This chapter begins with four key nations that the Lord left to prove Israel’s obedience to God and to teach them to war. There were the Phiistines, Canaanites, Sidonians and the Hivites. Meanwhile, the people also dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. They allowed marriage with these people and served their gods, forgetting the God of israel.
This evil led to the first punishment for the people – being sold to the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia for eight years. However when the people of Israel cried out to God he raised Othniel as the first Judge in Israel, who by the Spirit of God judged the people and also conquered Chushanrishathaim. The land then enjoyed rest for the next 40 years until Othniel died.
After his death, the people turned away again, and this time around they had to serve Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years as punishment. On crying out again, God raised the left handed Ehud as their deliverer. Ehud’s ‘message from God’ for Eglon was a double edged dagger skillfully thrust into Eglon’s fat belly with his left hand. Eglon escaped after locking the door on the dead king, gathered the rest of the people and conquered the Moabites, defeating up ten thousand men of valour. After this victory, the land had rest for eighty years.
The chapter then concludes with a brief mention of Shamgar who was also a deliverer in Israel, who killed six hundred Philistines with an ox goad.
We are just begining the book, and this much has happened. What happens next after that? We’ll soon see!
Some verses to remember
Vs 9: And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel.