Judges 3:24 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 3:24, NIV: After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, 'He must be relieving himself in the inner room of the palace.'

Judges 3:24, ESV: When he had gone, the servants came, and when they saw that the doors of the roof chamber were locked, they thought, “Surely he is relieving himself in the closet of the cool chamber.”

Judges 3:24, KJV: When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber.

Judges 3:24, NASB: When he had left, the king’s servants came and looked, and behold, the doors of the roof chamber were locked; and they said, 'Undoubtedly he is relieving himself in the cool room.'

Judges 3:24, NLT: After Ehud was gone, the king's servants returned and found the doors to the upstairs room locked. They thought he might be using the latrine in the room,

Judges 3:24, CSB: Ehud was gone when Eglon's servants came in. They looked and found the doors of the upstairs room locked and thought he was relieving himself in the cool room.

What does Judges 3:24 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The servants had been ordered to leave the chamber of Eglon, the Moabite king, prior to this incident (Judges 3:18–19). Since they have not been summoned back, they interpret the locked doors as a sign the king wants privacy. As time drags on, they begin to think he might be relieving himself—that he is emptying his bowels. Ironically, the king's bowels have been "emptied" in a much more permanent fashion. Ehud struck a graphic blow to the enemy ruler, leaving him on the floor, dropping dead without apparently a sound. Ehud was then able to leave, locking the doors behind him (Judges 3:20–23).

The aftermath of Ehud's successful assassination is not so graphic as the killing itself. Still, there is an uncomfortable aspect, as reflected in this verse. The next verse adds to the awkwardness of the servants' situation. They know they must respect the king's privacy; yet they become concerned about how long he seems to be taking to use the restroom. Once they pass the point of embarrassment, they decide to come in anyway and find Eglon's body on the floor (Judges 3:25).