Judges 3:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 3:8, NIV: The anger of the LORD burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim, to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years.

Judges 3:8, ESV: Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.

Judges 3:8, KJV: Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years.

Judges 3:8, NASB: Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, so that He sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim for eight years.

Judges 3:8, NLT: Then the LORD burned with anger against Israel, and he turned them over to King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram-naharaim. And the Israelites served Cushan-rishathaim for eight years.

Judges 3:8, CSB: The Lord's anger burned against Israel, and he sold them to King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram-naharaim, and the Israelites served him eight years.

What does Judges 3:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This sounds very familiar to what was written in the previous chapter (Judges 2:11–15). This time, a specific oppressor is described. God's anger burns for Israel's betrayal of Him by serving other gods (Judges 3:7). In response, God sets out to harm them as He said He would.

The Lord sells His people into the hands of the Cushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia, also known as Aram Naharaim. This king reigned over the Arameans. Their large territory began north of the Sea of Galilee and extended far into the north. Bible scholars speculate on what ruler in the history of this region this king might be, but he remains something of a mystery. His empire must have been quite strong to control Canaan from that far north for eight years. Centuries later, the prophet Habakkuk would refer to "Cushan" when speaking of Israel disrupting the peace of the Canaanites after the exodus (Habakkuk 3:7).

During those eight years, the people of Israel were slaves to his kingdom, likely alongside the other Canaanite peoples of the land. This does not mean the people were in literal, personal chains or held as prisoners. Rather, it would mean their nation was occupied and controlled by the foreign nation.