lion of God, the first of the judges. His wife Achsah was the daughter of Caleb ( Joshua 15:16 Joshua 15:17 ; Judges 1:13 ). He gained her hand as a reward for his bravery in leading a successful expedition against Debir (q.v.). Some thirty years after the death of Joshua, the Israelites fell under the subjection of Chushan-rishathaim (q.v.), the king of Mesopotamia. He oppressed them for full eight years, when they "cried" unto Jehovah, and Othniel was raised up to be their deliverer. He was the younger brother of Caleb ( Judges 3:8 Judges 3:9-11 ). He is the only judge mentioned connected with the tribe of Judah. Under him the land had rest forty years.
the hour of God
A hero in Israel, son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. He conquered Kiriath-sepher, later known as Debir, in the territory of Judah in the days of Joshua, and was given the daughter of Caleb, Achsah, to wife as a reward (Joshua 15:17, parallel found in Judges 1:13). He later smote Cushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia, whom the children of Israel had served 8 years, and thus not only saved the Israelites, but by reviving national sentiment among them (compare Ant, V, iv, 3), and reestablishing government, became the first of those hero-rulers known as "judges." The effects of his victory lasted an entire generation (40 years, Judges 3:9-11). He had a son named Hathath (1 Chronicles 4:13) and probably another named Meonothai (compare recensio Luciana of Septuagint, at the place). In the days of David we find a family bearing the name of Othniel, from which came Heldai the Metophathite, captain of the twelfth month (1 Chronicles 27:15).
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