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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Shoftim - Judges - Chapter 3

Shoftim - Judges - Chapter 3

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Chapter 3

1Now these are the nations which the Lord left through whom to test Israel, all those that had not known all the wars of Canaan.   אוְאֵלֶּה הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר הִנִּיחַ יְהֹוָה לְנַסּוֹת בָּם אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵת כָּל אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָדְעוּ אֵת כָּל מִלְחֲמוֹת כְּנָעַן:
through whom to test Israel: (To test) the other generation that did not know about the miracles of the battles with Canaan and did not witness the great act and (therefore) rebelled against the Omnipresent.  
2Only that the generations of the children of Israel should know, to teach them war, just the earlier ones did not know thereof.   ברַק לְמַעַן דַּעַת דֹּרוֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְלַמְּדָם מִלְחָמָה רַק אֲשֶׁר לְפָנִים לֹא יְדָעוּם:
Only that… should know: Just for this alone did He allow them to remain, to explain to future generations of the children of Israel what sin causes, for now they are required to study warfare.  
just the earlier ones: Who stood in the service of God.  
did not know thereof: These battles and their tactics, and they did not need them.  
3The five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Zidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon to the passageway of Hamath.   גחֲמֵשֶׁת | סַרְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים וְכָל הַכְּנַעֲנִי וְהַצִּידֹנִי וְהַחִוִּי ישֵׁב הַר הַלְּבָנוֹן מֵהַר בַּעַל חֶרְמוֹן עַד לְבוֹא חֲמָת:
The five lords of the Philistines: These were the nations that He left to test (them).  
4And they were to test through them Israel, to know whether they would obey the commandments of the Lord which He had commanded their forefathers through Moses.   דוַיִּהְיוּ לְנַסּוֹת בָּם אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל לָדַעַת הֲיִשְׁמְעוּ אֶת מִצְוֹת יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֶת אֲבוֹתָם בְּיַד משֶׁה:
5And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.   הוּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יָשְׁבוּ בְּקֶרֶב הַכְּנַעֲנִי הַחִתִּי וְהָאֱמֹרִי וְהַפְּרִזִּי וְהַחִוִּי וְהַיְבוּסִי:
6And they took their daughters to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and served their gods.   ווַיִּקְחוּ אֶת בְּנוֹתֵיהֶם לָהֶם לְנָשִׁים וְאֶת בְּנוֹתֵיהֶם נָתְנוּ לִבְנֵיהֶם וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֶת אֱלֹהֵיהֶם:
7And the children of Israel did that which displeased the Lord, and they forgot the Lord their God, and served the Baalim and the Asheroth.   זוַיַּעֲשֹוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וַיִּשְׁכְּחוּ אֶת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֶת הַבְּעָלִים וְאֶת הָאֲשֵׁרוֹת:
8And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He gave them over into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim, king of Aram-naharaim; and the children of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.   חוַיִּחַר אַף יְהֹוָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּמְכְּרֵם בְּיַד כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתַיִם מֶלֶךְ אֲרַם נַהֲרָיִם וַיַּעַבְדוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתַיִם שְׁמֹנֶה שָׁנִים:
9And the children of Israel cried to the Lord, and the Lord raised up a savior to the children of Israel who saved them; Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's brother, who was younger than he.   טוַיִּזְעֲקוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל יְהֹוָה וַיָּקֶם יְהֹוָה מוֹשִׁיעַ לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיּוֹשִׁיעֵם אֵת עָתְנִיאֵל בֶּן קְנַז אֲחִי כָלֵב הַקָּטֹן מִמֶּנּוּ:
10And the spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel; and he went out to war, and the Lord delivered into his hands Cushan-rishathaim the king of Aram; and his hand prevailed upon Cushan-rishathaim.   יוַתְּהִי עָלָיו רוּחַ יְהֹוָה וַיִּשְׁפֹּט אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה וַיִּתֵּן יְהֹוָה בְּיָדוֹ אֶת כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתַיִם מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם וַתָּעָז יָדוֹ עַל כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתָיִם:
And the spirit of the Lord came upon him: Rabbi Tanchuma expounded: He contemplated what the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses in Egypt, (Ex. 3:7) “I have surely seen (רָאֹה רָאִיתִי) the oppression of my people.” What are these two expressions of seeing? The Almighty said to him, “I have seen that they are destined to go astray by (worshipping) the calf, but nevertheless I have seen the oppression of My people (in Egypt and I will therefore save them).” Thus said Othniel, whether innocent or guilty He must save them.  
11And the land had rest forty years; then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.   יאוַתִּשְׁקֹט הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וַיָּמָת עָתְנִיאֵל בֶּן קְנַז:
12And the children of Israel continued to do that which displeased the Lord; and the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done that which displeased the Lord.   יבוַיֹּסִפוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲשֹוֹת הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וַיְחַזֵּק יְהֹוָה אֶת עֶגְלוֹן מֶלֶךְ מוֹאָב עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל כִּי עָשֹוּ אֶת הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה:
13And he gathered to him the children of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and smote Israel, and they possessed the city of the date palms.   יגוַיֶּאֱסֹף אֵלָיו אֶת בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן וַעֲמָלֵק וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיַּךְ אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּירְשׁוּ אֶת עִיר הַתְּמָרִים:
the city of the date palms: Jericho.  
14And the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.   ידוַיַּעַבְדוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת עֶגְלוֹן מֶלֶךְ מוֹאָב שְׁמוֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה:
15And the children of Israel cried to the Lord, and the Lord raised up for them a savior, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a man with a shriveled right hand; and the children of Israel sent through him a present to Eglon the king of Moab.   טווַיִּזְעֲקוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל יְהֹוָה וַיָּקֶם יְהֹוָה לָהֶם מוֹשִׁיעַ אֶת אֵהוּד בֶּן גֵּרָא בֶּן הַיְמִינִי אִישׁ אִטֵּר יַד יְמִינוֹ וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּיָדוֹ מִנְחָה לְעֶגְלוֹן מֶלֶךְ מוֹאָב:
a shriveled right hand: Targum Jonathan renders, “a person with a shriveled (גְמִיד) right hand.” Any (word) גְמִיד is an Aramaic expression (meaning) something shriveled by disease. Retrait in O.F. (shortened. Likewise אִטֵּר is found in Sab. 103a.) He had no use of his right hand. In Hebrew (the word) אִטֵּר means “closed” as in, (Psalms 69:16) “Do not close upon me, O well, your mouth.” His right hand was closed up and he had no use of it.  
16And Ehud made for himself a sword which had two edges, a cubit was its length; and he girded it under his clothing on his right thigh.   טזוַיַּעַשֹ לוֹ אֵהוּד חֶרֶב וְלָהּ שְׁנֵי פֵיוֹת גֹּמֶד אָרְכָּהּ וַיַּחְגֹּר אֹתָהּ מִתַּחַת לְמַדָּיו עַל יֶרֶךְ יְמִינוֹ:
a cubit was its length: A short cubit. In German daumen lang , in 0.F. espan courte.  
on his right thigh: Because he controlled his left hand, he would grasp it with his left hand (from his right thigh).  
17And he offered the present to Eglon king of Moab. (Now Eglon was a very fat man.)   יזוַיַּקְרֵב אֶת הַמִּנְחָה לְעֶגְלוֹן מֶלֶךְ מוֹאָב וְעֶגְלוֹן אִישׁ בָּרִיא מְאֹד:
אִישׁ בָּרִיא: Fat.  
18And it was when he had finished offering the present, that he escorted the people who had carried the present.   יחוַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר כִּלָּה לְהַקְרִיב אֶת הַמִּנְחָה וַיְשַׁלַּח אֶת הָעָם נֹשְׂאֵי הַמִּנְחָה:
that he escorted the people: He went back to escort the group of Israelites that had come with him to bring the tribute and he escorted them up to Gilgal.  
19And he turned back from the quarries that were by Gilgal and said, "I have a secret errand with you O King." And he said, "Be quiet," and all that stood near him went out.   יטוְהוּא שָׁב מִן הַפְּסִילִים אֲשֶׁר אֶת הַגִּלְגָּל וַיֹּאמֶר דְּבַר סֵתֶר לִי אֵלֶיךָ הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר הָס וַיֵּצְאוּ מֵעָלָיו כָּל הָעֹמְדִים עָלָיו:
And he turned back: Alone.  
from the quarries: (Heb. פְּסִילִים) The place where they quarry (Heb. פּוֹסְלִים) stones from the mountain. And so does Targum Jonathan render (מִן מַחֲצָבַיָא) “from the quarries.” Then he came to Eglon and said to him…  
And he said, “Be quiet,”: Eglon said, “Silence everyone from me.” Targum Jonathan renders הָס as (סְלִיק) remove, i.e., remove everyone, (but) nevertheless הַס is a term of silencing.  
20And Ehud came to him, and he was sitting by himself in the cool upper room which he had for himself, and Ehud said, "I have a message from God to you," and he stood up from the chair.   כוְאֵהוּד | בָּא אֵלָיו וְהוּא יֹשֵׁב בַּעֲלִיַּת הַמְּקֵרָה אֲשֶׁר לוֹ לְבַדּוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵהוּד דְּבַר אֱלֹהִים לִי אֵלֶיךָ וַיָּקָם מֵעַל הַכִּסֵּא:
in the cool upper room: In his summer attic which was ventilated and cool.  
I have a message from God to you: And you must rise.  
And he stood up from the chair: Therefore he merited that Ruth was descended from him.  
21And Ehud stretched out his left hand and took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly.   כאוַיִּשְׁלַח אֵהוּד אֶת יַד שְׂמֹאלוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת הַחֶרֶב מֵעַל יֶרֶךְ יְמִינוֹ וַיִּתְקָעֶהָ בְּבִטְנוֹ:
22And the haft also went in after the blade, and the fat closed upon the blade, because he did not draw the sword out of his belly; and the excrement came out.   כבוַיָּבֹא גַם הַנִּצָּב אַחַר הַלַּהַב וַיִּסְגֹּר הַחֵלֶב בְּעַד הַלַּהַב כִּי לֹא שָׁלַף הַחֶרֶב מִבִּטְנוֹ וַיֵּצֵא הַפַּרְשְׁדֹנָה:
And the haft: This is the metal into which the blade is inserted, which is called hulot in 0.F. (a handle). This holds the sword over the sheath.  
the blade: This is the blade which is called brant in O.F. and lama in O.F.  
and the fat closed: His fat, for he was very fat, and it covered the whole length of the sword.  
and the excrement came out: Targum Jonathan renders (וּנְפַק אוּכְלֵיה שְׁפִי) “and the excrement spilled out.” He interprets it as two words with the “shin” serving both וַיֵּצֵא הַפַּרְשׁ שְׁדוֹנָה“spilled out.” שָׁפָ is rendered שדא (see Lev. 17:4, 13).  
23And Ehud went out to the porch and shut the doors of the upper room in front of him, and locked them.   כגוַיֵּצֵא אֵהוּד הַמִּסְדְּרוֹנָה וַיִּסְגֹּר דַּלְתוֹת הָעַלִיָּה בַּעֲדוֹ וְנָעָל:
And Ehud went out to the porch: From the attic to the מִסְדְּרוֹנָה which Jonathan renders “to a porch”.  
and locked them: With a key.  
24Now when he had gone out, his servants came and saw, and behold, the doors of the upper room were locked; and they said, "Surely he is covering his feet in the cool room."   כדוְהוּא יָצָא וַעֲבָדָיו בָּאוּ וַיִּרְאוּ וְהִנֵּה דַּלְתוֹת הָעֲלִיָּה נְעֻלוֹת וַיֹּאמְרוּ אַךְ מֵסִיךְ הוּא אֶת רַגְלָיו בַּחֲדַר הַמְּקֵרָה:
Now when he had gone out (his servants came): Ehud went out and the servants of Eglon entered.  
he is covering his feet: Targum Jonathan renders עָבִיד צוֹרְכֵיה (doing his needs), i. e., moving his bowels (based on Yeb. 103a).  
25And they tarried until it was late, and behold, he did not open the doors of the upper room; and they took the key and opened them, and behold their lord was fallen down on the earth, dead.   כהוַיָּחִילוּ עַד בּוֹשׁ וְהִנֵּה אֵינֶנּוּ פֹתֵחַ דַּלְתוֹת הָעֲלִיָּה וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת הַמַּפְתֵּחַ וַיִּפְתָּחוּ וְהִנֵּה אֲדֹנֵיהֶם נֹפֵל אַרְצָה מֵת:
until it was late: Until they were detained, meaning a long time.  
26And Ehud escaped while they lingered; and he passed beyond the quarries and escaped to Seirah.   כווְאֵהוּד נִמְלַט עַד הִתְמַהְמְהָם וְהוּא עָבַר אֶת הַפְּסִילִים וַיִּמָּלֵט הַשְּׂעִירָתָה:
נמלט: Escaped, eschamocrier in O.F.  
while they lingered: (עַד) As in, (Song of Songs 1:12) “ While (עַד) the King was still feasting,” (ibid 2:7) “the love while (עַד) we still desire,” i.e., while we both still desire it.  
To Seirah: To a fine thick forest called brousaille in O.F. (“brush”) which is good for hiding. This word occurs often in the Order of Zeraim that fine branches of trees are called שֵׂעָר as in (Kilayim 4:9) “He turned the branches (שֵׂעָר) ,” (Peah 2:3) “If the branches (שער) adjoined”.  
27And it was when he came, that he blew the trumpet on the mountain of Ephriam; and the children of Israel went down with him from the mountain, and he was before them.   כזוַיְהִי בְּבוֹאוֹ וַיִּתְקַע בַּשּׁוֹפָר בְּהַר אֶפְרָיִם וַיֵּרְדוּ עִמּוֹ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִן הָהָר וְהוּא לִפְנֵיהֶם:
And it was when he came: He crossed the Jordan and came to his place in the land of Canaan.  
on the mountain of Ephraim: Which was in the land of Canaan on the western side of the Jordan, whereas the land of Moab was on the eastern side, and since they ruled over Israel, they had crossed the Jordan and conquered Jericho, as it is written above (v. 13), and they had placed their lords and rulers over Israel.  
28And he said to them, "Follow me quickly, for the Lord has given your enemies, the Moabites, into your hands." And they went down after him and seized the fords of the Jordan to Moab, and did not permit any man to pass.   כחוַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם רִדְפוּ אַחֲרַי כִּי נָתַן יְהֹוָה אֶת אֹיְבֵיכֶם אֶת מוֹאָב בְּיֶדְכֶם וַיֵּרְדוּ אַחֲרָיו וַיִּלְכְּדוּ אֶת מַעְבְּרוֹת הַיַּרְדֵּן לְמוֹאָב וְלֹא נָתְנוּ אִישׁ לַעֲבֹר:
Follow: To kill the Moabites who are on our side of the Jordan.  
and seized the fords of the Jordan: Lest the Moabites cross to flee and return to their land.  
29And they killed of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, every lusty (man) and every man of valor; and no man escaped.   כטוַיַּכּוּ אֶת מוֹאָב בָּעֵת הַהִיא כַּעֲשֶֹרֶת אֲלָפִים אִישׁ כָּל שָׁמֵן וְכָל אִישׁ חָיִל וְלֹא נִמְלַט אִישׁ:
every lusty (man): (Targum Jonathan renders שָׁמֵן as) “Every awesome man.”  
30And Moab was subdued on that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest eighty years.   לוַתִּכָּנַע מוֹאָב בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא תַּחַת יַד יִשְׂרָאֵל וַתִּשְׁקֹט הָאָרֶץ שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה:
31And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, and he killed the Philistines six hundred men with an ox-goad; and he also saved Israel.   לאוְאַחֲרָיו הָיָה שַׁמְגַּר בֶּן עֲנָת וַיַּךְ אֶת פְּלִשְׁתִּים שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת אִישׁ בְּמַלְמַד הַבָּקָר וַיּשַׁע גַּם הוּא אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל:
goad: This is the metal of an ox goad, aiguillon in 0ld French.  
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