Home » Hebrew Yay! » Judged 3.9 Translation… at last

Judged 3.9 Translation… at last


Judges 3.9

 וַיִּזְעֲקוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־יְהוָה וַיָּקֶם יְהוָה מוֹשִׁיעַ לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיּוֹשִׁיעֵם אֵת עָתְנִיאֵל בֶּן־קְנַז אֲחִי כָלֵב הַקָּטֹן מִמֶּנּוּ׃

Various Translations

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.”

JPS: “The Israelites cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised a champion for the Israelites to deliver them: Othniel the Kenizzite, a younger kinsman of Caleb.”

NASB: “When the sons of Israel cried to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the sons of Israel to deliver them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.”

NAB: “But when the Israelites cried out to the LORD, he raised up for them a savior, Othniel, son of Caleb’s younger brother Kenaz, who rescued them.”


Original: “And the sons of Israel cried out to Yahweh and Yahweh caused a deliverer to be raised for the sons of Israel and Othniel son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb younger than him delivered them.”

Revised: “Then[1] the children of Israel cried out to Yahweh.  Hence[2] Yahweh raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel.  That[3] same[4] Othniel the Kenizzite,[5] the younger kinsmen[6] of Caleb rescued them.”


Now the children of Israel did what was wrong in the eyes of Yahweh.  For they ignored Yahweh their god but they served Baal and Asherah.  Therefore the fury of Yahweh blazed against Israel, so he sold them into the hand of Cushan the Double Wicked, King of Aram-naharaim.  Thus the children of Israel served Cushan the Double Wicked for eight years.  Then the children of Israel cried out to Yahweh.  Hence Yahweh raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel.  That same Othniel the Kenizzite, the younger kinsmen of Caleb rescued them.

Hebrew Notes:

 וַיִּזְעֲקוּ – Qc15 – זָעַק – cry, cry out, call – and they cried out

בְנֵי־ – בֵּן – sons of

יִשְׂרָאֵל – Yiśrā’ēl – Israel

אֶל־ – to/at

יְהוָה – YHWH – Yahweh, or the Lord

וַיָּקֶם – Hc10 – arise, stand, rise – and he caused x to be raised

יְהוָה – YHWH – Yahweh, or the Lord

מוֹשִׁיעַ – Hc10s0 – יָשַׁע – hif’il to deliver – one to deliver(?); deliverer

לִבְנֵי – לְ – to/for – בֵּן – sons – for sons

יִשְׂרָאֵל – Yiśrā’ēl – Israel

וַיּוֹשִׁיעֵם – Hc10s5 – יָשַׁע – and he delivered them

אֵת – DDO

עָתְנִיאֵל – ʿā∙ṯenî∙ʾēl – Othniel – עֹתֶן + אֵל – lion of God

בֶּן־ – son of

קְנַז – qenǎz – Kenaz – could be “hunting”

אֲחִי – אָח – brother of

כָלֵב – kā∙lēḇ – Caleb – “perhaps ‘dog,’ i.e. כֶּלֶב”

הַקָּטֹן – הַ ּ – קָטָן – small, young, unimportant – the young(er)

מִמֶּנּוּ׃ – than him

Revised Translation Notes:

[1] Then ESV, NAB, NLT, TNIV, most modern “But When,” NASB, NET “When,” JPS cuts it out as does the HCSB NJB “The Israelites then” I have chosen Then because I see in this a logical sequence brought about because of consequence.  That is because the Yahweh punished his they then chose to turn toward him.  After serving eight years then the Israelites cried.  (van der Merwe p. 166 or section 21.2 1. (ii) b.)

[2] Hence ESV, NAB, NASB, NET, etc. most modern translation cut it out, JPS, NJB “and” HCSB “So”  Again I see this as a consequence (in a good sense ^_^) because they turned toward God at last he then brought about their deliverance, they cried to Yahweh, hence or because of this he gave them Othniel.  (van der Merwe p. 166 or section 21.2 1. (ii) b.)

[3] That Note many translations will placed “deliver them” before “Othniel son of…” therefore ESV, NRSV, NJB “Who saved (or rescued, delivered) them,” or JPS, NASB “to deliver them,” NET has “who rescued them” and puts a “His name was…” NLT is similar “to save them” with “his name was…” NAB, NIV has “Othniel…” then “Who saved them” I assume this ו as one of closer definition.  That is Yahweh gave them a deliverer, who did his job and who was Othniel.  I used “That same Othniel,” partly because it seem too fit well enough in that and also because of its connection with verses 1.12-15 see note 4.  (van der Merwe p. 167 or section 21.2 3. (ii))

[4] Same, I have used the pharse “that same” to partly relate that Othniel is supposed to be recognized as “oh hey that guy from Joshua something and the beginning of Judges…”  I’ll admit I may be putting too much inference with this phrase, but anyways Block p. 154 notes “As the first in the series of rulers raised up by God, however, Othniel plays a paradigmatic role. He is a Judean hero (the last one in the book) of noble, if alien, stock (the Caleb connection), one already distinguished for his courage and prowess (1:11–15).” Schneider p. 39 “Othniel is the perfect candidate for the first judge because he was introduced earlier and is a known character, has an established military record (Judg 1:13), is related to Caleb, one of the two people from the desert generation who were allowed to enter the land, is married to an Israelite and is a member of the tribe of Judah, which has been designated as leader.”

[5] Following JPS; Note Block on Judges “In [1.13] Othniel is referred to as “the son of Kenaz.” Cf. Num 32:12 and Josh 14:6, 14, which identify Caleb as “the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite.” According to Gen 36:11, 15, 42, Kenaz was an Edomite chieftain, a descendant of Esau. Gen 15:19 includes the Kenizzites among the peoples occupying a portion of the land promised to Abraham, presumably in the Negev adjacent to Edom proper.” Or Boiling p. 56 “ben Qenaz. EVV “Kenizzite,” a member of a southern clan established at an early period in southern Judah and the northern Negeb.”

[6] Again Following JPS; Note: Schneider pp. 10-11 “Othniel’s specific relationship with Caleb is not entirely certain. …  Here he is named the younger “brother.” The term “brother” can be used in many senses such as “brotherhood” especially in Judges, and it is not clear that in this instance the inference is specially to the son of either of his parents” or Boiling 56 ““brother.” That is, military confederate, as in well-known Mari usage of au. In the course of traditionary differentiation, Othniel was regarded as either Caleb’s brother (LXXA) or nephew (LXXB). Intricate Calebite genealogies in 1 Chron 2 and 4 imply complex tribal histories.”


1 Comment

  1. […] For Translations notes on previous verses please refer to these links: Judges 3.7, Judges 3.8, Judges 3.9, and Judges 3.10, As with the current verse comments are appreciated on the previous […]

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