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4.22 Judges -- Ehud and Shamgar

The next king to subjugate Israel was Eglon of Moab (Judg 3:12).  He was allied with other traditional enemies of Israel -- Ammon and Amalek.  Ehud of the tribe of Benjamin was the judge.  Yet there was no explicit impartation of the Spirit upon Ehud.  He is the patron saint of all left-handed people, as well as a favorite of pre-teen boys' Sunday School classes, for the method of his assassination of Eglon:

          Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king's belly.  Even the handle sank in after the blade, which came out his back. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it (Judg 3:21-22).
          Ehud escaped to lead Israel against Moab, "and the land had peace for eighty years" (Judg 3:30).


The next leader, Shamgar, got only two verses in Scripture, as a deliverer who killed 600 Philistines (Judg 3:31).  There is no tribal affiliation given, so he may not have been a native Israelite.   “He is not described as a judge of Israel -- indeed,  he may well have been a Canaanite” (F. F. Bruce, “Shamgar,” The New Bible Dictionary, 1170).  He is described as a "son of Anath."  This was not a Hebrew name, but that of a Canaanite goddess of war (NIV, p 334 footnote)!  Is it possible that a Canaanite chief would defect to the side of Israel and be appointed by God as judge?  Unfortunately, we have only the possibility of this, and not proof.

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