Ehud

EHUD (ē'hŭd, Heb. ’ēhûdh, union)

A descendant of Benjamin (1Chr.7.10; 1Chr.8.6).A judge of the Israelites, a Benjamite, the son of Gera. The people were in distress because of the heavy hand of Eglon, the king of Moab, who had captured Jericho and extracted tribute from Israel. Ehud, a left-handed man, made a double-edged dagger that he carried on his right thigh. After he had delivered the tribute, he obtained an opportunity to speak with Eglon the king in private. He drew his dagger, thrust it through the king’s body, and locked the doors of the room when he went out. The king’s servants did not want to disturb him too quickly. During the delay, Ehud escaped. Back home he rallied the Israelites from Benjamin and Ephraim and led them against the Moabites. They subdued these enemies, and the land had peace for eighty years until Ehud died (Judg.3.15-Judg.3.30).


b

EHUD ē’ hud (אֵה֤וּד, Judg 3:15, 1 Chron 7:10; אֵח֑וּד, 1 Chron 8:6). A Benjamite name designating the son of Gera. (“Abihud,” a personal name in 1 Chron 8:3, is prob. a mistake for “father of Ehud.”) Ehud was notable for being left-handed (Heb. “hindered in the right hand”), a physical characteristic sufficiently unusual in antiquity to merit mention. This hero led the revolt against the Edomite King Eglon, who early in the Judges period had subjugated Israel for eighteen years.


Before taking the annual tribute to Eglon, Ehud fashioned a thirteen inch double-edged dagger which he carried on his right thigh for convenience, being left-handed. Having publicly paid the tribute, he seized an opportunity through a ruse to speak privately to Eglon and slew the unsuspecting king. Gaining time by locking the body in the private chamber, Ehud escaped through a window and marshaled the W Jordanian Israelites to prevent 10,000 Moabite soldiers from fleeing homeward, thus insuring peace for eighty years (3:30).

Bibliography

E. G. Kraeling, JBL (1935), LIV, 205-210.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(ehudh, "united," "strong"):

A Benjamite, son of Gera, deliverer of Israel from oppression by Moab (Jud 3:15-30). Gaining access alone to the presence of King Eglon under pretense of a secret errand connected with the payment of Israel’s tribute, Ehud, a left-handed man, drew the sword he had concealed upon his right side, and thrust the king through. He locked the doors of the upper chamber after him, made his escape, and with the Israelites overcame Moab at the fords of the Jordan, slaying some 10,000. Ehud’s name occurs again in the Benjamite genealogy (1Ch 7:10).