1. Exposition

Should the coming of the Spirit upon Othniel surprise the reader?

Judges 3:10 (ESV)

10 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.

The hearer might be surprised by this first appearance of the Spirit of the Lord, since it is the only element of the pattern in the prologue that is not named. However, the Spirit empowered previous leaders (Joseph (Genesis 42:38), Moses and the seventy elders (Numbers 11:17–29), and Joshua (Numbers 27:18; Deuteronomy 34:9)). This reality places Othniel in the line of earlier leaders. And so the Spirit’s authorization of Othniel positions him in the company of the past heroes of Israel.1