and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim, king of
or Aramnaharaim; that is, Syria, between the two rivers, which were Tigris and Euphrates; hence the Greek name of this place is as here called Mesopotamia. Josephus F12 calls him king of Assyria, and gives him the name of Chusarthus; and indeed Chushanrishathaim seems to be his whole name, though the Targum makes Rishathaim to be an epithet, and calls him Cushan, the wicked king of Syria; the word is of the dual number, and signifies two wickednesses; which, according to the mystical exposition of the Jews F13, refers to two wicked things Syria did to Israel, one by Balaam the Syrian, and the other by this Cushan. Mr. Bedford F14 thinks it may be rendered,
``Cushan, king of the two wicked kingdoms;''the Assyrian monarchy being at this time like two kingdoms, Babylon being the metropolis of the one, and Nineveh of the other; but it is question whether the monarchy was as yet in being. Hillerus F15 makes Cushan to be an Arab Scenite, from ( Habakkuk 3:7 ) ; and Rishathaim to denote disquietudes; and it represents him as a man very turbulent, never quiet and easy, and so it seems he was; for not content with his kingdom on the other side Euphrates, he passed over that, and came into Canaan, to subject that to him, and add it to his dominions. Kimchi says that Rishathaim may be the name of a place, and some conjecture it to be the same with the Rhisina of Ptolemy F16; but it seems rather a part of this king's name, who came and fought against Israel, and the Lord delivered them into his hands:
and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years;
became tributaries to him during that space of time, but when that began is not easy to say. Bishop Usher F17 places it in A. M. 2591, and before Christ 1413.
F12 Antiqu. l. 5. c. 3. sect. 2.
F13 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 105. I.
F14 Scripture Chronology, p. 507.
F15 Onomastic. p. 154, 155.
F16 Geograph. l. 5. c. 18.
F17 Annal. Vet. Test. p. 42.