OTHNIEL, in the Bible, a clan settled at Debir or Kirjathsepher in S. Palestine (Judg. i. 12 sqq.. Josh. xv. 16 sqq., contrast Josh. x. 38 seq.), described as the " brother" of Caleb. The name appears in Judg. iii. 7-11 (see Judges), as that of a hero who delivered Israel from a North Syrian king. That a king from the Euphrates who had subjugated Canaan should have been defeated by a clan of the south of Palestine has been doubted. There is no evidence of such a situation, and it has been conjectured that Cushan-Rishathaim (the name suggests " C. of double wickedness"!) of Aram (mx) has arisen from some king (cp. Husham, Gen. xxxvi. 34) or clan (cp. Cush, Num. xii. 1; Cushan, Hab. iii. 7) of Edom (mn) to the south or south-east of Palestine. Othniel recurs in i Chron. iv. 13.
See A. Klostermann, Gesch. d. Volkes Israel (i8g6), p. 122 ; Cheyne, Ency. Bib. col. 969 seq. and references; also the literature to JiUGES.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)