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Othniel Ben Kenaz

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Judges in the Bible
In the Book of Judges
Othniel
Ehud
Shamgar
Deborah (and Barak)*
Gideon
(Abimelech)*
Tola
Jair
Jephthah
Ibzan
Elon
Abdon
Samson
In the First Book of Samuel
Eli
Samuel
* Not explicitly described as a judge

Othniel Ben Kenaz (Hebrew: עָתְנִיאֵל בֶּן קְנַז, Modern ʻOtniʼel Ben Qənaz Tiberian ʻOṯnîʼēl Ben Qənaz ; "lion of God") is the first of the Biblical Judges.

Family

Othniel was related to Caleb, as his father Kenaz was Caleb's brother or Caleb's stepfather; both are plausible interpretations of Joshua 15:17. The Talmud (Sotah 11b) argues that Othniel was Caleb's stepbrother. When Caleb promises the hand of his daughter Achsah to him who will conquer the land of Debir[1], it is Othniel who rises to the challenge, thus becoming Caleb's son-in-law (Josh. 15:16, 17; Judg. 1:13).

Campaign as a Judge

Some thirty years after the death of Joshua, the Israelites once again turned to sin and fell under the subjection of Chushan-rishathaim, the king of Mesopotamia because of the transgressions against God. He oppressed them for a full eight years; when they "cried" unto God, Othniel was raised up to be their deliverer. He was the son of Kenaz, younger brother of Caleb (Judg. 3:8, 9-11). He is the only Judge mentioned connected with the Tribe of Judah. Under Othniel, peace lasted for forty years.

After these forty years, Israel fell under the subjection of Eglon, a king of Moab who defeated Israel with help from Ammon and Amalek (Judges 3:12-13).

See also

References


External links

Othniel Ben Kenaz
Preceded by
Joshua
Judge of Israel Succeeded by
Ehud

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