Tola Judges Israel in Shamir.
1. after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel,
Tola—that is, "to save." Deliverance was necessary as well
from intestine usurpation as from foreign aggression.
the son of Puah—He was uncle to
Abimelech by the father's side, and consequently brother of Gideon; yet
the former was of the tribe of Issachar, while the latter was of
Manasseh. They were, most probably, uterine brothers.
dwelt in Shamir in mount Ephraim—As a
central place, he made it the seat of government.
3. Jair, a Gileadite—This judge was a
different person from the conqueror of that northeastern territory, and
founder of Havoth-jair, or "Jair's villages" (Nu 32:41; De 3:14; Jos 13:3; 1Ch 2:22).
4. he had thirty sons that rode on thirty ass
colts—This is a characteristic trait of Eastern manners in
those early times; and the grant of a village to each of his thirty
sons was a striking proof of his extensive possessions. His having
thirty sons is no conclusive evidence that he had more than one wife,
much less that he had more than one at a time. There are instances, in
this country, of men having as many children by two successive
Israel Oppressed by the Philistines and
6. the children of Israel did evil again in the
sight of the Lord—This apostasy seems to have exceeded every
former one in the grossness and universality of the idolatry
7. Philistines, and … the children of
Ammon—The predatory incursions of these two hostile neighbors
were made naturally on the parts of the land respectively contiguous to
them. But the Ammonites, animated with the spirit of conquest, carried
their arms across the Jordan; so that the central and southern
provinces of Canaan were extensively desolated.
Jud 10:10-15. They Cry to
10. The children of Israel cried unto the Lord,
saying, We have sinned against thee—The first step of
repentance is confession of sin, and the best proof of its sincerity is
given by the transgressor, when he mourns not only over the painful
consequences which have resulted from his offenses to himself, but over
the heinous evil committed against God.
11. the Lord said … Did I not deliver you
from the Egyptians—The circumstances recorded in this and the
following verses were not probably made through the high priest, whose
duty it was to interpret the will of God.
12. Maonites—that is, "Midianites."
Jud 10:16-18. They Repent;
God Pities Them.
16. they put away the strange gods … and
served the Lord; and his soul was grieved for the misery of
Israel—On their abandonment of idolatry and return to purity
of worship, God graciously abridged the term of national affliction and
restored times of peace.
17, 18. the children of Ammon were gathered
together—From carrying on guerrilla warfare, the Ammonites
proceeded to a continued campaign. Their settled aim was to wrest the
whole of the trans-jordanic territory from its actual occupiers. In
this great crisis, a general meeting of the Israelitish tribes was held
at Mizpeh. This Mizpeh was in eastern Manasseh (Jos 11:3).