An angel comes down (okay, it's Jesus, at least according to Jerry), and tells the Israelites that they haven't been obeying god fully. Apparently, they haven't destroyed all their altars, so he's going to stop massacring all of them and leave the Israelites to their fate.
The Israelites start serving Baal, a fertility goddess known across the Middle East. This angers god, who causes their enemies to attack. He also appoints a series of judges, or high priests/warrior kings, to maintain the faith.
The story of the left-handed assassin that kills a king on the toilet, then escapes through the drop-pit! Hey, at least it isn't another 20 massacres. Just a couple.
Anyway, when the chapter has begun, god has left some tribes in Israel
But then Othniel is filled with the spirit of the lord. Not the happy-clappy kind you see in charismatic churches, where people put their hands in the air and dance around and speak in tongues. That's much scarier than what happens here. Othniel just goes to war and frees them. They're peaceful for the ensuing 40 years, until Othniel dies and they revert to sinning again.
This time, god sends the Moabite king Eglon to defeat them and enslave them for 18 years. This time their deliverer is Ehud the lefty. He goes to Eglon, whom the bible judgementally informs us is fat, and says he has a gift. In fact, he has a daggar strapped to his thigh. I'll bet he has to strap it down. Eglon refuses to see him at first, but eventually he finagles his way into the king's summer parlor (v. 20), which according to my Uncensored Bible, is a mistranslation of toilet by telling him he has a secret message. The king sends away his attendants, who were probably happy to go. Ehud stabs the king, who, as often happens when the body is subjected to sudden trauma, shits himself (yes, like a Freudian 5 year old in his anal stage, the bible makes a point of giving us the scatological details). Either because of disgust or because it's too far into the fat, Ehud leaves the knife in the king and makes his escape. But the door is locked from the inside! How does he escape? Well, according to my Uncensored Bible, he goes down the hatch, modern plumbing being a distant dream. He leaves unnoticed, because who wants to look in a king's pit? and the king's servants think he's just in there for an extra long session. Much like when the other king, Elvis met a similar fate, they wait quite a while before searching out a key, only to discover the regicide.
Ehud is long gone by then, and rallies his army to attack in the confusion. They kill 10 000 Moabites, and have peace for 80 years.
The next judge is Shamgar, who kills 600 Philistines with an ox-goad, a stick used to drive oxen when ploughing.