Biblical Archaeology Review 39:3, May/June 2013

Biblical Views: Left-Handed Sons of Right-Handers

By Boyd SeeversJoanna Klein

One of the most colorful stories in the Bible relates how Ehud, the left-handed Israelite judge from the tribe of Benjamin, freed Israel from Moabite domination (Judges 3:12–30). When Ehud delivered Israel’s annual tribute to the Moabites, he assassinated the fat Moabite king by using a double-edged dagger he had hidden on his right thigh. The story is famous for its gory detail (“the fat closed over the blade ... and the dung came out ... ‘Surely he is relieving himself’ ”) but also for its hero who succeeds, in part, because he is left-handed.1

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