Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Judges 3: T.M.I.!

You've heard the expression "TMI", haven't you?  Too Much Information?  We have a little TMI going on in Judges 3!

After hearing about an early judge, Othniel, who was Caleb's brother, we receive the story of Ehud.  Ehud was a left-handed Benjaminite who delivered the Israelites from 18 years of oppression by assassinating the Moabite king named Eglon.  Ehud craftily got a personal audience with Eglon, and then approached privately by stating that he had a secret message for the king.

Now Eglon stands out in the pages of scripture as perhaps the fattest individual described.  "Now Eglon was a very fat man" (vs. 17).  How fat was he?  When Ehud gets close, he grabs a knife hidden on his right thigh with his left hand and plunges it into Ehud's belly.  "The hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not draw the sword out of his belly; and the dirt came out" (vs. 22).  ("Dirt" here should probably be taken as euphemism for excrement.)

Not only do we have an account of a gross and gory death, but we are then treated to an earthy explanation of how Ehud escaped.  First he cleverly locked the doors behind him then fled.  Eglon's servants, when they checked and found the locked doors, assumed that their king was taking his time "relieving himself" (thanks for that image!) in the cool, well-ventilated inner room.  Perhaps this was a typical activity for Eglon that his servants expected.  But when he seemed to be taking even more time than usual and the servants grew embarrassed, they finally investigated and discovered their lord dead on the floor.

Perhaps this chapter will give you a little taste of some of the more unusual stories that may be found in the Book of Judges, many of which don't end up in Sunday School!

No comments:

Post a Comment