The people of Israel forgot the Lord their God; they sinned against him and worshiped the idols of Baal and Asherah.
So the Lord became angry with Israel and let King Cushan Rishathaim of Mesopotamia conquer them. They were subject to him for eight years.
Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he sent someone to free them. This was Othniel, the son of Caleb's younger brother Kenaz.
The spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he became Israel's leader. Othniel went to war, and the Lord gave him the victory over the king of Mesopotamia.
There was peace in the land for forty years, and then Othniel died.