Judges 3:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 3:9, NIV: But when they cried out to the LORD, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, who saved them.

Judges 3:9, ESV: But when the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.

Judges 3:9, KJV: And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.

Judges 3:9, NASB: But the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD, and the LORD raised up a deliverer for the sons of Israel to set them free, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.

Judges 3:9, NLT: But when the people of Israel cried out to the LORD for help, the LORD raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Othniel, the son of Caleb's younger brother, Kenaz.

Judges 3:9, CSB: The Israelites cried out to the Lord. So the Lord raised up Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's youngest brother, as a deliverer to save the Israelites.

What does Judges 3:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In great anger against His own people for their wickedness and faithlessness, the Lord allowed them to be enslaved by a foreign king called Cushan-rishathaim (Judges 3:8). At this time, national slavery would not have meant things like imprisonment and chains. It would, however, have meant the nation was controlled by a foreign power. They would have had to pay tributes and taxes, forfeit land, and permit the enemy to house troops.

Israel's subjection under this king and his kingdom must have been harsh. At some point, the people would begin to realize that the false gods they served would do nothing for them (Judges 3:7). Eventually, the Israelites humbled themselves enough to turn back to the Lord and cry out for His help.

And so, God raises up the first of 12 judges described in this book. The English term "judge" is an awkward fit for the role played by these God-empowered men and women. The original Hebrew word includes concepts related to rescue, vengeance, and leadership. This verse refers to the judge as a "deliverer," which is the role he will serve.

This is the second mention of this man in Judges. He is Othniel, the son of Kenaz and nephew of Caleb. He is also Caleb's son-in-law and married to Caleb's daughter Achsah (Judges 1:11–15). His role as Israel's deliverer in this moment comes many years after his capture of Debir for Caleb and his wedding day. That time has not lessened his ability as a warrior, it seems. God uses Othniel to save Israel from their eight-year captivity.