E'hud (Hebrews Ehud', אֵהוּד, union), the name of two or three Benjamites, and apparently hereditary in that tribe, like Gera (q.v.).
1. (Sept. ῎Ωδ v.r. Α᾿ώδ; Vulg. Ahod.) A descendant of Benjamin, progenitor of one of the clans of Geba that removed to Manahath (1Ch 13:10). The name is there written אֵהוּד, Echud', either for אֵהוּד as above, or altogether erroneously for אֵחַי, Echi. i.e. EHI SEE EHI (q.v.), the grandson of Benjamin, which appears in the parallel list of Ge 46:21, and as a son of Belah according to the Sept. version of that passage. He seems to be the same as AHI-RAM, אֲחַירָם, in the list in Nu 26:38, and, if so; Ahiram is probably the right name, as the family were called Ahiramites. In 1Ch 8:1, the same person seems to be called אֵחרִח, AHARAH, and perhaps also אֲחוֹחִ, AHOAH, in verse 4 (Sept. Α᾿χιά, and in Cod. Vatic. Α᾿χιράν), אֲחַיָּה (Α᾿χιά), Ahiah, verse 7, and אִחֵר (Α᾿ᾠρ), Aher, 1Ch 7:12. SEE SHAHARAIM. These fluctuations in the orthography seem to indicate that the original copies were partly effaced by time or injury. SEE BECHER;SEE CHRONICLES.
2. (Sept. Α᾿μείδ v. r. Α᾿ώθ; Vulg. Aod.) The third named of the seven sons of Bilhan, the son of Jediael, and grandson of the patriarch Jacob (1Ch 7:10). B.C. post 1856.
3. (Sept. Α᾿ώδ; Vulg. Aod; Josephus ᾿Ηούδης.) The son of Gera (there were three others of this name, Ge 46:21; 2Sa 16:5; 2Sa 1
Chronicles 8:3), of the tribe of Benjamin (Jg 3:16, marg. "son of Jemini," but vid. Gesenius, Lex. sub v. בַּניָמַין), the second judge of the Israelites, or, rather, of that part of Israel which he delivered from the dominion of the Moabites by the assassination of their king Eglon. These were the tribes beyond the Jordan, and the southern tribes on this side the river. In the Bible he is not called a judge, but a deliverer (i.e.); so Othniel (Jg 3:9), and all the judges (Ne 9:27). As a Benjamite he was specially chosen to destroy Eglon, who had established himself in Jericho, which was included in the boundaries of that tribe. SEE EGLON. In Josephus he appears as a young man (νεανίας). He was very strong, and left-handed. So A.V.; but the more literal rendering is, as in the margin, "shut of his right hand." The words are differently rendered: 1. left- handed, and unable to use his right; 2. using his left hand as readily as his right. For 1. Targum, Josephus, Syr. (impotem), Arab. (aridum), and Jewish writers generally; Cajet., Buxtorf, Parkh., Gesen. (impeditus): derivation of אַטֵר from אָטִר, the latter only in Ps 69:16, where it = to shut. For 2. Sept. (ἀμφιδέξιος), Vulg. (qui utraque manu pro dextran utebatur), Corn. a Lap., Bonfrer., Patrick (comp. περιδέξιος, Hom. II. 21:163; Hipp. Aph. 7, 43); Jg 20:16, sole recurrence of the phrase, applied to 700 Benjamites, the picked men of the army, who were not likely to be chosen for a physical defect. As regards Ps 69:16, it is urged that אָטִר may = corono = aperio; hence אַטֵר = apertus = expeditus, q.d. expedita dextra; or if "clausus," clausus dextr = cinctus dextra = περιδέξιος, ambidexter (vid. Poli Syn.). The feint of drawing the dagger from the right thigh (Jg 3:21) is consistent with either opinion. SEE AMBIDEXTER.
Ehud obtained access to Eglon as the bearer of tribute from the subjugated tribes, and being left-handed, or, rather, ambidextrous, he was enabled to use with a sure and fatal aim a dagger concealed under a part of his dress, where it was unsuspected, because it would there have been useless to a person employing his right hand. The circumstances attending this tragical event are somewhat differently given in Judges and in Josephus (see Winkler, Unters. Schurer Schriftst. 1:45 sq.; Redslob, in the Studien v. Krit. 9:912 sq.; Ewald, Isr. Gesch. 2:375 sq.). That Ehud had the entree of the palace is implied in Jg 3:19), but more distinctly stated in Josephus. In Judges the Israelites send a present by Ehud (Jg 3:15); in Josephus. Ehud wins his favor by repeated presents of his own. Josephus represents this intimacy as having been of long continuance; but in Judges we find no mention of intimacy, and only one occasion of a present being made, viz., that which immediately preceded the death of Eglon. In Judges we have two scenes, the offering of the present and the death scene, which are separated by the temporary withdrawal of Ehud (verses 18, 19); in Josephus there is but one scene. The present is offered, the attendants are dismissed, and the king enters into friendly conversation (ὁμιλίαν) with Ehud. In Judges the place seems to change from the reception-room into the "summer-parlor," where Ehud found him upon his return (comp. verses 18, 20). In Josephus the entire action takes place in the summer-parlor (δωμάτιον). In Judges the king exposes himself to the dagger by rising apparently in respect for the divine message which Ehud professed to communicate (Patrick, ad loc.); in Josephus it is a dream which Ehud pretends to reveal, and the king, in delighted anticipation, springs up from his throne. The obesity of Eglon, and the consequent impossibility of recovering the dagger, are not mentioned by Josephus (vid. Jg 3:17, fat, ἀστεῖος, Sept.; but "crassus," Vulg., and so Gesenius, Lex.). The "quarries that were by Gilgal," to which Ehud retired in the interval between the two interviews (Jg 3:19), are rendered in the margin better, as in De 7:25, "graven images" (Patrick, ad loc.; comp. Gesen. Heb. Lex. s.v. פּסַילַים). SEE EGLON.
After this desperate achievement Ehud repaired to Seirah (improp. Seirath; see Gesen. Lex. s.v.), in the mountains of Ephraim (3:26, 27), or Mount Ephraim (Jos 19:50). To this wild central region, commanding, as it did, the plains east and west, he summoned the Israelites by sound of horn (a national custom according to Josephus; A.V. "a trumpet"). Descending from the hills they fell upon the Moabites, dismayed and demoralized by the death of their king (Josephus, not Judges). The greater number were killed at once, but 10,000 men made for the Jordan with the view of crossing into their own country. The Israelites, however, had already seized the fords, and not one of the unhappy fugitives escaped. As a reward for his conduct Ehud was appointed judge (Josephus, not Judges). The Israelites continued to enjoy for eighty years (B.C. 1509-1430) the independence obtained through this deed of Ehud (Jg 3:15-30). SEE JUDGES.