A Shameful Death

“And Ehud stretched out his left hand and took the dagger from on his right thigh and he drove it into his belly. And the grip also went in after the blade and the fat closed around the blade because he did not pull the dagger out of his belly. And that which is between came out.”

(Judges 3:21-22)

The battle, if you wish to call it one, is short lived. Ehud drives the long dagger into fat Eglon and the dagger goes in, blade and grip alike, into the belly of the fat king. The strike is so fierce that the fat of the wretched king closes around the blade, which is left in his body.

As Eglon collapses with this death stroke, the Hebrew account tells us a little bit more information, though it is debated as to just what the Hebrew word, NØwdVv√rAÚp (parshedon), refers. The Hebrew term is derived from the word v∂rDÚp (parash), which is used to refer to a horseman straddling a horse between his legs, so the idea being is that when the dagger struck Eglon, that which was between his legs came out.

In interpreting this reference, many of our modern translations follow the Latin Vulgate (which uses the word stercus) and translate the term as “dung.” The inference here is that when someone dies, the bowels release their contents. The classic Hebrew grammarian, Gesenius, preferred to render the text as that the blade of the dagger came out from between his legs. Remembering that this dagger was a cubit in length (18”), the idea of the blade entering through Eglon’s belly and exiting from between his buttocks is not too far fetched. Regardless of how one defines the term, the resultant image is the same; Eglon died a humiliating death.

And that, my friends, is how God’s enemies deserve to die — humiliating and shameful. But that, my friends, is what we all deserve as well, for we all have stood as enemies of God and of his people. Yet, because of the grace of God expressed through the finished work of Christ, we who are Christians are saved from that which we deserve. Elon, though, received what he deserved both in his life and is still receiving what he rightfully deserves as he is tormented in Hell even unto this day.

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