Judges 3:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 3:23, NIV: Then Ehud went out to the porch; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.

Judges 3:23, ESV: Then Ehud went out into the porch and closed the doors of the roof chamber behind him and locked them.

Judges 3:23, KJV: Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them.

Judges 3:23, NASB: Then Ehud went out into the vestibule, and shut the doors of the roof chamber behind him, and locked them.

Judges 3:23, NLT: Then Ehud closed and locked the doors of the room and escaped down the latrine.

Judges 3:23, CSB: Ehud escaped by way of the porch, closing and locking the doors of the upstairs room behind him.

What does Judges 3:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In modern English slang, someone who is emotionless, capable, and ruthless in what they do is referred to as "an assassin." In this notably graphic episode from Scripture, Ehud fits such a description in every possible way. He has just killed the king of Moab, in the king's own palace, using a hidden, handmade stabbing weapon (Judges 3:16–21). Ehud's strike buried the entire forearm-length weapon into the king's stomach, resulting in a messy, graphic, and fatal injury (Judges 3:22).

With level-headed calm, it seems, Ehud now walks out of the room, closing and locking the doors behind him. The king's attendants were ordered to leave; no one is there to know what has happened. Presumably, Ehud simply walks away from the palace before anyone even suspects the king, Eglon, is dead. This calm exit is all the more effective because the attendants assume their king wants to be left alone. They delay a long time before unlocking the doors to find his corpse (Judges 3:24–25).

Instead of starting off by leading Israel's armies into battle, this deliverer raised up by God (Judges 2:16) walked into the enemy king's palace and killed him outright. Ehud's bravery takes the form of both deception and bold action.

There is a battle still to come, however, and Ehud will be leading that charge (Judges 3:26–29).