How Did the Benjamites Manage to Overthrown the Mighty Moabites: Ehud the Deliverer

How Did the Benjamites Manage to Overthrown the Mighty Moabites: Ehud the Deliverer

After forty years had passed after settling in the promised land of Canaan, the Israelites found themselves dealing with an old adversary. Chushan-Rishathaim, the ‘twice-evil Kushite, king of Aram-Naharaim, or north-west Mesopotamia, was the first oppressor of the Israelites after their settlement in Canaan, but this time, it was the Moabites. According to the Bible: “the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord.”

Division of Palestine among the 12 tribes of Israel from the conquest; after a map by Tobias Lotter (1759). (Public Domain)

Division of Palestine among the 12 tribes of Israel from the conquest; after a map by Tobias Lotter (1759). (Public Domain)

The Moabites Need to Expand

However, in reality the war with the Moabites had nothing to do with sin. The lack of tribal unification after the demise of Joshua and the disperse of the tribes each to its own territory, made them susceptible to an outside attack. Similar to the invasion by Chushan-Rishathaim, the Moabite attack under King Eglon, was not an attack on the Israelites as a whole, but an invasion to confiscate the territory that was beneficial to his kingdom’s prosperity.


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