But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man left-handed: and by him the children of Israel sent tribute unto Eglon the king of Moab.
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George Leo Haydock
Aod, signifies "praise "whence perhaps Josephus calls him Judes which has the same import. (Menochius)
He was a descendant of Jemini or Benjamin, by his son Gera, Genesis xlvi. 1.
Right. Septuagint and many interpreters agree, that Aod was "Ambidexter "a quality which Plato exhorted those who were designed for war, to strive to acquire. Several of the heroes before Troy are praised on this account; and the Scripture takes particular notice of 700 citizens of Gabaa, who could use both hands alike, and could hit even a hair with a stone, chap. xx. 16. The Jews explain itter, very absurdly; Aod "had his right hand maimed or tied: "(Calmet) and Protestants render "a man left-handed. "(Haydock)
This would be a very awkward recommendation for a warrior, though it is pretended that such are more resolute, and more difficult to encounter than others. The number of the men at Gabaa who are praised for their skill, as well as the brave men of David, (1 Paralipomenon xii. 2,) shows sufficiently that the term does not mean left-handed. But the Scripture here takes notice that Aod could use his left hand so well, because he placed his dagger, contrary to custom, on his right side, and the motions of his left hand would not be so narrowly watched. Rufin does not agree with the present text of Josephus, which indeed seems very confused, saying, "that all the strength of Aod lay in his left hand. "Gelenius also translates, utraque manu ex æquo promptus; (Antiquities v. 5,) so that perhaps the Greek of Josephus may have been altered.
Presents; that is, tribute; an odious expression, instead of which the Scripture often puts presents, 1 Kings x. 27., and 1 Paralipomenon xviii. 2. No tribute was imposed in Persia till the reign of Darius Hystaspes; the subjects had to make presents to the king. (Herodotus iii. 89.) (Calmet)