Home » Hebrew Yay! » Judges 3.11 Translation, the end of Othniel’s Narrative

Judges 3.11 Translation, the end of Othniel’s Narrative

Judges 3.11

וַתִּשְׁקֹט הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וַיָּמָת עָתְנִיאֵל בֶּן־קְנַז׃

Various Translations

ESV: “So the land had rest forty years.  Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.”

JPS: “and the land had peace for forty years.  When Othniel the Kenizzite died,”

NASB: “Then the land had rest forty years.  And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.”

NAB: “The land then was at rest for forty years, until Othniel, son of Kenaz, died.”

Mine:

Original: And the land was at rest for forty years and Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

Revised: After that[1] the land was calm[2] for forty years,[3] but[4] Othniel the Kenizzite died.

3.7-11[5]:

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.  After that the land was clam for forty years, but Othniel the Kenizzite died.

Hebrew Notes:

וַתִּשְׁקֹט – שָׁקַט – Qc21 – to be quiet, undisturbed, to rest – and she had rest

הָאָרֶץ – הָ –  ארָץ – the land

אַרְבָּעִים – forty

שָׁנָה –years

וַיָּמָת – מוּת – Qc20 – and he died

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

בֶּן – son of

קְנַז – qenǎz – Kenaz – could be “hunting”


[1] “After that,” ESV, NIV, NRSV, TNIV “So,” HCSB, NASB “Then,” NAB, NET ו cut out, JPS, ASV “and,” I chose to “After that,” seeing the ו as it usually is one used for a summary, i.e. after these events happened to sum it all up the land had rest, (van der Merwe p. 167 or section 21.2.3.i).

[2] “Calm” following Boling 80.

[3] It was tempting to put here, “The land was at rest for a generation,” for as Block, 155 notes “Forty probably is a round number, here presumably signifying the lifespan of an entire generation.”

[4] “But,” note that JPS Seems to see this particular ו as a beginning of a new narrative, “when,” which is rare, but possible. A possible translation could then be: “After Othniel had died 12 the children of Israel did…”  I saw this ו as one where we see two events, i.e. the land is at rest and Othniel’s death, and his death as being emphasized, the narrator in this way showing us the story is not yet ended.  (van der Merwe p. 166 or section 21.2.1.iii).

[5] 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 ones.

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