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Tola and Jair

10

After Abimelech, Tola son of Puah son of Dodo, a man of Issachar, who lived at Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim, rose to deliver Israel. 2He judged Israel twenty-three years. Then he died, and was buried at Shamir.

3 After him came Jair the Gileadite, who judged Israel twenty-two years. 4He had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkeys; and they had thirty towns, which are in the land of Gilead, and are called Havvoth-jair to this day. 5Jair died, and was buried in Kamon.

Oppression by the Ammonites

6 The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, worshiping the Baals and the Astartes, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. Thus they abandoned the Lord, and did not worship him. 7So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the Ammonites, 8and they crushed and oppressed the Israelites that year. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites that were beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. 9The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to fight against Judah and against Benjamin and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was greatly distressed.

10 So the Israelites cried to the Lord, saying, “We have sinned against you, because we have abandoned our God and have worshiped the Baals.” 11And the Lord said to the Israelites, “Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites, from the Ammonites and from the Philistines? 12The Sidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, oppressed you; and you cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. 13Yet you have abandoned me and worshiped other gods; therefore I will deliver you no more. 14Go and cry to the gods whom you have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your distress.” 15And the Israelites said to the Lord, “We have sinned; do to us whatever seems good to you; but deliver us this day!” 16So they put away the foreign gods from among them and worshiped the Lord; and he could no longer bear to see Israel suffer.

17 Then the Ammonites were called to arms, and they encamped in Gilead; and the Israelites came together, and they encamped at Mizpah. 18The commanders of the people of Gilead said to one another, “Who will begin the fight against the Ammonites? He shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”


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Jud 10:1-5. 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 wives.

Jud 10:6-9. Israel Oppressed by the Philistines and Ammonites.

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 practised.

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 God.

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).




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