And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
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George Leo Haydock
Died, "forty years after Josue, according to the chronology of Usher, which we follow "(Calmet) or rather Usher translates the land began to rest "in the fortieth year "from the peace of Josue. He places the death to that leader in the year of the world 2570, and the end of Chusan's dominion 2599; so that, if we deduct 40 years from this last date, we shall come to the year 2559, the sixth of Josue's administration, when he began to divide the conquered lands. He supposes that the peace of Othoniel lasted about 62 years, when Eglon disturbed it for eighteen years. "Aod delivered Israel. After him Samgar appeared, and the land rested till the 80th year from the peace of Othoniel. "Houbigant censures this indiscriminate use of cardinal and of ordinal numbers, and the blending the times of servitude with those of peace; (Haydock) and "surely this method of reckoning is very harsh, and contrary to the usual acceptation of words. "(Calmet)
Yet it is adopted by many. (Worthington)
It may suit to form a system, but can have no solid foundation. (Haydock)
The epoch from which Usher dates is no where so distinctly specified, as that we should suppose that the author of the Book of Judges had it in view. Moreover, by this method, we are left to guess how long each of the judges reigned, or how long the peace which they had procured, subsisted. Usher admits that the years of servitude are specified; and, why not also the years of peace, since they are expressed exactly in the same manner? If the ordinal numbers 40th, 80th, were intended, b would be prefixed, as Deuteronomy i. 3.; and this grammatical observation alone, suffices to overturn the calculation of Usher. (Houbigant, Proleg.)
Salien dates from the death of Josue in 2600, and allows that 40 years elapsed from that period till the decease of Othoniel; including the years which some attribute to the ancients, and to the anarchy; (chap. xvii., to the end,) and also the eight years of servitude; so that instead of a rest of 40 years, we shall find that all was in confusion the greatest part of the time. The idolatry of Israel, which shortly brought on the servitude under Eglon, commenced immediately after the conclusion of these 40 years, when Salien begins to enumerate the years of Aod's government. Thus he does from one judge to another. This system does not indeed make the text bend to uphold it, but it supposes that the sacred writer includes anarchy and servitude under the name of rest. In these matters much is to be supplied by conjecture, and hence the chronological difficulties which infidels propose, to invalidate the authority of the Scripture, can have but little weight, till the learned shall have discovered the exact disposition of former times. The first judge of Israel was of the tribe of Juda. The second was chosen from the almost ruined tribe of Benjamin, as the learned commonly place the dreadful catastrophe which befel that tribe during the anarchy which ensued, and the death of Josue and of the ancients. Aod had no share in the crime. (Haydock)