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King of Aram-Naharaim

According to biblical sources, Cushan-rishathaim (Hebrew: כּוּשַׁן רִשְׁעָתַיִם Ḵūšān Riš‘āṯayim, "twice-evil Kushite") was king of Aram-Naharaim, or Northwest Mesopotamia, and the first oppressor of the Israelites after their settlement in Canaan. In the Book of Judges, God delivers the Israelites into his hand for eight years (Judges 3:8) as a punishment for polytheism. However, when the people of Israel "called to Jehovah", He saved them through Othniel, son of Kenaz (Judges 3:9).

Scholars have proposed several explanations for Biblical accounts related to this ruler.[1]

'Cushan' or 'Chushan' may indicate Cushite origins. 'Rishathaim' means 'double-wickedness'("resha" רשע - "evil" or "wickedness" + "im" יים - doubling suffix). The latter was likely a pejorative appellation used by his Hebrew foes, rather than what this King called himself. Use of it may indicate that the Hebrews had concrete reasons to bear him a grudge, beyond the meager information given in the surviving Biblical text.[2]


  1. ^ Billington 2005, pp. 117–32.
  2. ^ Grace Baptist Church sermon notes, Judges 3:7–11 Archived 2018-03-13 at the Wayback Machine.


  • Billington, Clyde E. (2005). "Othniel, Cushan-Rishathaim, and the Date of the Exodus". Beyond the Jordan: Studies in Honor of W. Harold Mare. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers. pp. 117–132. ISBN 9781597520690.