Chu'shan-Rishatha'im (Heb. Kushan' Rishaatha'yim, כּרּשִּׁן רִשּׁעָחִיִם, Sept. Χουσανρεσαθαίμ, Vulg. Chusan-Rasathaim), the king of Mesopotamia who oppressed Israel during eight years (B.C. 15751567) in the generation immediately following Joshua (Jg 3:8). The name, if Hebrew, would signify Cush (comp. CUSHAN, Hab 3:7) of the two wickednesses; but First (Heb. Handworterb. s.v.) compares the Arabic signification, chief of two governments (see Abulf. Ann. 2, p. 100), with reference to the two- fold form of Aram-Naharaim (q.v.). Josephus (Ant. 5, 3, 2) calls him
"Chusarthus (Χούσαρθος), king of the Assyrians." The seat of his dominion was probably the region between the Euphrates and the modern Khabour, to which the name of Mesopotamia always attached in a special way. In the early cuneiform inscriptions this country appears to be quite distinct from Assyria; it is inhabited by a people called Nairi, who are divided into a vast number of petty tribes, and offer but little resistance to the Assyrian armies. No centralized monarchy is found, but as none of the Assyrian historical inscriptions date earlier than about B.C. 1100, which is some centuries later than the time of Chushan, it is, of course, quite possible that a very different condition of things may have existed in his day. In the weak and divided state of Western Asia at this time, it was easy for a brave and skillful chief to build up rapidly a vast power, which was apt to crumble away almost as quickly. Bunsen, however, calls him merely "a Mesopotamian satrap," assuming that he must have been posterior to the Assyrian supremacy (Egypt, 3. 272). Chushan-Rishathaim's yoke was broken from the neck of the people of Israel at the end of eight years by Othniel, Caleb's nephew (Jg 3:10), and nothing more is heard of Mesopotamia as an aggressive power. The rise of the Assyrian empire, about B.C. 1270, would naturally reduce the bordering nations to insignificance (see Rawlinson, Histor. Evidences, p. 300). SEE MESOPOTAMIA.