|Eglon - |
1. King of Moab. With Amalekites and Ammonites crossed the Jordan and took Jericho the city of palmtrees, left unwalled, and therefore an easy prey to the foe, because of Joshua's curse in destroying it 60 years before. There (according to Josephus) Eglon built a palace. For 18 years he oppressed Israel. Ehud, a young Israelite of Jericho, gained his favor by a present (or in Keil's view presented the king tribute, as in 2 Samuel 8:2; 2 Samuel 8:6, "gifts" mean), and after dismissing its bearers turned again from "the graven images," or else stone quarries, where he had temporarily withdrawn from the king's reception room, and was cordially admitted by the king into his private summer parlor or cooling apartment.
On Ehud's announcing "I have a message from God unto thee," the king rose reverentially to receive it, and was instantly stabbed in the belly by Ehud's dagger in the left hand, and Eglon's fat closed over it. Ehud retired to Seirath, in Mount Ephraim, and summoning by trumpet Israel from the E. and W. descended upon the Moabites and took the fords, not suffering one of 10,000 to escape. So the land had rest for 80 years (Judges 3:12-30). The mode of deliverance, assassination, is not approved by the Spirit of God. Scripture simply records the fact, and that Ehud was raised up by Jehovah as Israel's deliverer. His courage, patriotism, and faith are commendable, but not his means of gaining his end.
2. An Amorite town (Joshua 15:39), in the shephelah (low country) of Judah. One of the confederacy of five towns (including Jerusalem), which attacked Gibeon on its making peace with Joshua; was destroyed with Debit, then its king (Joshua 10). Now Ajian, a "shapeless mass of ruins" (Porter, Handbook), 14 miles from Gaza, on the S. of the great coast plain.