Judges 3:29 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 3:29, NIV: At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all vigorous and strong; not one escaped.

Judges 3:29, ESV: And they killed at that time about 10,000 of the Moabites, all strong, able-bodied men; not a man escaped.

Judges 3:29, KJV: And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man.

Judges 3:29, NASB: They struck and killed about ten thousand Moabites at that time, all robust and valiant men; and no one escaped.

Judges 3:29, NLT: They attacked the Moabites and killed about 10,000 of their strongest and most able-bodied warriors. Not one of them escaped.

Judges 3:29, CSB: At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all stout and able-bodied men. Not one of them escaped.

What does Judges 3:29 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Soon after the assassination of the Moabite king (Judges 3:19–23), Ehud and the army of Ephraimite fighters secured tactical locations long the Jordan River (Judges 3:28). By controlling the crossing point between Israel and Moab, they were positioned to keep the Moabites from escaping and any reinforcements from crossing over to help them. This not only gave Israel's fighters a tactical advantage, but it also allowed for an immediate follow-up strike against their enemy. This would have been crucial to prevent Moab from being able to regroup and launch revenge assaults against Israel.

It's possible that the number of those reported as killed uses a literary device common to ancient literature. Much as the number "a million" is often used figuratively in English, so too was "ten thousand" sometimes used in a non-literal way. Along the same lines, the term for "thousand," 'eleph, can also refer to divisions or groups.

As Ehud emphasized in the previous verse, the Lord gave Israel success. Regardless of the exact number of men defeated, Israel achieves more than a mere victory. They completely wiped out the Moabite army, with special note being made of the fact that not a single Moabite soldier escaped. Despite what's seen in movies and television, most battles in the ancient world rarely resulted in a large percentage of the losing side killed. It would have been abnormal for most, let alone all enemy combatants to die. That Israel kills every soldier is not simply a victory, it is an obliteration of the Moabite army.

This is another decisive victory in Israel's history. Along with other such events, these moments should have made it clear to the people that when the Lord fights for them, they cannot lose.