Judges 3:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 3:14, NIV: The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years.

Judges 3:14, ESV: And the people of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

Judges 3:14, KJV: So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

Judges 3:14, NASB: And the sons of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab for eighteen years.

Judges 3:14, NLT: And the Israelites served Eglon of Moab for eighteen years.

Judges 3:14, CSB: The Israelites served King Eglon of Moab eighteen years.

What does Judges 3:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

With God helping Moab's king Eglon, along with the combined forces of the Ammonites and Amalekites, Israel has been thoroughly defeated and enslaved. This would have taken the form of occupation and dominion: the nation of Moab controlling Israel as a conquering invader. Israel has been so subjugated that they linger under the rule of Eglon and Moab for eighteen years.

In the prior cycle, the people turned to God after eight years (Judges 3:8–9). Scripture does not specify why Israel waited more than twice as long before crying out to the Lord. Perhaps their suffering was not as dire as it had been under the Mesopotamians. Perhaps they willfully resisted reaching out to Yahweh. They might have been waiting on the false gods they served to finally deliver them. Or, it might be that their cries to God were insincere, at first, and only reached a critical point after so many years. The Bible does not say; all we know is the length of time it took before God heard Israel's pleas.