oa Old Testament Essays - The Story of Ehud and Eglon in Judges 3:12-30 : a literary pearl as a theological stumbling block

Volume 30 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1010-9919



Making use of numerous stylistic devices and playing with words, the author of Judg 3:12-30 has succeeded in creating a masterpiece of literature that challenges its reader. Moreover and simultaneously, this story, that narrates the brutal murder of king Eglon by the Israelite Ehud, is very problematic from a theological perspective. The present article offers firstly an analysis of Judg 3:12-20 and subsequently demonstrates how a specific and often-overlooked aspect of the violent nature of the text – after all, king Eglon has been utilized by YHWH to restore obedience among the Israelites – holds a key to unlocking the theological intention of this text.

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