The Othniel account is brief (3:7-11), but it sets the pattern for the following judge accounts: Israel does evil, the Lord gives them over to oppressors, Israel cries out to the Lord, the Lord raises up a deliverer, the Lord gives the deliverer victory over the enemy, the land rests for a number of years, and the judge dies. In a more profound sense Othniel is the judge by which all the rest are measured. Interestingly, Othniel (or one of his ancestors) was a proselyte. Every time Othniel is mentioned in Judges, he is called “Othniel the son of Kenaz.” This makes him a descendant of Esau (Gen 36:11, 15, 42; cf. Num. 32:12; Josh. 14:6-14). Othniel was exhibit A for what Israel ought to have been doing. Israel ought to have been turning foreigners into zealous Israelites.
See Daniel I. Block, Judges, Ruth, New American Commentary, ed. E. Ray Clendenen (Nashville: B&H, 1999), 150.