Judges 3:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 3:17, NIV: He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man.

Judges 3:17, ESV: And he presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man.

Judges 3:17, KJV: And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.

Judges 3:17, NASB: Then he presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man.

Judges 3:17, NLT: He brought the tribute money to Eglon, who was very fat.

Judges 3:17, CSB: and brought the tribute to King Eglon of Moab, who was an extremely fat man.

What does Judges 3:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Hearing the people's cries for help from the oppression of their captivity under Moab, God has raised up a new judge to deliver them (Judges 3:12–16). Ehud has been selected to deliver Israel's required tribute to Moab in Jericho, where the king is staying. He has made what the Bible describes as a short, two-edged blade. In medieval times, such a weapon might have been called a rondel: a stabbing weapon with a thin point. Ehud conceals this homemade blade under his robes, on his right thigh. This is the opposite of where such a hidden weapon would normally be carried, but Ehud is proficient with his left hand (Judges 3:15).

When the day comes, Ehud presents the tribute to Eglon at the king's palace in Jericho. The writer of Judges indicates, rather bluntly, that Eglon was a very fat man. Modern readers might think this detail means to mock the Moabite king. That might be, but in the ancient world, being overweight was rare and often considered a sign of prestige. More importantly, the description adds context to a graphic moment in the verses to come.