The book of Judges describes the time period between Joshua and King Saul when Israel had no king. God wanted his people to follow his instructions through the law and prophets, but they always turned from him.
Because of their disobedience, God would subject to foreign powers. Afterwards they would repent and God would call a leader known as a Judge to deliver them out of bondage. The Judges were often warriors inspired by the Spirit of God, although sometimes there were Judges who simply held authority and acted as leaders of the people. In the book of judges we can find the circle of disobedience-punishment-regret-salvation- quiet in some famous stories, the first is othniel.
Who was Othniel?
Othniel Ben kenaz was the first judge of Israel. His name means the power of god. Othniel was a member of the tribe of Caleb .He was the only Judge menioned connected with the Tribe of Judah.
The Old testament describes othniel act's only in 5 verses, as written:
וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה, וַיִּשְׁכְּחוּ אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם; וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֶת-הַבְּעָלִים, וְאֶת-הָאֲשֵׁרוֹת. וַיִּחַר-אַף יְהוָה, בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, וַיִּמְכְּרֵם בְּיַד כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתַיִם, מֶלֶךְ אֲרַם נַהֲרָיִם; וַיַּעַבְדוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתַיִם, שְׁמֹנֶה שָׁנִים. וַיִּזְעֲקוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל-יְהוָה, וַיָּקֶם יְהוָה מוֹשִׁיעַ לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּשִׁיעֵם--אֵת עָתְנִיאֵל בֶּן-קְנַז, אֲחִי כָלֵב הַקָּטֹן מִמֶּנּוּ. וַתְּהִי עָלָיו רוּחַ-יְהוָה, וַיִּשְׁפֹּט אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל, וַיֵּצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה, וַיִּתֵּן יְהוָה בְּיָדוֹ אֶת-כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתַיִם מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם; וַתָּעָז יָדוֹ, עַל כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתָיִם. וַתִּשְׁקֹט הָאָרֶץ, אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה; וַיָּמָת, עָתְנִיאֵל בֶּן-קְנַז
"And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgot the LORD their God, and served the Baalim and the Asheroth. Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and He gave them over into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Aram-naharaim; and the children of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a saviour to the children of Israel, who saved them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. And the spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel; and he went out to war, and the LORD delivered Cushan-rishathaim king of Aram into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Cushan-rishathaim. And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died"
30 years after the death of Joshuah, the people of Israel fell under the rule of Mesopotamia. Othniel delivered the erring Israelites from eight years of oppression by Cushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia.
.Peace lasted for forty years during his time as a Judge of Israel. After these forty years , Israel fell under the subjection of Eglon , king of moab.
main phrases of the post + transcription + translation
Hebrew Transcription Translation
חֲרָטָה hărātāh regret
עֹנֶשׁ 'ones punishment
שָׁפַט šāpat Judged (past)
יְשׁוּעָה yəšû'āh salvation
שִׁעְבּוּד Ši'bûd subjection
שֵׁבֶט šēbet tribe
דִּכּוּי dikkûy Oppression