Judges 3:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 3:10, NIV: The Spirit of the LORD came on him, so that he became Israel's judge and went to war. The LORD gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him.

Judges 3:10, ESV: The Spirit of the LORD was upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the LORD gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. And his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim.

Judges 3:10, KJV: And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.

Judges 3:10, NASB: And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went to war, the LORD handed over to him Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia, so that he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim.

Judges 3:10, NLT: The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he became Israel's judge. He went to war against King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram, and the LORD gave Othniel victory over him.

Judges 3:10, CSB: The Spirit of the Lord came on him, and he judged Israel. Othniel went out to battle, and the Lord handed over King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram to him, so that Othniel overpowered him.

What does Judges 3:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Israel has fallen into captivity under a foreign king because of their sinfulness and unfaithfulness to God (Judges 3:7–8). Finally, after eight years of slavery, the people cried out to the Lord for help. The Lord has raised up a "deliverer" (Judges 3:9) to save Israel from this foreign king. The role of these figures is described using the Hebrew root word shaphat, implying vindication and judgment, as well as governance. The English term "judge" is a loose fit for this concept, but works well enough.

Readers may wonder how a single person could save a nation in slavery. The answer is in this verse: The Spirit of the Lord was on Othniel. God could have simply engineered events and circumstances to free Israel without working through an individual. He chose, instead, to exercise His power and might and will through a mere human being by way of the Holy Spirit.

God the Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity, along with God the Father and God the Son. Every person who comes to faith in Christ receives the Holy Spirit from God (John 14:16–17). In that way, God exercises His power through people in the church in this age. In the Old Testament, God is said to do this only in exceptional circumstances. God's word in Israel through the Judges is one such situation.

Empowered by God in this way, the warrior-judge Othniel goes to war with Cushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia. The Lord gives Othniel and Israel the victory. The people are released from their slavery and suffering.