For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2001 James Melough


Failure to see in the judges who ruled in Israel from the death of Joshua till the coronation of Saul, pictures of the Lord Jesus Christ, will rob us of much of the spiritual significance of the histories of those judges.

Having looked at Othniel, the first judge, as such a type, we turn now to examine what is written concerning the second judge, Ehud, and we find in him and his work of deliverance, another symbolic picture of Christ.

The oppressor, Eglon, king of Moab, like all the kings who oppressed Israel, is easily recognized as a type of Satan, the arch enemy, not only of Israel, but of all humanity.

Ehud’s being sent as the deliverer at a time when Israel was groaning under the dominion of the enemy, reminds us that it was when Israel was under the yoke of Rome, the true Deliverer the Lord Jesus Christ was given. 

The name Ehud is closely akin to Judah, and means I will give thanks: I will be praised.  As our great High Priest, Christ the true Ehud, receives the praise we bring, and presents it to the Father, but since He Himself is also God, He is no less the Recipient of that praise, though it is not directly addressed to Him, but to the Father.

His being a Benjamite, meaning Son of the right hand, reminds us that the Lord Jesus Christ is the true Son of the right hand; but since the left hand speaks of weakness, rather than strength, which is portrayed by the right hand, Ehud’s being himself left-handed reminds us of Christ’s willingness to take the place of weakness and servitude, doing all in the power of the Holy Spirit, and in complete submission to the Father.

His being described as “the son of Gera” continues to direct our attention to attributes of Christ, for Gera means the cud: a grain: sojourning.  The cud always speaks of rumination or meditation on the Word, particularly of strength derived from such meditation.  The Lord’s whole life was not only governed by God’s Word, it was the fulfillment of that Word.

The second meaning grain must surely recall what is written of Christ as the grain of wheat that must fall into the ground and die before there could be any redemption for men (Jn 12:24).

The significance of the third meaning sojourning is less obvious, but since it is frequently associated with a temporary stay, as that of a stranger, it cannot but remind us that this was the very character in which the Lord Jesus Christ sojourned for a little while here on earth, sharing man’s lot in everything except sin.

Nor will anyone have difficulty seeing in the two-edged dagger with which he slew the Moabite oppressor, a picture of the Word of God, see, e.g., Heb 4:12; Eph 6:17; Re 1:16; 19:15.  It was by the use of that Word that the Lord refuted the temptations of Satan (Lk 4), as it was by His perfect obedience to that same Word that He slew him at Calvary. 

The spiritual lesson of its being girded “under his raiment upon his right thigh” (Jg 3:16) is also easily read.  The leg or foot speaks of the walk or manner of life, and as already noted, the right side is the side of power.  The power demonstrated in the Lord’s life was because God’s Word was “under His raiment,” hidden in His heart, governing His every step from Bethlehem’s manger to Calvary’s cross.

In verses 18-19 the Divine Artist adds yet another brush stroke to the symbolic picture, “... he (Ehud) sent away the people ....But he himself turned again (to go back to slay Eglon)....” The type was fulfilled when “they all forsook Him, and fled,” Mk 14:50.  The Lord was alone, forsaken even of God, when He vanquished the foe at Calvary.

Space requires that we pass over other minor instructive details, and look briefly at one mentioned in verse 22.  Concluding the gruesome particulars of the manner of Eglon’s death is the statement that “the dirt came out.”  The type was fulfilled at Calvary, for it was there that “the dirt came out.”  Satan’s murderous hatred of God and man was fully exposed there, revealed in what Christ, as Son of God, and Son of man, endured at the hand of man incited by Satan.

It was a victorious Ehud who left that place of death; and though perceived only by faith, it was a victorious Christ Who left the place of death, Calvary. 

“Then Ehud went forth ... and shut the doors ... and locked them” verse 23.  Behind those locked doors lay the slain Moabite.  He would never again emerge to oppress Israel.  It was a victorious Ehud who locked those doors which had always before been opened or shut at the command of Eglon.  Surely no one will fail to recall the assurance given John by the true Ehud, as recorded in Rev 1:18, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” 

How little we comprehend the fullness of that victory won at Calvary!  It is a vanquished Satan who lies behind those doors of which Christ holds the key. 

And as Ehud went forth to sound the trumpet, and call Ehpraim to make good for themselves the fruits of his victory, so does the risen Christ call us to make good for ourselves the fruits of His greater victory.  In response to Ehud’s call, the Ephraimites went forth and slew ten thousand of the enemy.  May we have the courage to rise up with the same energy in response to the summons of our risen Lord, and throw off the yoke of the oppressor, making good in our daily living what is true of us according to God’s reckoning - we are free!  Let us live as free men serving with whole hearts Him Who secured our freedom at the cost of His life.


     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough