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Judges 3.10 Translation

Ack, its been too long since I actually worked on this translation… a thousand pardons.  One Verse after this and I’ll have finished the story, and with this fine story will also finish off the Model Judge and view of the cycle.  Anyways as always comments or suggestions are welcome.

Judges 3.10

וַתְּהִ֨י עָלָ֥יו רֽוּחַ־יְהוָה֮ וַיִּשְׁפֹּ֣ט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ וַיֵּצֵא֙ לַמִּלְחָמָ֔ה וַיִּתֵּ֤ן יְהוָה֙ בְּיָד֔וֹ אֶת־כּוּשַׁ֥ן רִשְׁעָתַ֖יִם מֶ֣לֶךְ אֲרָ֑ם וַתָּ֣עָז יָד֔וֹ עַ֖ל כּוּשַׁ֥ן רִשְׁעָתָֽיִם׃

Various Translations:

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.”

JPS: “The Spirit of the Lord descended upon him and he became Israel’s chieftain.  He went out to war, and the Lord delivered King Cushan-rishathaim, ofAram into his hands.  He prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim.”

NASB: “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went out to war, the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand, so that he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim.”

NAB: “The spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went out to war, the Lord delivered Cushan-risha-thaim, king of Aram, into his power, so that he made him subject.”

Mine:

Original: And the spirit of Yahweh came upon him and he judged Israel and he came out to battle and Yahweh gave into his hand Cushan Rishathaim King of Aram and the strength of his hand was upon Cushan Rishathaim.

Revised:

When[1] Yahweh’s Spirit came upon him[2] then[3] he delivered[4] Israel since[5] he went out to war[6], and because[7] Yahweh had given Cushan the Double Wicked, King of Aram into his hand and[8] his hand prevailed[9] over Cushan the Double-Wicked.

3.7-10:

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.  When Yahweh’s Spirit came upon him then he delivered Israel since he went out to war and because Yahweh had given Cushan the Double-Wicked, King of Aram into his hand and his hand prevailed over Cushan the Double-Wicked.

Hebrew Notes:

וַתְהִי  – הָיָה – Qc21 – came to pass, become, fell out – and she became

עָלָיו – עַל – upon – יו – him – upon him

רוּח – Spirit, Wind

יְהוָה – YHWH – Yahweh, or the Lord

וַיִּשְׁפֹּט – שָׁפַט – Qc20 – to judge – and he judged

אֵת – DDO

יִשְׂרָאֵל – Yiśrā’ēl – Israel

וַיֵּצֵא – יָצָא – Qc20 – to go, come out – and he came out

לַמִּלְחָמָה – ל – to/for – מִלְחָמָה – battle, war – לָחַם – to fight, do battle – to battle

וַיִּתֵּן – נַתַן – Qc20  – to give – And he gave

יְהוָה – YHWH – Yahweh, or the Lord

בְּיָדוֹ – ב – into – יָד  – hand – וֹ- his – into his hand

אֵת – DDO

כּוּשַׁן – kû∙šǎn – Cushan

רִשְׁעָתַיִם – riš∙ʿā∙ṯǎ∙yim – Rishathaim – רִשְׁעָה – wickedness – רָשָׁע – wicked, criminal  – double wickedness

מֶלֶךְ – king of

אֲרַם – ’ărām – Aram

וַתָּעָז – עָזַז – Qc21 – strength – and she was strong

יָדוֹ – יָד – hand וֹ – his – his hand.

עַל – upon

כּוּשַׁן – kû∙šǎn – Cushan

רִשְׁעָתַיִם – riš∙ʿā∙ṯǎ∙yim – Rishathaim – רִשְׁעָה – wickedness – רָשָׁע – wicked, criminal  – double wickedness


[1] “When” Following the God’s Word translation, most Modern Translations leave it out, while at least two older ones, ASV, KJV keep it in as “And.”

[2] “Yahweh’s Spirit,” instead of the Spirit of the Lord, cf Boling 81 who writes “The expression should elicit neither the sense of “Holy Spirit” in later Christian formulations, nor the overtones of amorphous “wind,” which is the etymological origin of heb. a” Also as Block, 155 Notes “In the Book of Judges when the rûaḥ yhwh, “Spirit of the Lord,” comes upon individuals, it signals the arresting presence and power of God, often of individuals who are unqualified for or indisposed to service for him.”

[3] “Then,” most translations leave the ו as “And,” while the NIV, TNIV have “So,” andNJB leaves it out.  I’ve chosen then although the NIV’s So would have worked as well.  Seeing the ו as next step in the logical sequence, Yahweh’s Spirit  came to Othniel so he did his job.  (van der Merwe p. 166 or section 21.2 1.ii)

[4] The Hebrew word here, “שָׁפַט” meaning is somewhat more complicated, see any number of commentaries on its meanings such as Soggin 1-4, Boling 5-9, Matthews 53-4 and others.  I have chosen delivered instead of Judged, since Othniel’s role is not one concerned with the law, but instead military matters.

[5] “Since,” ESV, NJPS, NRSV, HCSB cuts the ו out, NET, NAB, NASB has “when,” NIV, TNIV, NJB, ASV “And”  I saw this ו as one of closer definition, Othniel saves Israel, okay, but how did he do so?  Because, or since he went to war.  (van der Merwe p. 167 or section 21.3.iii)

[6] I choose to follow the phrasing of Most modern translating, notably the four above.

[7] “And because,” ESV,HCSB, NRSV, NJPS, ASV, KJV “And” while NAB, NIV, NASB, NJB, TNIV cuts it out, and then at least the NET  has “When”  I’ve chosen “and because,”  I chose to translate this ו the same as the previous one, note endnote 5.  Since Othniel not only delivered Israel because he went to war, but also because of Yahweh.  I’ll admit I’m uncertain about this one.

[8] “And” following such translations as ESV, NJB, NRSV, ASV, KJV have “And,” while HCSB, NAB, NASB “So”,  and then the NET, NIV, NJPS, TNIV all cuts out the ו.  Seeing this ו as nothing more than logical sequence.

[9] Following Matthews 55, “And his hand prevailed…” note also Boiling 80, translates this as “his hand clamped down on…” The use of hand, יָד is very prevalent in this whole narrative, from Yahweh selling his people into Cushan’s hand to giving him into Othniel’s hand.  I felt though not as readable that the second hand of this verse shouldn’t be dropped out.

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1 Comment

  1. […] 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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