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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Othniel

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("lion of God".) 1 Chronicles 4:13. Son of Kenaz. (See KENAZ, on his relation to Caleb or "the Kenizzite".) Caleb's younger brother (Joshua 15:17; Judges 1:13; Judges 3:9). First of the judges. Took Kirjath Sepher (Debir), in the mountainous region of Hebron in Judah (Joshua 14:12-14), and received Achsah, his wife, as the prize. (See ACHSAH.) Van de Velde believes "the upper and nether springs" which she received was a spring rising on a hill N. of wady Dilbeh (two hours S.W. of Hebron), and brought down by an aqueduct to the foot of the hill. (But see DEBIR.) Othniel delivered Israel from Chushan Rishathaim, and gave "the land rest 40 years." (See CHUSHAN RISHATHAIM.) He had a son, Hathath (1 Chronicles 4:13-14), and "Meonithai". (See MEONOTHAI.)

In Judges 3:11 it is not asserted that Othniel lived to the end of the 40 years, which would make his life unduly long as the brother of Caleb; but simply, he died after restoring rest to the land. It was in answer to Israel's cry that Jehovah raised up Othniel as their "saviour" (Psalms 107:13-19; Psalms 50:15). "The Spirit of Jehovah" came upon his human spirit, enabling him to accomplish what his natural strength could not. "He judged Israel (not merely settling their internal disputes in justice as civil judge, but restoring their right in relation to their foreign oppressor, for it is added), and went out to war." "Judging" means lastly restoring Israel to its right attitude toward Jehovah, putting down idolatry (Judges 2:18-19; Judges 6:25-32). All this needed the sevenfold "spirit of wisdom and understanding," etc. Isaiah 11:2-3.)

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Othniel'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/o/othniel.html. 1949.

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