King Eglon was one of the rulers of Moab, and he was also responsible for the oppression and sufferings of the Israelites as presented in the Book of Judges. His name has several meanings including ‘Chariot’ and ’rounds’. He is on the Biblical Timeline Chart around 1354 BC.
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In the Bible
Eglon was the leader of the confederacy of the Ammon, Amalek and Moab. It was narrated in the scriptures that there was a day when Ehud came to present a customary tribute. Then, he tricked Eglon and killed him using a sword. However, when Ehud tried to draw back the sword, the fat in the king’s body stopped him from retrieving it. When the king’s servants saw him in this state, they only assumed that he was only trying to relieve himself. Thus, the king’s men only left him alone.
In the Talmudic tradition, several rabbis believed that Eglon had a daughter named Ruth. He was rewarded by God when he showed respect after Ehud mentioned the name of the God of Israelites upon having David as one of the descendants. The Talmuds also had some accounts that Eglon could be Balak’s grandson although there were no verses in the scriptures that would prove this claim.
Other Accounts on Eglon
In a Midrash legend, Eglon had two daughters named Orpah and Ruth. They were Moabite women who were mentioned in the Book of Ruth, although the same Midrash presented Eglon as Balak’s son. He was also in Numbers 22 as the King of Moab.
However, the story of the Moabite King Eglon was noted in the third chapter of the Book of Judges. According to Judges 3:12, God has sent King Eglon the power over evil as the Israelites disobeyed the Lord’s commands. In Judges 3:14, the people of Israel were under the rule of this king for a total of 18 years.
There were only a few accounts of this king, yet there were some narrations presented in Judges 3:17 where Eglon was described as a fat man. Although there were no accurate details on his weight, he was nonetheless described as one of the biggest men in his kingdom during his rule.
Although the Israelites were treated harshly and suffered greatly under this king’s rule, it was their fault that they experienced these conditions. It was only after they repented and turned back from their evil ways when God delivered them from their sufferings. Hence, in Judges 3:15, God sent the Israelites Ehud, who would serve as their deliverer. Ehud was from the tribe of Benjamin, and he freed Israel from the oppression of Eglon for a long period.
After Ehud had defeated Eglon, he went to Ephraim to blow his trumpet and commanded the Israelites to follow him and seek to regain possession of the Promised Land. Together, he and the Israelites were able to defeat as much as 10,000 Moabites. For a long period of 80 years, Moab was completely in peace upon being subjected to Israel..
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