So have you ever heard the story about Ehud? If not, don’t worry. You’re not alone. He lived more than 3,000 years ago, but his story was such that it lives on in the annals of history to this day.
Basically, the ancient Israelite people (fighting for their land back then and to this day) were constantly at war with the neighboring tribes. That’s what folks there did then, and they still do now.
Anyway, Ehud was a leader of the people of Israel (a Judge), and so they sent him to their enemy, Eglon, King of Moab to “pay tribute” to him. (Even the name “Eglon” is so war story-ish! Don’t you think?)
Apparently, Ehud was left-handed. I don’t know why he went down in the history books for that trait, but I imagine students of war might have something to weigh in on that fact if we asked. But the story really begins here:
Ehud made himself a short two-edged sword and strapped it on his right thigh under his clothes. When he finally was able to present the “tribute” to Eglon king of Moab, he was shocked that the rumors were true. Eglon was grossly fat.
After Ehud finished presenting the tribute, he headed down the road a ways with the men who had carried Eglon’s present for him. Basically, Ehud’s caravan. When he got as far as some stone images near the area known as Gilgal, however, he turned around and went back.
When he showed up back at the palace, the staff was a bit surprised. Had he left something? “I have a private message for you, O king,” was all he said. The king told his servants, “Leave.” And when the king talks, you obey. So they left. The room now only had two occupants. Jabba the hut, er…Eglon and Ehud.
Ehud approached the king who was now alone in his cool rooftop room—and said, “I have a word of God for you.” Eglon stood up from his throne. Ready to receive what I imagine he assumed would be some wonderful words to match his body-sized ego.
Slowly, Ehud reached with his left hand and took his sword from his right thigh. What happens next is better than fiction. And that’s because this story is true!. As Ehud plunged his sword into the king’s big belly, not only the blade but the hilt went in! The fat closed in over it so he couldn’t pull it out!
With that, Ehud slipped out by way of the porch and shut and locked the doors of the rooftop room behind him. Then he was gone.
When the servants returned, they were surprised that the doors to the rooftop room were locked. Now get this, they said, “He’s probably relieving himself in the restroom.” (Gasp!)
They waited. And then they worried—no one was coming out of those locked doors. Finally, they got a key and unlocked them. There, to their utter shock and amazement, was their master, fallen on the floor, dead!
While they were standing around wondering what to do, Ehud was already long gone. He made it safely past those stone images at Gilgal and managed a clean escape.
Naturally, after that, Ehud was the hometown hero. No, he was the national hero. And has lived in infamy to this day. If you don’t believe me, check out the book of Judges in the Old Testament of the Bible. You’ll find this diddy in chapter 3. And while you’re there, why not brush up on some real battle scenes and war stories that are sure to capture your attention.
With that, best,