1. Exposition

What narrative function does the name “Cushan-rishathaim” serve?

Judges 3:8 (ESV)

8 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.

The name is used twice in quick succession in both Judges 3:8 and Judges 3:10, “forming a frame around the intervening account of Othniel’s exploits. In both halves of this frame the tyrant is called a melek (king). Cushan-rishathaim, like Othniel, is the embodiment of an institution, and the clash between them is a clash between judgeship and kingship. Both institutions are instrumental here in Yahweh’s rule over Israel: kingship in punishment, and judgeship in deliverance. The relationship between Yahweh and these two institutions will be explored further in subsequent episodes.”1