Judges 3:22
(22) The haft also went in after the blade.--The tremendous violence of the blow marks that resoluteness of character which Ehud shows throughout. The Hebrew for "blade" is "flame," as the LXX. here render it. It is as though the vivid narrator would make us see the flash of the dagger ere it is buried, hilt and all, in the huge body. So in Nahum 3:3 we have, "The horseman lifteth up the flame of the sword and the lightning of the spear." The only other passage where the word occurs is to describe the polished head of the spear of Goliath (1Samuel 17:7).

So that he could not draw the dagger out.--Thus he had disarmed himself by the force of his own blow; but the original only says, "for he did not draw the dagger out."

And the dirt came out.--The meaning of this clause is excessively doubtful, because the Hebrew word rendered "dirt" (parsedonah) occurs here and here only. (1) Our E.V. follows the Chaldee and the Vulgate with the alternative rendering (2) "it came out at the fundament" (marg.), which is the view of Gesenius. The Jews were themselves uncertain of the meaning and even in Rabbi Tanchum's commentary we find that some understood it to mean (3) "he (Ehud) ran out into the gallery." (4) A fourth guess--that of the Syriac version--is, "he went out hastily." The LXX. omit it altogether, either because they thought that they were consulting propriety--a tendency which they constantly show--or because they could not rightly explain it. The resemblance of the word parsedonah to the word misder?nah ("porch"), in the next clause, is certainly in favour of its meaning some part of the house. Ewald renders it, "he rushed out into the gallery," which runs round the roof. He refers to Ezekiel 42:5. To understand it more exactly, we should require to know the structure of the house. Following the analogy of other Eastern houses, as described by Shaw, it seems that Eglon's alijah was a separate building (domation, Jos.), or part of a building, with one door opening on a balcony, and another on a private staircase and closet (Judges 3:24). It was an inner room, and its outer door communicated with the house.

Verse 22. - The haft, etc. Ehud, feeling the necessity of killing Eglon at one blow, plunged the dagger into his body with such force that the handle went in with the blade, and he was unable to draw it out. Leaving it, therefore, buried in his fat, he went out at once into the parshedon, or antechamber, for so it is best to render the last words of the verse, and thence into the misederon, the outer porch, having first locked the door of the summer chamber. The words parshedon and misederon occur only here, and the former is very variously rendered.

3:12-30 When Israel sins again, God raises up a new oppressor. The Israelites did ill, and the Moabites did worse; yet because God punishes the sins of his own people in this world, Israel is weakened, and Moab strengthened against them. If lesser troubles do not do the work, God will send greater. When Israel prays again, God raises up Ehud. As a judge, or minister of Divine justice, Ehud put to death Eglon, the king of Moab, and thus executed the judgments of God upon him as an enemy to God and Israel. But the law of being subject to principalities and powers in all things lawful, is the rule of our conduct. No such commissions are now given; to pretend to them is to blaspheme God. Notice Ehud's address to Eglon. What message from God but a message of vengeance can a proud rebel expect? Such a message is contained in the word of God; his ministers are boldly to declare it, without fearing the frown, or respecting the persons of sinners. But, blessed be God, they have to deliver a message of mercy and of free salvation; the message of vengeance belongs only to those who neglect the offers of grace. The consequence of this victory was, that the land had rest eighty years. It was a great while for the land to rest; yet what is that to the saints' everlasting rest in the heavenly Canaan.And the haft went in, after the blade,.... The handle of the dagger, as well as the blade; so strong and violent was the thrust, he determining to do his business effectually:

and the fat closed upon the blade; being an excessive fat man, the wound made by the dagger closed up at once upon it, through the fat:

so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; being not able to take hold of the haft or handle, that having slipped in through the fat after the blade, so that he was obliged to leave it in him:

and the dirt came out; the margin of our Bibles is, "it came out at the fundament"; that is, the dagger did, the thrust being so strong and vehement; but that is not so likely, the dagger being so short, and Eglon a very fat man. The Targum is,"his food went out;''which was in his bowels; but as the wound was closed up through fat, and the dagger stuck fast in it, it could not come out that way: rather therefore this is to he understood of his excrements, and of their coming out at the usual place, it being common for persons that die a violent death, and indeed others, to purge upon it; some, as Kimchi observes, interpret it of the place where the guards were, the guard room, through which Ehud went out, but that is expressed in another word in Judges 3:23; the Syriac and Arabic versions read, "he went out in haste", that is, Ehud.

Judges 3:21
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