So Moab Was Subdued
His lungs burned and his feet were sore, but Ehud had to keep going. “That’s the end of eighteen years”. Repeating it as he ran seemed to help him keep the pace. The pain of eighteen years of indentured servitude to Eglon was insult enough to keep him running. Now, there are the statue idols of Gilgal.
“This is where I my resolve met action”, he said, continuing the journey. It was at this place that he had previously parted from his entourage to follow through with a drastic plan. Several days before, he hammered out eighteen inches of double-edged, metallic retribution. One inch for every year Israel had been subjected to the Moabite king. He bound it to his right thigh. When the entourage presented tribute to Eglon, the kings guards failed to check the right thigh, after all- men wore swords on the left. Ehud supposed there are some sinister advantages to being left-handed. He smiled as he ran. At this place, he had turned back. Alone. To meet the king one more time.
Passing Gilgal he allowed his mind to think back to the encounter with the king. He laughed to himself, thinking of how well he executed the execution. “I have a secret message for you, O king.” he had said. Eglon could barely wait for his servants to get out of the room. Ehud was surprised that the fat fellow could even stand without their help but rise he did. Eglon had risen to hear “a message from God”. He had no idea the message would be delivered directly from Ehud’s right thigh into his belly. Ehud winced and sniffed his hand. Striking with the sword was his purpose, but he had not expected the entire sword to be swallowed up in the big ol’ belly of that bully. Gross.
Arriving in Seirah, Ehud finds loyal men. Calling for a trumpet the people of Israel are rallied in the hill country of Ephraim. One eighteen-inch sword had started a fight to end eighteen years of Moabite oppression. “Follow after me, for the LORD has given your enemies the Moabites into your hand”, Ehud called. And follow, the Israelites did. They killed 10,000 strong men of Moab; not a man escaped. So Moab was subdued.
(dramatization of Judges 3.12-30)