Daily Tanach, Sunday: Shoftim Chapter 3-Part 2 The assassination of Eglon

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

1.       The assassination of Eglon:

  • The present: The Jewish people sent with Eihud a present to bring to Eglon the king of Moav. Eihud made a long two sword [of one Amah[1]] with blades on each side, which he wore under his clothing on his right side.
  • Eihud escorts the entourage: Eihud brought the present to Eglon. Eglon was very fat. When he concluded offering him the present, Eihud sent off the rest of his entourage, [and Eglon escorted Eihud and his entourage outside to Gilgal]
  • Eglon and Eihud convene in private: After Eglon concluded escorting the entourage that was with Eihud, Eihud informed him that he had to speak to him privately. Eglon thus ordered all those present to leave him. Eihud came over to Eglon who was sitting on an upper story closed balcony [which contained many windows[2]] and was segregated from the remainder of the household. Eihud told Eglon that he has a message from G-d on his behalf [and that therefore he should stand up[3]]. In response [and out of honor for G-d] Eglon stood up from his chair [and in reward merited to have Rus, his daughter, convert[4]].
  • The assassination: Eihud then removed his sword from under his clothing, which was resting on his right thigh, using his left hand, and stabbed Eglon in the stomach. The entire blade of the sword, and its handle, became engulfed within his flabs of fat and was not removed by Eihud. The digested food of Eglon and his feces, poured out of his abdomen.[5] Eihud then left the area to the hallway and closed the doors of the balcony behind him and locked it [with a key[6]].
  • The discovery: The servants of Eglon came to see him, and seeing that the door was locked, assumed that he was defecating in the room. They waited there for a long time, and after seeing that Eglon was not coming out, they took the key and opened the door and discovered that their master was dead.
  • Eihud runs away: Eihud ran away and managed to get quite far due to the delay in their discovery of his death. He hid in a forest which was filled with trees.

2.       The Jewish people fight and conquer Moav:

  • When Eihud arrived [back in Eretz Yisrael, after passing the Jordon[7]] he blew the Shofar in Har Ephraim, and the Jewish people descended with him from the mountain, and he led them. He said to them that they should follow him and give chase to Moav, as Hashem has given them over into his hands. The Jewish people did as they were instructed, and they captured the Jordon bridge [thus preventing the Moabites from crossing[8]].
  • They smote Moav on that day and killed approximately 10,000 men, all the soldiers and warriors. Not one Moabite soldier [who was in Eretz Yisrael] survived.[9]
  • Moav became subjugated under Israel on that day, and the land became peaceful for eighty years [from the time of the start of the subjugation of the Jewish people to Moav, which is a total of 62 years of peace[10]].


3.       The leadership of Shamgar Ben Anas:

  • Shamgar Ben Anas took over the leadership after [Eihud], and he smote the Philistines. Six hundred people were killed with his plowing dagger.
  • He also helped save the Jewish people.


[1] Rashi 3:16

[2] See Metzudos David 3:20; Rashi 3:20

[3] Rashi 3:20

[4] Rashi 3:20; Radak 3:20

[5] See Rashi, Radak,  Ralbag and Metzudos David 3:22

[6] Rashi 3:23

[7] Rashi 3:27

[8] Rashi 3:28

[9] Metzudos David 3:29

[10] Ralbag 3:30; Metzudos David 3:30

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