

1820: The Cato Street Conspiracy, an attempt to assassinate British Cabinet ministers, was foiled with only hours to spare.

1861: After seceding from Mexico in 1836, and then being annexed by the U.S. in 1845, Texas became the 7th state to secede from the U.S. and join the Confederates States of America.

1887: An earthquake killed about 2,000 people in the French Riviera.

1898: In France, novelist Emile Zola was imprisoned for writing his "J'accuse" letter accusing the government of anti-Semitism and wrongly jailing Captain Alfred Dreyfus.

1903: While under U.S. military occupation, the puppet government of Cuba at the time leased Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. "in perpetuity." It is today the site of the infamous U.S. concentration camp where prisoners have been tortured, killed or indefinitely incarcerated without charge or trial. Outside of the walls of the Nazi-like camp is a large official sign that proclaims "Honor Bound To Defend Freedom."

1919: Benito Mussolini left the Socialists and founded the Fasci del Comattimento (Fascist) party in Italy.

1934: Leopold III became King of Belgium.

1942: A Japanese submarine shelled an oil refinery in Santa Barbara, California, the first Japanese bombs to hit U.S. the continental U.S. during the Second World War.

1944: Russia's Josef Stalin forced 1 million Chechens into exile. He dissolved their republic while accusing them of collaboration with Nazi Germany.

1970: Guyana, formerly British Guiana, became an independent republic within the British Commonwealth.

1987: Ian Shelton, a Canadian astronomer from Winnipeg, discovered the first supernova since Kepler's observation in 1604 while working at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. The star, Sanduleak 69 202 in the Large Magellanic Cloud, is estimated to be 160,000 light years away i.e. the image of it that is seen today left 160,000 years ago.

1996: Pope John Paul II issued an updated code for electing popes, introducing modern comforts for cardinals in conclave and reaffirming rules against electronic bugging to safeguard their secrecy.

1998: Osama bin Laden (born in Saudi Arabia) published a fatwa of jihad against all Jews and "Crusaders" (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).


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