Ehud's Assassination of Eglon


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A Kamikaze Mission?

Shofetim 3 describes the Moabite subjugation of Israel and their infiltration into Yericho.  Ehud ben Gera embarks on a daring mission to assassinate the king, Eglon, and then rallies the nation to rebellion.  The entire plan seems like a kamikaze mission, doomed to end in Ehud's death. How, then, did Ehud manage to kill the king and escape undetected?  Did the guards not check him for a weapon before he entered the palace?  Moreover, how was he able to return from the Moabite palace and arrange an entire rebellion without the Moabites' knowledge?  Should not word of the murder have made its way to Yericho and foiled his plans before he had time to do so?

A Plethora of Details

The assassination of Eglon is one of the more colorful episodes in Tanakh, replete with details of every aspect of the murder, including descriptions of the rotund Eglon, left-handed Ehud, his double-edged sword, and a graphic portrayal of the actual stabbing.  What is the import of all these details?1  Though some facts might help explain Ehud's success,2 others seem totally superfluous.3   Why does Tanakh not simply suffice with mere mention of the successful killing?

Additional Questions

Other aspects of the murder raise questions as well: