“The Crime Scene,” in the Moabite view. A hypothetical plan of Eglon’s palace (see plan) and a three-dimensional schematic (shown here) help to track the movements of the participants in the story of Ehud’s assassination of Eglon, the Moabite king who dominated Israel.

When Ehud pretends to have a secret message for Eglon, the king’s attendants leave the audience hall to wait in the porticoed antechamber (I, see schematic), presumably closing some doors behind them. Ehud then climbs the stairs (2) to the ‘aliyyaÆ (3), a throne-room where Eglon is sitting, and stabs the king with his concealed dagger, exploding the king’s anal sphincter. Closing and locking the ‘aliyyaÆ doors behind him, either before or after the deed, Ehud makes his clever exit through the toilet (4), into the misdaµroÆn, or latrine, below, through the janitor’s door (5, which may have been located under the stairs as shown) and back into the audience hall. From there, Ehud casually strides out through the porticoed antechamber (1), giving no cause for suspicion to the waiting attendants. When the attendants re-enter the audience hall, they find the doors to the ‘aliyyaÆ locked. Because of the smell, and never imagining Ehud’s surprising route out of the room, the attendants assume that Eglon is relieving himself and patiently wait for him to finish. In the meantime, Ehud escapes and rallies the Israelites for their successful attack on the leaderless Moabites.