Judges 3:11 MEANING

Judges 3:11
(11) The land had rest forty years.--Rabbi Tanchum interprets this to mean, "till forty years after the death of Joshua." For the very difficult chronology of this period, see the Introduction. Many questions have been raised, such as--Do the forty years include or exclude the period of servitude? Is forty meant to be an exact or a general number? Are the various periods of rest and servitude continuous and successive, or do they refer to different parts of the Holy Land, and do they synchronise? Perhaps no final answer to these questions is as yet possible, and no less than fifty schemes of the chronology of the period of the judges have been attempted, which fact alone proves how insufficient are the data on which to decide.

Died.--Probably during the forty years, unless we suppose that he attained a most unusual age. After this event the tribe of Judah sinks into the background till the days of David.

Verse 11. - And Othniel, etc. The arrangement of this verse suggests that Othniel lived through the whole forty years of rest, but this is highly improbable. The first part of the verse only belongs to the preceding section, which it closes quite naturally. The result of Othniel's victories was a rest of forty years (cf. ver. 30; 5:31; 8:28, etc.). The latter half of the verse - And Othniel the son of Kenaz died - begins a new section, and is introductory to the first apostasy, which followed after his death.

CHAPTER 3:13-31

3:8-11 The first judge was Othniel: even in Joshua's time Othniel began to be famous. Soon after Israel's settlement in Canaan their purity began to be corrupted, and their peace disturbed. But affliction makes those cry to God who before would scarcely speak to him. God returned in mercy to them for their deliverance. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel. The Spirit of wisdom and courage to qualify him for the service, and the Spirit of power to excite him to it. He first judged Israel, reproved and reformed them, and then went to war. Let sin at home be conquered, that worst of enemies, then enemies abroad will be more easily dealt with. Thus let Christ be our Judge and Lawgiver, then he will save us.And the land had rest forty years,.... As it should seem from the time of this deliverance; though, according to Ben Gersom and Abarbinel, the eight years' servitude are to be included in them; and Bishop Usher (r) reckons these forty years from the rest first settled in the land by Joshua; but the former sense seems best:

and Othniel the son of Kenaz died: not at the end of the forty years; it is not likely he should live so long, but when he died is not certain; Eusebius (s) says he judged Israel fifty years.

(r) Anual. Vet. Test. p. 42. (s) Evangel. Praepar. l. 1O. c. 14. p. 502.

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