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You Can't Make This Stuff Up: More Weird Tales from the Bible

The Biggest Loser

(Judges 3:14-23)

14So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.  15But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.  16But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.  17And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.  18And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present.  19But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.  20And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.  21And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:  22And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.  23Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them.

The Bible recounts numerous well-deserved assassinations, and this is one of the most daring...and frankly, one of the yuckiest. The Moabites were one of the longest lasting festering boils on the collective posterior of the Israelites. Like most of the other “ites,” the Moabites weren’t supposed to exist; they were one of the tribes that the Israelites were supposed to have wiped of the globe during the time of Joshua. As a Klingon would have put it, (if Klingons had been around at the time), Moabites were a “total waste of skin.” But since the Israelites had, for some unfathomable reason, shown mercy to the Moabites, the Moabites felt compelled to return the favor by making slaves of the Israelites. No good deed ever goes unpunished. Eglon was one of the worst of the Moabite kings, and as the passage tells us, he was very fat. How fat was he? Stay tuned. After 18 years of servitude under Eglon’s crushing heel (and as fat as he was, that was quite a crush), along comes a hero, a left-handed feller named Ehud. Ehud isn’t a heroic sounding name like David or Arnold, but he certainly deserves an award for cojones, or whatever the Hebrew word for that was. He devises a plot. He makes it known that he and his people want to offer King Eglon a present to express their gratitude for his 18 years of innovative leadership. Ehud has a dagger strapped to his right thigh under his coat. We’re told this dagger is a cubit long...that’s half a meter. It’s more like a short sword. Eglon, as most tyrants are, is more than happy to entertain any loyal subject who’s willing to kiss his fat, hairy...uh...ring finger. Ehud tells his entourage to wait outside the king’s chamber while he presents Eglon with his well-deserved gift. As he hands the present to him with his right hand, he reaches for his dagger with his left, and thrusts it into Eglon’s massive beer gut...and completely loses the dagger in the process. The hilt and everything is lost inside the King’s trim six-pack. We’re told the “dirt came out” which we presume means excrement and lard. What a terrible way to lose a perfectly good dagger. Well, at least the act freed the people from Moabite slavery for a while. As it eventually turned out, there were plenty more tyrants where Eglon came from...but none quite as disgusting.

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Moabites

Thanks for recounting this. I'd forgotten half these stories, or maybe never read them. They sure are violent.

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Hi Geoffrey: There are a

Hi Geoffrey:

There are a lot more where these came from, and not all of them are violent. Some are just plain hilarious, as well. :)
Stay tuned for more!

Eric

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Sex & violence in the good book

I just remember some of the lubricious passages in Song of Solomon. But there's some weird sexual stuff when Samson is taken prisoner, right? I'll have to find my copy of the King James translation of that anthology of folk tales.

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I talk about song of Solomon

I talk about song of Solomon in a previous post somewhere. :)

Eric