Judge Othniel (Judges 3:8-11)

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Othniel (עָתְנִיאֵל בֶּן קְנַז, Otniel ben Kenaz) was the first of the judges of Israel. The name Othniel can be interpreted as  „Protector of God“ or „Protection (is) God“.

Some time after the death of Joshua, the Israelites once again turned to sin and fell under the subjection of Chushan-rishathaim, the king of Aram-Naharaim in Mesopotamia. He oppressed them for eight years. When they cried unto God, Othniel was raised up to be their deliverer.

He is the only Judge mentioned connected with the Tribe of Judah.

Under Othniel, peace lasted for forty years.


Word Meaning
וְ and
יְהוָה Lord
יִשְׂרָאֵל Israel
בֵּן son
כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתָיִם Cushan-Rishathaim
אֵת accusative
הוּא he
בְּ in
יָד hand, side, place, power, monument
הַ definite article
הֵם they
מֶלֶךְ king
שָׁנָה year
ישׁע save, help
לְ to